The Sandman: Lost Hearts   Books Included 
August 19, 2022 9:14 AM - Season 1, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Dream confronts the Corinthian and resolves the Vortex in the season finale*.

Adapted from the end of issue 14 ("Collectors") and all of issue 16 ("Lost Hearts").
posted by Etrigan (22 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
* Except that Netflix dropped a new episode two weeks after the original premiere, the clever bastards.
posted by Etrigan at 9:19 AM on August 19, 2022 [4 favorites]

Aswarby Hall in Lincolnshire is an actual place. Just in case anyone else wants to know.
posted by humbug at 3:27 PM on August 19, 2022

Having now watched the whole season (excepting the new episodes), I think I can say that I liked this series but it definitely felt a bit odd at times. The ending felt a bit rushed and I think I was thrown a bit because it almost felt like two short seasons pushed together. I still enjoyed it but it felt a bit rough around the edges. However, the cast was up and down incredible.
posted by synecdoche at 5:35 PM on August 19, 2022 [2 favorites]

(And I realize now that I used "a bit" about a hundred times in less than three lines. Sorry. Carry on.)
posted by synecdoche at 6:24 PM on August 19, 2022 [1 favorite]

In a way, that rough-around-the-edges feel is very true to the comic...

Little details I enjoyed in this one: Chantal trying so hard to be comfortingly normie. Lucienne and her library saving the Dreaming! Unity the opposite of overawed by Morpheus. Gilbert and Rose. Me muttering to the screen "shut up, Ken, it's exactly what it looks like." Hal and Carl! Lucifer's "Except that." And ROGER ALLAM CAMEO!
posted by humbug at 7:01 PM on August 19, 2022 [3 favorites]

Yeah, too much polish and pat would have felt off. The jaggedy bits are true to the comic, too.

I *love* that Jed quoted the Corinthian at the end with regards to names, like that nightmare still managed to leave a good impression on a kid who needed it. And the skull, well, maybe he'll get a Gaultian reward later in the series.

I also capital L loved how they revealed Fiddler's Green, I'd been waiting for it all season and it was just so, so good. The place sailors dream of when they are becalmed at sea, walk in my fields, indeed.
posted by Jilder at 4:13 AM on August 20, 2022 [6 favorites]

A satisfying conclusion to the story! I always felt this part of the comic run was a bit of a jumbled story, I get confused and lose the plot every time I read it. I like seeing it reshaped this way for TV, it works much better as a linear narrative centered on Rose and The Corinthian. And seconding how nice the Fiddler's Green denouement was.

I enjoyed the overriding theme of the various Arcana from the Dreaming all transgressing because they want to understand humanity more. It mirrors Dream's own personal development, stunted as it is.

What didn't work at all for me was the Lyta / Hector story. It just seemed to have no place here in the TV show at all. If they'd left that character out entirely it would have been a better show and left more room for Gilbert, Hal, Ken & Barbie, the spider sisters. I realize Lyta's story sets up a future story but it got in the way in the TV show.

I don't know what to make of the coda, Desire being caught out and Lucifer's scheming. I guess they felt they had to set the hook for a season 2? Fair enough.
posted by Nelson at 7:35 AM on August 20, 2022 [4 favorites]

> "Aswarby Hall in Lincolnshire is an actual place. Just in case anyone else wants to know."

And for those who might not know, the Aswarby Hall reference in the episode is a quote from the 19th century M. R. James story Lost Hearts, a ghost story that includes meaningful dreams, the vanquishing of a serial killer, and hearts being removed from people's chests.
posted by kyrademon at 2:14 PM on August 20, 2022 [6 favorites]

Yeah, Nelson, I felt like Lyta and Hector were 100% wedged in there for how they serve the story later on. That leftover superhero stuff mostly got tossed, but you can't do that with them.
posted by Jilder at 4:54 PM on August 20, 2022 [2 favorites]

I enjoyed this season well enough, given that the comics are not even close to my favourites of the whole run. My personal starting point in the books was Brief Lives, and the wider focus on the Endless and the Road Trip of The Gods vibe was what really pulled me in, plus you start with Dream’s conflict with the Furies being spelled out way earlier rather than a lot of oblique foreshadowing. I have to wonder if the seeds of American Gods were being sown while Brief Lives was written. Still, I really hope they can keep this series going, the overall thing is still my favourite graphic novel series. I don’t hold out a lot of hope Netflix will keep it running for the 5+ seasons it needs, but I have at least some.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 12:06 AM on August 21, 2022 [2 favorites]

The Netflix that originally commissioned the series was an organisation that managed to successfully adapt all of An Unfortunate Series of Events into one beautiful but idiosyncratic whole, so there was no reason to suppose they couldn't do Sandman. Things have changed recently, though, and people seem to be losing their nerve all over. Netflix have simply reached the ceiling of maximum expansion first (because they started earlier), and the newer competitors may reach it more quickly (what, exactly, do Paramount have to offer that isn't Star Trek?) The Cambrian content explosion is over, and if Netflix can hold their nerve through the dieback they could continue to be a dominant player, but I don't know whether they will.
posted by Grangousier at 4:11 AM on August 21, 2022 [4 favorites]

Having never read the comics, I was completely taken in by Gilbert. It seemed so bizarre. Is this character supposed to be G.K. Chesterton? Is he an eccentric doing some sort of deliberate impersonation/performance of Chesterton? Or is it just a joke for the reader that this charming weirdo is blatantly based on Chesterton? Given he was living in a house with Ken & Barbie and the weird sisters, anything seemed possible.

And then it seemed like he was so alarmed to discover what the convention was about that he...ran away? Abandoned Rose like a coward?

