With the first episode of The Sandman Season 1 prefacing the story for the rest of the season, the second episode acts as a bridge between the preface and the beginning of Morpheus' adventure. Based on The Sandman #2, Episode 2, titled Imperfect Hosts, introduced new characters and set up their arcs for the season.
Upon Dream's return to the Dreaming, he met Lucienne (Vivienne Acheampong), the only one left there, waiting for his return. His realm was ruined, and he did not have the power to restore it lest he finds his tools.
Other characters introduced in this episode were Biblical brothers Cain (Sanjeev Bhaskar) and Abel (Asim Chaudhary), albeit in a comical representation, over a hundred-year-old Ethel Cripps (Joely Richardson) and her institutionalized son John (David Thewlis), and the Fates (Nina Wadia, Souad Faress, and Dinita Gohil), or the trio representing past, present, and future.The Sandman Season 1 Episode 2: Imperfect Hosts
With Morpheus powerless without his tools, he needed to summon the Fates to help him find them. However, as warned by Lucienne, the trio of goddesses never gave a straight answer, and summoning them proved to be a costly affair.
Morpheus realized he could regain some of his powers through something he had created in a dream. The realization brought him to the dream interpretation of the first murderer and the first victim aka Cain and Abel, the dysfunctional brothers who Morpheus had gifted with a pet gargoyle named Gregory. Their dynamic provided some refreshing comic relief to the show's gloomy tone.
Morpheus regained some of his powers by turning Gregory to sand and collected the required gifts to summon the Fates. The three women did provide answers to his questions about his three tools, but the inexplicit answers further prolonged Dream's journey. He did, however, know where to begin when they told him that his pouch of sand was with some Johanna Constantine.
The second episode of The Sandman featured another narrative, initially cut off from Morpheus. Ethel Cripps, who viewers might remember from the first episode as Roderick Burgess' lover, was now over a hundred years old and a famous art trader in New York.
Her secret was revealed that she had exchanged Dream's tools for the Amulet of Protection that had kept her alive and kicking. She even used it to fend off Corinthian, sending him back to the Dreaming when he tried to force her to give up the location of the ruby that her son John had stolen.
Viewers were then taken to a psychiatric hospital, where Ethel had put her son after he stole the ruby from her. The iconic David Thewlis plays John Burgess, the son of Ethel and Roderick.The Sandman Season 1 Episode 2 dims in comparison to the first episode
The Netflix adaptation has spared no dime when it comes to production. Each episode reels viewers with its fantastic display, from the architecture to graphics. Tom Sturridge barely had any lines in the first episode, and in this episode, viewers finally heard Morpheus talk, his raspy and gloomy tone perfectly suited to his grim character.
The episode was the shortest in The Sandman Season 1 with a runtime of 37 minutes, and established the milestones of Morpheus' journey. It did not have the same charisma as the first episode and the plot felt a little vague, too, with many of the plotpoints seeming incomprehensible, especially for those unfamiliar with the comics.
However, as is apparent from the adaptation, there will be no instant gratification when it comes to answers to the various mysterious elements of the series. Some answers may remain elusive until the second or third season, should the series progress that far.
The Sandman Season 1 premiered on Netflix on August 5, 2022 and all episodes are now available for streaming.
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