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‘borderline psychological horror’ – The Sandman episode 5 fans react to Dream’s ruby affecting 24/7 diner, John Dee fights Morpheus & more

‘borderline psychological horror’ – The Sandman episode 5 fans react to Dream’s ruby affecting 24/7 diner, John Dee fights Morpheus & more

John Dee’s (David Thewlis) dream of a new world that’s “a more honest one” is explored in The Sandman episode 5 in a rather bizarre and pessimistic setting, choosing a 24/7 diner as his first audience. With Morpheus’s (Tom Sturridge) Ruby, Dee strips away the politeness and civility of humanity which inadvertently caused people to lie. And its consequences, a blood bath caused by their dream for revenge, power, and violence when stoked with anger and desire. The fifth chapter offers a glimpse of the society Dee hopes for, through the quintessential characters he experiments on. The episode has received the most awestruck reactions from viewers and here’s a highlight of the largely discussed moments.

While Morpheus’ is off guard after his trip to Hell, Burgess’ son attempts to test out his world theory in a diner. Using the ruby’s powers, he commends his subjects to speak out their brutally honest thoughts. The people under Dee’s influence are namely, Bette (Emma Duncan) the delightful waitress with an ambition to become a writer. Marsh (Steven Brand) the husky cook, the super couple Kate (Lourdes Faberes) and Garry (James Udom) (who were set up by Bette, so wholesome, right?), Lucy (Daisy Head) the apathetic lesbian and lastly, Mark the recent graduate interviewing for Vanguard.

At first, it seems like the diner is brewing with optimism (except for Lucy) but the cracks in the ceiling soon appear larger than they ever were when Garry’s desire to hog a burger gets shattered by his wife. Kate and Garry, the cheerful couple celebrating their anniversary day – Bette’s proudest achievement. Well, the illusion soon breaks when the trophy husband has had enough of his control-freak wife.

John is quick to use the Ruby to remove the amiableness from people. Instances played out from henceforth do a UNO reverse card on viewers. Bette gets brutally honest about John’s looks. Lucy, wallowing in her guilt after slapping her girlfriend Donna gets a reality check from Mark.

Bette takes the next step with the hunky chef and attempts to captivate him with dinner and an invitation to her bed. Though to her surprise, it wasn’t her cooking skill or her charm that made Marsh come back to their home rather it was her son, Bernard. After learning about their sexual encounters, Bette storms off But Dee is just getting started in flexing the Ruby and targets the young graduate being interviewed by Vanguard CEO Kate.

After a quick banter on sexism, the sexual tension is on between the dominant strong CEO and the broke young graduate. Meanwhile, Garry pays a visit to Marsh in the Kitchen and shares about his sex-deprived life, tickling the chef’s interest in him. The biggest surprise of them all goes to Bette and Lucy falling for each other.

Unfortunately for the people at the diner, things take another U-turn when Mark kills Garry. Bette’s realization that it could be John’s doing comes too late and their suffering only mounts on. The waitress burns up her novel drafts, Mark and Marsh and everyone engages in self-mutilation to the point of their ultimate death. John is then visited by The Fates’ three witches and learns he will soon crush Morpheus.

Dream attempts to educate John that humanity is not defined by its innermost urges. But it falls on deaf ears, John desires to take Dream’s abilities – seeing the Endless as the root cause of humanity’s problems.

The battle between Dream and John ends with the Ruby shattering to pieces. And as Lucifer said, tools can be a subtle trap, and rightly so, the Ruby’s energy makes Dream the most powerful he’s ever been. With John subdued, Morpheus doesn’t kill him unlike Alex Burgess (Laurie Kynaston) but rather puts him to sleep in the asylum. Perhaps a hundred captivity instilled wisdom in the Dream of the Endless.

If John Dee’s presence wasn’t felt much in the series then The Sandman episode 5 dials it up to an 11, delving into his idea of a utopian world where there’s no room for lies and deceit.  Unfortunately, it ultimately leads to everyone’s death. On the bright side, Morpheus’ fight against John helped him unlock the powers inside the Ruby and restore the Dream kingdom as well as assure everyone on Earth had slept peacefully. Still, The Sandman episode 5 ends with a teasing introduction to Desire (Mason Alexander Park).




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