The Sandman

Netflix

Season 1 Episode 8

Playing House

As Morpheus closes in on one of his missing creations, Rose ramps up efforts to locate her brother – and unwittingly makes a friend’s dream come true.

The Sandman. Eddie Karanja as Jed Walker in episode 108 of The Sandman. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022

Rose has made her way to the heart of the Dreaming and an audience with Morpheus. With Lucienne watching on, Morpheus tells her some information about what she is. At the same time, her brother Jed finds himself living out a dream as the hero known as the Sandman in a dream controlled by one of Morpheus’ missing nightmares. There is some great intensity in the first few minutes of the episode and Vanesu Samunyai does a great job of working off Sturridge and Acheampong.

The Sandman. (L to R) Razane Jammal as Lyta Hall, Lloyd Everitt as Hector Hall in episode 108 of The Sandman. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022

Lyta has her own adventure in the Dreaming. She has reconnected with her husband Hector and the pair conceive a child in the Dreaming. I really wanted more of the other people in the house. The characters are rich and interesting and I never got much of a sense of their uniqueness in the short moments they are on the screen. I like that the episode expands on Lyta’s story, but I just wished it didn’t sacrifice the others for it. I also enjoy that Sturridge brings new life into Morpheus during this episode. After the melancholy of episode 6, Dream is renewed by the mystery of the vortex and it is reflected in the energy of the character.

The Sandman. (L to R) Tom Sturridge as Dream, Kyo Ra as Rose Walker in episode 108 of The Sandman. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022

The episode expands on Jed’s story as well after a visit from Lyta prompts the social worker to request a visit with Jed and his foster parents. There’s a serviceable amount of menace from the foster father, but the character and his wife are meant to be stereotypical abuser and abuse victim tropes and they never really rise above that. Other than their presence being necessary to advance the plot, they are almost instantly forgettable. Tension does start to mount when Corinthian begins stalking Rose only to be thwarted by the arrival of Matthew. Making Corinthian a more active threat continues to be a great story idea and it brilliantly resolves part of the story while setting up another.

The Sandman. (L to R) Tom Sturridge as Dream, Vanesu Samunyai as Rose Walker in episode 108 of The Sandman. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Rose enters the dreams of her housemates and Morpheus accompanies her. I love the subtle dream imagery in that sequence including the inability to read signs and words as she travels. I really wish the sequence was longer. It would give so much more context and life to the side characters, but I enjoyed what was there. I really enjoyed how the Jed issue is resolved in the Dreaming and how it connects to both Lyta’s story as Rose’s growing distrust of Morpheus.

The Sandman. (L to R) Eddie Karanja as Jed Walker, Boyd Holbrook as The Corinthian in episode 108 of The Sandman. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022

Episode 8 does a wonderful job of advancing the story and raising the tension. The final moments of the episode are exceedingly well done and frankly should have been expanded upon to showcase the need for the character to finally begin to change. While the character stories felt muted for the sake of Lyta’s subplot, the episode is solid, entertaining and enjoyable.

The Sandman S01XE08

9

9.0/10

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