Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Sense 8 August Eighth Cluster

Go To

Back to the main character index

The eight lead characters who become psychically linked at the beginning of the series.

    open/close all folders 

Will, Nomi, Sun, Capheus, Wolfgang, Kala, Lito, Riley

These tropes apply to every member of the main sensate cluster.

  • Anything That Moves: They are confirmed by Word of God to share each other's sexual orientations.
  • Badass Crew: They all use their abilities to stand up for themselves and each other in a rather impressive display of fortitude. Among the eight, Sun (a champion kickboxer), Wolfgang (a professional crook), and Will (a cop) are most often called on for their fighting skills; the rest are noncombatants but still bring a lot to the table.
  • Cunning Linguist: They can speak every language spoken by other cluster members without having to let them take over.
  • Differently Powered Individuals: Each of the sensates is highly skilled and one can tap into the skills of another in order to get out of a tricky situation.
  • Emergency Transformation: There are multiple occasions where one member of the cluster jumps in and takes control of another member to save their life.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Their abilities would make them this anyway, but being hunted certainly expedites the situation.
  • Five-Token Band: More like eight-token band, but no two sensates are from the same part of the world, and no more than half of them have traits overlapping. Only four of them are white, only two of those four are American. There are also four men (one gay) and four women (one a trans lesbian). It has also been stated by Word of God that all of them are moving towards pansexuality.
  • Foil: All of the main cast members are written to contrast one or more members of the cluster in some way. Below are the most obvious examples:
    • Lito is the sensitive guy to Wolfgang's manly man.
    • Wolfgang is a career criminal, contrasting Will as a straight-laced police officer and Sun as a wrongfully imprisoned Fall Guy.
    • Kala hates violence while Wolfgang has killed people since he was very young. Also, Kala is a devout Hindu while Wolfgang is an atheist.
    • Lito is a closeted gay man while Nomi is a trans woman who's openly in a same-sex relationship.
    • Capheus's optimism and wonder at the world contrasts the more cynical cast members like Riley and Nomi.
    • Sun hides her emotions under a strong facade (bordering on Emotionless Girl at times), which contrasts the more emotive members of the cast like Capheus, Kala, and Lito.
    • Sun is extremely matter-of-fact about sex while Kala is easily flustered at the mention of it.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: Four men (Will, Capheus, Lito, Wolfgang) and four women (Riley, Sun, Kala, Nomi).
  • Mindlink Mates: Apparently it seems to be a commonality for sensates to fall in love with other members in their cluster due to their intense ability to feel the others' emotions. So far we have Will and Riley, and Wolfgang and Kala. Jonas calls romance within a cluster "the purest form of love," while Yrsa dismisses it as narcissism.
  • Multinational Team: Two Americans, a German, an Icelander, a Korean, a Kenyan, a Mexican, and an Indian. Justified by the nature of sensates, who are connected globally.
  • Naïve Newcomer: The Cluster gets activated in the first episode, so they are all still stumbling around wondering why seven random people keep showing up and talking to them.
    • In Season 2, the existence of other clusters is revealed. Our heroes are either largely distrusted by other clusters, such as by the Old Man of Hoy's cluster, or a target for manipulation, such as by Lila's cluster. This cluster is also especially reckless towards the BPO, much to the Archipelago's concern.
    • It is also revealed in Season 2 that a parent sensate maintains the ability to visit and communicate with clusters they birth. Under normal circumstances, the parent sensate would be available to help newly birthed clusters come to grips with their new situation. However, for the August Eighters, their parent immediately died after birthing them, leaving them with no guidance.
  • Parental Issues: Most of them have this or some other trouble in their backstory.
    • Wolfgang's dad was physically abusive before his death.
    • Nomi's mom is emotionally abusive even to the present and her father is only a little better.
    • Will's dad is a drunk who rags on him for not letting a shot child die for being part of a gang (but their relationship is comparatively friendly).
    • Sun's father was negligent and dismissive (while her loving mother died).
    • Riley believes she's responsible for her mother's death (although she is very close to her father).
    • Capheus's father was murdered, although Capheus has a great relationship with his ailing mother.
    • Averted with Kala (who has two very loving parents and a sister) and Lito (a throwaway line implies his father has passed away and is otherwise unmentioned, but Lito has a very positive relationship with his mother).
  • Power Perversion Potential: As we see in Episode 6, sex becomes a lot more... complicated when you're telepathically linked to seven other people.
  • Psychic Link: The series centers around these eight individuals developing the ability to feel each other's emotions and use each other's skills.
  • Significant Birth Date: All the members of the cluster were born on the same day at about the same time. It's what causes a group of sensates to form a cluster in the first place.
  • Situational Sexuality:
    • The possibility that sensates absorb aspects of each other's sexual orientations is very real. This would explain why otherwise seemingly straight characters like Wolfgang and Will have sex with Lito and with each other, and Lito (who is gay) has sex with Amanita, and are not turned off by it.
    • Alternatively, the intimate nature of the link allows for an emotional honesty and new perspective that results in characters who may have even assumed themselves to be nothing but straight (or gay) to consider sexuality as more fluid.
    • Lana Wachowski has later said they are all on the spectrum of pansexual, which would make sense as they start to absorb more aspects of each others' desires and identities.
  • The Team: Every single member of the cluster is the best at something, though it's not always stated outright.
    • Will is an excellent cop and detective, with high marksman, deduction, and analysis skills. Though no one ever calls him the best, it's repeatedly made clear that the only reason he hasn't been promoted is because his hero complex keeps getting him into trouble. He generally fills The Leader role.
    • Nomi is an incredible hacker, capable of gaining access to a secret, secure facility on the other side of the planet and altering their security to let Will through. She generally fills The Smart Guy role, working with her girlfriend as the team's Mission Control and dirt-digger.
    • Sun is a One-Woman Army, who finds a couple dozen machete-wielding thugs only marginally more challenging than one guy in a ring. She generally fills The Big Guy role.
    • Lito is called the greatest actor in Mexico City more than once, and proves it by keeping his sexuality completely secret despite being known for the steamiest romance scenes. He generally fills The Heart role, though his skills often come in the form of charming or bluffing his way past a hairy situation.
    • Capheus is the best driver in Nairobi, managing to pull off Car Fu with a giant bus that would be difficult even with a much smaller vehicle. He pulls double-duty with Lito as The Heart.
    • Kala's skills don't get as much attention, but she is a very good chemist and well-versed in medicine, capable of building a bomb out of random chemicals from a kitchen, and later finding the perfect medication for one of her drugged clustermates. Season 2 has her not only function as The Medic but create blockers for the group. She pulls double-duty with Nomi as The Smart Guy.
    • Wolfgang is the best safecracker in Berlin, who even cracks a safe so impossible that absolutely no one believes that he did it even after the fact. He's also a very skilled and unscrupulous street fighter, usually getting called upon to No-Sell a hit, or when someone is in need of an outside-the-box tactic or a dose of doing what needs to be done. He pulls double-duty with Sun as The Big Guy.
    • Riley is a very very very good DJ, often referred to as the DJ. She's in very high demand, and one character (quoting another) calls her Iceland's greatest wonder. While her musical skills rarely provide the same utilities as the skills of her clustermates, she proves the most resistant to drugging due to her previous drug abuse, and Season 2 starts to show that her frequent traveling makes her very competent when it comes to social networking. In addition, music can uniquely empower sensates' connection to the psycelium.
  • Telepathy: Limited to sensates within the same cluster, unless two sensates from different clusters make eye contact. Also, the sensates are slow to explore the full range of their abilities at first, and tend to either accidentally experience others' feelings or not be able to consciously use their powers.
  • Translation Convention:
    • When the sensates meet for the first time, they're able to understand each other despite most speaking different languages, as shown by Wolfgang and Kala speaking German and Hindi respectively but still understanding each other due to being psychically linked. Afterwards, all conversations between them appear to the viewer to be in English. A couple of throwaway lines said in English indicate that the sensates experience their conversations in their native language. At one point Nomi is asked how many languages she speaks and she answers seven (English, Korean, Swahili, Hindi, Spanish, German, and Icelandic).
    • That said, there are implications that a few of them are genuinely bilingual.
      • Based on a line to Riley, Capheus knows both English and Swahili, and thus has little issue talking to Riley for the first time.
      • Riley's native language is Icelandic, and at the very least has to know enough English to have gotten by in London on her own. She later proves that she's fluent in French as well, which Will lampshades as allowing him to be.
      • Kala's sister at one point recognizes that her sister is singing in English, but is clearly more surprised by the singing than the use of another language.
      • In the second season, Lito takes Hernando and Daniela with him on a trip to Hollywood, and neither one of them are surprised to hear him speaking English to the American producer and actors they meet.
  • True Companions: Thanks to their ability to connect with one another on a highly empathetic level and how frequently they aided each other in their time of need, the cluster quickly becomes highly close with one another. To the point of being a family who enjoys spending their happy times together.
    Kala: Are you alright?
    Sun: Thanks to you.
    Riley: That's what family is for.
  • Unique Protagonist Asset: Word of God is that, while larger clusters can exist, eight is still an unusually large cluster. We never see a larger cluster within the show, with only two other clusters revealed to have an equal number.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Perks: The ability to travel 'round the world and see lives you've never lived without even moving is frequently highlighted by multiple characters, but most notably by Capheus, who greatly enjoys every new experience he gets from the cluster.



