The sensates are back, and the wait has been as hard for them as it has for us. Will’s heroin addiction is reaching a critical state as he and Riley continue to hide from Whispers. Nomi and Amanita are also still in hiding from Whispers’ people. Lito is facing new consequences of coming out, while Sun, Wolfgang, Capheus and Jonas all continue to be threatened by forces similar to those that threatened them last season. The difference this season is that they’ve learned to quickly jump in and give support, or take over to help each other, which makes them an effective team. But Whispers is relentless, and knows what he’s doing.
We open on Will and Riley asleep in their latest squat, a church somewhere in Europe, by the looks of it. Angelica, their cluster mother, sits nearby and watches Will. He transitions into “visiting” with Whispers as Whispers controls the mind of another sensate. Whispers sends the man to murder someone else, as a demonstration for others who stand in the room and watch. The mind-controlled sensate has had a neural graft procedure performed on his brain which Angelica helped to develop, working with Whispers. Will’s also experiencing Angelica’s memory of Whispers tricking her about the purpose of the procedure, then he experiences the murder itself as if he’s the perpetrator. Whispers and Angelica were a couple in her memory. Angelica is filled with guilt in the present day. She tells Will he has to stop it.
Will startles awake, terrified that he’s actually killed someone. Riley comforts him back into reality.
Nomi and Amanita meet briefly with an anthropologist to get some background on a theorized species of ancient hominid, homo sensorium, who communicated through telepathy. The anthropologist is skeptical that homo sensorium were real, since there is no physical evidence for the species existence. She points Nomi and Amanita toward a geneticist, Dr. Kolovi, who has done more research on the subject. Amanita read a book by Dr Kolovi.
Lito, Hernando and Dani prepare for Lito’s movie premiere. Their new apartment looks like they live in a Valentine. Hernando has cold feet about going to the premiere, but the other two jolly him along. At the premiere, the crowd for Lito is sparse, and his picture has been relegated to the background of the film’s poster. A reporter is waiting on the red carpet to interview Lito. She asks leading, negative questions about his sexuality, and insults Hernando.
A journalist shows up at Capheus’ bus to interview him about Van Damme and his exploits. She’s hostile to the idea of Capheus having a violent white man as his hero.
Capheus and Lito take charge of their interviews and answer together that they were both just little boys spending time with their families, watching movies that inspired them. Movies that gave them courage and taught them who they could be, and that who they could be transcended things like race, sexuality and gender. The question is asked, “Who am I?” The sensates all ponder the many meanings the question can take on, and the infinite answers to the questions. I suspect it will be the defining theme of the season. Who are they, as a species, as a cluster, and as individuals? What are they capable of? What does it mean that they are capable of these things? How far are they willing to go to beat Whispers at his own game?
Capheus impresses his reporter, and gets her name, Zakia. Lito’s reporter looks like she’s not done with him. During the movie, people laugh and walk out when Lito has a big romantic scene.
Zakia meets Capheus at his bus later in the day. She apologizes for the confrontation earlier in the day and invites him out to dinner. Jela accepts for Capheus.
Wolfgang and Felix are dancing and drinking at a nightclub when they are approached by the owner, Sebastian Fuchs, who is a stranger to them. He tells Felix that he admires Felix and Wolfgang’s loyalty to each other, then gives Felix the club. Felix is supposed to meet with Sebastian’s lawyers in the morning to go over the deal.
Capheus and Zakia discuss the progress that women have made in the world, and how many terrible things still happen to all kinds of people. Zakia is cynical and full of despair. She doesn’t think that anything she does will matter, because the problems are too big. Capheus talks again about courage, the importance of staying optimistic, and seeing the beauty and good in the world as well as the bad.
Will has a brief vision of Whispers watching horses with his wife, but they are careful to avoid mentioning any identifying details before Whispers takes his pills. After, Will refuses to eat and falls into unconsciousness. His heroin addiction is taking its toll on his body. Riley has Kala check on Will. She increases his vitamins and naloxone intake to slow down the effects of the heroin. He’s continuing to use heroin because it allows him to have some control over when he and Whispers can see each other. Will wants to stay on the drug until he’s gathered more information.
Nomi, Bug, and Amanita are also trying to hack into BPO, but their security has been impossible to crack. They need more details from Will to get any further with the investigation. Everyone in the cluster visits Riley and Will to offer support and concern.
