Netflix The Sandman recap guide: All 10 episodes explained

The Sandman. (L to R) Jenna Coleman as Johanna, Tom Sturridge as Dream in episode 103 of The Sandman. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022
The Sandman. (L to R) Jenna Coleman as Johanna, Tom Sturridge as Dream in episode 103 of The Sandman. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022 /
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The Sandman episode 2
The Sandman. Boyd Holbrook as The Corinthian in episode 102 of The Sandman. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022 /

The Sandman episode 2 recap: Imperfect Hosts

Before Dream can really do anything, he needs to retrieve his pouch of sand, helm and ruby. The best way to get a clue as to where each item is, is to consult the Fates. The Sandman episode 2 begins with Dream trying to find something in The Dreaming that is still intact, something he can derive power from since he has been severely weakened from all his years in captivity.

Thus we meet two Dreams, Cain and Abel. Like their biblical counterparts, Cain and Abel are brothers who represent the first murderer and the first victim. Cain is the elder brother who constantly murders his younger brother, Abel, who then comes back to life. It’s a continuous cycle.

The brothers have an adorable companion named Gregory and unfortunately, he’s the only thing Dream created that is still completely whole. Dream has to re-absorb Gregory to gain enough powers to contact the Fates. It’s so sad seeing poor Gregory meet his end, but Dream is nice enough to gift the brothers a new, baby gargoyle to make up for their loss.

The Fates provide Dream with a clue about each item. The leather pouch filled with sand was sold in London, last purchased by a magic user called Johanna Constantine. The helm was traded away to a demon for an amulet of protection and the ruby was gifted from a mother to a son.

So, Ethel sold the pouch to Johanna Constantine and then she used a ritual to exchange the helm for an amulet of protection and she gifted her ruby to her and Roderick Burgess’s son, John Dee. Dream informs Lucienne of his plan to return to London in search of Constantine, first and foremost.

Meanwhile, we catch up with Ethel all these years later, now played by Joely Richardson. She is doing quite well for herself now, especially thanks to her amulet, which causes a horrific death to anyone that tries to harm her.

Corinthian becomes the first on-screen victim of the amulet after he visits her and tries to convince her to work with him against Dream. Now that Dream is free, he’s going to come looking for his trinkets. Ethel refuses and Corinthian tries to kill her, but her amulet rips him to shreds. Since he’s not human, Corinthian doesn’t die, but he is transported back to The Dreaming. He tells Lucienne that he is going after Dream.

And as for Ethel, she goes to visit her son, who has been imprisoned in a psychiatric hospital for the past 30 years. In the comics, her son John Dee is actually imprisoned in Arkham Asylum, but that doesn’t seem to be the case in the show.

Written by Mads Lennon