Will Gorski

Portrayed By: Brian J. Smith, Max Jenkins (young)

A clean-cut Chicago cop who is the first one to connect with Jonas, the man who guides the eight new sensates toward answers. Will has a connection to an unsolved murder, which still haunts him and causes him to have migraines and visions.

  • Awesomeness by Analysis: The most commonly used skill he offers to the other members of the cluster isn't his skills with weapons but his awareness through sight and sound. He can spot things other cluster members miss in the heat of the moment, i.e. a bike hidden in a corner, the fact that a bodyguard's gun is missing, or an assailant is right-handed, and use that to get the others to safety.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He's very protective of the other members of the cluster and is often the one who steps in to get them out of tough situations if things don't require Sun's ass kicking.
  • Brains and Brawn: He's fulfilling the Brawn part of this with Nomi towards the latter half of season 1 — justified, of course, because he's a cop and she's a hacker.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Will's ability to break out of handcuffs keeps coming up.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: He has a savior complex, partially due to growing up with an alcoholic father, but mainly due to a childhood experience of being unable to save a young girl who was sending him cries for help directly into his brain.
    • In the first episode, he's the only one really concerned about saving Deshawn, a young gangbanger who'd been shot.
    • While helping each other out in times of need is something each member of the cluster gets to do at some point or another, Will has the distinction of, over the course of the show, rescuing each other member of the cluster by himself, even fellow badasses like Sun and Wolfgang.
      • Using his cop reflexes to snatch the gun away from the guard as Sun walked through the sex club.
      • Uncuffing Nomi in the hospital.
      • Getting Riley out of Nyx's clutches.
      • Going full gun-slinger and making Lito's shoot awesome.
      • Helping Kala scare off the religious extremists.
      • Arm-locking the gang member surrounding Capheus's bus and getting him a weapon.
      • Warning Wolfgang that his uncle has body armour.
      • Perhaps at its most brazen, the Season 1 finale establishes that this is also his Fatal Flaw, since even though it saves Riley, and thus the rest of the cluster, from Mr. Whispers, it's why he has to remain in a drug-induced coma for the foreseeable future. Though the Christmas Special shows that he can remain conscious, and even visit the others in short bursts if he thinks it's safe.
  • Cowboy Cop: He resorts to pretty illegal ways of getting information, such as physically meeting Jonas against his superiors' orders and using his father's clearance to access information. It gets him suspended.
  • The Determinator: He won't give up without a fight, even against Jonas and Angel's advice.
  • Escape Artist: Having been around cops his entire life, Will taught himself to pick the locks on a pair of handcuffs with just about anything. Being a trained cop, he also knows the best way to evade a police pursuit. He helps Nomi this way twice.
  • Establishing Character Moment: His determination to bring Deshawn to the hospital despite Diego's protests, and staying with him until he wakes up.
  • Fair Cop: Will is a member of the Chicago police department and apparently very attractive to the other members of his cluster.
  • Functional Addict: Becomes mildly addicted to heroin during the first part of Season 2, while on the run. Once Riley is given the blocker drug by Croome, Will is weaned off of heroin and onto the (relatively) safer blockers.
  • Generation Xerox:
    • His relationship with Riley apparently mirrors Jonas's relationship with Angel.
    • He also takes after his father in both his rebellious nature and his desire to be a cop.
  • Heroic BSoD: The death of his father has him reaching for the heroin, even though he no longer needs it to hide from Whispers. Kala's intervention prevented it from happening, and later Capheus getting abducted snaps him out of it.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Most of our understanding of how the sensates work comes from Jonas trying to teach Will how to use his abilities.
  • Ill Boy: In a way. After having made eye contact with Whispers, it's implied he now has to be kept heavily medicated or unconscious at all times to stop him from being a threat to the rest of the cluster.
  • Indy Ploy: He just charges in to save Riley without a plan. Fortunately, the other protagonists are there to back him up.
  • Meaningful Name: William means a 'desire to protect', which is pretty fitting for a cop.
    • In addition, one of the mottos of Chicago, where Will is from, is "I Will," in reference to the determination Chicagoans showed after the Great Fire of 1871. He doesn't quit.
  • Mindlink Mates: With Riley.
  • Nice Guy: Will is a very friendly, good-hearted and sincere person.
  • Official Couple: With Riley.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Is not above using his father's reputation and benefits to find out information and gain access to things he ordinarily wouldn't be able to obtain.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: However, the above is because he's doing the right thing.
  • Second Love: For Riley, who is widowed.
  • Turn in Your Badge: He gets suspended after his Cowboy Cop tendencies become too much for the police chief.
  • Unbroken Vigil: Well, inasmuch as he can without physically being there; after he finds out about Riley's conditions his thoughts are constantly with her, resulting in this to the rest of the cluster.
  • White Male Lead: He's one of the two white men in the cluster, the only one to get anything resembling training in his abilities, wants to save everybody he can, verbalizes that he will always be there for the others, and is the first to meet another member of his cluster in the flesh. Subverted in that the others get a handle on their powers not too long after, freely help each other with little to no involvement on his part, and play crucial parts in rescuing Riley when he charged in without a plan. Oh, and he ends the season as The Load due to making eye contact with Whispers, allowing his clustermates to shine early in the second season.


