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What Is Human? is the tenth episode of the first season and 10th overall episode of Sense8.


Will learns more about his origins and the threat to his future, while Wolfgang's actions catch up with him, even as his bond with Kala strengthens.



Wolfgang walks through the Garden of Exile, struggling with a decision. He recalls Abraham saying that the place brings clarity to any decision. Wolfgang catches fleeting glimpses of all his fellow sensates, walking through the stone aisles. He catches a glimpse of Kala. He stands in front of a slab with writing. Will reads the German writing. "Is the holocaust an aberration, or a reflection of who we really are?" Wolfgang asks Will why it's so loud where he is, and Will says that it's independence day. Wolfgang asks, "What is best in life, huh?" (referring to a quote he shares with Felix). Will says that he doesn't understand and Wolfgang walks away saying, "You wouldn't". Will follows Wolfgang but didn't catch up on him.


Will is walking in a park, where people are playing with the water. He looks around the place and sees a digital billboard, spewing water. Jonas appears behind Will and says that Will seems lost. Will asks Jonas why he left and Jonas says that connections are not a like a mobile service. Will visits Jonas, who is still held prisoner in a lab. Jonas suggests that Will find a safe place for them to talk freely.


Sun enters the visiting room, being visited by her lawyer. Her lawyer politely pulls her chair for Sun to sit. The lawyer goes back to his seat and expresses his thrill. He says that her case is extraordinary, that he had never experienced anything like it in decades. He informs her about his father, who will give testimony that will lead to Sun's freedom. He says that if the hearing goes well, Sun will be free from prison in less than a week. He hands the pen for Sun to sign. Sun asks what will happen to her brother Joong-Ki. The lawyer says that the court will probably make an example of him. He says that if he was in Joong-Ki's place, he would leave the country as soon as possible. As Sun holds the pen, she returns to wandering the holocaust museum with Wolfgang. She is struggling about the decision, since she promised to her mother that she'd protect Joong-Ki from danger. Sun says, "I want to believe that the past is done with us, the moment we're done with it." She signs the document.


Wolfgang sits beside Felix in the hospital room. Steiner enters with his cronies and he greets Wolfgang. Wolfgang stands in anger and questions him. Steiner says that Sergei had visited him, and that they had a nice conversation. Steiner said that since he is also his cousin, he suggests to give Wolfgang a motivational talk. Steiner sits down next to Felix on the bed. He says that he loves Felix and that what happened to Felix was hard for him to watch. He says that what happened to Felix was his fault. He says that he is hoping for Felix's recovery. He says that he has close friends in the hospital, and suggests that anything could easily go wrong for Felix. Wolfgang tells Steiner that he'll get his diamonds back for the safety of him and Felix. Steiner says that he doesn't dwell on the past, and that if he gets his diamonds back, he'll forget what ever happened. Wolfgang reacts with a smug face.


In a museum, Will and Jonas sit to talk. Jonas asks if it's Independence Day and Will confirms it. Jonas talks about his life. He says he was born in India, grew up in London and moved to New York during his 20s. Jonas says that he never knew which he would grasp his allegiance with. He states that he envy people who have clear one allegiance. Will mentions that his father, Michael, is clear about his allegiances. Will asks Jonas about the something he mentioned, he asks if sensates are human. Jonas asks, "What is human?" and says that sensates are more human because of their increased sympathy and empathy.


Kala waits in the hospital with her father, Sanyam. Sanyam notices that Kala seems troubled and asks her about it. Kala looks over to Rajan and his family and doesn't reply to Sanyam. Sanyam comforts her and convinces her to tell what's on her mind. She tells him that she is still confused about the wedding. She says that the police wanted to know why Manendra was at the temple. Sanyam assumes that he was there to visit her since he was a non-believer. Kala tells Sanyam that Manendra was reconsidering their marriage. Sanyam asks if she told the detectives yet and Kala says she haven't because she haven't yet told Rajan. Sanyam assumes that Kala haven't told Rajan since she's confused about their marriage. Sanyam suggests that she tell Rajan, because it may be Manendra's last wish. Sanyam acknowledges that it's a hard decision.


