Smart Money Is on the Skinny Bitch
Written by The Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski
Directed by The Wachowskis
As a man is working on the corpse of a woman as a young boy looks on. There’s a young girl in the shadows with him, imploring him not to look, as that’s how he got her. The young boy becomes a grown up Will (Brian J. Smith) who watches the man cut open the skull and reveals the brain—
—who lurches awake in a hospital bed. It’s the aftermath of his chase with Jonas, and the nurse on duty says she was told he’s some kind of hero for bagging a terrorist. Will doesn’t seem thrilled and he wants to leave. As he throws on his jeans the nurse tells him that he may have a concussion, but more importantly, the MRI shows some unusual brain activity. Will ain’t having it: he books.
Speaking of patients, a drama shows one on TV, one in which Lito (Miguel Ángel Silvestre) stars. We find Hernando (Alfonso Herrera) and him in the kitchen watching, and Hernando is making fun of the show, reciting the trite lines with a melodramatic flair. They laugh as they share a kiss, which is cut short when Daniela (Eréndira Ibarra) walks in on them. She thinks they’re adorable, which they are. Lito hands her an espresso and she walks off; Hernando gets back to cooking and tells Lito to go talk to her.
Riley (Tuppence Middleton) wanders the Underground and happens upon a blind man playing an electronic piano. The composition brings out a smile and causes her eyes to mist up, and she dumps all the money taken from Nyx’s place into his case. She also dumps the drugs taken into a nearby bin before hurrying off, giving the pianist one last, lingering glance.
Capheus (Aml Ameen) is out with Jela (Paul Ogola) having a small dinner and beer in an outdoor restaurant. He tells the story of how he wanted to be a zebra, something he told his mother as a young boy as they walked through the countryside on their way to somewhere, perhaps a new home. Jela thinks it’s not bad, but once a lion gets hold of your ass, that’s it, man, game over. Capheus agrees it’s a downside. Jela recounts how his father told him if he was determined and worked hard, he could be anything he wanted to be—but only after he said he wanted to be the son of a rich man. He does, however, think if anyone could be a zebra, it’s Capheus.
Daniela is raiding the liquor cabinet for a little extra kick for her espresso when Lito and Hernando the living room. She’s really impressed with the place; after all, gay guys do know how to decorate, am I right? Lito wants to talk about last night, and she remarks that it was marvelous, and that she hoped she didn’t overstep because she loves gay porn. Lito is gagging on his coffee and having a hard time stumbling through this conversation, and leaves the main point to Hernando: they’re not sure they need a live-in beard. Daniela is a little taken back: to her, it’s like that it was okay in the past to use her, but now that she knows the truth, it’s time to dump her. Hernando’s said the same thing in the past, and his admiration for Daniela is growing. It’s not that: Lito says his home is his sacred space, and Hernando has to finish the point that it’s where he can be himself because Lito sucks at bullshitting women. But that’s what Daniela want: to know the real Lito, and he just gets more nervous and starts in on the booze as well: he’s really uncomfortable. Daniela finally comes clean and says she didn’t want to go home because she’s being, well, stalked by some guy who wants to marry her and she needs a place to crash. Because she did something to him. Like . . . fuck his best friend. You know: the usual shit you do to get rid of annoying guys stalking you.
RT: I can’t say it enough, this trio is just the BEST!
CF: They could easily be their own telenovela. They do make a cute extended group.
Will shows up at the station just as Mr. Homeland Security exits the building. Will wants a few minutes with Jones because he wants to talk: Agent Stiles says no can do, DHS came and got him and he’s on lockdown as we speak. He quickly blows him off and leaves Will with no options.
Nomi (Jamie Clayton) sits alone in her hospital room at night when the nurse comes in, followed several large orderlies and a security dude. The nurse wants Nomi back in her bed and on meds so Doctor Lobotomizer can operate in the next twenty-four hours. Nomi isn’t going to do anything of these things, and the nurse lets her know that the guys with her are going to “help” make those things happen. And that’s what it looks like these pricks are gonna do—
Lito and Daniela are having a nice, night time dinner, and talking about Stalker Dude—aka Joaquin. Lito wants to know what happened between Joaquin and the friend Daniela fucked, and she says that the two “had words,” and now Fucked Friend is up in San Diego, probably for the Comic Con because it is June and that’s coming soon. Lito doesn’t like that, but Daniela tells him not to worry. He asks what Joaquin does and discovers he worked for Daniela’s father, who is in the “import/export” business. You know, getting things that people “want”? Uh, huh. Lito just get more concerned by the moment as he knows how shady the import/export biz is in Mexico. She changes the subject and wants to know how she got picked to be the beard. Lito picked her headshot, but it was Hernando who tipped it in saying he thought she had kind eyes.
