Sense8 S02E07: I Have No Room In My Heart for Hate
Directors: Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
Writers: J. Michael Straczynski, Lana Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski
Starring: Doona Bae, Jamie Clayton, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, Max Riemelt, Tina Desai, Toby Onwumere, Tuppence Middleton, Brian J. Smith
A review by Samantha Pearson
Sense8 S02E07, I Have No Room In My Heart for Hate, puts the sensates into their most uncomfortable position yet: being cut off from each other while one of them is potentially within grabbing distance of Whispers. This episode also digs into the real-world issues plaguing each member of the cluster.
Riley goes to Chicago to meet with the BPO mole who wants to take down Whispers. Will panics about being so far from her, especially with Whispers on the loose. Nomi does her best to not only monitor Riley’s progress by hacking the TSA, but to keep Will level-headed.
Meanwhile, Kala discovers that her husband’s pharmaceutical company is shipping expired drugs to its clientele — including old HIV inhibitors to African countries, like Kenya. He tells her it isn’t a concern, because these drugs go to “far away places”. However, Capheus risked his life in season one to get HIV inhibitors for his mother. Kala is Capheus and Capheus is Kala. Her anger at her husband is off the charts.
Also in this episode, Lito is fired from his agency for daring to be out and proud in Sao Paulo. Sun visits her father’s grave and gets into a “friendly” sparring match with the detective pursuing her case. She knows him because she defeated him at a martial arts match as a teenager. They fight, flirt, kiss, and Sun knocks him out. It’s a delightfully weird moment in an episode that’s otherwise slow in its pacing.
I Have No Room In My Heart for Hate focuses mostly on Riley. Although the other characters have their moments — particularly Capheus, whose backstory gets more detail — the main focus is Riley’s meeting with the BPO mole.
Riley goes to Chicago alone, relying on Nomi’s fake ID-making skills to get her through airport security. Will is essentially a mess about the whole thing, terrified for Riley’s safety and worrying himself sick. He questions Nomi’s ability to make convincing fake IDs. Her response is that when the government makes it hard for trans people to get new IDs, she makes it easy.
It’s a brief moment, a throwaway line, but its impact still hits hard. Jamie Clayton’s performance in this episode is particularly good. Nomi has to balance her obligation to Will and Riley with a visit to Amanita’s family. She switches gears rapidly, and Clayton’s easy handling of the character and her emotions is subtle but brilliant.
There are always layers to the way Clayton handles her scenes, but that was particularly apparent in this episode. Doing emotional labor for Will while also enjoying her time with her girlfriend is difficult, which is clear, but she handles it with aplomb. There’s awareness in everything she does. She never stops paying attention, which is what makes her so invaluable.
Once Riley gets to Chicago, Will’s best friend Diego picks her up at the airport. All of the scenes between Riley, Diego and Will are fascinating. Guest star Ness Bautista kills it in every scene. His dry humor is offset by his genuine anger at Will for disappearing without a trace. His disbelief that Riley and Will are homo sensorium and therefore psychically linked plays really well.
Diego’s realization that their connection is genuine doesn’t change much about his attitude. That works beautifully. Will’s explanation and apology don’t take away any of his hurt, though he does soften a bit toward Riley. He takes her to meet the BPO mole, but doesn’t offer to stay once she gives him an out. That adds significantly to Will’s stress over the situation, but it doesn’t seem out of character for Diego. He’ll help, because he loves and misses his best friend, but he won’t sacrifice himself for a girl he doesn’t really know.
I Have No Room In My Heart for Hate centers its beats on news of a mass shooting. The TSA increases its warning level while Riley is traveling, and a sensate from another cluster tells her about it while on the plane. This sensate is non-violent. They tell Riley they cannot help her until her thinking does not reflect BPO’s, i.e. until she is no longer hellbent on destroying them.
The shooting is a topic of conversation among many of the sensates, including Nomi, Amanita, and Amanita’s family. It’s later discovered that the shooting was carried out by a member of the first cluster Angelica birthed, Todd. He didn’t want to be reborn a sensate and reacted really poorly. This hatred of self and other homo sensorium makes Todd a prime target for Whispers’ manipulation.
Nomi is the one who puts together the shooting with Whispers’ ability to essentially possess other sensates. Whispers gets into Todd’s head and uses him to kill the lecturer, much like he got into the head of the unknown sensate who attacked Will and the BPO executive in Obligate Mutualisms. Whispers is still picking off people one by one. Anyone who doesn’t believe in his own mission becomes a liability.
This knowledge of the shooting and its perpetrator puts the cluster even more on edge. Riley has to meet with the BPO alone — completely alone. Without her cluster. The meeting place is the very same abandoned church where Angelica birthed this cluster and then killed herself. No one likes how ominous that is.
Luckily, the BPO mole is trustworthy. She has a lot of information for Riley about BPO and how Whispers has changed the organization. When he came to BPO, he altered the mission statement significantly, and began the process of perfecting a neural graft. A neural graft overrides the conscious of one sensate with another’s, which is how he manipulated the two assassins he deployed at the museum and at the lecture.
The mole also provides Riley with Whispers’ full name, the explanation for his nickname, and his address.
I Have No Room In My Heart for Hate ends with the three fighters of the cluster — Will, Wolfgang, and Sun — standing outside Whispers’ home. Their intention is to go inside and kill him, to eliminate the threat once and for all. It’s an interesting choice, given the episode title. Capheus’ mom tells him that she has no room in her heart for hate when he asks why she doesn’t hate the men who killed his father.
Riley’s interaction with the non-violent sensate on the plane also falls in line with this school of thought. Centering the episode around a mass shooting (during a peace lecture, no less) also suggests that violence is not the answer. Lito and Riley both take nonviolent approaches to situations in this episode. Sun heavily debates what to do about her brother with the rest of the cluster despite the violence he’s committed against her.
It’s appropriate, then, that Jonas — whom we thought BPO had killed — shows up at the end of I Have No Room In My Heart for Hate to question whether Will has it in him to actually murder someone. Most likely, Jonas’ conscious is being controlled by Whispers, given what we learned in this episode, but his appearance is still a massive shock.
Netflix confirmed on June 1 that it canceled Sense8 (WHY???), but if you are watching (which you should be!), you can ask them to renew it for season three at this link. Watch Sense8! Request a third season! Don’t let this incredibly important show die an untimely death.