Nomi Marks

Portrayed By: Jamie Clayton, John Babbo (young)

A trans woman blogger and "hacktivist" from San Francisco.

  • Affectionate Nickname: Amanita calls her "Nom". Nomi in turn calls her "Neets".
  • Alliterative Name: Subverted; she was born Michael Marks but changed her name to Nomi.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: She was the victim of some pretty horrific bullying growing up and still has scars from a particularly cruel incident in the showers.
  • Brains and Brawn: Is the Brains part of this duo with with Will during the last few episodes of season 1.
  • Damsel in Distress: For a while there in the first few episodes, she tries to escape from a forced lobotomy.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Nomi's transphobic mother insists on calling her by her birth name, Michael, which Nomi hates.
  • Every Scar Has a Story: She has scars on her body from an incident in her youth. Due to her body image issues, she wore a shirt and swim trunks in the showers, prompting the boys to strip her and hold her under the scalding hot shower. The story of this traumatic incident is what convinces Lito it's time to choose his boyfriend over his career.
  • Happily Married: To Amanita by the end of the series.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Nomi accomplishes her hacking by wiring up gadgets to her laptop as opposed to writing code, probing system vulnerabilities or using social engineering to get information. She seems to be able to immediately gain access to any information she needs, so long as it's on a computer. Also, she seems to be able to make Amanita a hacker by proxy despite her never expressing any skills in this regard previously.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: She says this to Teagen's husband during her toast speech word for word with Wolfgang adding in an "I will kill you".
  • Ill Girl: Subverted. She's fine physically, just developing her sensate powers; the doctor, who works for BPO, tells her, her family, and the hospital staff that she's got a condition that doesn't even exist as an excuse to lobotomize her.
  • It's All About Me: Downplayed. Nomi's parent tell Teagan that Nomi is narcissistic, and Amanita cannot 100% disagree. That said, Nomi's self-absorption is due to her situation and Amanita knows that, and Nomi immediately vows to work on that when it's pointed out.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: She displays no stereotypical lesbian traits, aside from participating in a Dykes on Bikes event during San Francisco Pride.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Implied. Amanita was the first person ever to defend her, so it's doubtful she had many friends growing up outside of her online circles. Her family, other than Teagan, are similarly cold and unaccepting of her identity.
  • Mentor in Queerness: Trans lesbian Nomi helps her gay clustermate Lito come to terms with their identities and sexualities at multiple times throughout the show.
  • Mission Control: She serves as this for Will, directing him on his actions when rescuing Riley.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She's the focus of a lot of sex scenes in the first season. A unique take on the trope considering that she's transgender.
  • Nerds Are Sexy: Jamie Clayton is a beautiful woman and Nomi is in a relationship with Amanita, features in the "psychic orgy" scene, and is a world class blogger and hacktivist.
  • Official Couple: With Amanita. They are the only couple that starts and stays together for the entire first season.
  • Only Sane Man: In two separate instances of cluster collaboration, Nomi is the one who reminds her cluster that, hey, they're kind of busy and don't have time for small talk.
  • Playful Hacker: After a checkered teenage past, Nomi alternates between hacking for security companies and later hacking for her cluster.
  • Raised as the Opposite Gender: She was born to the name and identity of Michael Marks, but finally decided to be true to herself at some point in her teens.
  • Scars Are Forever: She still has the second degree burn scars on her stomach that she received as a pre-teen.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: The whole reason Nomi took the fall for Bug's hacking the Pentagon and just got a sentence of probation and community service, in addition to being a minor at the time, was that she had rich parents able to get her a great lawyer (her dad also turns out to be a high-powered attorney).
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: She's a hacker and wears dark thick rimmed glasses.
  • Statuesque Stunner: She's 5'10.
  • Taking the Heat: Back when she was young, she took the fall for a hacker friend who hacked into a government system, her reasoning being that she was a young juvenile with rich white parents allowing her to get off with just community service.
  • Tattoo as Character Type: Appropriately for a hacktivist, Nomi has an IEC 5009 stand-by/IEEE 1621 power symbol tattooed behind her ear. Technically, these facts also make her a Tattooed Crook, if a very Downplayed example.
  • Trans Tribulations: As an adult, Nomi is in a very happy relationship and surrounds herself with the accepting San Francisco LGBT community, and she doesn't have any internalized trans- or homophobia, at least not anymore. However, her estranged mother completely refuses to accept her as a woman, she has a very scary run-in with the medical establishment not treating her like a sane adult able to make her own decisions, and the trans-excluding radical feminist 'friends' of her girlfriend got pretty nasty towards her during a flashback scene.
  • Twofer Token Minority: She's a transgender woman and a lesbian as well.
  • Voice with an Internet Connection: Or Voice With A Psychic Link, but she acts as this for Will in his efforts to save Riley, directing his actions with information she obtains from her computer.


Sun Baknote 

Portrayed By: Bae Doona, Jane Lee (young)

A businesswoman from Seoul who gets caught up in her family's embezzlement scheme. She's also a burgeoning star in the world of underground kickboxing.