Back in the museum, Jonas says that he was once in Will's place, where the father of his cluster was telling him "bullshit" about psycellium, and what it meant to be sensate. Will expresses his confusion about BPO not finding out that he was a potential sensate even though he took a lot of health checks. Jonas says that the differences are subtle. He says that humans and sensates are biologically extremely similar than a banobo is to a baboon. Will states that he looks and feels the same and Jonas questions this. Will says in most ways, he does. Jonas convinces him by saying that he's not normal since he can share his private thoughts to someone from another place.

Capheus and Kala

Capheus is on his couch watching Lionheart and Kala sits alone on a bench outdoors. Capheus then finds himself visiting Kala. Capheus is amazed and looks around the surrounding. Kala introduces herself and Capheus compliments her. He offers her to sit on his couch. She observes that he has a very large TV, and Capheus mentions the details about the TV. Kala ask him why people in the slums have large TVs and not have beds. Capheus says, because the bed keeps you in a slum and the TV "takes you out" of the slums. Kala asks what he's watching and he replies Lionheart. Kala asks if it had any dancing in the movie and Capheus says that Jean Claude is the Fred Astaire of martial arts. Capheus says that he always watches the movie whenever he needed to find some courage. Kala relates since she also currently needs courage.


Wolfgang returns home. He opens the fridge, takes out a gun and ice cubes out of the refrigerator. He puts the ice cubes in a bowl and then microwaves it. After it was microwaved, he strains the water, revealing the diamonds. He puts them in a pouch, then tightens it.

Capheus and Kala

Kala reacts to the violent fighting and complains that there would be dancing. Capheus says fighting is dancing. Kala says that the movie is violent but Capheus says that life is violent and she agrees. She admits that she did not used to think that life was violent. Capheus asks that if she does now and she nods.


Jonas points out that a flock of birds and a shoal of fish moves as one. Jonas continues to give Will examples like aspen trees or a mushroom in a forest can communicate by groups. He says that as they thinks about this stuff, they'll begin to accept who they are. Jonas states that sensates were probably around during the time of early humans. Though sesnates are present at the beginning, Jonas wants sensates to be at the end. Implying that BPO might cause the extinction of sensates. Will questions how sensates are kept as a secret from humans. Jonas says that secrets are important in human societies and that if they'll never allow that there would be another species. Will asks Jonas if he has a secret and Jonas admires his cop intuition.

Jonas admits to Will that Whispers will try to use him to get to him and the rest of the cluster. Will asks if "Whispers" is the person who is named "Dr. Matheson". Will visits Jonas back in his location, in a lab. Jonas tells him that Whispers uses different identities and to never look at Whispers in the eye. As Jonas says this, Whispers is beside him in the lab, watching him. Will realizes that the reason Angelica committed suicide was to protect the cluster. Jonas tells Will the secret of him surviving. He says that his father told him that it doesn't matter who came first and all that matters is one mutation severed themselves. He explains that, since humans are emotionally disconnected from each other, it has made their species the most successful killers ever.


Wolfgang pulls up to the meeting spot in his B.M.W.. He takes off his sunglasses and grabs the pouch with diamonds. He exits the car and immediately puts his arms in the air. Outside, are two cars parked with Steiner and his men. One of the men gets ordered by Steiner to check on Wolfgang for any weapons. He pushes back Wolfgang and finds him clean. Steiner isn't convinced and he orders him again to check on Wolfgang, saying that he's a smart guy. The man checks on Wolfgang again and he finds the pouch with the diamonds. Steiner orders the man to open the pouch, thinking that it could be wired. Steiner and his men backs away from the man as the man opens the pouch. The man gestures Steiner and Steiner excitedly walks over to him. Wolfgang is impatient but Steiner asks him how he opened the safe. Wolfgang says he cracked it. Steiner doesn't believe him, believing that Wolfgang thinks he's stupid and can convince him. Steiner punches him in the gut, and kicks him several times. Wolfgang crawls slowly to his car. A gun is placed on Wolfgang's head by Steiner and he gets asked, "do you think I'm stupid?". Steiner prepares to pull the trigger. Wolfgang stops crawling, and eyes a gun stashed under his car, out of reach.

