This recap of Netflix’s The Sandman Season 1, Episode 1, “Sleep of the Righteous,” contains spoilers.
Access the archives of The Sandman recaps, reviews and news.
The sand man summary of season 1, episode 1
The episode opens with a man traveling in a car and falling asleep. Simple yet beautifully constructed as we follow a flying crow from the real world to another dream-state realm, where we are introduced to the King of Dreams, Lord Morpheus. Here we learn that he must leave his kingdom to hunt a nightmare gone rogue. He is warned that dreams do not fare well in the waking world, but nightmares thrive there. It already feels like Lord Morpheus is a powerful and honorable character. Throughout the episode, Morpheus narrates to the audience through voiceover.
We came back to the man, introduced as Dr. Hathaway, arriving at a large house and meeting Alex and his father Roderick. Both Roderick and the doctor have lost sons and the wounds are still deep. Their goal is to capture Death and compel them to bring back their sons. While Morpheus is on a mission in the waking world, he is accidentally captured by their cult, causing chaos. Sleeping sickness takes over, and many people sleep continuously or beg for sleep. This change has a huge effect on the world, without them realizing it.
A mysterious visitor, later to become known as The Corinthian, comes to teach Roderick of The Endless, a special group that includes Desire, Destiny, Despair, Death, Destruction, Delirium, and Dream. Roderick confronts Morpheus, stating that he wanted to capture Death, and if he can return his son, he will let him go. Morpheus is silent. Kept in the basement, Roderick builds a cage strong enough to possibly contain him, as long as no one falls asleep around him. Taking his belongings, which include a sandbag, ruby necklace, and mask, using these tools for himself, Roderick becomes known as a magic mage with hundreds of people wanting his attention.
Now, in the future, we cut to an older Alex, working at his father’s party. Alex’s character is much weaker and softer than his father’s, and as we watch him enter the room where Dream is being kept, we can guess that he will be the reason Morpheus escapes. Alex tells Dream he would let him out, and Roderick overhears, dragging Alex out of the basement and threatening to kill him. The crow, Jessamy, comes out of nowhere just as Roderick is about to beat Alex, and Alex is given the heinous task of shooting the bird, something Roderick hasn’t been able to do for ten years.
A mix between CGI and a real bird, the bird is an excellent performer, setting the house on fire, causing a distraction so it can reach its owner and try to set him free. As she pecks the glass cage, Alex shoots her. A heartbreaking moment. A powerful moment, it feels like the last straw.
Ethel, Roderick’s mistress, is pregnant and Roderick wants her to get rid of the baby, so she runs off into the night, leaving everything behind except all the personal belongings Roderick stole from Morpheus. Nine months later, she gives birth to a baby boy, Jonathan, and is seen playing with the ruby necklace.
The buildup of hostility and hatred between Roderick and Alex eventually leads to a fight, and Alex kicks his father into the glass cage, where he hits his head and dies in front of Alex and Dream. His last words are “you’ll never get out of here”. Morpheus reaches out to Alex, and there’s a definite connection between the two, whether it’s true or a hoax to get Morpheus to break free, we’re not sure. Alex walks away, out of stubbornness and fear.
Eventually, one of the guards falls asleep, as we were warned, and Morpheus enters his dream and manipulates the guard to shoot the glass cage, freeing him. In a swirling shade of blue light, it is lifted into the light.
In the last ten minutes of the episode, Morpheus comes to visit Alex, giving him the gift of eternal sleep. The torture of sleepless, sleepless nights is over, and The Corinthian feels the change.
Morpheus returns to his realm, but it’s not how he left it. The beautiful world that we saw at the beginning is destroyed, it is rotten and crumbled, as if it were ruined and destroyed. His people are gone, abandoning him for the real world. He swears to bring them all back. The episode ends with the giant walls of the dream world slowly closing in.
What did you think of Season 1, Episode 1 of Netflix’s The Sandman? Comments below.
You can watch this series with a Netflix subscription.
The post The Sandman season 1, episode 1 recap – “Sleep of the Just” appeared first on Ready Steady Cut.