  • Action Girl: She's an extremely skilled kickboxer. When the other seven get into fights, they tend to draw on her combat skills.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Sun has an impressively tight control on her emotions.
  • Berserk Button: Seeing her brother's crocodile tears over his "troubled" sister is... unhealthy to be around. Especially if you're a computer, a television, or food.
  • Best Her to Bed Her: A rare gender inversion, she explained to Kala that she lost her virginity after beating a man in a martial arts tournament. While she joined the tournament to make her dad proud, her victory caused him to forbid her from fighting ever again, leading to her crying in the locker room. It was here that the boy who she faced in the finals found her and told her that she was the greatest fighter he had ever faced and that he considered it an honour to be beaten by her. Touched by the boy's kindness, she enthusiastically kissed him, seemingly to his surprise, and then they had sex.
  • The Big Guy: Of the cluster, she is the one most frequently called on for help in fights.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Subverted. Sun goes to prison for Joong-ki, but it's not so much her protective instinct towards them as it is her loyalty to her family and her promise to her mother.
  • Birth/Death Juxtaposition: She was born in a graveyard.
  • Blood Knight: Every so often, she goes into a fight with a smirk on her face.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Sun's short, neatly trimmed haircut qualifies as Power Hair in a business setting, but as this trope when her martial arts skills are on display.
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: Sun's one real vice.
  • Dating Catwoman: Sun kisses the cop assigned to bring her in once she escapes from jail while sparring with him.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Her tendency for this comes out on occasion, particularly early on in the first season during a training session with her sensei:
    Sensei: Never have I seen you this unfocused. You are of two minds.
    Sun: (under exasperated breath) At least.
    Sensei: What?!
    Sun: Nothing, teacher.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Finding a new family in the cluster and in prison helps her release the emotions that she's been repressing her whole life. Compare the woman stoically accepting that she'll have to be imprisoned to protect the company to her enjoying the fireworks with Capheus and Will and laughing as she and the cluster dance up a storm on their birthday.
  • Determinator: "I have an enemy and I won't stop until he's dead or I am". In the season 2 finale, Joong-Ki, in shock at her not giving up, screams "My sister's the fucking Terminator?"
  • Emotionless Girl: She appears to be this to others, but it soon becomes clear that she is just projecting a very strong facade. Capheus, as a fellow sensate, can feel her insecurity and indecision.
  • Extreme Doormat: Self-inflicted and subtle. Sun promised her mother that she would protect her brother, but she accepts way more of his shit than anyone ever should (see Fall Guy). By the time she's gotten over her status as a living bullshit sponge, her brother most likely killed her dad, leaving her in prison.
  • Fall Guy: She allows herself to take the fall for her brother's embezzlement of company funds.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: She's the Responsible to her more irresponsible, disloyal brother's Foolish.
  • Genius Bruiser: Besides kicking ass and taking names, she also has a Masters in economics and is a skilled accountant.
  • Girls Behind Bars: Her subplot is about spending time in a women's prison following her imprisonment.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Inverted with both Will and Wolfgang, as all three are the most capable combatants. Will and Wolfgang are no slouches when it comes to hand-to-hand combat, but are much better at using firearms. Conversely, Sun can take down entire groups while unarmed.
  • Harbinger of Asskicking: She's obviously the most skilled in hand-to-hand combat, thus when she shows up in another Sensate's storyline their enemies better start running.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: She has a pet dog whom she clearly loves and adores. She leaves him with her mentor when she allows herself to be imprisoned.
    Inmate: Do you miss your family?
    Sun: No. I miss my dog.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: She quickly comes to regret being the fall guy for her brother's crimes, especially after realizing that he murdered their father for wanting to come forward with the truth. Now her brother's a popular, successful businessman and the mainstream media thinks she's a violently unstable thief.
  • Inscrutable Oriental: Sun is extremely collected and composed, but her spirit shows through when taking down opponents using her martial arts. She loosens up once she starts socializing with the cluster more and escapes prison.
  • Institutional Apparel: After she goes to prison she's not shown wearing anything else but the pale blue outfit until she escapes.
  • Lady of War: She's cool and graceful when fighting, even with a machete in hand.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: If Sun shows up to another member of the cluster, 9/10 its because she's about to kick some serious ass for them.
  • Meaningful Name: Possibly. Riley points out in their first meeting that she is "communing with the spiritual Sun", just like the art piece in front of her is telling her too. In Korean also Sun means "good, well-behaved, virtue", which comes into play with how her mother saw her.
  • Minored in Ass-Kicking: At the start, Sun is a junior executive in her father's company by day and an underground kickboxing champion by night. It's just that once she goes to prison she doesn't get much call to use her master's degree any more.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Doona Bae seems to spend at least half of her screentime in season two wearing either a bra, a pair of panties or both. It might also be symbolic of a newly-liberated Sun who is becoming less stoic. Sun essentially spends most of the finale pursuing her brother in her underwear, and it is a terrifying sight to behold.
  • Nerves of Steel: She has rarely, if ever, broken under the pressure of her circumstance, to the point that even when she lays out that Lito (who is depressed over the loss of his acting career) doesn't have it so bad because he has people in his life who love him, while she is an orphan with a brother who wants to kill her, she still refuses to break down.
  • Not So Stoic: We see her lose her cool very few times; she screams at what Joong-ki has gotten her into.
  • One-Man Army: Or one woman army. Sometimes gets a hand from Will for logistics, but Sun can wipe out an entire team of guards and gang members all by herself with just her martial arts or with a machete.
    Will: Shit! Four guards!
    Sun: Is that all?
  • Pintsized Powerhouse: She's not very imposing but is an extremely skilled asskicker.
  • Power Hair: She has the shortest, neatest hair of the female characters, representing her professional business background. Interestingly, it also qualifies as Boyish Short Hair (and, given the show's hard scifi genre, a Sci-Fi Bob Haircut).
  • The Promise: She made one to her dying mother to always take care of her brother and father, which is what spurs her to take the fall for Joong-ki in the first place.
  • Sex Is Good: She encourages Kala, who's a bit anxious about her honeymoon, by telling her of her own first time and that sex is something to honor and enjoy.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: She's a high-powered business woman who can literally leave a crater in your desk with her fist.
  • The Stoic: She's very inscrutable and formal, and tells Kala that she channels her feelings and frustrations into her fist.
  • Suppressed Rage: She deals with her frustration from years of mistreatment by channeling it into her fighting. She can be completely calm and poised in any other situation, but is very aggressive, sometimes to the point of Screaming Warrior, whenever she fights.
  • Taking the Heat: Sun takes sole responsibility for the embezzlement scheme to save her family's company. This lands her in prison.
  • Tranquil Fury: When her father won't return her messages, his assistant asks if she wants to leave another. Her message this time is to slam the table so hard it splinters. All without losing her normal composure.
  • The Unfavorite: Her father doesn't value her as much as her irresponsible little brother because she's a woman. He repents after she goes to prison but is killed before he can make things right.
  • You Are Number 6: The prison guards refer to her by her number.


Lito Rodriguez

A closeted Mexican telenovela star, who fears his sexuality and relationship with his boyfriend Hernando could ruin his career.

