For an episode in which the poster carried the title “Together Till The End” in big bold lettering and was touted as the hurried conclusion to the Sense8 series, Amor Vincit Omnia had very little sense of finality in both its narrative as well as its execution. Resembling the Sense8 Christmas Special episode in many ways, this two and a half hour new instalment of Sense8 seemed like a holdover episode to tie fans over till the return of Season 3. Listed as Season 2 episode 12 on Netflix, it is curious why the network which was quick to shut down possibilities for a Season 3 revival would not categorize this supposed “final” episode as a standalone.
Having seen several reviews of the Sense8 Special Amor Vincit Omnia where terms such as ” a fitting conclusion” and ” comprehensive end” were thrown around, one can’t help but wonder if the reviewers were watching an entirely different show from that which transpired. Sense8 is not a series that revolved around one small town in America, one high school clique, the dealings of one government administration or a single women’s prison compound. Sense8, lest we forget, has eight leads, based in 8 locations around the world, with their own subplots and a supporting cast of equally compelling sidekicks and a number of intriguing villains. It’s a not a lone trumpet playing into the night, rather a myriad of instruments playing in unison to create an indescribable symphony which is the sum of all its parts. Here are some instruments and solos that were missing from the symphony, this time around and why it matters.
Will may have saved the day once again by helping the Sensates kill Milton but what of his own future? As a deserter police officer, what will his future look like as an ex-police officer who cannot enter the US as he himself is connected with the disappearance of a known terrorist named Jonas. And what of Sara Patrell’s parents? While us viewers have known the details of the death and who as behind it, justice has eluded Sara’s parents to whom Will promised the truth and eventually justice, not mere retribution.
One aspect that was almost entirely ignored in the 2.5-hour special was Capheus’ narrative and his impending political career. A video chat with his campaign team was all fans got in terms of a last word on this bus driver slash populist hero turned politician. The four African sensates who appeared in Cepheus’s home in Season 2 and their involvement in the overall arc is also yet to be explored. Their identity and motives are as unexplored as Cepheus’s capacity to bring an ethnically divided city into a thriving democracy.
Lito’s future as a Hollywood movie star is also thrown into jeopardy at the start of Amor Vincit Omnia and left unaddressed till the end. Will he lose the role? What are his career options in Mexico where he has been blacklisted as a homosexual? And what of the apparent chemistry between his co-star in the upcoming movie and Hernando?
While a great deal of time was spent on the parentage of Wolfgang and his abusive and violent family history, the ultimate fate of his mother was not revealed. Wolfgang killed his father after life without his mother became unbearable, so how did his young mother come to an untimely end? And who was the doctor he and his mother visited in secret that he was supposed to keep a secret from his father?
Returning to the present, how safe is Berlin for Felix and Wolfgang? And will Lila’s cluster members truly allow Wolfgang and his cluster to walk away after murdering one of their own? How would Lila’s cluster seek retribution and reestablish their hold over Naples? Which does not come under the jurisdiction of the BPO. Puck and his cluster indicated that Lila’s cluster was the “worst” of the collaborators which means there are more clusters hunting clusters, if not for BPO, then other organizations that have use for the abilities of Homo Sensoriums. Surely BPO is not the only outfit aware of the hundreds and thousands of Sensates around the world and wishes to use them for their own ends?
Love it or hate it, Amor Vincit Omnia introduced a new relationship dynamic for three characters and the status of Kala, Wolfgang and Rajan’s relationship remains fluid and uncertain, to say the least. The timeline of the episode only covered a few days, at most, a week, in Paris and the confused shrugs from both Wolfgang and Kala indicated that their future was anything but settled, even if they enjoyed a sexual encounter as a threesome at the end. What will life look like for Kala and Rajan once they return to India? Will theirs resemble the polyamorous relationship shared by Grace and Amanita’s three fathers? And can Rajan return to India? There was some mention of corruption charges and a connection with BPO, both of which were left unexplored in the episode. The question of why Rajan feared Ajay’s advances to Kala and his general interference in his affairs are other questions which need to be answered, even if we are to concede that Rajan was actually helping authorities capture Ajay.