At a family dinner for the combined families, Kala’s father-in-law announces that he will be running for office. Her husband, Rajan, is concerned that his mother isn’t fully on board with the decision, but Manendra cuts her off. She ends up telling Rajan that it’s fine, while giving Rajan a look that tells him it’s not, but he should leave it alone. Kala’s family is excited for Manendra.
Nomi and Amanita rush into Dr. Kolovi’s lecture in Chicago. His thoughts on homo sensorium are unexpected. He feels that Homo sapiens are superior to homo sensorium. He theorizes that the ability to lie was what allowed homo sapiens to wipe out homo sensorium. He also seems quite proud that, according to his theories, homo sapiens purposely wiped out all of the other early hominids. His attitude is chilling.
Nomi and Amanita talk with him in his office after the lecture. They ask him about his connection to Whispers, aka Matheson. He recognizes the photo, but remembers very little else. Amanita and Nomi agree that he may be lying about how closely he’s connected to “Matheson.”
Riley gets Will to eat. She has some treats from Iceland, unique to a farm she used to work on. Whispers appears as Will is telling Riley not to share details. He taunts Will that Will isn’t as close to finding them as he thinks.
Will follows Whispers back into his own reality, and uses physical cues to tell Whispers that he’s most likely in London. Whispers shows Will that some of the clues in the room are fake. Whispers follows Will back to his body. He describes all of the clues that lead him to believe that Riley and WIll are still in Iceland, including the foods, prescription pill labels, and the sounds of seagulls and the ocean. The final clue is the old church, just like Angelica always preferred. Just before Riley gives Will the dose of heroin that will chase Whispers out of his head, Whispers tells Will that all they need to do is check the abandoned churches in Iceland, “And then she’s mine.” That sounds ominous.
Riley gives Will the heroin injection and he passes out. She turns off a recording of seagulls and beach sounds, then goes outside to the street in… Amsterdam. The cluster are not quite the amateurs Whispers takes them for. Riley goes to meet her father, who has to be one of the Top 10 coolest TV dads ever. He has his hat and sunglasses on as a disguise, and is singing and playing Secret Agent Man on the ukulele, which will now be stuck in my head for a week. There are worse fates. He’s brought her a bag of foods found only in Iceland, and prescription medications with Icelandic pharmacy labels. Guess Whispers isn’t watching all of the family members that closely.
Gunnar is worried about Riley, since she can’t tell him the truth about why she’s hiding out in Amsterdam. He says there’s a lot of talk back home about her. How did BPO explain everything that happened at the end of last season? Did they publicly blame Riley somehow?
Nomi and Amanita go visit Sara Patrell’s mother, Helen, after they leave Dr Kolovi. Will goes along in spirit. She tells them about her previous visits with Will, and with the many other sensates who have felt Sara’s presence and come to visit her. Angelica and Jonas were among the visitors. Whispers was Sara’s tutor, and Helen thinks he’d be incapable of hurting Sara.
Helen was the first person who believed Will when he told her that he could see Sara. Will described his vision of Sara sitting next to Helen as a memory, rather than a ghost. I don’t think we’ve ever specifically been told how Sara died, if there was a body to bury, or if she disappeared. Will is sure she’s dead, though, and is determined to bring Whispers down. He tells Nomi to tell Helen that, and Helen says she knows.
Sun and her fellow inmates dream of what they’ll do when they get out of prison. Later, she finds Wolfgang sitting in the zoo, watching the tiger. He tells her that his mother used to bring him there after she’d had a bad fight with his abusive father. One day she asked him what he thought the tiger would do if it escaped. Wolfgang thought the tiger would run away to a big park and live on rabbits. His mother calls him an optimist, and says she thinks the tiger would wait a few hours, then go home. Wolfgang, in reality, has created his own permanent escape from the cage every time. Unfortunately, someone always comes along to trap him in another cage. This latest cage looks a lot like a nightclub.
Will becomes agitated in his sleep, and Riley realizes that he’s seeing Whispers in an important meeting. Riley calls the other sensates to help. Kala gives Will more naloxone to make him more alert. They all look around the office that Whispers is meeting in, calling out clues to the BPO executive’s identity. The meeting is in London (Will was right after all about Whispers location), and the man in question is easy to identify: Richard Wilson Croome. Meanwhile, Whispers has grown increasingly alarmed, and tried to get out of the meeting, but Croome is upset with his inefficiency.
