SPOILERS BELOW !
After Netflix canceled their drama Sense8, I was one of thousands of voices that came together in support of the show and with outrage regarding its cancelation (I penned an essay here). Our pleas worked, and Netflix ordered a final episode to round out the series and give the fans a proper conclusion, marking the most impressive fan movement I’ve seen to date.
But now the show had the extremely difficult task of coming up with one single episode to conclude the story. How do you write a finale that wraps up a show originally slated for five seasons? How do you satisfy everyone? Well first of all, you understand your fanbase, and luckily the Wachowskis (who created the show) were incredibly in-tune with what their viewers wanted.
The 2hr 30min long final episode was everything I expected it be, and in this case, that is a major compliment. I believe that some finales (or final seasons) of shows have failed because they try to do too much in the last possible moments. They try and add a new element or “pass the torch” somehow by introducing storylines or sometimes entirely new characters. It’s not to say that there should be nothing new at the end, but the last thing viewers want is an ending that serves more questions than answers (remember how Lost ended? Ya I prefer not to). What the Wachowskis did, and rather explicitly, was create the finale for the fans. Of course, it was the fans that saved the finale in the first place, but still. They knew that because of that action by the fans, the worst thing they could do was attempt to reinvent their wheel and end up disappointing those who fought for them.
This meant that the finale was mostly very happy, which I found to be kind of a surprise for an “end”. Perhaps that means I just watch way too much dark and depressing stuff, which is true to an extant, but it actually means that rather than going for shock value, the Wachowskis just wanted to watch their characters get their happy ending. That was true of the fans as well. For me it was interesting because I tend to like some sort of dramatic death at the end of series, and especially in drama I find it difficult to believe that our heroes would come out completely unscathed, but for this show it was absolutely essential that everyone lived.
There were plenty of opportunities and little moments where I thought they might kill off a Sensate or even one of their close other characters, but the Wachowskis never went that route. And while I love a good, powerful death, the fact is I loved every character so much that for any of them to die would have felt like a horrible betrayal. The conflict was plenty tense without a major death, and the Wachowskis realized that their fans didn’t demand the show return just to see their favorite character be killed off.
And that’s another impressive thing about this finale — they got everyone in. Every extremely minor characters I never thought I’d see again, they found a way. It didn’t even feel very forced, it just felt like the Wachowskis were tying up all their loose ends.
Most of all, while I was watching this finale I just felt happy. It wasn’t even bittersweet. It was just happy. And that’s what this finale needed to be more than anything else — happy, a celebration. And it was. It was a total celebration of all of the characters and the show so far, and of the viewers themselves.
The Sense8 finale was perfect because for once, the creators made the finale about the fans, about their dedication & love for the show, rather than about their own legacy. It was refreshing and special to be a part of that experience, and we as the viewers, like all of the characters, got our happy ending.