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The Sandman's Bonus Episode Calliope Is Already Planting Seeds For The Series' Endgame

Dream of the Endless (Tom Sturridge) has been known by many different names over the course of human history, but all know of his power and domain — that he is the God of Dreams. As such, Dream "aka" Morpheus can both inspire and terrorize in equal measure. As one of The Endless, Dream is one of seven siblings, each in charge of a specific aspect of the human condition. In Netflix's "The Sandman," viewers get a chance to see some of the siblings, which are Desire (Mason Alexander Park), Death (Kirby Howell-Baptiste), and Despair (Donna Preston).

Recently, Netflix released a bonus episode titled "Dream of a Thousand Cats / Calliope," which are both adapted directly from the Neil Gaiman comic books on which the show is based. Calliope (Melissanthi Mahut) is one of the fabled Greek Muses, who are the daughters of Zeus and are charged with bringing inspiration to mankind. Unfortunately, Calliope is captured by Erasmus Fry (Derek Jacobi), who uses her to fuel his writing career. Later, she is traded to Richard Madoc (Arthur Darvill), who also uses her to craft best-selling books. Eventually, it is revealed that she is the former wife of Dream, and she calls out to him for help, to which he obliges by flooding Richard's mind with ideas. However, for longtime fans of the series, this bonus episode is far from a one-shot, and their mutual history shapes some of the final stories of the comics.

Calliope and Dream's son leads to the ending of the series

For astute viewers of Netflix's bonus episode of "The Sandman," the shared history between Calliope and Dream seems fraught with heartbreak and drama. As mentioned in the comics and on the show,Calliope and Dream have a son together named Orpheus, which is also based on the Greek myth. The story goes that Orpheus was once set to be wed, but his wife tragically dies on their wedding day. Considering his lineage, Orpheus makes a deal to travel to Hades to beg for the return of his wife and is given the stipulation that she can return to the realm of the living if Orpheus doesn't look back. Unfortunately, he does, and his wife is immediately dragged back into Hades. This leaves Calliope and Dream's son in a state of absolute depression, and he refuses to perform any of his duties because Dream refuses to help. This event also strains the relationship between Dream and Calliope, and why there seems to be a lot of tension between the two.

This leads to the eventual dismemberment of Orpheus by crazed Dionysus cultists, yet because of his birthright and time spent in the land of the dead, his head remains alive. According to Sandman Fandom, Dream creates an order of priests tasked with preserving and maintaining the still-living head of Orpheus on the island Naxos. This moment from the comics is eluded to within the television series of "The Sandman," when Dream explains that Johanna Constantine (Jenna Coleman) did a favor for him and retrieved something that he could not get involved with. Eventually, in the later issues of the comic, Dream must seek out his disembodied son, who pleads for death in exchange for information.

The Endless are forbidden from killing their own kin

Upon receiving the requested information, Dream reluctantly agrees and gives his estranged son the peace he so desperately craves. Unfortunately, The Endless and other such entities are bound by rules and protocol, which is briefly mentioned when Dream decides to go to Hell and bargain with Lucifer (Gwendoline Christie). One of the most grievous sins one of these powerful entities can commit is to kill one's family, which Dream almost does in the 1st season of "The Sandman." This is on account of the fact that Rose Walker (Kyo Ra) is the great-granddaughter of Desire, which makes her related to Dream, and had Dream gone with his original plan of killing Rose Walker because of her Dream Vortex status, he would have earned the ire and punishment from a group known as "The Kindly Ones."

The duty of The Kindly Ones involves punishing those that kill their very own kin, and in the penultimate issue of "The Sandman" series, the group unleashes their wrath on Dream for the killing of Orpheus. We have already seen Desire attempt to force Dream into this outcome, so having Calliope and Orpheus officially a part of the "The Sandman" series potentially sets up this event. Either way, it is nice to see the television series draw so heavily from the comic book, but it also means that there is a clear end game in mind if the show remains beholden to the comic, which it is sure to do considering the heavy involvement of Neil Gaiman.