Mark Reads ‘The Sandman’: 4×08 – Season of Mist: Epilogue

In the twenty-eighth issue of The Sandman, closure is found. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Sandman.

“Season of Mist: Epilogue”

October knew, of course, that the action of turning a page, of ending a chapter or of shutting a book, did not end a tale.

Having admitted that, he would also avow that happy endings were never difficult to find. “It is simply a matter,” he explained to April, “of finding a sunny place in a garden, where the light is golden and the grass is soft; somewhere to rest, to stop reading, and to be content.”

There’s been a beautiful sense of finality to each of the volumes of The Sandman. I don’t quite feel fully satisfied with the series because I know that there are thousands of stories that still can be told. The potential for this series is unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I’m only four “books” into it, and I still feel like I’ve covered just the tip of the iceberg of where Gaiman can take Dream.

And yet, there’s still something rather pleasing about how “Season of Mist” ends. The various characters we’ve met and come to know over the course of this story arc are brought to a crossroads. Some of them are there because they were forced to be there. Others wanted to be where they ended up. I’d actually like to address each of them separately to organize my thoughts.

Duma/Remiel

The two angels now rule over Hell. I don’t know how I never picked up on the fact that Duma was the Angel of Silence. Was that ever mentioned? Regardless, he sits in a somber silence as Remiel ponders his new situation aloud. Unbelievably so, Remiel is able to find a silver lining. HE GOT SENT TO HELL AND THERE IS A SILVER LINING THERE. Okay, I’m being facetious, I know that. But the two angels will forever be stuck there, so why not make the most of it? (Oh fuck, now I’m thinking of Baruch and Balthamos and I am so overwhelmed by tragedy, y’all.)

Remiel makes a decision: he and Duma can do good in Hell, and so he sets forth to change the very fabric of what the place is. The souls in Hell are to be punished for a reason. I love that the immediate reaction of one such damned soul was that he felt that this was worse than the endless and pointless suffering he used to experience. In a way, Remiel has found how to create his own little kingdom, to take back his own agency and do what he thinks is right.

And thinks end happily ever after. In Hell. And it’s revealed that this was what was always meant to happen. Remiel had to change Hell. But what for? What’s coming after this?

Nada

Seriously, as soon as Dream started saying that he thought he might have done wrong, I was ready to reach through the pages and slap him myself. What the hell are you doing, dude? You went through all of this, and you think that some weak-ass apology is going to cut it? YOU SENT HER TO HELL FOR TEN THOUSAND YEARS. Even if you were unsure if you’d done anything wrong, THAT’S MORE THAN ENOUGH TIME TO PUNISH SOMEONE. So it was very satisfying to see Nada slap some sense into the being. Well, only partially slap some sense, I should say. Even after she does this, he immediately becomes defensive. WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM HER, DREAM? Thankfully, he does give her a direct apology. Then he follows that up by making the same mistake he made all those years ago. My god, this guy just doesn’t learn. Well, at least he’s consistent. I’ll give him that.

I admit that I was quite satisfied with Nada’s story at this point. Even when it seemed that Dream was just going to say goodbye to her and pop her out of existence, there was something missing. For me, saying sorry wasn’t enough. I needed some sort of demonstration that he meant what he said. She was just going to die after all of this? It made sense for her, but I was still upset with Dream.

But then, Dream tells Nada that he’ll always know that he cares about her, and I turn the page, and nothing makes sense for a few panels, and then it hits me in the face, and I just feel so emotional about the fact that DREAM GAVE NADA ANOTHER LIFE. Look, 80 years on Earth isn’t the same as 10,000 years in Hell, but FUCK. FUCK.

Well-played, Dream.

Nuala

Damn, the gods are fucked up. That’s a common theme of this graphic novel and of American Gods. Like, for real, let’s offer up Nuala as a gift and not even let her have a say in it.

Two things I have to say about her. 1) She looks gorgeous in her natural state. 2) OH MY GOD SHE’S TOTALLY GOING TO APPEAR IN FUTURE ISSUES, ISN’T SHE? Dream is housing her, so she has to show up again. YES I APPROVE.

Loki

I just imagine Tom Hiddleston here and I haven’t even seen either movies he is in as Loki. Thanks, Tumblr. Anyway, why the hell would Dream set Loki free??? THIS SEEMS LIKE A BAD IDEA.

Satan

Look, I am just full of feelings for Lucifer, and I can’t get over the image of him sitting on the beach, satisfied with life, conceding to God that sunsets are beautiful.

I love The Sandman. I love it so much.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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2 Responses to Mark Reads ‘The Sandman’: 4×08 – Season of Mist: Epilogue

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