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Warning: massive spoilers ahead for the series finale of Sense8.
If there's one show that has had an interesting life on Netflix, it's Sense8. The Wachowskis' queer, sci-fi romp is has a rabid fanbase, and has been praised for its inclusive cast, and for filming across multiple countries. Netflix ultimately cancelled the series after Season 2, despite the massive cliffhanger and upcoming conflict with BPO. Ultimately the fans rallied and bothered the streaming service enough for Sense8 to be given a finale movie, which arrived today. And that fandom should be very pleased, as the finale is unapologetic, proving how Lana Wachowski truly didn't not give a crap about any of the show's criticism. Instead, she made an authentic, epic movie lasting over 2 and a half hours long.
From the jump, it's clear that Sense8 was throwing out the rule book and speeding up what would have taken at least another season to complete. Seven of the cluster are together in an attempt to rescue Wolfgang, and the supporting cast and various romantic interests have also joined the fight. All of Sense8's cast gets to join the fun this time around, although the most surprising additions are certainly Lito's friend Daniela and Kala's husband Rajan. Having the full cast assembled is what we've been waiting for for years, and seeing all the sensates and their loved ones unite was pretty epic.
Sense8's finale is ultimately going to be everything the fans have been expecting, as Lana Wachowski didn't stray from the show's tone and vision. Instead, she somehow managed to cram in a full season of action into the movie, which is pretty impressive. While the first half is focused on the journey to rescue Wolfgang from BPO, the second half shows the cast trying to end Whispers and his allies for good.
But because the Sense8 finale is so true to the series, it's also as flawed as the original show was. There are a handful of big concepts introduced that don't really pay off, including adding yet another layer to the mythology of the sensates. Another villain is also introduced with BPO's masked Chairman, although his plot fizzles ala Snoke in The Last Jedi.
The flip side of this is when the Sense8 finale is good, it's very good. The show's signature cinematography is fascinating, as the group has full control over their abilities. There are plenty of beautiful montages to enjoy, and all of the characters' respective plot points are wrapped up in one pretty bow. In fact, the entire battle against BPO ends in the most Sense8 way possible: through Wolfgang's Bazooka.
The use of a bazooka as a macguffin definitely surprised and baffled me during Sense8's original run. So seeing Wolfgang once again whip one out and use it willy nilly will certainly remind you exactly what show you're watching. The Wachowskis' trademarked over the top action with The Matrix franchise, and it's this sci-fi penchant for explosion that helps make Sense8 the genre defying series it is.
I also spent much of my time watching the Sense8 finale wondering when the next giant psychic orgy was going to happen. The show is known for its use of nudity and sex scenes, with the sensates able to feel each other's pleasure. Fear not, because a giant sex montage is exactly how Sense8 ends. After beating the bad guys and making amends, each couple separates to make whoopie. But since they're psychically linked, it becomes one of those crazy orgies. It's a final sequence that is bizarrely genuine, considering the show's history. In fact, the final shot of the entire series is of Nomi's rainbow strap-on-- the very one used in her first scene with Amanita in Episode 1. As the movie fades out, text reads "for the fans".
Say what you want about Sense8, but Lana Wichowski knows exactly what she's doing with the queer sci-fi epic. It was likely her unwillingness to change the show's tone (and its budget) that resulted in its cancellation from Netflix. Luckily the fans helped a finale get green lit, and the writer/director was able to finish the story exactly how she wanted. And all for the fans.