The claim that the sandman’s sleep was dreamless turns out to be a lie as Audrey is shown to be in a dream world. This isn’t her dreamworld, however, but the sandman’s as he wishes to marry Audrey and live happily ever after in his fantasy world.
Oddly enough, the sandman’s intentions aren’t really all that villainous. He sees his world as a gift. He does seem to want to make Audrey happy (though the whole mind wiping thing does raise some alarms) and he even gives Grayson his hearing back. It doesn’t stop the denizens from rebelling, however. The sandman himself is also portrayed as more pitiful than anything else.
This, of course, becomes a problem as he controls the world and is able to kill people with a mere thought; and if you die in the dream, you die for real.
The episode really missed out on taking advantage of the dream world. They could have done all sorts of cool things, but instead, it’s just preparation for a wedding. It makes sense that the sandman’s captives can’t conjure up weapons upon realizing that they’re dreaming, as it is his dream world, but the sandman himself could have varied things up a bit and played with the reality warping aspects of his abilities at the episode’s climax.
Just as characters help Audrey to get her memories back, so too does Duke work to help Seth remember his time in Haven. It turns out even being in Haven doesn’t protect you from the memory erasure as Duke has to hassle the guy for quite a while before his memories are jogged. Not even video footage is enough as Seth only sees static because he doesn’t remember what happened. One could argue that videos don’t work that way, but this is magic, so call it a side effect. Even then, his efforts are undone when Seth walks a few yards away, forcing him to start all over.
The plot parallel is obvious, but it is handled a lot better than the episode of ‘Under the Dome’ which had several characters hit the same plot beats and make the same mistakes. Here, they both make sense within the context of their respective subplots and it does help tie the two plot lines together.
It’s a bit perplexing that Audrey and her mother vow to end the troubles, as if the events here are what finally spurred them on to save Haven. This was already the plan. It’s why you went out and got all that aether? Maybe the effect on memory was greater than it initially appeared as they make this declaration as if it is a new idea.
Overall, this was a solid episode. It was one of the more gripping plots, though some of the pre-commercial cliffhangers were a bit much. All of the characters were given something to do and it seemed like the characters were in legitimate danger. It also gives us some plot advancement from Duke’s end as he finds a lead that could pertain to the existence of aether outside of Haven. It should lead to some interesting developments as the show closes in on its final episodes.