Now in its second season, the startlingly peculiar Sense8, a Netflix sci-fi/action series created by the Wachowski sisters (The Matrix) and J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5), focuses on eight people—Chicago cop, San Francisco hacker, Icelandic DJ, German mobster, Indian pharmacist, Mexican actor, Nigerian bus driver, and Korean businesswoman—who share a mental connection allowing the members of the "cluster" to communicate telepathically and share physical skills.
The first season required patience but also rewarded it. Rather than rushing into mythology, Sense8 focused on the characters' confusion, fear, and wonder as they discovered their powers and experimented with them—including in one of the strangest orgies ever seen on television. It was not until the season finale that the series' true antagonist (a shadowy global organization trying to use the "sensates" for nefarious purposes) was revealed to the viewer in detail.
In season two, the story dives deeper into the mythology. Now more comfortable with their abilities, the cluster is nearly unstoppable in a fight. Like The Matrix, Sense8 raises big questions about human nature while being ultimately an action flick. A single action sequence might unfold simultaneously in Seoul, Berlin, and Nairobi, with all eight protagonists appearing to switch in and out of one another's bodies as each of their specific skills are required to fight a bad guy, drive an escape vehicle, or hack a computer. Those scenes take months to script and shoot—since most of the show is filmed on-location—and the editing is consistently superb.
Twenty years after The Matrix, Sense8 shows that the Wachowskis still know how to blow our minds.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Sense8".