Sun (Doona Bae) is in her office smoking, listening to her mobile ring, and looking pensive as fuck. It’s Mr. Jeong from Seoul Citibank, the guy she’s been dodging hard. She goes to her safe and punches in the combination—
As Will does the same.
They open at the same time and pull out folders simultaneously before sitting at their respective desks preparing to read. Will’s is about Sara Patrell, who is still a mystery to us. Sun’s is all figures, ledgers, computations. As they continue Sun finds herself in Will’s apartment going over his documents while he sits in her office doing the same. A moment like that and they are back where they belong, not seeming to notice what just happened— Sun flashes on a childhood memory of her mother telling her to take care of her brother, and the IV bag in the background and her mother’s head covered with a scarf don’t bode well for this memory. Will also has a childhood memory of him laying in bed and hearing a girl whisper, “Help me,” and her sitting next to his bed. They seem to flip places for a few moments more before—
We’re back with Sun. Her assistant informs her that Mr. Jeong from Seoul Citibank is on the line, and if she doesn’t pick up, he’s calling the authorities. Yeah, no good news there. She heads off to speak with her father, who—surprise!—isn’t available. His smarmy ass secretary is almost glib as she ask Sun if she’d like to leave another message, and Sun does, by punching a fucking divot out of Ms. Smarmy Ass’ desk before she storms off.
Being in a pinch Riley seeks out a mate. He, Shugs (Frank Dillane, who was obviously taking a break from killing zombies in America) stumbles out of a record story with a female companion, Bambi (Nicôle Lecky). Riley needs help, and Shugs suggest they head off for a pint first.
RT: I was so excited when you pointed out Frank Dillane was in this! It’s obviously been a while since I watched this series
CF: The first time I watched it I was like, “Damn, I know this guy.” When I looked up the episode on IMBD to get the credit it and saw his name, I was like, “Nick!” Now, you see it and you can’t unsee him.
Kala (Tina Desai) shows up for a meeting about how to identify counterfeit drugs. Her friend wants to know why she’s there, and Kala remarks that she’s getting married, not lobotomized. No, that’s someone else you might know soon . . . Anyway, Rajan shoots here a “Two more days!” text as well as a pervy look, and suddenly Kala looks like she’d enjoy being anywhere but this meeting.
Capheus and Jela are out to get AIDS medication for Capheus’ mother. He doesn’t have much, but Jela is almost, kinda, sorta certain he can work out a deal. He shows up at the shop of dude who tells them to fuck off, so Jela gets to jawing with Mr. Fuck Off and starts to bargain and bullshit his way to a deal, dropping the money at one point to show they have it while he takes a fake phone call suggesting a better deal. Mr. Fuck Off decides to do the deal after Capheus tells him what he wants, and the guy tells Capheus that his mother is probably having a bad reaction to the drugs because they are fake. They leave with the drugs, Mr. Fuck Off gets the money, happy times all around.
Bambi entertains Riley and Shugs with the story of how she superglued her cunt of an ex-boyfriend to the toilet seat of their flat and firemen had to cut him away–always a crowd pleaser! Shugs tells Riley not to mind Bambi as she’s forward and maybe has a touch of Asperger’s. Which leads us to the Comment of the Evening:
CF: Oh, and Nicôle Lecky’s from the UK, but I’m not sure of her parents. So you just proved your point. 🙂
Bambi is on Riley’s side because her boyfriend threw her out in the street—yeah, probably a good thing Riley didn’t mention the whole dying during a botched drug rip off thing. Shrugs agrees that Jack was a dickhead, so he’s on her side, too. She looks a tad dreary as she ponders the events that put her where she is—Mexico, DF:
Lito is back to shooting his movie while the director and crew look on, with the director obviously getting into the scene. Lito wants to do another take because he feels something different about how the scene should play, about what his character feels. The director obviously attended the One-Shot Beaudine School of Directing and disagrees, saying the audience knows for they are with him. But—
—as Lito walks up the stairs to Shugs’ flat, he does know. Which caused Riley to stop for a moment and answer her friends—
—while she turns away from the director and looks around. In a second it’s Lito again, and the director wants him to meet someone: Mr. Flores. But you can call him Joaquin (Raúl Méndez). Turns out he’s a big fan and wants to talk Lito to lunch. What a coincidence!