  • Action Hero: The type of role he seems to get typecast in In-Universe. He's not really one, though, as he's an actor.
  • Armoured Closet Gay: Not normally, but when a gay bartender hits on him, he angrily storms off and declares he's "not a faggot". Later, he comes back and apologizes to the bartender and kisses him.
  • Aside Glance: Lito gives a cheesy line to Hernando in bed and looks directly at the camera.
  • Ate His Gun: He attempts this after Hernando breaks up with him. The gun turned out to be a novelty lighter.
  • Becoming the Mask: His telenovela personas are extremely macho badasses prone to dramatic entrances and badass one-liners. When he finally goes to rescue Daniela, Lito acts like his characters, right down to the dramatic slow-motion entrances. Subverted when he completely fails at fighting and has to summon Wolfgang for help.
  • Badass Boast: It's easy to scare off wife-beating assholes when you have a German crime boss in your corner.
    Lito: Only if you want to get your ass kicked by a faggot.
    Wolfgang: Again.
  • The Casanova: Subverted - he has to keep up the guise of a ladykiller in order to keep his sexuality a secret but is in a committed relationship with Hernando.
  • Character Tics: He has a tendency to verbalize, smack his lips, and say "Pah" when he trying to amp himself when doing a scene.
  • The Charmer: Required, given his job. In the first-season finale he gets Riley's room number just by charming the pants off a clueless nurse.
  • Chewing the Scenery: Melodrama of his movie roles aside, his own personal dramatic tendencies really come out in the sequence from episode 5 wherein he experiences what it's like to have a menstrual cycle. The actor's performance is delightfully hammed Up to Eleven as he moans, whines, rants, yells at other drivers, and loudly insists "I'm not screaming!"
    Lito (to a particularly cranky driver): I see you, villain! I see you with your fucking villain mustache!
  • Coming-Out Story: Part of his arc is becoming confident enough in himself to be okay with his sexuality. The final straw is Nomi talking to him about her own traumatic experiences.
  • Consummate Liar: As an actor, this is imperative to his job. It's also what he most frequently loans to his cluster when they need to lie through their teeth to save their lives or to get information. It also makes him an expert at spotting when others are lying, which helps the cluster out more than once.
  • Dashing Hispanic: Subverted. His opening scene is him about to shoot a priest in the head...until it turns out it was a shoot for a telenovela. Lito himself dislikes conflict and is a noncombatant, often tapping into Will, Wolfgang, or Sun when physical violence is needed.
  • The Face: As the most charismatic cluster member and professional actor, Lito's skills of charm and persuasion are a 'soft ability' that come in useful when someone needs to stall for time or perform some Social Engineering. Funnily enough, while he performs impeccably in front of an audience, he has difficulty manipulating his way out of situations with his loved ones.
  • Flowery Insults: A pretty good one from his breakdown in the car.
    Lito: You tacky, cheap weave, plastic-titted whore! I see you!
  • Forced Out of the Closet: Daniela's psychotic ex-boyfriend gets his hands on pictures of Lito having sex with Hernando and threatens to publish them if Daniela doesn't return to him. She briefly does, until Lito comes to rescue her, and the pictures are published during the Christmas special.
  • Gayngst: He fears that his career would collapse if his sexuality was made public. While this does come true and he is not only dropped by his agent but locked out of his apartment, he manages to find footing as an actor elsewhere. But he notes that after he was forced out of the closet, he ended up being type-casted as the gay person who dies in other telenovas from then on out.
  • Gentle Giant: He's tall, he's built, and he behaves like a puppy.
  • Guile Hero: Deception and seduction and playing a part are his strongest talent. They are put to good use on multiple occasions.
  • Heartbreak and Ice Cream:
    • Does not take his temporary break up with Hernando well and spends it moping around the apartment and eating Ben and Jerry's.
    • Happens again after he is fired by his agent.
  • Hidden Depths: Studied bar tending for six months for a role. He became a master in that time, which helps Sun.
  • Inelegant Blubbering: Being the most dramatically inclined of the cluster, he can't help but bring on waterworks when he's feeling upset.
  • It's All About Me:
    • Even though Lito clearly loves Hernando and appreciates Daniela, he spends a lot of time worrying about his self interests. Reality bites back; Daniela and Hernando leave his life as a consequence, causing him to hit rock bottom emotionally. It is only with Nomi and Wolfgang's help that he realises the need to be more selfless.
    • Lito also has relatively few interactions with other sensates for most of the series, as he is too busy angsting about his personal life. Even when he does Visit, like experiencing Sun's period, he is more obsessed about his feelings than the other party's. This changes after his breakup with Hernando, when he helps Wolfgang out of a near death experience and connects with Nomi over a heartfelt discussion about sexuality and being true to oneself.
  • Large Ham: He's a film/telenovela actor. Hamminess is par for the course.
    Lito: It's a fake! Just like everything in my life!
  • Latin Lover: His public image amps up this stereotype as an attractive, sensual man.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: In his fight with Joaquin, Lito on his own is bouncing around and throwing ineffectual jabs until he gets knocked down. When Wolfgang begins to help him the playing around stops.
  • Liquid Courage: Lito downs six double-shots of tequila before coming out to the bartender and leaving to rescue Dani.
  • Man Versus Career: Rare Male Example; he has to choose between allowing Daniela to return to an abusive relationship in order to protect his career but losing Hernando, or rescue Daniela, win Hernando back, but lose his career. He chooses the latter.
  • Manly Gay:
    • He plays uber-macho telenovela heroes by day, and then goes home to his boyfriend Hernando at night. He's also a big fan of luchadores. This is all but stated to be a trope Lito has invoked to stay closeted and still get the type of roles he wanted.
    • He hasn't succeeded entirely in coming off completely masculine, however, as Lito is very open with his emotions and is frequently described as dramatic.
  • Never Gets Drunk: In addition to the six shots of tequila he slams before going off to rescue Daniela in season 1, he orders eight in season 2 when the cluster decides to go on the offensive against BPO. He shows no ill effects from doing so, either.
  • Non-Action Guy: The best of the four male protagonists at talking his way out of a situation than punching his way out of it.
  • Odd Couple: This could apply to any two members of the cluster, but especially with Lito and Sun. Their interactions on the show include: him experiencing her period, him helping her break out of prison, her helping him get a Hollywood movie role, him helping her get a bartending gig, and cuddling with each other in a sex hotel (It Makes Sense in Context!).
  • Official Couple: With Hernando, despite a brief break up.
  • Perma-Stubble: Feeds into his manly man image.
  • Polyamory: By the end of the series Daniela is considered a third part of his and Hernando's relationship, in a primarily romantic sense but she is also welcome into the bedroom with them as the two men have sex with each other.
  • Secret Relationship: With Hernando, of course; the only characters who know are Daniela and Joaquin after he steals her phone. See Forced Out of the Closet above.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The sensitive guy to Wolfgang's manly man.
  • Shout-Out: Lito's surname is that of a well-known Hollywood director known for making the same types of Mexploitation films that Lito stars in.
  • Spit Take: Does one after Daniela confesses her love for gay porn.
  • Wife-Basher Basher: He calls on Wolfgang to beat up Joaquin and rescue Daniela.


Capheus Onyango

Portrayed By: Aml Ameen (Season 1), Toby Onwumere (Season 2), Gabriel Ouma (young)
Click here to see his season 1 appearance 

A bus driver who knows every back alley of his native Nairobi. He's desperately trying to earn money for medicine for his dying mother.

