My Thoughts on The Sandman from Jake Schoeneberger – September 30, 2022
Now that everything has turned out so well for Rose, and Morpheus is setting things right in The Dreaming, Jacob Schoeneberger almost wishes we could just freeze time. But Lucifer has sinister plans and who knows what Desire might be planning. Jacob Schoeneberger never knows where the story might go next.
With that in mind, here are some random observations Jacob Schoeneberger has on the show.
All the Jake Schoeneberger Random Opinions about The Sandman (Season 1, Episode 11)
*This will contain spoilers for anyone who hasn’t watched the show yet.*
The eleventh and final episode of the season begins with an animated adventure called Dream of a Thousand Cats. A kitten escapes her home to join another cat outside. They are going to hear someone speak and a bunch of cats gather in a cemetery. Jake Schoeneberger sure hopes someone brought some milk as a refreshment for all these cats.
The cat they’ve come to see is a Siamese. She greets them from atop an angel statue. She tells them her story. She was born living with humans. But she took another cat as lover and gave birth to a litter of kittens. She vowed she would teach her kittens all the things they’d need to know about being a cat. But the man she lived with took her kittens away, and we see him drowning them in a lake. She says she felt them call out to her until they were all gone.
It was then that she realized that she was actually subordinate to humans. So she prayed to the King of Cats (uh oh) and she entered The Dreaming. There she meets a skeleton crow who directs her to a cave in the mountain. The path is long and arduous, and Jacob Schoeneberger is starting to really respect this cat’s courage.
She meets a dragon, a gryphon, and a Pegasus guarding the cave in the mountain. They let her in but warn her that dreams have a price. When she reaches the Cat of Dreams she asks why her children could be taken away, why do they live as they do? The Cat of Dreams invites her to look into his eyes.
In his eyes she sees that many eons ago cats truly ruled the world. They were larger than humans and humans worshipped them. At night, cats would hunt humans. But then one human, inspired by a dream, told the humans to dream of a world they could control. And as the humans dreamed of this world, it became a reality. They become larger and cats became subordinate to them.
Now she realized what she must do. She travels everywhere to deliver her message to other cats, if they can all dream together, they can return to their paradise. Most of the cats present dismiss her idea outright, but the kitten tells her she believes.
On the way home, the gray cat who accompanied the kitten tells her that it’s almost impossible to get a thousand cats to do the same thing at the same time. Yeah, Jake Schoeneberger has to agree with that statement. While the kitten lays sleeping the next morning, the humans she lives with ponder what she might be dreaming about. Then we see the kitten moving her paws as though she’s juggling a small human, and she chomps down as though she’s just finished it off. Gruesome!
Then we switch to the second story called Calliope. A writer is giving a lecture telling his audience that a character always comes first in any narrative. As his class ends, a woman brings him a specimen of something but we can’t tell what it is. She simply says it’s admirable how far he’ll go into his research.
He then drives to the home of Erasmus Fry and introduces himself as Richard Madoc. The estate looks suspiciously like the old Burgess estate where Dream was imprisoned all that time. Madoc gives Fry the gift and it is a trichino-bezoar. Fry explains that bezoars are often removed from the stomachs of woman who ingest their own hair. They were once thought to hold mystic powers.
Then in payment for the bezoar, Fry explains that he was once in Greece researching a novel when he came across ancient texts that spoke of controlling the Muses using rituals. But instead of showing Madoc his ancient texts, Fry actually reveals a woman he has as his captive. That has Jacob Schoeneberger scratching his head. Surely, she’s no mortal!
It turns out, which I should have known from the title, that Fry has imprisoned Calliope, the youngest of the nine Muses. The very same who was Homer’s muse.
Now Fry has transferred Calliope to Madoc. She can’t run away but she’s aggrieved that Fry never freed her as she promised. Fry explains to Madoc that Calliope was made to inspire humans and he should use her as he pleases. She gave Fry all his works and his fame, but now his time is past. That’s why he’s trading her to Madoc.
Back at Madoc’s place, Calliope says she is a daughter of Zeus and not a possession. Madoc says he will free her if she’ll just inspire him for one book. But she refuses so he locks her away.
