Sense8: A Christmas Special (2016)

We just watched the new Sense8 Christmas Special, and we’re mentioning it because they literally titled the episode “A Christmas Special,” although only about a quarter or so of it was actually set at Christmas.

I’ll start off with the most important point - if you haven’t seen the first season of Netflix’s Sense8, this would be a terrible introduction. I have seen the first season, and I still spent the first fifteen minutes thinking: “Okay, wait, what was going on with that character? I guess that happened, okay… and that, and...right, right, I sort of remember that plot.”

This means I’m not going to synopsize this. I’ll just give you the premise: Sense8 is about eight people from around the world who are mentally connected. They can share memories, thoughts, and abilities, and other people from various shadowy government/corporate agencies, some with similar powers, are after them.

The special is two hours long, but I’m not sure that more actually happened than would have happened in a normal hour-long episode.

That isn’t to say that we didn’t enjoy it. It provided exactly what I expect and want from Sense8 at this point: beautiful cinematography of a) enthusiastic sex and parties and b) weaponizing the sensate powers.

It picks up all the threads left hanging after season one, although most characters’ plot lines didn’t end the special in a very different place than they began it, even as small amounts of progress or change happened. Lito probably had the most developments and screen time, followed by Will, Kala, and Wolfgang, then Sun and Nomi. If you’re bad with names, (and I sympathize - they don’t use them all frequently on this show,) that means that the bus driver from Nairobi and the DJ from Iceland got shortest shrift this time.

The last quarter or so, as I said, was Christmas and New Year’s, and featured the characters visiting each other’s celebrations, the currently obligatory singing of “Hallelujah,” some lovely scenes of family and found family, a villain threatening a character’s father, and a New Year's shootout.

If you loved the first season, you’ve probably already watched this, but if you’re stuck someplace with prudish relations, don’t worry, the Christmas scenes are few enough that it’ll be just as good next week.