  • Action Politician: Is persuaded to run for office, after gaining a reputation as a folk hero.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: A toned down example, and most of the work is done by Sun, but after Capheus defeats the Superpower gang, Van Damn immediately gains a reputation as the safest bus in Nairobi.
  • Badass Driver: Drives a bus named after his hero, Jean-Claude Van Damme, and is damn good at it. This is the main skill he loans to his cluster.
    Nomi: I can't drive!
    Capheus: (appears in the driver's seat) I can. (proceeds to perform some serious Car Fu)
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He's a serious sweetheart, but when terrible things happen to him, he often calls on Sun who promptly beats the crap out of his opponents. In the event when the others can't help he'll still jump into action no matter how high the odds are stacked against him.
  • Car Fu: He's your go-to guy for car chases.
  • Disappeared Dad: His father was killed because of political activities when Capheus was a kid, which is why his mother is concerned about his decision to run for office.
  • The Engineer: He knows his way around machines well enough that he can hijack cars and other automobiles.
  • Establishing Character Moment: When he chases after the thugs that beat him up and stole his mother's medicine.
  • Fanboy: Of Jean-Claude Van Damme.
  • Friend to All Children: A bit of a stretch to say all, but he very quickly strikes up a friendship with Amondi while working as her chauffeur.
  • Good Is Not Soft: He's a very sweet and caring character, but he will stand up for what he believes in and protect it with his life.
  • Healthcare Motivation: He agrees to work for Silas Kabaka as his mother desperately needs AIDS medication that he can't afford on his own.
  • The Heart: Capheus is a very joyful person, and he tends to bring out the joy in the other sensates when he interacts with them.
  • Momma's Boy: Portrayed positively. He clearly loves his mother Shiro a lot and is motivated by obtaining medicine for her. She expresses sadness that he devotes himself to caring for her when he should be going out and living his life, but he brushes it off.
  • Nerves of Steel: Of a more optimistic style, and often by channeling Sun, but Capheus manages to keep going without so much as flinching in the face of some pretty awful things.
  • Nice Guy: It's murky given his job, but at the end of the day, Capheus just wants to take care of his mother and experience life to its fullest.
  • The Pollyanna: He still stays positive in spite of his troubles, and never fails to be amazed and impressed by the surroundings and advantages his cluster takes for granted.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Downplayed - He is forced to work for a drug lord for his mother's medicine, but only serving as a chauffeur/bodyguard for the man's sick daughter.
  • The World Is Just Awesome: Because of his background, he often reacts with wide-eyed amazement to the global scenery his clustermates have exposed him to.



Kala Rasal (née Dandekar)

Portrayed By: Tina Desai, Yashvi Nagar (young)

A religious pharmacist from India about to marry a man she’s not truly in love with, which is particularly problematic because her soon-to-be father-in-law owns the pharmaceutical company where she works.

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Sort of a subversion. She's attracted to Wolfgang, but his criminal ways drives a wedge between them.
  • Arranged Marriage: Subverted. Though this is a common Bollywood plot and she doesn't love her fiancé, it turns out that he proposed to her independently because he loved her, and all her friends believe it is a 'love marriage'. She said yes not because her parents told her to, but because she didn't feel like she could turn down such a wonderful prospect, especially because, as mentioned above, his father technically employs her. The involvement of their parents merely seems to be a standard for big Indian family weddings. And when prompted to think of someone she loves early in season two, she thinks of Rajan as well as Wolfgang.
  • Belief Makes You Stupid: Discussed and averted. Kala is a competent scientist and sees no conflict between religion and science. This is also why she's pretty down with the whole sensate thing; to her, it's all different ways of seeing the world through Ganesha's eyes.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: She's caring, kind, gentle, honest, and religious. She also knows how to build a bomb out of basic kitchen supplies, will willingly face off against religious extremist groups in spite of a warning, and can cook you up a mean drug cocktail.
  • Bollywood Nerd: The most prominent Indian character, also a brainy pharmacist.
  • Daddy's Girl: Sanyam is a very loving father and Kala is very close with him. Most of the time she seeks advice outside her cluster, it is generally from him.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: A few times when Wolfgang shows up naked before her.
  • Elemental Motifs: Kala is often associated with a fire motif (symbolizing her religious purity). As a chemist, it is often her chosen method of assaulting the cluster's enemies as well.
    • She builds a bomb using common kitchen items to disable Wolfgang's enemies.
    • She starts Wolfgang's fight against Lila by creating an impromptu Molotov cocktail, spraying a bottle of wine against a candle flame.
    • In season two's finale, Kala blows up a car by firing holes into its fuel tank, and then setting the resultant fuel trail ablaze.
  • Give Me a Sign: She pleads with Ganesha to give her direction regarding her upcoming wedding.
  • Good Parents: Next to Riley, she's the only sensate whose parents are generally nice, supportive and caring, with no unlikable qualities.
  • Hot Scientist: She's a chemist/pharmacist and uses her knowledge to helps save various members of the cluster. A few characters also comment on her beauty.
  • The Internet Is for Porn: When her aunt approaches her the night before her wedding asking her if she wants to talk about "things that happen on a girl's wedding night", she politely declines, explaining that she has the Internet for that.
  • Long Hair Is Feminine: In contrast to Sun, who has Power Hair, Kala has the longest hair of the main characters and is the most traditionally feminine.
  • Love Triangle: She's engaged to be married to Rajan, but has Unresolved Sexual Tension with Wolfgang that is consummated in season two, though the love triangle persists, as Rajan still wants to work on the marriage. In the Series Finale, she admits to both men that she's not sure what she wants and that she does love Rajan in a way, but both men are patient and willing to let her figure it out and the implication is that they become a trio in the future.
  • Meaningful Name: Possibly. Her name means virtue, which is fitting for the the innocent and honorable Kala.
  • The Medic: Her extensive knowledge of biochemistry comes in hand multiple times. She wakes Riley from a drugged state while Will breaks her out a BPO hospital in Iceland, takes care of Will when he has to start taking heroin to block out Whispers, and reproduces blockers from a sample Will and Riley received.
  • Morality Pet: She tries to be this for Wolfgang in the first-season finale, telling him she cares deeply about him and begging him not to slaughter his family in revenge. He responds by killing his uncle more brutally than necessary in front of her to show her why he's no good for her.
    • Has more success with Will, preventing him from relapsing into heroin use and gently keeping him focused on chasing Whispers, while giving him the meds he needs and making sure he's eating healthily.
  • Nice Girl: While not without issues, Kala is the most pure character by the end of the first season and has never had ill intent to any character on the show, even those she may disagree with.
  • Polyamory: By the finale Rajan is welcomed into her and Wolfgang's relationship.
  • Science Hero:
    • She's a highly competent chemist and one of the main characters.
    • Her scientific abilities are critical in keeping Will alive while he was sedated with opiates, and reverse engineering the chemical formula for sensory blockers.
  • Ship Tease: Pretty heavily with Wolfgang. After a lot of Will They or Won't They?, They Do in season two, and though Kala still feels conflicted due to her marriage to Rajan, she still loves Wolfgang.
  • Token Religious Teammate: While she might not be the only religious sensate, she's the only one for whom religion is a prominent part of her life.
  • Took a Level in Badass: She goes from being timid and violence-averse to being more assertive and proactive in season two, both in her personal life (by opening up to Wolfgang) and in combat (including starting a fight and firing a gun without flinching).
  • Unusual Euphemism: When she's praying to Ganesha, a god with an elephant head, she mentions Wolfgang's large... trunk.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: It would be unwise to threaten Wolfgang, or she just might throw a molotov cocktail at your face.