Lito, lying in his bathtub, becomes aware of the situation.

Wolfgang and Lito

Wolfgang and Lito analyze Wolfgang's body from a distance. Lito is impressed that Wolfgang predicted the situation so well. Wolfgang says, "All I needed was a little space" for him to grab the gun. Lito tells him to keep talking, and Wolfgang says that he cannot. Wolfgang says that he's afraid of Steiner because he reminds Wolfgang of his father, Anton. Lito says, "May I?"

Lito takes Wolfgang's body. Steiner is still furious and eager to know the truth. He yells at Lito/Wolfgang and hits his head with the gun. Lito/Wolfgang tells Steiner a fake story of how Felix got the combination by giving oral pleasure to the Indian that owned the diamonds and the safe. Steiner believes the story and he loves it. He walks back to his cronies and they laugh together. Steiner shows them the pouch of diamonds asks his cronies if any of them would suck cock for it and one of them says he would. Steiner tells the man that he, along with Wolfgang and Felix, are stupid. Wolfgang takes the opportunity to grab the gun, successfully taking out three of Steiner's men before reaching cover behind his car. Wolfgang shoots another from behind cover. Steiner and his remaining men peel out in their car. Steiner yells at Wolfgang, threatening him that he and Felix will die. Wolfgang opens his trunk, revealing a rocket launcher and he aims it at the car. Steiner sees Wolfgang holding the rocket launcher, and Wolfgang fires. Steiner screams as they get obliterated in a giant fireball.

Lito excitedly cheers about the scene. Wolfgang thanks him. Lito says that lying is easy since it's what he does. Wolfgang gives Lito advice, that when you make a mistake, "you live with it or you fix it." Lito gets overwhelmed and Wolfgang enters his car then leaves. Back at Lito's apartment, Lito calls Hernando again with a purpose. He says that he made a terrible mistake and he will fix things.

Will and Riley

Will carries a basket full of beer and sausages towards the docks. He runs in to Riley, staring at the river. Will approaches Riley and greets her. In Iceland, Riley is in the lobby of a concert hall, waiting to see her father. Will says he's going to see his father as well. Will tells Riley that Jonas said that it's dangerous for her to be in Iceland. Riley tells Will that Yrsa also said the same thing. She tells Will that Yrsa said that Jonas can't be trusted. Will says that they should just take care of each other and not trust anyone. Riley thanks Will, because without him, she wouldn't be there then they kiss. Will wonders how good it will feel if they kiss in real life since their psychic kiss already feels good.


Lito majestically returns to the bar. He orders and drinks six tequila shots. The bartender apologizes for what he did to Lito that last time but Lito tells the bartender that he made a mistake. He grabs the bartender, and they kiss. Lito admits that the bartender's offer was well received. But, Lito says that his heart belongs to another. Lito leaves.

Riley and Will

Riley meets up with her father and his friends outside the concert hall. Gunnar and Riley hug. They are getting stoned by smoking pot. Riley finds it cute that they are getting stoned in their tuxes as if it was 1985. Riley offers them ecstasy and they accept. Will arrives at his father's boat, where he has the grill ready. Night falls and they relax to enjoy the fireworks. Will's father tells him how proud he was when Will became a cop.


Lito drives his car into Joaquin's garden. He comes out of the car, wearing sunglasses and smoking a cigarette. Joaquin and Daniela hears the car and they stop eating and check what's happening. As Lito approaches Joaquin and Daniela, he throws away his cigarrete. He demands that Dani come home with him and he reaches out his hand, then Dani comes to him. Joaquin threatens and reminds him that he will release the pictures of Lito and Hernando. Lito says that he doesn't care and tries to leave with Daniela. Annoyed, Joaquin grabs and stops Dani from leaving. Lito tries to intimidate Joaquin but as he talks, Joaquin delivers a punch to his throat. Lito tries to fight back, but barely gets a punch in. Lito tries to run to Joaquin, attempting to pin him over but Joaquin throws him over to the garden instead. Daniela gets worried and tries to fight back, so she hits Joaquin at the back with a shovel. Dani instantly regrets it and gets hit in the face by Joaquin. Lito throws flower pots at Joaquin. Joaquin knocks him to the ground and kicks him on the gut and face. He approaches Daniela, grabs her hair and walks away, dragging her. Wolfgang appears and helps Lito to his feet. Wolfgang tells Joaquin, "we're not done". Joaquin walks to him with an angered expression and punches Lito/Wolfgang. Wolfgang takes a punch without flinching, then delivers a series of blows, before finally knocking out Joaquin with an uppercut. Wolfgang says, "fighting is what I do." Daniela watches the whole thing from the distance and finally runs to Lito after he defeats Joaquin.

