Sense8 Review by John Keegan

Sense8 1.03: Smart Money's on the Skinny Bitch

Sense8 1.03: Smart Money's on the Skinny Bitch

Written By:
The Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski
Directed By:
The Wachowskis

I’ve lamented how professional critics could watch the beginning of this series, specifically the first three episodes, and come away feeling like there was a lack of connection to the characters.  While I still feel like there’s a general empathic lack on the part of the reviewers, I can see how the nature of the third episode might have left those watching less than satisfied. 

The issue with the third episode is that it continues the introductory phase as it fleshes out the character portfolio, but Sun and Capheus are far from the most engaging characters in the mix.  Meanwhile, even Riley, who is simply enchanting to watch on screen, is stuck in a relatively uninteresting plot thread at the moment.  The truly interesting character threads are relegated to the background, having been given the spotlight in the second episode, and thus anyone left to consider the character development early in the season is left with the freshest memory being the least fresh characters.

It doesn’t help that the big connective moment at the end of this episode is problematic.  It hinges almost entirely on the notion that Sun and Capheus are both in melee combat, and that the hand-to-hand combat in one scenario translates effectively to the other.  One can assume that Sun, as the active participant, is making choices that works in both perceptive frames of reference, but that would only work if attackers in both scenarios are making offensive moves that a single countermove with the same timing would address.  In the moment, it’s a cool concept, but once one steps back from it to reflect on how it works, it doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.  Unfortunately, because the example chosen doesn’t entirely make sense, it renders the core principle of the shared perception/reality of the Sensates questionable.  

The end result is that this suffers a bit from the chapter-by-chapter vs. episodic formatting that was mentioned at the series’ onset.  This is chapter that takes a few storylines from A to B, but is banking a bit on one’s investment into the story and the ability to overlook the flaws in one particular chapter, given the ability to just let Netflix pick up instantly with the next installment.  But that’s a knife that cuts both ways: the longer the miniseries, the more the weaknesses of individual steps along the way are amplified by the segmented nature of the hour-by-hour breakdown.

Our Grade:
The Good:
  • Sun and Capheus get some much-needed character development
The Bad:
  • The dynamics of shared consciousness in the climactic fight scene don’t hold up

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

Sense8 by - 6/22/2015 7:06 AM262 views

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