Rajan’s father’s political aspirations and its impact on Rajan and Kala is another area of interest as well as the connection drawn earlier in the series regarding the connection with Mumbai’s pharmaceutical corruption and Aids drugs in Africa.
Kala’s parents were also the only family missing from Nomi and Neet’s wedding and we were told BPO had made contact with the Dandekars and the last we hear of them is when Kala tells Will “BPO contacted my family. My father left a very cryptic, confusing e-mail as if everything was all right, which my father would never, given these circumstances” The implications of this contact, even if a friendly BPO is in charge later on, also remains to be seen.
Sun and Mun are in love and fans are overjoyed at the fact but most of Sun’s life remains in tatters as the whereabouts of Joon Ki and the future of Bak Industries is in limbo. Sun used a fake passport to travel to UK for the mission to save Wolfgang at the end of Season 2, this is after killing several guards during her jailbreak and a very public attempt on her brother’s life in the streets of Seoul where she was arrested, only to escape authorities once more.
While her brother’s chief patron in the Korean government was arrested, Joon Ki is still at large. Detective Mun’s old gunshot wound which starts to bleed anew as the fight rages on in The Forcella reminds us “Joong-Ki…Just when I was starting to forget about him.”
The introduction of a new order of Sensates, a highly powerful and almost ethereal organization known as the Lacuna was also a curious move to make in the “last” episode of the series. Other than providing Milton’s backstory, the organization, its motives, its function and powers were left unexplored with a temperamental Bodhi set to take over as The Mother in the future.
BPO – The Lone Assasin?
What happens to Kolovi? Will he replace BPO and Milton as the main villain and what precisely does the “accord” with BPO cover? And are there no disgruntled former and current BPO employees who wish to continue the drone program? The BPO was not created by Founder, Dr.Ruth El-Saadawi, to hunt Sensates but to protect them although the strategy changed over time. More importantly, who were the higher ups and governments who funded the organization which openly hunted innocent citizens around the world? Are its stakeholders satisfied to strike a peace treaty with the Homo Sensoriums and let bygones be bygones? What did they stand to gain from the drone program?
The Sense8 Formula
These are just some of the more glaring questions that were left unanswered in what was a very high-intensity episode of a show ironically best known for its slow burn narrative style and meditatively indulgent pace in storytelling. Although Sense8 nails its big action sequences and high voltage battles between good and evil, where the show really shimmers is in the little moments, the personal triumphs, the intimate exchanges about self-worth and lifelong struggles between Sensates that penetrate the audience through the screen in an unmistakably emotional way.
In a sense, all Amor Vincit Omnia achieved was a high stakes rescue of Wolfgang and a much-anticipated wedding celebration between Nomi and Amanita while defeating their collective enemy, BPO for the time being. The eight protagonists, however, strong they are together are by no means perfect individuals without deeply personal battles and wounds they have yet to overcome and heal.
The deeper impact of the Sensates on the world, other than saving their own fates and improving their own lives with each other’s help is another avenue fans hope to see explored. Echoing Angelica’s statement in Season 1 that Sun should not forget who she is, “the future”. The timeline of the episode is similar to that of the Christmas special where a great deal took place in a short span of time without too many plot developments but to instead to set up the next season.
Rebel with a Cause
Let’s not forget, Sense8 never plays by the rules. The two-hour special which tuned out to be 2 and a half hours is just the latest example of what this horizon opening show can and always has encompassed. Sense8 instinctively takes the paths less taken, paths previously thought impossible and improbable so calling the latest episode a wrap up is not only inconclusive but limiting the capacity of a limitless showpiece that has time and time again, defied expectations and subverted popular tropes and the expected. It is inaccurate to judge the scope of a sunset when you are looking at it through a hole in a paper cup that was passed down from generations of television viewers. It’s time to embrace the blinding spectacle that is Sense8 and realize that each sunset, sets up the next sunrise.
And there’s more!….