Hey cool. Sometime between when I wrote up my thoughts on the previous episode and when I sat down to write my thoughts for this episode, Netflix renewed the show for a second season. Considering this episode was set up as something of a season finale, let’s just say I am glad it isn’t a series finale.
And yes, there is still the special episode left for next time.
Well, it all comes down to this: can the Corinthian use Rose Walker, as the Vortex, to hold off Morpheus and allow himself to continue to exist?
Short answer: only if Rose lets him.
But she won’t, mostly because while he isn’t lying that Morpheus is going to kill her, taking Rose into the dreams of a couple serial killers at work doesn’t really do much to endear his cause to the young woman, especially when her kid brother is tagging along.
By the by…those serial killer dreams seem more silly than scary, but then again, there’s a demon lord at the end of this episode that also looks more silly than scary when all is said and done.
However, as a potential season finale, this episode does everything that it’s supposed to. The Corinthian is just enough of a threat to make him dangerous, but it isn’t even all the mass murder that he’s been up to for the past century that Morpheus is upset about. No, he just finds the Corinthian a massive disappointment, how a being meant to represent humanity’s dark side and the terror of it just used that position to walk around the waking world, killing people.
That’s probably an important distinction to remember: the problem isn’t that the Corinthian is scary and kinda evil. The problem is he’s so limited in what he did.
If anything, it’s a reminder that Morpheus as Dream fulfills a role. He isn’t a superhero or anything along those lines and is arguably above good and evil. Nightmares like the Corinthian have a role to fulfill. Becoming a rather run-of-the-mill serial killer, even one with mouths for eyes, makes him a flawed thing that wastes his potential.
So yes, he’s reduced to a skull and eventually handed off to Lucienne.
Oh, but lest Morpheus appear completely amoral, he does take the time to remove the gathered serial killers of their delusions that they are somehow special for what they do and not just a bunch of lowlife killers, enough to make one apparently turn herself in to the police.
OK, I have a small issue with that. The idea of this convention full of murderers all leaving demoralized and constantly looking over their shoulder is one thing, but going that far seemed a little too much. Then again, Rose’s friends Ken and Barbie are breaking up by the end of this thing because Ken was cheating on her in a dream. That’s a bit different from the fact that the two saw what each other looked like on a subconscious level and it scared the hell out of if not both of them than at least her.
Then again, I think the show had to fudge the whole dream vortex thing. It does lead to Lyta’s giving birth to a baby boy, and that’s important for later, but I suspect that the medium of television couldn’t quite pull off what the Vortex did on the printed page even as it ends more or less the same way: Gilbert, AKA Fiddler’s Green, can’t really help, but Unity was the actual Vortex all along, but a golden-eyed man impregnated her according to her best recollection, and Morpheus can kill the old woman and let the young woman live.
And, of course, Morpheus knows who the golden-eyed being was, namely his sibling Desire, who gets a good proper telling off and a threat.
But then the series shows Morpheus might be able to change, bringing Gault back as a good dream to comfort sleeping children. So, he can change, one of the focal points of the source material. It’s less about whether or not Morpheus can change so much as how much he is willing to, at least in his current form. He does take time to defend the rules as necessary, and even Rose can see that the Vortex needs to be destroyed.
Besides, it’s those self-same rules that Desire was looking to exploit to get back at Dream in the first place because Desire is a petty being who does as they see fit at all times. Sure, they’ll back down at the threat of Dream coming back with Destiny and Death in tow, but that doesn’t make them any less petty.
So, did Morpheus learn anything? Yes, but he’s got a way so go yet, and sure hope Netflix lets the show finish up. I figure if it keeps doing everything more or less right, it can only go up from here.