So why wait? Let’s get down to business.
Who Am I?
Written by Lana Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski
Directed by Lana Wachowski
Will (Brian J. Smith) and Riley (Tuppence Middleton) are resting in their hidden abode. But Will’s picking up on something: Whispers (Terrence Mann) is doing another one of his zombie acts with a lobotomized patient, this time performing for group of men in classic black tuxes and ties. Angelica (Daryl Hannah) is trying to get Will to stop what is happening, but he can’t, he’s not strong enough. The zombie Whispers has control of takes a bone saw in saws open the throat of a guard. This is enough to bring will out of his slumber and to awaken Riley, who readies another injection for him.
Nomi (Jamie Clayton) and Amanita (Freema Agyeman) are with Amanita’s mother speaking to a professor at the local natural history Museum in San Francisco. Nomi is pretending to be a graduate student working on a thesis and trying to get information on Homo sensorium, which is the technical term for a sensate. The professor doesn’t know much about them—she doesn’t even quite believe in them—but she knows Professor Kolovi (John Judd) at the University of Chicago who has written about them and suggest Nomi heads out there. The local Professor jokes that a Homo sensorium could walk into her office and she wouldn’t even know it. Little do you know you got one standing right next to you.
Hernando (Alfonso Herrera) is having a bad feeling while Lito (Miguel Ángel Silvestre) is a bundle of nerves. His movie premiere is coming up and he wants Hernando to accompany Daniela (Eréndira Ibarra) and him, which is something he’s always wanted him to do but has been unable to do so until now. Hernando is cajoled into coming, but he knows this may not be the best thing for them.
The action cuts back and forth between Capheus (Toby Onwumere) and Jela (Paul Ogola) working in Nairobi, and Lito, Daniela, and Hernando arriving for the movie premier. While Lito is being interviewed by an entertainment reporter he knows, Capheus is being interviewed by Zakia (Mumbi Maina), a local newswoman. While Lito is being pressed for information on his sexuality, Caiaphas is being semi-ridiculed for liking Jean-Claude Van Damme, whom Zakia accuses is being just another white action hero saving the day. And that leads to all the sensates coming out to give a speech that is the basis of the title:
“No, you’re not trying to understand anything. Because labels are the opposite of understanding. I’m sorry. Maybe I’m not understanding what courage has to do with the color of a man’s skin? I was just a little kid who loved movies. And the heroes I watched made me feel like I was braver than I was. Funnier. Smarter. They made me feel that I could do things that I didn’t think I could do. But that boy who watch TV with his mama, and grandma, and aunties is not the man who became an actor/driver. That driver/actor is not the same person you see standing here.
“Who am I? Do you mean where I’m from? What I one day might become? What I do? What I’ve done? What I dream? Do you mean… what you see or what I’ve seen? What I fear or what I dream? Do you mean who I love? Do you mean what I’ve lost? Who am I? I guess who I am is exactly the same as who you are. Not better than. Not less than. Because there is no one who has been or ever will be exactly the same as either you or me.”
And with that, both Lito and Capheus get back to what they were doing.
At the premier the audience is watching the film that Lito was making back in Season 1. It’s the last dramatic scene in the movie, the one where Lito walks in to the graveyard, past the family who wants to kill him, and up to the woman he loves. As he takes her in her arms and kisses there is a murmuring in the audience and a few people actually get up and leave. Hey, people: gay men do kiss straight women on screen. It’s called acting.
When Capheus is done with driving he’s met by Zakia, who tells him that she was wrong in pressing him the way she did. She wants to know if he’d like to grab a bite. Jela ain’t about to let his friend miss out on this and tells them both, “Hell, yeah.”
Kala (Tina Desai) is in Mumbai looking at a new condo, while Wolfgang (Max Riemelt) and Felix (Max Mauff) are at a club owned by Sebastian Fuchs, another one of Berlin’s crime lords. Felix tells Sebastian he loves the club and Sebastian tells him to come by his place tomorrow, but is going to give it to them.
Capheus and Zakia are having a pleasant conversation. Talking about the way things had been in the past and how things were presently in the future. She points out that no matter how much things have changed their still face with the daily corruption found in government and Kenyan society. Caiaphas sees it a bit different: he sees people able to do things today that they couldn’t have done during his grandmother’s time—especially when it comes to women in the workplace.