Wolfgang Bogdanow

Portrayed By: Max Riemelt, Lenius Jung (young), Mathis Wernecke (young)

A world-class jewel thief and safecracker from Berlin, involved in organized crime.

  • All the Other Reindeer: After moving from East to West Berlin, Wolfgang got bullied by the other kids for being a "commie". Felix was his Only Friend.
  • The Aloner: Wolfgang has trouble asking for help.
    Riley: Wolfgang?
    Sun: Ask for help?
    Will: Can't picture it.
  • Badass Boast: Gets one in the Christmas Episode:
    Volker Bohm: You and I could own this city.
    Wolfgang: If I was interested, it'd already be mine.
  • Bad Liar: In no small part due to not being sociable in the first place, Wolfgang can't lie to save his life. Fortunately, Lito can.
  • Betty and Veronica: He's the Veronica for Kala, as he's mysterious and pops into her life just as she's about to get married to a perfectly nice man.
  • The Berserker: He's the one Will calls upon when he wants to do something reckless and nigh-suicidal.
    Whispers: I know you won't kill us all. You can't do it.
    Will: Maybe I can't, but I know who can. (Wolfgang appears)
  • Big Brother Instinct: Alongside Will and Sun, whenever someone threatens his cluster he's ready to put up a fight. This is most obvious with Lito, whom he helped twice in fending off Joaquin. Also very much towards Felix.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Wolfgang is Brooding Boy to Kala's Gentle Girl.
  • Crazy-Prepared: He has a gun stored under his car just in case. And a Bazooka in his trunk.
  • Daddy Issues: His father was physically and emotionally abusive towards both Wolfgang and his mother. The finale revealed moreover that Wolfgang is a product of Parental Incest as his father was his mother's stepfather and a Child Of Rape, the relevation of which pushed Wolfgang to kill his father.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: He was abused heavily as a child, killed his father, and has been working as a thief for his gang family for years.
  • Distressed Dude: In the Season 2 finale he's captured by BPO and ends the season still in their grasp, with the cluster coming to get him.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Will taps into his adrenaline survivalist ways to drive an ambulance into a helicopter.
  • Due to the Dead: Wolfgang hated his late father, so in the first episode he pisses on his grave.
  • Family of Choice:
    • Felix is this to Wolfgang, to the point that Steiner near-fatally shooting Felix is the last straw for Wolfgang, and he takes down his biological family in revenge.
    • The cluster as a whole. When he was going to meet Lila at a restaurant, knowing full well it was a trap and there was a real high possibility he could be killed, he went silently and fleetingly visiting the members of his cluster as if it would be the last time he would see them.
  • Female Gaze: He seems to be this for both Kala and the audience, as he's frequently a source of fanservice.
  • Germanic Depressives: Wolfgang is ruthless, brutal, ever serious. Also, due to the below trope you can add Russian Guy Suffers Most. The poor guy is bound to suffer.
  • Gentleman Thief: He's introduced cracking a safe with priceless diamonds.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: He is with Felix.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: He's often seen sporting a black leather jacket to go with his badass aura.
  • I Am a Monster: Makes this declaration right before killing his uncle.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Despite knowing that Kala doesn't love her fiancé, he asks her to marry him because he thinks he's no good for her. He eventually kills his uncle much more brutally than necessary to make the point of how bad he'd be for her.
  • Male Frontal Nudity:
    • He shows up naked at Kala's wedding. Thankfully she's the only one that sees. The fact that the first few times she sees him he's naked is something of a running gag for the two of them.
    • He has another one in a Jacuzzi when he, Will, Lito and Nomi are having a psychic four-way.
  • Master of Unlocking: There is pretty much no lock — be it analogue or electronic — he cannot pick and/or crack in short order.
  • Mathematician's Answer:
    Doctor: Is that a first or last name?
    Wolfgang: Yes.
  • Meaningful Name: Its pretty self-explanatory, but Wolfgang means the path of a wolf, and his nickname is Wolfie. Wolfgang seems to be the most animalistic and brutal of the cluster, and really does exemplify a predatory nature, leaving a path of destruction in his wake.
  • Men Don't Cry: His father tried to drill this into him as a boy.
  • Mixed Ancestry: Wolfgang has a German first name, but a very stereotypical Russian last name. Also his relatives have Russian names like Anton, Sergei and Irina, and his uncle is in the The Mafiya. The funeral he attends is also Russian Orthodox. Since he lives in the former East Berlin, where there is a sizable community from Russia and the former Soviet Union who now have German citizenship, it makes sense..
  • Moral Event Horizon: Invoked in the Season 1 finale by brutally murdering his uncle in front of Kala to convince her he's a monster.
  • Mr. Fanservice: He seems to be heading to this if not already given that he has the most nude scenes, and the fact that the first time you see him he's dancing shirtless in a club.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: The Christmas Special implies that he's starting to regret driving Kala away.
  • Nephewism: He was taken in by his uncle after his father's death.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: He takes out his cousin with a rocket launcher, and then obliterates his uncle's face at close range.
  • Odd Friendship: He and Rajan instantly got along the moment they met despite the obvious tension between both of the loving the same woman. Even disregarding that, Wolfgang is a career criminal and Rajan’s family owns a pharmaceutical company. Taken Up to Eleven in the finale when the two of them end up in a three-way relationship between themselves and Kala.
  • Performance Anxiety: He has trouble singing in front of crowds due to remembering how much his father mocked him. But he eventually gets over it by singing karaoke with the rest of the cluster singing along.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Wolfgang only really smiles around Felix and Kala.
  • Poisonous Friend: To Lito, and as downplayed as the trope can be. Lito is the least physically capable of the men in the cluster when it comes to fighting. Lucky for him, Wolfgang has his back.
  • Polyamory: By the finale Rajan is welcomed into his and Kala's relationship.
  • The Quiet One: Nomi describes him as "doesn't really talk much". Next to Sun he probably has the fewest lines of the entire cluster.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: He finally guns down his whole family in no small part due to his cousin shooting Felix.
  • Self-Made Orphan: He killed his father as a child.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The manly man.
    • To Lito's sensitive guy. Lito is a dramatic actor who is all about feelings, and thus needs Wolfgang's help to kick Joaquin's ass.
    • To Rajan's sensitive guy. Rajan is the Betty in the Betty and Veronica Love Triangle, being a generally nice, wealthy businessman who wants to be Kala. By contrast, Wolfgang is a hardened criminal who believes himself bad for her.
  • Ship Tease: With Kala.
  • Sociopathic Hero: He has shades of this: he killed his father when he was a kid, and later brutally takes down his uncle, cousin, and a lot of their goons, all without breaking a sweat.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Downplayed. Evil might be pushing it, as it is always directed at people who deserve it, but while other cluster members have criminal records and have performed morally grey actions, Wolfgang does it professionally and exclusively. He's also the one with the highest body count, starting with his own father.
  • Villainous Lineage: His father was a monster, so is his uncle (and by extension Steiner), and thus Wolfgang thinks he is one too.


