Reviewed by Kathryn A on 23rd October 2001 (2)
If one refreshes one's mind about the events of the X-Files episode "Paper Hearts", one will recall that in it, Mulder has dreams about the serial killings... and speculation about a connection between him and the murderer. This story follows that up, by slipping into the realm of the Sandman, in a way that manages to stay true to both universes.
"Roche is dead," Scully said in a firm voice. "He's gone to a hell where he can hurt no one else, much less you."
But hell can be found in a dream, Mulder wanted to say, but, instead --
"Yeah. I know." He stuffed his pen back into his pocket. "I guess there's nothing to it. I was just...you know..."
For someone familiar with the Sandman, one recognised things (and characters) that weren't explained -- and in some sense, they never needed to be explained, because they never had been explained in the original anyway. This story made me want to go off and re-read Sandman again -- not just because it reminded me of those characters, but it was similarly evocative, symbolic and surreal. But also the interaction of the characters was a chance to cast some insightful light on the X-Files characters too -- not just Mulder and Scully, but there was a little incident with Skinner which made one wonder...
But this wasn't just a wander in the realm of the Dreaming -- there was actually a plot, a crisis, a danger... indeed, more than one danger, many cryptic remarks, and no obvious solution. Very good.