Sense8 may have taken its sweet time to come back to #Netflix with a new season, but it definitely delivers big on its second installment. The second season is not only an improvement from the already great (if a bit mind-boggling) first season, but it also offers an in-depth history lesson on the Sensates' origins and why the BPO is after them. While we follow Will, Riley, Sun, Capheus, Kala, Wolfgang, Nomi and Lito as they struggle to evade Whispers (or 'the Cannibal', as he's dubbed this season), we also learn that Angelica was not so innocent and that the BPO once stood for something entirely different.
If you're yet to catch up on your binge-watching, take a moment and enjoy this Sense8 Season 2 trailer — and please be aware that there'll be some significant #spoilers ahead:
In Sense8 Season 1, the Sensates were born and began to interact and know each other, eventually teaming up to save Will from Whispers in the finale. The Christmas special hinted at Jonas' involvement with Whispers and the BPO, while highlighting that Will and Nomi were digging for as much information about Sensates as they could. Sense8 Season 2 brings forth the answers to some very important questions; namely why Angelica "birthed" this cluster and why the BPO is hunting them.
Who Are The Sensates?
Homo Sensoriums have co-existed with Homo Sapiens for thousands of years (according to Mr. Hoy, since the Neolithic period) and, although psychically far superior, Sensoriums have only been able to survive because they remain hidden. On #Sense8, Professor Kolovi is the Sensorium expert who's been studying them for years — while helping Whispers hunt them down on the side. Professor Kolovi believes that Sapiens — the evolution of Sensoriums — inherited from their ancestors the ability to empathize, as well as a more advanced way to communicate in the form of spoken language.
Any gender can give birth to a cluster, but only those who possess the correct genes can be "reborn" as a Sensate. Angelica (the woman who created the Sensate cluster we follow on Sense8) had the opportunity to give birth two times. Her first cluster was birthed after she met Jonas, and all her children fell prey to Whispers, Kolovi and the BPO. Jonas belonged in the same cluster as Angelica — since they were both birthed by the same men — but Jonas, never creating his own children, is the last of his cluster.
The birth of Angelica's second cluster is where Sense8 Season 1 picked up, although, at the time, little was known of her reasons for bringing those eight strangers together. Sense8's second season explains that Angelica worked with Kolov and Whispers for a time, but that she escaped them once she realized that her research was helping them hunt her children and other Sensates. Soon after her escape, she gave birth to her new cluster but, because Whispers was hot on her tail, she decided to end her life before allowing him to find her new children.
What Is The BPO?
The Biologic Preservation Organization is a secret governmental agency created in "the spring of '52", to research sensacity while guaranteeing the Sensates' (or Homo Sensoriums) human rights. Doctor Ruth El-Sadaawi — whose twin sister was a Sensate — was the founder of the BPO which, by her own standards, was never to use any Sensorium for military purposes. She believed "the Sapiens and the Sensorium to be obligate mutualisms", depending on each other to survive. Ruth's view is still shared by some in the BPO, but clearly Whispers disagrees.
The BPO became increasingly violent toward Sensoriums after the 9/11 crisis, which fueled extremist visions of dominance over the Sensates, such as those of Whispers and Kolov. Whispers has experimented on Sensates for years (trying to find a way to control their minds) and has been successful in lobotomizing a few. In doing so, he's able to take over the identity and will of the Sensate, forcing him or her to do whatever he wants. Whispers has also improved Angelica's research into Traceworks, which allows him to trigger specific parts of a Sensate's brain and take a peek into it, finding any information he desires — just like he finds Kala through Wolfgang's mind.
Now that the cluster has been able to turn the tables on the BPO and get their hands on both Jonas and Whispers, they have everything they need to understand once and for all their abilities and weaknesses. Well, not everything per se — since the cluster is one Sensate short — but at least they possess two important bargaining chips. Riley and Wolfgang have connected with Sensates outside their own cluster, which means there may be some room to form a Sensorium global net to finally bring down the BPO.
One thing that caused Sense8 to have such a specific fanbase after its first season was the difficulty to fully understand what a Sensate really is, how they are created and what purpose they ultimately have. It's fair to say Sense8 Season 2 did a hell of a better job explaining all that. The Wachowskis made their vision far more clear in Sense8 Season 2, clarifying who's who and what part everyone plays in the story.
Now, as our usual Sensates get more and more developed, we understand their backstory, what each of them bring to the cluster and, most importantly, who their enemies really are. Without a doubt, #Sense8Season2 tops the first one, but it also raises the bar sky-high for a possible Season 3.
What did you think of Sense8 Season 2? Share your thoughts in the comments below.