He goes to his computer to write but can’t type a single word. The next day, he brings Calliope material gifts but she says the only way to woo her is to pray to her and offer vows of service and devotion in exchange for divine inspiration. She says that Fry forced her to give him the inspiration for his books.
It seems obvious. If he would just free her and then pray to her with respect, she’d probably give him the inspiration he so desperately craves. But he continues to hold her captive, and it just has Jake Schoeneberger shaking his head.
His manager calls to say the publisher is demanding to see the novel, at least a chapter, because he’s nine moths overdue. He’s now in breach of contracts and the deal will be cancelled and they’ll demand their money back. This threat does its work and he heads up to Calliope’s room to force the inspiration out of her.
He returns to his computer and begins furiously tapping away at the keys, all the while with a trickle of blood on his cheek. In her room, Calliope beseeches The Fates to intercede on her behalf. They arrive to speak with her, but they tell her that many of the old gods have died, and that only The Endless remain.
Then the Three-In-One drop a bombshell. Apparently Dream and Calliope had a son, Orpheus, who went to Hades and died for his sacrilege. Whaaaaaaaat!?! Calliope insists Dream will never help her after what she did to him. But even if he was willing to help, he is also ensnared as this takes place during Dream’s imprisonment.
Two years later, Madoc is throwing a party celebrating the huge success of the novel he tortured out of Calliope. Then two more years after that, another successful book has Madoc thinking of smuggling Calliope to the US. But she sees a newspaper article about how people are awakening from the sleeping sickness. She knows Dream is now free. Ohhhh Jacob Schoeneberger thinks you’re in big trouble now, Madoc. But when Calliope tries to call upon Morpheus, Madoc stops her and tells her she belongs to him.
An interviewer comes to speak with Madoc and in their conversation she reveals that Fry killed himself. She remarks that it was a shame his work fell out of fashion but insists Madoc needn’t worry about that happening to him. It’s then he realizes that any work tortured out of Calliope and not freely given by her in exchange for prayers and devotion is bound to eventually be forgotten. Like Homer’s works live on because of his respect for Calliope, so shall Madoc’s be forgotten because he’s taken her inspiration by force.
Dream arrives because Calliope has called him. He vows to do all that he can to inspire Madoc to free her. The next day, Madoc finds Dream in his study and asks that he free Calliope. When he refuses, Dream promises him ideas in abundance. Something tells old Jake Schoeneberger this won’t end well for Madoc.
Later, he confronts Calliope accusing her of giving him nightmares. But she insists she’s done nothing to him and tells him that he’s met Morpheus, who was once her husband and the father of her son.
At a book reading, Madoc is basking in the glow of an admiring audience when Dream appears. Madoc then begins spouting ideas for novels. They begin rather profound and ingenious, then devolve into absurdity. And he cannot stop spouting them uncontrollably.
He storms out of the room and two women find him later scribbling his ideas on the wall using his own blood because he doesn’t have a pen and paper. The ideas are coming too fast for him to keep up. He begs one of the women to go to his house and set the woman there free. The woman goes to his house but doesn’t find Calliope. Because Madoc said the words, she is free.
Dream and Calliope speak, and he tells her that he no longer hates her. She asks that Dream release Madoc of his curse because she wants to teach humans to find inspiration in their own lives and their world, rather than looking for it from her.
When the woman goes to the hospital, she tells Madoc there was no woman in his house. He can’t seem to remember anything about her or the ideas she gave him.
Calliope thanks Dream for his help freeing her. They leave as friends, though the love they shared and the pain that arose are still too much to bear. The smile on her face as she leaves the house and walks in the moonlight for the first time in 60 years is enthralling. And it’s the perfect way to end this season of The Sandman.
The Jake Schoeneberger Final Thought on The Sandman
This show wrought a number of emotions on the viewer, and it was an absolute joy to watch. As I finished the episode, I noticed that Netflix will be doing another season of it, and nothing could make Jacob Schoeneberger happier. I look forward to more adventures in The Dreaming and beautiful tales woven with such intrigue, drama, and emotion.