Will is getting close to Whispers. Just as Whispers is trying to discover Will’s location, Will is using their connection to find out everything he can about Whispers and passing along to the cluster. He sees Whispers on the grounds of the country estate with a woman who appears to be his wife, but he can’t get any more from them.
Riley contacts Kala and tells her that will is in a bad state. She gives him an injection but informs Riley that he needs to eat, that all the dope is seriously affecting his system. She wants to know if Nomi has found anything and Nomi pops in to pull Riley over to the boat, where Bug (Michael Sommers) has been hard at work for months hacking databases. Nomi explains, however, that every time to get close to something, whomever is on the other side “burns down the house.” And just like that, Bug detects someone trying to infiltrate their system, which he destroys immediately. He indicates they weren’t tagged, but he is seriously surprised by how paranoid these people they’re hunting are.
The sensates don’t know how much longer they can continue hiding out. They want Will to succeed, but they are also tired of the stress of staying underground. In the end Wolfgang shows up and tells Riley not to give up on Will: he wouldn’t give up on anyone else.
Kala’s and Rajan’s family are dining at their new place. Rajan’s father informs everyone that he has accepted an offer from the Prime Minister to run for political office. This does not go over with Rajan, who feels that his father should have consulted with the rest of the family before making this decision. Rajan’s father doesn’t seem to give much of a shit about what his son thinks, but then again were talking about a guy who lives in India and hates Indian food. They should have let this dude die when he was stabbed at the temple.
Nomi and Amanita arrive at the University of Chicago just in time to make the end of the lecture given by Professor Kolovi. He doesn’t say much about Homo sensorium is, but he does have an acute observation about Homo sapiens: it seems whenever Homo sapiens runs into another species like it—but not like it, if you get what I mean—why, Homo sapiens goes on a fucking killing spree and genocides the shit out of the other species. It seems that our species just doesn’t like the idea of sharing the rest of the planet with another species that could possibly be just a little better—like, you know, sensates?
They had back to the professor’s office and ask him about the man he knows as Masterson, but they know as Whispers. The professor remembers him, but hasn’t heard anything from him since he left the school back in the 1980s. So if the women are trying to track him down, he can’t offer much help. As Nomi and Amanita leave the school, they wonder if the professor was telling the truth or if he’s a really good liar.
Riley’s feeding Will some good Icelandic food to help get his strength back and he’s liking it. Of course, that’s the time when that asshole Whispers shows up. He knows it’s only a matter of time before Will slips up and gives away their location, and when that happens, he’s going to have his way with Riley—
Will ends up in a blank room with Whispers, but Will used to be a cop and he notices things–like they’re somewhere in the city. He tells Whispers that the footsteps in the hall sound too hard, meaning they don’t have the rubber soles you would normally hear with people out in the country. Whispers himself has a nice suit and a manicure, something you’re not going to find in the sticks. And, there’s an English outlet on the wall—sure, it’s the same as you’d find in Singapore, but he hasn’t felt in the air conditioning.
Whispers is impressed for all of about two seconds before he gets up and pulled the plug off the wall. He tells Will it’s all make-believe: the room is fake, the people outside the room are fake, his suit is a costume. The people whom Whispers is working for have been doing this sort of thing for a long time, so do you know what he thinks of you, Will?Thanks, Whispers. You really know how to make a person feel good.
With that there back in Will’s hiding place and Whispers lays it all out. He can hear the seagulls and he knows that all the food Will is eating come straight out Iceland. It looks like will is hiding out in the church, which is the sort of thing Angelica did. Whispers knows Will never left Iceland, so it’s only a matter of time before the black helicopters come and snatch both Riley and him up, and then Whispers is going to have himself a hell of a party with that Icelandic DJ—
Riley gives Will his shot and knocks him out, breaking the connection. Riley goes to another part of the room and turns off a recording of seagulls squawking—
—Before stepping out onto a bright Amsterdam street. Because they, too, have been gaslighting BPO, and Whispers is a fucking amateur.
