“Lost Hearts” is the rip-roaring and melodramatic finale of The Sandman Season 1.
As in the Neil Gaiman comics of the same name, the chapter closes “The Doll House” arc that started in Episode 7 of the dark fantasy drama. Not a single character will ever be the same. Rose Walker’s (Kyo Ra) turbulent role in the cosmos is finally terminated in a way that leaves even Morpheus (Tom Sturridge) astounded. Villains are seemingly pulverized, while threats lurking in the shadows begin to find light; heroes are left damaged but have a renewed sense of hope; and a child from The Dreaming is born in The Waking World — again. It’s a lot!
Major spoilers ahead for The Sandman Season 1.
So many overlapping and converging storylines are crunched into a 45-minute timespan that you may be wondering what you’ve just watched, and what it all means for the plot of the sophomore season of The Sandman (if Netflix gives it the greenlight, anyway).
Here’s the breakdown:
What happens at the end of Season 1?
The revelations at the culmination of The Sandman Season 1 are almost as important as the resolutions.
Teeth-for-eyes serial killer and Waking Nightmare, The Corinthian (Boyd Holbrook), finally gives his self-aggrandizing guest-of-honor speech at the “Cereal” Convention to his fellow “collectors,” further fueling their delusions of victimhood and murdering for a higher purpose. However, Morpheus finally finds The Corinthian as he is polluting the deranged dreams of the collectors and tormenting Rose Walker by ensuring she witnesses them.
The Corinthian is destroyed by Morpheus, rendered into dust and a tiny shrunken head. Lucienne (Vivienne Acheampong) is asked by Morpheus to safeguard the skull. Meanwhile, the collectors are snapped out of their dreams by Morpheus and driven to suicide and/or confession for their crimes against humanity.
Lyta (Razane Jammal) and Hector Hall’s (Lloyd Everitt) dream vortex loophole, in which Hector cheats death by hiding in The Dreaming and Lyta winds up conceiving his child in The Waking World after dreaming of being pregnant, is discontinued by Morpheus.
Rose begs Morpheus to spare her friend, but Morpheus explains that Hector needs to obey the laws of death and go forth to The Sunless Lands, while Lyta needs to continue living her life. Instead of aborting her baby, Morpheus allows Lyta to give birth, but he warns her that, eventually, he will come back for her son.
Lyta’s child winds up being a critical character throughout the rest of The Sandman comics, so we can expect the same if and when the show continues.
The Nightmare, Gault (Andi Osho), who longed to become a Dream, is also transformed by Morpheus — their dream comes true.
Soft and kind Gilbert (Ray Porter) is revealed to be Fiddler’s Green, a Dream with a tendency to wander into The Waking World. Morpheus pardons Gilbert for escaping The Dreaming, both understanding that it is in his nature to be curious about adventure and also touched by his love for Rose and respect for humanity.
Unity Kinkaid (Sandra James-Young), great-grandmother to both Rose and Jed (Eddie Karanja) finds out that she was meant to be the era’s Dream Vortex during a visit to the library in Morpheus’ realm, where every book ever written or dreamed of can be found. However, because she succumbed to “encephalitis lethargica” (the sleepy sickness caused by Morpheus’ imprisonment), that fate was handed down to her descendants — in this case, Rose. As such, Unity is able to assume the title of Dream Vortex and sacrifices her life to save her great-grandchild, putting the walls up between The Waking World and The Dreaming once again.
Before dying in Morpheus’ arms, Unity explains that she was impregnated by a being with golden eyes during her prolonged sleep — that being was none other than Desire (Mason Alexander Park), who essentially raped Unity when she was only a young girl.
In a previous episode, Desire explains to their brother Morpheus that the only way to handle a Dream Vortex is by killing it, thereby tricking Morpheus into breaking divine law and shedding family blood. The enmity between Desire and Morpheus is eons-old, but this betrayal causes significant tension among The Endless throughout the rest of The Sandman comics.
Azazel, one of the co-rulers of Hell, convinces Lucifer Morningstar (Gwendoline Christie) that action must be taken against Morpheus. Lucifer, who never passes up a chance to make God livid, cryptically states that they have a plan to bring Morpheus “to his knees.”
What could happen next in Season 2?
While we may never know every minutia of Season 2 until The Sandman is renewed by Netflix and debuts its sophomore season, we can make some informed guesses.
Given that Season 1 was a fairly faithful retelling of Volumes 1 and 2 of The Sandman, it makes sense that Season 2 will continue with Volumes 3 and 4 of The Sandman, entitled “Dream Country” and “Season of Mists.”
Volume 3 of The Sandman includes two of the most beloved stories in the entire comic book series, one story that becomes more important as the comics go on, and one story that Warner Brothers likely won’t touch. If adapted for the small screen, “A Dream of a Thousand Cats” will make cat-loving viewers laugh and cat-hating viewers nod their heads in agreement in this surrealist tale of what cats dream about in the present (and the power their dreams have had in the past).
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” depicts the premiere of William Shakespeare’s play of the same name and his first audience, the creatures and rulers of Faerie. If you can recall, we are introduced to Will as a novice playwright in the pub in Episode 6, “The Sound of Her Wings,” and the Faerie are referenced at that very same pub two centuries prior by Death (Kirby Howell-Baptiste).
“Calliope” serves as a prequel-esque origin story of Morpheus’ son, and the fourth story in Volume 3, “Façade,” likely won’t be touched by Warner Brothers because it depicts the canon tragic demise of a DC Comics superhero that has yet to be portrayed on-screen, Element Girl. Element Girl isn’t the only DC Comics hero (or villain) to grace The Sandman’s pages — after all, Morpheus is a DC Comics anti-hero himself — so it will certainly be fascinating to see how the show navigates those eventual cameo appearances.
Season of Mists
The fourth volume of The Sandman delves into the relationship between Dream (Morpheus) and his siblings Death, Destiny, Destruction, Desire, Despair, and Delirium, along with the dynamics that have been in place between them since their inception. It also sees the return of Season 1 characters Cain and Abel, Hob Gadling, Choronzon, Nada, Lucifer, and Azazel, as well as the introduction of the Egyptian, Shinto, and Norse pantheons, representatives from Faerie, Order and Chaos, and the angels Duma and Remiel.
While we still don’t know if The Sandman will live to dream another dream on Netflix, we can at least guarantee that one of the above stories will make it to the on-screen adaptation of the comics if we do get a Season 2.
The Sandman Season 1 is available to stream now on Netflix.