Will is finally able to tell Whispers that he needs to watch his back:
“You think you’re hunting us? We’re coming for you!”
The neural graft remote control murderer adds a whole new to dimension to Whispers’ hunt for sensates. He’s not just killing them or using them to find others. He’s finding ways to turn them into weapons, lobotomized Winter Soldiers who aren’t even “human” any more. Who knows how else he’s exploiting sensates, and how else he’s exploiting and increasing the Homo sapiens fear of sensates.
It also explains why Angelica was still creating clusters, despite the dire circumstances she was bringing them into. She was hoping to find the one that would be able to stop Whispers and the organization he works for. The mind control of the murdering sensate raises the question of why Whispers is involved. He may have been forced or coerced, and may still be. He may just hide his own fear very, very well. Or, he may just be a sadistic psychopath. The truth is probably somewhere in between. It takes a certain kind of person to kill children, no matter the coercion, unless they are a psychopath or are experiencing extreme levels of mind control. Whispers did become very afraid when Will discovered his BPO contact’s name, which suggests that he’s kept on a tight leash, and severely punished for mistakes.
The answer to Who am I? should always be Jean Val Jean, and the answer to What is the meaning of life? is 42, of course.
Do they want Riley, in particular, because she has the capability of creating new clusters, the way that Angelica did? Will and Riley seem to be the Jonas and Angelica of this group, the cluster mother and father capable of creating and guiding new clusters. Both Riley and Will were captured as children and escaped captivity. Will seems to have briefly been in a previous cluster. Riley’s story isn’t clear yet, but the older Icelandic sensate woman was somehow involved in her rescue when she was a girl. Nomi also seems to have a past with Whispers, and still seems to be a target. They don’t seem to be searching for the others, but it could be that Whispers has no idea who they are yet, so he can’t target them.
Sara Patrell disappeared (died?) during Whispers experiments on her and Will when they were children. It seems as though they were part of a cluster, or an attempted cluster, but we haven’t been given much information about the experiments on children yet.
Dr Kolovi was dishearteningly callous about homo sensorium, and seemed to know much more than he was willing to say. He also took the typical attitude toward enhanced humans/mutants: that anyone with the potential to be more powerful than the average human deserves to be enslaved or wiped out so that the human race won’t be endangered.
If they don’t believe the sensates are “human,” and deserving of human rights, then there would be no taboo against experimenting on children or turning any of them into mindless weapons against their will, if you’re the kind of person who believes it’s okay to do that to nonhuman creatures. There’s a good chance Kolovi is part of the experiments, and that they have government approval in many countries.
In what we saw of his lecture, Kolovi didn’t talk about the strengths of clusters, and why Homo sapiens might want to use duplicitous methods to wipe them out. He didn’t address what it says about humanity if we indeed are responsible for purposely committing specicide on our closest relatives.
Helen Patrell is a really special person. She must be the parent that Sara inherited her sensate ability from, so she can probably sense the truth of what the sensates are saying, and maybe feel the presence of the sensate visitors in some way. They haven’t covered the latent abilities of sensates yet, or if it’s necessary to be activated into a cluster to use their gifts. Can they be activated to be telepathic with just one other person. or just to be very empathic and intuitive? Are there other mental gifts besides telepathy, like telekinesis, that are possible?
Helen’s visitors would have all been sensates who had contact with Sara when she was alive, right? Or, possibly contact with someone who knew her? Why did the sensates who barely knew Sara feel the need to visit her mother? Were they investigating her death as well?
It hasn’t been explained how Angelica’s memory/consciousness is working inside Will’s mind. It seemed like he was seeing Sara in the same way, when he was a child. Is seeing/finding people when there’s only a faint echo of their energy to be felt a special sensate talent of his? Does Jonas share this talent?
Was Angelica able to send part of her consciousness to live inside her children as she was dying? Does part of the sensate live on in the rest of the cluster, or anyone who’s been inside their mind? Is Angelica still alive, in a very real sense, within the minds of her children and what remains of her cluster?
The moment when Will grabs Whispers at the end, pictured at the top, is a glorious moment. After all of the times last season when people told Will or Riley to kill themselves because they were compromised, after all of Whispers’ gloating, after the loss of Angelica and Jonas, after all of the other lives BPO has tossed aside uncaringly, they are finally ready to turn the tables. It undoubtedly won’t go quickly or smoothly, but they’ve proved it can be done.