Season 1 Episode 7
The Doll’s House
Lucienne comes to Morpheus with disturbing news, Rose Walker goes in search of family and admirers of the Corinthian’s work scheme to get his attention.
Morpheus sits in his throne room looking through a peculiar book while in 2015, Rose Walker finds herself in the middle of a desperate situation when she and her mother are forced to leave her brother Jed behind at her father’s home. It’s a tough scene that is filled with emotion. The scene then transitions to the realm of Desire as they call on their sister Despair to discuss the plans that have put in place for their brother Dream. Mason Alexander Park is pitch perfect as Desire and brings an attitude to the role that makes the character instantly engaging. Unfortunately, I never got a sense of Donna Preston’s Despair. She never really gave me a sense of the character or what the character personifies.
In the present, Rose continues searching for her brother, but money is tight. Her friend Lyta Hall reminds her that she is taking a trip to England that might get her the money she needs. This is another departure from the source material, but really works in the context of the series and the story. Lyta Hall is an interesting addition to the story and her comic book counterpart is as interesting. The production does a great job of hinting at that lineage in the casting of Razane Jammal as Lyta and I love the subtle hints at her relation to a well-known DC Comics character.
When we get back to the Dreaming, Lucienne is confronted by Abel about gossip among the denizens of the Dreaming. Gossip serious enough to bring to Morpheus. After revealing that he knows what she is coming to tell him, he does show surprise at the news that two more citizens of his realm have fled to Earth and are hiding among the Dreamers. I like the scene between Dream and Lucienne as it encompasses the evolution of their relationship to something more collaborative.
Rose wakes from her dream and is brought in to meet with Unity Kincaid. Sandra James-Young is wonderful as Unity. She has a wonderful presence that balances the Rose storyline. At the same time, the Corinthian goes looking for Rose for his own purposes and there is a small group of people looking for the Corinthian for their own. Their motivations have a darker tone and their desire to contact him leads to a bigger plot point that I want to see explored.
Matthew is sent to keep an eye on Rose and I continue to love the way the character transitions between worlds. It’s a brilliantly done piece of special effects magic that is subtle and engaging. The rest of the episode beautifully sets up the rest of this particular arc by introducing the people in Rose’s life as well as Corinthian’s new allies and the central conflict with Jed.
Episode 7 has a lot to do. In one hour it has to set up a new arc, new characters, new conflicts, heightened stakes and make the viewer care about all of them. The episode succeeds across the board while also showing the evolution of the character of Morpheus.