The movie-length conclusion to Netflix’s Sense8 ends with a gorgeous and joyful lesbian wedding on the Eiffel tower, followed by a massive, sexy telepathic orgy. Yup! Sense8 is the queer, stylish, emotional sci-fi/action/romance/adventure weirdo of a show that often got lost in its own plotting but always had a strong sense of who these characters are and what makes them compelling. The final chapter basically takes everything that makes Sense8 great and dials it up to ten, making for an extremely watchable and indulgent grand finale.
It’s, admittedly, very fanservicey. But maybe this finale should be made with the fans in mind (the title card that follows the final shot — of a rainbow strap-on btw — reads simply “for our fans”). From the start, Sense8 seemed manufactured for fandom. The ships are great, the visuals are tumblr-ready, the characters are often very aware of their surroundings and of movie and action tropes and conventions — fans of the genre themselves.
But Sense8 has always, even in some of its most confusing mythological moments, just been a really fun story, too, one in which love, family, community, and joy fight — and ultimately beat — hate, division, fear, and oppression. It can go dark to be sure, and the finale definitely does, especially when it comes to Wolfgang. But it also has a ton of fun and is borderline corny (I mean, the finale is literally called “Amor Vincit Omnia” — love conquers all) in its celebration of love and human connection. The finale asserts boldly that its central characters deserve to love and be loved. And it does all this through an explicitly queer lens. The sensates’ relationships to one another defy conventional relationship categories. There’s almost no language to properly describe their connection and love (and lust) for one another. I mean, the show practically screams “EVERYONE IS GAY!” (Umm sidenote: Shoutout to the hot club owner who is definitely Riley’s ex-gf?!)
Romance and action get equal billing in the finale, just as they have throughout the series. Every fight sequence is as alluring and beautifully shot as every romantic sequence. Sense8 punches and kisses with tremendous passion and style. All these episodes later, and I’m still invigorated any time there’s a major action sequence involving the entire cluster. The camerawork suggests a fluidity and multiplicity that reflects the interconnected nature of their movements and minds.
There’s a lot of plot to get through in the finale, and sometimes that plot takes a turn for the incoherent. Jonas, as usual, remains a perplexing character with motivation and purpose that are moving targets. But in its final hours, Sense8 thankfully doesn’t skimp on the super extra fight scenes or the slower, more zoomed in emotional moments. Amid the chaos and danger, Amanita and Nomi still find time to kiss as they gaze at the Eiffel tower and share their dreams with one another. The Kala-Wolfgang-Rajan love triangle comes to a head and lands in an unexpected, complex place that suggests maybe the three can find a way to be together instead of Kala having to make some grand choice. That perfectly fits the themes of Sense8, which persistently reiterates plurality and fluidity.
I was never that sold on Sun and Mun (lol, only this show could get away with that one), but the finale makes them a very convincing romance. The finale, in all its intensity, doubles down on every love interest for the sake of a big ol’ love fest. By the time of Amanita and Nomi’s wedding, everyone’s so dang happy and in love that it’s almost easy to forget the literal war they had to fight leading up to it. The entire last half hour of the finale is reserved for celebration and joy. It’s a very queer, very emotional send-off, and three years after Sense8 rocked the world with that first telepathic orgy, it fittingly ends with another one, as beautifully shot as the first.
Under all the philosophical musings and stylization, Sense8 just has a really big heart… and is pretty horny, too. All the pieces of its mythology and long-term plotting might not line up, but that’s weirdly fine. The finale fully plays to the show’s strengths, as if everyone just sort of said let’s do what we do well and fuck the rest, resulting in an episode that comprehensively captures what made fans passionate enough to rally for this conclusion in the first place.