Riley heads over to another part of the city and meets with her dad, who is smoking a joint and on his way to Vienna. He’s been bringing his daughter goods from Iceland that can only be found there, which helps create the illusion that Will and she never left the island. Her dad asked if she’s okay and she says she’s doing all right, though he knows better. He still loves his girl enough to give her rendition of Baba O’Riley on the ukulele.
Sun (Doona Bae) is wall painting with her cellmates. Sorry to say, but this is just about all we see of her on her own.
Nomi and Amanita visit the home where Sara Patrell (Margot Thorne) lived. Her mother Helen (Mary Beth Fisher) is still there and answers the door. Nomi apologizes in advance for what she’s about to say, but Helen stops her: she states that Nomi is there because she’s seen her daughter.
Inside they talk about what happened in the aftermath of Sara’s disappearance. She says she knew that her daughter had died all those years ago, but in the aftermath of her death Helen was visited by many people who said they saw her. The young Will Gorski was the first to come over and talk about seeing Sara. Others who visited where Jonas (Naveen Andrews) and Angelica. Helen asks about Will’s well-being and Nomi tells her that he’s been better. Helena flat out ask if Will is with them and Nomi says yes. One quickly gets the impression that Sara was likely pre-sensate, and she could be detected by others like her. It also seems likely that her mother maybe knew something of this—
Which is likely as Whispers was a special instructor of Sara’s. Will now knows for sure that Whispers was responsible for taking Sara’s life.
Wolfgang is hanging out at the zoo watching a tiger when Sun shows up. She asks what he’s doing there. He says when he was young he would come to the zoo with his mother after his parents had fought. It was a place for him to come and escape, if only for a little while. Though it seems as of late they haven’t been able to escape from anything—
And that’s when Will shows up, his breathing labored. Back in Amsterdam he taps Riley’s wrist as they lay in bed. She knows what this means: he’s found Whispers’ connection to BPO.
It’s all sensates on deck as they crash in on Whispers while he is in the middle of a conference with some BPO bigshot.They began putting clues together quickly. It’s obvious there in London from the skyline outside the window. They’re able to tell that the person Whispers to speaking with graduated from Yale. There able to see his corporate letterhead. There are various other clues which they put together in hand to Nomi, who had hacks the fuck out of this dude. And just like that they have a name: Richard Wilson Croome.
Whispers hears this and loses his shit: he’s compromised as fuck and there is nothing he can do. He grabs his briefcase and makes a run for it, but Will grabs him. He’s just inches from his face. He let’s Whispers know: “You think you’re hunting us?”It’s on, bitches.
Shit just got real.
Personal Notes: What can I say? I’ve been waiting for nearly a year for Season 2 to start, and while the two hour Christmas special—which is now known by the title Happy Fucking New Years—was a good way to wet the pallet, what was really needed was the main course.
And this was it.
This episode did not disappoint. It got right into business without a lot of exposition, without the need to go back and explain a lot of shit that it already happened. That’s the thing with good science fiction: it expects its audience to know certain things right off the bat so that it doesn’t have to go and repeat itself to bring everyone up to speed. Here the news was the sensates were still in a holding pattern waiting to get some information on Whispers, so that when they had it they could start making moves against their tormentor.
If anything, this episode showed us that the sensates now truly work is one, and they are there both to help and support. The question remains, however: now that they have a hook in Whispers, can they bring him to heel?
You’re going to have to wait to find out.
As always, leave us a comment and tell us what you think!
Tuppence Middleton — Riley Gunnarsdóttir, Amsterdam
Brian J. Smith — Will Gorski, Amsterdam
Doona Bae — Sun Bak, Seoul
Toby Onwumere — 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
Terrence Mann — “Whispers”
Purab Kohli — Rajan
Alfonso Herrera — Hernando
Eréndira Ibarra — Daniela
Max Mauff — Felix
Paul Ogola — Jela
Mumbi Maina — Zakia
Michael Sommers — Bug
John Judd — Professor Kolovi
Mary Beth Fisher — Helen Patrell
Margot Thorne — Sara Patrell
Naveen Andrews — Jonas Maliki
Daryl Hannah — Angelica Turing