Lito comes to Hernando's apartment, his face covered in bruises. Hernando gets worried about Lito's face covered in bruises and Lito observes that he still cares about him. Lito tells Hernando that he was right, and that Lito made a terrible mistake. He then says that he fixed it, and Daniela enters. Daniela hugs Hernando, telling him that Lito fought Joaquin like it was a movie scene. Confused, Hernando asks about the pictures and Lito says that he doesn't care. Lito and Hernando then kiss while Daniela takes picture of them again, kissing. Hernando asks why she is still taking photos after all the trouble they've been through and Daniela says that Lito doesn't care. The three of them hug and go home together.


Riley sits in her seat at the concert house. Will and his father watch the fireworks explode above them. Nomi is in bed, making love to Amanita. Sun and Capheus join Will to watch the fireworks.

At the concert hall, the performance starts. Riley's father dances his fingers across the piano keys. Riley begins to feel something coming over her. Will, Kala, Sun, Lito, Nomi, Wolfgang and Capheus each appear to be watching the show as well.

Each of the sensates has a flashback to their own births. Riley remembers her father playing piano into a phone as her mother listens and labors. Will remembers his birth, in the back of a police car, illuminated by road flares. Kala remembers her birth, on a rainy day, next to a statue of Ganesha. Lito remembers his birth, where his extended family is all in the same room watching television. Sun remembers her mother visiting a graveyard, then falling to the ground in labor, delivering Sun next to the graves. Nomi remembers her mother, sedated in a hospital, delivering by C-section. Wolfgang remembers his mother delivering in a birth pool. Capheus remembers his mother with a doula, delivering him in a hut.

Each of them is immensely happy at their memory, with the exception of Nomi, who is pained.

Riley remembers another birth, the birth of her own child. In the memory, Riley is crying and injured in a freezing, overturned car. She remembers the car crashing into a snow bank. Back in the present, blood pours down Riley's nose, and she faints.



Guest Starring[]



Sensate Connections[]

  • In the beginning of the episode, all of the sensates visits Wolfgang in the park. Wolfgang recalls that the place brings clarity to any decision. The other sensates are also struggling on making decisions and are in a state of confusion and danger.
  • Will gets visited by Jonas. Jonas tells Will information about being a sensate just like how Jonas' cluster father told Jonas.
  • Capheus gets visited by Kala as he watches a movie.
  • Wolfgang gets visited by Lito and Lito helps him by lying. In return, he gives Lito an advice, to change his mistakes, or live with it. Wolfgang then helps Lito fixing his mistakes by punching Joaquin unconscious.
  • Riley and Will visits each other. They reveal to each other that they are seeing their fathers.
  • All the of the sensates in the cluster visit Riley as she watch her father's symphony. As they watch, they each recall the moments of their birth. Riley also remembers another birth, the birth of her own, now deceased, child.


Notes and Trivia[]

  • This episode runs for 59 minutes and 12 seconds.
  • The title originates from Jonas' response to Will asking if Sensates are a different species than humans.
  • The following locations appeared in the episode:
  • The Wachowskis filmed actual, live births for the birth scene montage.[1]
  • Regarding the relevance of each sensate's method of birth, J. Michael Straczynski said "Their births are tied to their lives (so Wolfgang loves water, Lito went into telenovelas, etc.).[2]


Episode Stills[]

Memorable Quotes[]

Wolfgang: Sometimes you make a mistake. You've got two choices: you live with it, or you fix it.

See Also[]

A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.