So I was utterly delighted when he showed up in the Dreaming because everything made sense and I totally could have seen it coming, but didn't. What a delightful dream.
posted by straight at 1:10 AM on August 29, 2022 [6 favorites]

Congratulations to Unity Kinkaid on successfully reading a book in a dream.
posted by ckape at 9:15 PM on September 11, 2022 [4 favorites]

I really enjoyed (nearly) all of this episode. Rose putting the walls back up between dream worlds, which allowed Morpheus to defeat the Corinthian and Dream's punishment for the Collectors was apt. All of the inhabitants of Hal's house (except Ken) were such great characters. Gilbert turning into Fiddler's Green made me tear up, it was so beautiful. And Unity Kincaid saving the day with a book from the library was the best. The only real sour note for me was the closing scene with Lucifer. I get that they want to set up season 2, but I wanted the episode to end with Morpheus watching Gault fly. That made me weep with joy, so I decided that in my head canon, that's the way the season ended. With Gault flying away to help humans dream beautiful dreams.
posted by ceejaytee at 7:24 AM on September 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

On the upside: Thank god the Vortex story is done.

Not gonna lie, it took me several starts/restarts to get through these four episodes. I found the whole Vortex storyline boring as hell. That it went on for four entire episodes is crazy. It had its moments, to be sure, but, after all was said and done, it felt the story could have been whittled down into two tight episodes. I especially found the “Surprise! Rose’s grandmother was really supposed to be the vortex. Transfer it to me, honey.” resolution engendering some huge eye-rolling. And, why do vortexes exist in the first place? *shugs*

All things considered, the stand-alone episodes in the series were definitely the stronger installments.

Is there going to be a second series? They certainly went out of their way setting it up.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:59 PM on September 15, 2022 [2 favorites]

I loved this. This was beautiful. Dream taking out The Corinthian and recreating Gault as something fairy and beautiful was SO sweet. Dream letting all the "collectors" know exactly what they are was well deserving. Dream actually figuring things out re: Daddy Desire and the plot (smart!) and being fairly reasonable...for him! Good job! Doll's House was always my favorite of the sections of Sandman.

I do agree I didn't need to see the hell setup for the next series, but that's how TV works.

I did keep thinking, "Y'know, Rose seems like a nice kid and not inclined to destruction, MAYBE WE FIGURE OUT SOME WAY THAT SHE DOESN'T KNOCK DOWN ALL THE WALLS, THEN?" Like, clearly she managed to figure out something earlier in the episode on that topic.

Is this character supposed to be G.K. Chesterton? Is he an eccentric doing some sort of deliberate impersonation/performance of Chesterton? Or is it just a joke for the reader that this charming weirdo is blatantly based on Chesterton?

I figured it's a combination of the last two. Like FG was a fan and wanted to kinda be him if he went into the human world.

Congratulations to Unity Kinkaid on successfully reading a book in a dream.

posted by jenfullmoon at 10:25 PM on September 15, 2022

Is there going to be a second series? They certainly went out of their way setting it up.

Gaiman is not publicly optimistic, mainly because the show is pretty expensive.
posted by Etrigan at 10:01 AM on September 16, 2022

So, given that, and given where the show let off, and given that people are kind of ambivalent sounding about the stories the current season came from (that is, a new reader who has seen the show probably doesn't need to start at the first issue) - where should one pick up in the comic / graphic novel / compilation / etc timeline from where the show left off?

Preferably something I could pick up at my local comic shop, but amazon will do in a pinch to at least get me a cover I should be looking for.
posted by Kyol at 9:53 AM on September 18, 2022

Don't overthink it, just read them in the order they were released. They get better over time and there's an episodic storyline. The part that's complicated is there's many different bound editions. The 10 volume graphic novel set is an easy place to start. The digital "Deluxe Edition" is lovely.

Season 1 of the TV show covers the first 2 graphic novels (Preludes and Nocturns, also A Doll's House), more or less, or issues 1-16. The bonus episode is issues 17-18, in the third graphic novel ("Dream Co untry")
posted by Nelson at 10:03 AM on September 18, 2022 [1 favorite]

Well, the other challenge is all the later spinoffs and EU and related serieses to dodge, 30 years later. But that's good to know - ironically I think the Preludes & Nocturnes issue was sold out, so I could've hopped in on with the first issue that was on the shelf and probably been fine enough.
posted by Kyol at 10:52 AM on September 18, 2022

Any order will be fine as long as you don't start with The Kindly Ones or later. I think the first Sandman story I might have read was the Prez one from World's End. I initially read the series in a random order depending on which collections I happened to run into. Next was Doll's House and I'm not sure what was after that but I didn't end up reading either Preludes and Nocturnes (the first issues) or Season of Mists until really late in the game.

If you want to follow from where season 1 leaves off then it would be Dream Country (but we've already seen 2 stories from it) and then Season of Mists which is about what Lucifer decides to do.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 12:55 PM on January 30, 2023

I have really loved this show, and while this episode was no exception, I did get knocked out of it a moment when he offered to Rose to stay in the dreaming so very soon after banishing Hector. Why would it be so imperative for Hector to leave while Matthew gets to stay and Rose could have too if Unity hadn't saved her? There was like one line in the last episode about how Hector is a "ghost long dead" but the difference wasn't explained enough to this viewer to get why it wasn't a contradiction.

I don't remember having the same question when I read the books (though it's been a minute, and I haven't read past Doll's House, anyway, so maybe they clarify it later), but I don't remember if that's because it didn't occur to me because it was a pretty different set-up, with Hector and Lyta not in the real Dreaming at all, or if it was because it was more clearly explained why it's ok for Matthew but not Hector.
posted by solotoro at 10:27 PM on July 21, 2023

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