Riley "Blue" Gunnarsdóttir

Portrayed By: Tuppence Middleton, Katrin Sara Olafsdóttir (young)

A famous Icelandic DJ currently living in London. She ran away from home and is now heavily involved in the drug trade.

  • Action Survivor: Her arc in the first season consists of her fleeing from increasingly dangerous situations, and she seems to require more assistance from the cluster each time she is in peril.
  • Ambiguously Bi: She avoids clarifying just how "close" she and Georges were, to Will's bemusement.
  • Birth/Death Juxtaposition: Riley's husband dies just prior to her delivering their daughter. Then the baby dies too.
  • Broken Bird: She hasn't entirely recovered from the traumatic event that caused her to leave Iceland, and it shows in her aloof behavior. She also has scars on her wrist from a past suicide attempt, self-medicates, has high self-loathing and continued suicidal desires as well.
  • Bungled Suicide: In the past, she apparently attempted suicide after the deaths of her husband and newborn daughter, judging by her wrist's scars, but survived.
  • Daddy's Girl: She clearly adores her father. In fact, they probably have the closest parent-child relationship among the sensates.
  • Damsel in Distress: Mirroring Nomi in the first few episodes, Riley becomes this as the first season draws to a close. All seven of the others eventually have to team up to rescue her from BPO.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Her mother died in her youth, which she blames herself for. And then, as an adult, her husband died in a car crash while driving her to the hospital to give birth to their daughter, and then her daughter died of exposure in the Icelandic winter. At some point after this happened, she tried and failed to kill herself, and eventually ran away to London and became a DJ.
  • Despair Event Horizon: She crossed it in her backstory during her traumatic experience on the mountain, and her entire arc in the first season is working towards recovery.
  • Does Not Drive: She tells Sven that she doesn't drive "anymore", indicating that she knows how but can't do it anymore as a result of her husband's death in a car accident.
  • Dye Hard: In-universe. She's a natural brunette, but dyes her hair white with a blue streak.
  • Generation Xerox: Her relationship with Will apparently mirrors Jonas's relationship with Angel.
  • Guile Hero: She manages to keep Will safe from Whispers, using contacts from her DJ days to find them non-descript safehouses and a steady supply of drugs to stop Whispers being able to spy on them and figure out where Will is. Even better, it's revealed near the end of Who Am I? that she's been playing Whispers - setting up fake context clues (a recording of seagulls, Icelandic medicine bottles, foods that can only be found in Iceland) and 'accidentally' letting details slip to Will to make it seem like they're still in Iceland, when in fact she's smuggled Will to Amsterdam. Strongly implied that she's also managed to trick Will himself; given that he's her boyfriend, an exemplary cop, and psychically connected to her, this shows just how cunning she can be.
  • Guilt Complex: Yrsa, posing as a supernatural being, convinced Riley she was cursed and she had to leave Iceland. Naturally, Riley wound up blaming herself for the deaths of her mother, husband and baby daughter.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power:
    • She seems to be heading towards this after saving Will in the season finale, and then using her DJ fame to make contact with more sensates in season 2, becoming the 8/8 cluster's point of contact with the worldwide sensate network, Archipelago.
    • Her social networking abilities and people skills prove useful in the second season. She manages to make contact with a chemist acquaintance in Amsterdam, connects with a number of sensates by throwing a rave, and then persuades some of them to work with her through charm and persistence.
  • Immune to Drugs: A Justified Trope - Riley's history of hard drug use gives her an incredibly high tolerance for the sedatives the BPO staffers try to use on her, forcing them to knock her completely out. This saves her from Whispers, because she's totally unconscious when he gets to her.
  • Imperiled in Pregnancy: While she was on the verge of giving birth, she and her husband got into a car accident which killed him, leaving her to give birth by herself in the middle of a car in a snowstorm. Her newborn baby then died from exposure.
  • It's All My Fault: She believes that the deaths of her mother, husband, and infant daughter were caused by a hex upon her.
  • The Load:
    • In season 1, She's the only member of the cluster with seemingly no useful skills and adding nothing beneficial to the group, and they have to go to enormous lengths to protect her. Plus, none of the other members of the cluster call on her for her abilities at any time, since being a great DJ isn't exactly a big help in any of their situations. This is averted as the series goes on. She is able to bring the entire cluster together on multiple occasions, becoming the heart of the group. She then saves Will, and thus the entire cluster, from Whispers in the season finale.
    • Subverted in season 2, where she is The Load no more. She gets information vital to the cluster's fight against BPO. At her risky D Jing gig she connects to important sensate allies and personally travels to Chicago to talk to another sensate. Information from them allows the group to piece together the history of the BPO and Whispers and eventually take Whispers as a hostage in London. In the finale, she’s the only non-combative member of the cluster who was able to stay in the final shootout to the end, already seeing enough violence in her past to not be shocked by killing someone.
  • Mama Bear: She punched her way out of the windshield of a crashed car to get herself and her newborn daughter to safety. She fails.
  • Meet Cute: She and Will met in the church where Angelica killed herself.
  • Missing Mom: Her mother died when she was a child, which she blames herself for.
  • Mindlink Mates: With Will.
  • Multicolored Hair: Her hair is bleached white with some blue streaks. The blue starts to fade while she and Will are on the run from BPO. At the end of "Fear Never Fixed Anything" she's seen re-dyeing the streaks before her big DJ set.
  • Mystical White Hair: It's the result of bleach, but Riley still has hair white as snow and, out of the whole cluster, apparently the most power over the psycellium, given that she brings the entire cluster along for the ride when remembering her own birth and gives them their first ensemble shot at the end of the first season.
  • Official Couple: With Will.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Riley's daughter Luna died of exposure when she was only a few hours old.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: She gets a truly epic one in episode 10 when the sensates are reliving their births and she is forced to remember the birth of her daughter.
  • Scars Are Forever: She has scars on her wrists as a result of her attempted suicide.
  • Skunk Stripe: Riley has a blue streak in her pale blond hair.
  • Strange Girl: She responds to being telepathically linked with seven strangers very well, as she'd already believed in hexes and The Fair Folk.
  • Team Mom: She is usually the first to ask if the other members of her cluster are okay. She is especially protective of Will and takes care of him when he puts himself in a drug-induced coma to hide from Whispers.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Her backstory, slowly revealed through season 1, particularly losing her husband and daughter within hours of each other, while nearly dying herself.
  • Vanity Is Feminine: Type 2, downplayed. When she and Will visit each other at respective drinking establishments and do a phone experiment to determine if they're really in each other's heads, Will has Diego answer his phone and chat with Riley. Riley is initially put off by Diego's assertion that she has a "weird accent", but immediately takes a liking to him when he says "she sounds hoooot."
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: In a group composed of a police officer, a hacker, a chemist, a thief, a stunt driver, an actor, and a kickboxer, she is the only 8/8 sensate with a skill that isn't useful in many situations.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: