The title of this episode of The Sandman is both clever and apt. As we further embark on the journey with Morpheus (Tom Sturridge) to recover his missing tools, we find ourselves in the depths of hell. The Dream King and his raven companion Matthew (Patton Oswalt) are after his helm. To find it, they must enter the kingdom of Lucifer (Gwendoline Christie) to find it.
Meanwhile, John Dee (David Thewlis) embarks on his own journey to recover his precious ruby. He does this with the help of unsuspecting stranger Rosemary (Sarah Niles). Both journeys align nicely in the end, but it is the subtle references to the past and how it relates to the present that make this such a great episode.
Of Angels and Demons and the Sandman
The depiction of Hell being a cold wasteland where the damned had to bring their own fire was perfect. Upon entering this dark kingdom, we are introduced to the idea that all kingdoms have a standard set of protocols. These protocols and rules are based on the ruler’s preference. We also learn that Dream and Lucifer seem at odds regarding their kingdoms and how much power they have over the other.
From the initial discussion between old friends to the stunning battle between Morpheus and Lucifer, I found myself hanging off each and every word and action. The foreshadowing compliments of Nada ( Deborah Oyelade) did not prepare me for the revelation at the end of the battle. The importance of hope in reference to the episodes title was such a perfect underlying theme.
At the end of this brief and hostile interaction, I felt satisfaction. I was looking forward to Morpheus completing his mission. I had such hope and anticipation for the completion of his mission that I did not expect what would happen. Will the Sandman ultimately succeed?
Rosemary and Susie
Besides the main plot of the Dream King recovering his tools, there is the equally juxtaposing plot of John Dee reuniting with his precious ruby. The introduction of Good Samaritan Rosemary shows us a side of John that we had yet to see. We realize that he is good at heart, but also incredibly deranged and unaware.
Fear is palpable, as John tells Rosemary so matter-of-factly that he had murdered people. It’s almost as if he views his actions as completely normal. He justifies them with honesty. I feel he was genuinely mystified as to why Rosemary would be alarmed at all if she were good person.
It is a thrill ride from the initial moment of their meeting to the eventual finality of reaching their destination. The dialogue in these scenes was brilliant. You are shown into the inner world of each character. I found that I either identified with their life experiences or emotions enough to be sympathetic to each of their circumstances. This was both a troubling, but also surprising experience.
The entire time I was waiting for Susie the Rottweiler to pounce and prove his evil nature. However, I was relieved when she didn’t suspect his evil nature. This left me wondering if John Dee was truly good at heart, but misguided, rather than an intentionally wrong-doing person. In the end, I felt satisfied by the parting of John and Rosemary. I felt though there was fear and mistrust, but they knew each other more deeply than anyone else.
How did you feel about the depiction of Hell? Was it jarring to you?
Will there be more about the First People and the involvement of the Sandman amongst them in the past? Will we learn more about Nada and what it was that displeased Morpheus?
What is the official role of Mazikeen (Cassie Clare) and will we get to know more about her?
What did you think of the battle? Were you surprised?
Do you think Lucifer was truly humiliated?
How do you think Morpheus will now recover his ruby?
Is John Dee actually a good person? Will he get back his ruby?
Do you think we will every encounter Rosemary in the future? Do you think that what John Dee did was right?
What do you think John Dee will do to “make a better world”?
Don’t forget to check this place when we will be back with some more The Sandman content. In the meantime, you can read our review for the third episode here.
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Tess is an Alaskan artist and writer who sometimes talks to birds. She also enjoys tv shows (the vampire ones mostly), movies, cross-stitch, and traveling. When she is not rooting for the villain or dressing up to weird her neighbors out when checking the mail, she can be found attempting to be a decent mom to a small horde of goblins.