Conner’s Critique: The Sandman “Episode 11”

I was pleasantly surprised to see the extra drop of an 11th episode from Netflix for Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. The season didn’t really specifically tell just one story as it dabbled in and out of different episodes with a simple smaller concept resting within the narrative. The final episode of the first season concludes with the Sandman being in a better position emotionally, and with all, if not most, of story arcs from the season resolved.

You can actually check out prior review Here.

But as soon as we reviewed the first season, they dropped a brand new episode to make our review incomplete. So it’s time to talk about the new episode and break it down by story, acting, and overall.

Story 8/10

The first part of the new episode is titled “A Dream Of A 1000 Cats.” Unlike the rest of the series this portion of the episode is entirely animated. It’s very important though due to the fact the whole story is told from the point of view of cats.

While it’s an interesting and sad story, I can see how this story was not told with the rest of the series. The likelihood is probably due to the fact that the animation style is so different than the rest of the season.

The other half of the episode is dedicated to Calliope, Morpheus, A.K.A. Dream A.K.A. Sandman’s ex. In the story she is muse who has been indentured into the service of a writer. Instead of writers praying to her for inspiration, one specific writer has her trapped to only service him. When she gets a second, after years of captivity, she reaches out to Dream for help.

”I feel like this story should have still been included but am glad that they at least gave it to us as a bonus episode instead of not at all.”

This is probably one of the most beautiful, but tragic stories of the entire season. I feel like this story should have still been included but am glad that they at least gave it to us as a bonus episode instead of not at all.

Acting 8/10

The biggest stand outs of the bonus episode is Melissanthi Mahut as Calliope and the return of Arthur Darvill, previously known for playing Captain Rip Hunter from DC Legends, to the DC/Vertigo world as Richard Madoc the writer holding against her will. Their story is tragic and one of greed, desire, and compromise. After the main story concludes though we are left with a beautiful story about overcoming tragedy and personal pain.

Tom Sturridge as Dream also does a great job presenting longing, pain, and anger towards humanity. He is awesome.

Overall 8/10

While the animated episode stands out, it has amazing cameos of David Tenant and Michale Sheen from Neil Gaiman’s other project Good Omens. It’s also a very interesting story within the Sandman universe that continues the concept of how malleable the world is to the land of dreams.

Once again though, I can see why they cut it as a two-part bonus episode, but while the animated portion is a bit of an outlier I am glad I got to watch Calliope. It does however have some sensitive topics of rape that will definitely be triggering.

Conner’s Final Thoughts

In the world of streaming we should be able to see a lot more series drop surprise specials episodes. How joyous would it be if we had no idea we we’re going to be getting a Halloween episode for Solar Opposite, and it just dropped as a nice surprise? It’s refreshing to see an actual surprise.

I am more than happy to watch more of this amazing series, as it was quite an enjoyable ride. I will admit though that this just makes me want more Sandman!

If you want more Sandman, you need to get more people to watch it to let Netflix know that it’s amazing!

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