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For the Fans: The Sense8 Finale

Theoretically, the purpose of any blog post is to convey something. To explain to my (embarrassingly small) audience my opinions, to generate new ones in turn, and----as I always hope----to teach. I don't compose blog posts until I feel like I have something to say... until now. There's been no time to unpack and analyze the Sense8 finale. I don't have any groundbreaking reflections. I finished the movie-length episode exactly seven minutes ago and I just need to tell the world how perfect it was.

Amor vincit omnia. Love conquers all. The love fans had for this show helped raise it from the ashes of a cynical, homophobic world and allowed it to flourish into an even more radical, explicit, wonderfully loud fuck you very kindly. Yes, yes the show with numerous gay, bi, poly, trans, black, Asian, Indian, and generally "queer" characters finally got its ending, and you know what? That ending was happy. That ending was gloriously optimistic! Do you realize what a profound thing that is in a world where media is still driven by whitewashing and Bury Your Gays? Death, destruction, liars, and cheats? Where the narrative go-to is to kill someone off and shrug at your audience going, "That's how it is. The world is cruel. Get over it."

No. The world is only cruel if we let it stay cruel and the Sense8 finale screams that change isn't just possible, it's necessary. It's WONDERFUL. I can't tell you how many times I've heard people----the same sort of people who shrug and insist that Bad Things Just Happen----claiming that happy endings are boring and unrealistic. Screw that! Sense8 gave everyone and everything their happy ending and that didn't make me shake my head in disbelief. It filled me with joy.

The old BPO is gone and what the organization had planned to be is finally allowed to take hold. Nomi and Amanita get their dream wedding on top of the Eiffel Tower, Nomi's mother learning to accept her daughter with the help of some delicious pot brownies. Will and Riley have suffered through it all together and found their much-deserved peace. Capheus is head-over-heels in love, a career in politics ahead of him, and the spirit of Asian Jean-Claude to always fist-bump him whenever a pick-me-up is needed. Sun (god bless her) is out of her family's shadow and loving life with Mun at her side. Mun has the approval of Sun's dog! Lito is in a healthy, adoring poly relationship... setting an example for Kala, Wolfgang, and Rajan. Oh, Rajan. Out of all the characters in the finale Rajan has the best development, moving from confused husband to badass supporting husband who accepts Wolfgang in Kala's life and in their bed.

Sense8 could have killed off Kala for "realism's" sake. Instead they had her coach the boys on how to save her own life. They could have given us a full-on depressing final shoot out. Instead we get tourist!sensates with a 100% survival rate. Hell, they could have had Rajan pitch a fit about Wolfgang and accuse Kala of cheating. Instead he delivers the line that embodies the very heart of this show: "My god. I didn't think such things were possible."

He's not talking about an evolved species of human who can telepathically visit one another whenever they choose. Rajan references a world where both he and his wife can fall madly in love with a German thief. Where the girl with a mother and three dads can marry another trans girl in the wedding of the century. It's a world where the Latina abuse survivor finds a home with two loving gay men, the tortured Asian woman is adored by her childhood crush, where a simple bus driver uses the love of his countrymen to reshape his whole world. Is Sense8 disjointed in places? Absolutely. I couldn't rehash all the plot for you, but that doesn't matter. Sense8 was never about the plot. It's a Big Bad vs. Eternal Good story. Who cares how they found out this one, crucial piece of information? I don't. The heart is in the connections between these characters, the reasons why they fight. Everything else is just a mcguffin. Are we invested in how exactly BPO moved from emailing Rajan to raiding their hideout? Nope. We care about Nomi saying "croissants," racing back for Amanita, and everyone else racing after her.

Sense8 is a tour-de-force of queer media. It's everything we've been asking for and more. And my god, the Wachowskis know it. They didn't just give us the incredibly rare, happy ending, they supplemented that with an explicitly sexual ending. We already knew from the start that Sense8 was orgy friendly, but this final pile of sensates and sapiens alike feels less like just a fun time and more like a rallying cry. It's a bold acceptance of diversity in all its forms. Except no. It's far more than acceptance, of course. It's a queer, radical love.

That's our final image, after all. Not the expected group shot of the cluster, but a used, rainbow strap-on. Do they really need to say it any louder? "Love conquers all." Love in every shape and size.

The love of fans is what brought this finale into being.

I'm sorry that I don't have a more coherent review of this piece. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to distance myself enough for an objective reading. Sense8 is too important to me and, I imagine, millions of others. We need this show. In 2018 we need it, indisputably.

Thank you, Sense8 fandom. We did a real good thing here.

Image Credit

#1: Personal screenshot





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