At Shugs’ flat he tells Riley that a friend told him there’s only two reasons to visit Iceland: the auroras, and Riley Blue, and the pay off is she’s more beautiful. He wants to know if she misses it: she misses her dad, who was a pianist. She also misses the quiet, still winters, which Banbi thinks would drive her nuts with all the darkness. Riley says it’s really the spring that’s the worst time: it’s when most people try to kill themselves. Bambi sees the scars on Riley’s wrists and asks if that’s when she tried to kill herself, because she’s fuckin’ Australian, remember? Shugs is like, fuck it, I just get another tattoo mark when I wake up in the hospital and I’m told I’m lucky to be alive, which probably proves Shugs is Nick Clark’s long lost brother. This doesn’t make Riley seem any better, however—particularly when Shugs reminds her that checking out on your own terms is about the only choice you get to make in life.
Sun’s is stuck in traffic riding in the back of her company car. She gets another call from Mr. Jeong and has finally had enough. She tosses the phone to the seat and tells her driver she’s gonna walk.
Joaquin and Lito are talking over lunch about one of his roles, the one where he kills his father by cutting his throat. The only problem is, Joaquin knows that’s not the way to kill a man: you gotta slice the side of the neck, bleed him out. He even gives him a little demonstration. Hey, pay no attention to all those tattoos: I’m certain he’s not connected to any of the Cartels. Joaquin gets to the point: he knows Lito is fucking Daniela and he wants to know if she’s happy. Lito tells him she is, and Joaquin seems to take the news—okay? Yeah, this doesn’t feel too sketchy . . .
Nomi is strapped to her hospital bed, crying and whispering softly for someone to help her. This is about the time my heart starts breaking—
RT: Yeah, this whole episode was hard to watch in regards to poor Nomi 😦
CF: All this stuff with Nomi is killing me. I’d be crying if only a tenth of this shit were happening to me.
An older man is wrapping Sun’s hand, telling her this is where she belongs and here she doesn’t have to pretend. She’s getting ready to fight, and we finally see something that looks like a smile.
RT: And it is at this point I really started to love Sun 🙂
CF: You see that smile and you know some shit is about to go down, and someone’s gonna feel it.
Nomi is in the operating theater and Dr. Shitheel is about to start in on her brain. They start to put her under and—there’s fire alarms going off. They send Nomi back to her room, and she finally remembers that Amanita (Freema Agyeman) said she was gonna burn this motherfucker down before she’d let anyone hurt her, and Nomi thanks her over and over.
Capheus and Jela are out in the Van Damn and heading through a not-so-nice part of the city. Capheus goes to pick up someone after being reminded this is a bad idea, but he needs the money, so they stop—and are immediately attacked by robbers. They take all the money from the passengers, and one douchebag takes the ring from the old woman riding in the back because he is part of The Superpower, and he’s also a heartless fuck. Capheus is getting a pat down and they find his mother’s drugs hidden in his crotch. He tries to explain it’s for his mother and gets pistol whipped for his troubles. The robbers leave him there, crying.
Will’s back in uniform and out at the pistol range for a little target practice.
A nightclub-like atmosphere surrounds a ring where a kickboxer awaits his opponent—said opponent being Sun. She enters the ring cool and confident while a bald MC whips up the crowd. When the first kickboxer sees Sun he asks the MC what the hell is going on. MC’s like, no rules about gender. Mr. Kickboxer says it’s a joke, he’ll end up killing this skinny bitch. The MC tells him if you don’t fight, you forfeit the match and entry money. Actually, forfeiting might be a good way to keep from getting humiliated because (title shout out here) smart money is on the skinny bitch. Enough bullshit: let’s get this fight going!
Capheus gets himself back on his feet and gets determined. Those assholes have his mother’s drugs, and he’s getting them back, so anyone who doesn’t want to get hurt best get off. All the passengers leave except for the old woman in the back, because she wants her ring: it the only thing of her late husband’s she has left. Capheus gets his game face on: let’s go get it.
RT: To be honest, the Nairobi scenes were just kind of boring to me right up until this episode. And, to be honest, it still takes me a little while longer to warm to Wolfgang’s story as well. Like I said before you started recapping, this show creeps up on you and gets under your skin and there is no way in hell you can come away from it without liking all the characters even when you think you won’t to start with.
CF: I know what you mean. On some of these lines you’re like, “Come on, let’s go,” and you’re waiting for your favorites to come up. But it’s right at this point the whole story is totally gelling, and in the next recap you see exactly how. I won’t give it away, but it’s epic.Seoul:
The fight is underway and Sun relaxes, waits for this dude in the ring with her to fuck up and leave himself open. He does and she attacks, almost knocking his ass out.
Capheus catches up with The Superpower and goes all road warrior on their asses, ramming the Van Damn into the back of one of the vehicles. A couple of times more and he forces them off the road into an open area. He t-bones it, pinning the driver’s door shut.
Sun is waiting to strike again as the crowd goes nuts. The dude is flashy and comes at her, but misses every time. She blocks him and finally take him down, but he goes dirty and bites her on the calf to get free. She’s not happy.
Capheus is out of the van and ready to kick ass. He takes a pipe to the first two assholes and knocks a gun out of the hand of the first. As he readies for someone else to come at him, the other vehicle, a truck, returns and bears down on him.
Will readies his weapon as he prepares to fire.
Capheus picks up the gun—except it’s Will, standing in this open area.
Sun pauses in her match as she sees Capheus on the mat, bleeding, asking for help. It distracts her enough that her opponent gets in a couple of blows to the stomach and face before he kicks her down.
The assbeating is about to take a turn for the worst as Capheus’ attacker is about get in some killing blows. He goes to strike—and his arm is blocked by Sun’s foot while she sports about the most bad ass expression ever—
RT: And THIS is the moment in the series where the light bulb really went on for me. Seriously, these guys can DO SHIT we can’t even really imagine yet!
CF: This is the first moment when you start to see how the whole needs the sum of it’s parts. In a normal situation Capheus is a dead man, but suddenly he’s got magical fighting and gun bunny skills. I’ve only gone up to Episode 5, but I’m gonna lay down some money and say someone’s gonna tap Nomi’s hacking skills and go all netrunner on a data base– Oh, and I want this face ever time someone pisses me off.Before she kicks this guy’s ass, as well as her opponent’s ass back in her match. Other attackers come at her in Nairobi, and she delivers the pain as she fucks up the guy back in the ring in Seoul. She finishes her match in the ring, while back in Nairobi Capheus gets to his feet, surrounded by the people he just beat the shit out of. He stares down the rest of the bad guys and they get the hell out. Seoul:
Sun is declared the winner of her bout as she looks around surprised, wondering what the hell just happened then . . .
That’s Episode 3 of Sense8. I’ll be back on Friday with Episode 4, after which I’ll need to catch up on Episodes 5 and 6, because I’m not viewing that much ahead as I write these because–well, I want to be as surprised as you. As always, tell us what you think in the comments below!
Tuppence Middleton — Riley Blue (née Gunnarsdóttir), London
Brian J. Smith — Will Gorski, Chicago
Doona Bae — Sun Bak, Seoul
Aml Ameen — Capheus, Nairobi
Max Riemelt — Wolfgang Bogdanow, Berlin
Tina Desai — Kala Dandekar, Mumbai
Miguel Ángel Silvestre — Lito Rodriguez, Mexico DF
Jamie Clayton — Nomi Marks, San Francisco
Freema Agyeman — Amanita, Nomi’s girlfriend
Alfonso Herrera — Hernando
Eréndira Ibarra — Daniela
Paul Ogola — Jela
Joaquin — Raúl Méndez