Love is a Dreamer
S2 episode 7 Aired on February 17, 2018

There’s a variety pack of love showcased in this latest hour of Falling Water, aptly titled “Love Is a Dreamer”—not the least of which is the sparks flying between Burton and Tess. Whether it be the love of a friendship turned into something more, the love towards the one that got away, or the love between sisters, Episode 207 gives us plenty to chew on—and that’s not even considering the continued threat of Taylor Bennett and her murderous Shadowman. Catch up on all that and more in this week’s recap below.

Sabine suffers behind bars, to Tess and Taka’s despair

While our trio of heroes (with the honorary addition of Alex) continue their hunt for Shadowman, the woman they’re trying to bring justice to is suffering in solitary confinement. After trying to kill herself, Sabine is placed there with a short, cropped haircut (“It’s what all the girls on suicide watch are doing these days.”) and bandaged wrists. Taka is horrified at the sight when he goes to visit her, and even the gentlest of reassurances that everything is going to be OK don’t bring her back from her emotional brink. Devastated by the fact she killed Kumiko, she doesn’t see a reason to live. Taka later tells Tess of her sister’s emotional state, and against Taka’s advice, steals away from the apartment and pays Sabine a visit. (In doing that, she leaves Lainie alone in the apartment, sleeping, and when she wakes to find herself alone, she packs up her bags and leaves, simply leaving a note: “Thanks for caring, but I’ll take my chances outside.”) When Tess visits, she and Sabine are given their own room to sit across from one another for a time, but instead of allowing herself to be consoled, Sabine uses the time to say goodbye. She plans on killing herself when Tess leaves. Tess responds by making the argument that sisters stick together and are always there for each other, and that’s when Sabine drops her bomb: Tess is not her real sister. Sabine says Tess was brought to Aeskyton when she was three years old, and their presumed mother, Charlotte, took her in. Tess is dumbfounded as Sabine gets up to leave. “There’s nothing that you or [Taka] can do to change what’s happened to me. You know that. One way or another, I’m going to die in here,” she says. But Tess isn’t having it: “Sabine. I love you, and no matter what, we’ll always be sisters. Always.”

Taka and Alex identify the Shadowman

Last week’s episode ended with Nicholas Hull throwing himself from his high-rise window, and Taka was called to the scene because he had paid him a visit just the day before. This week, Taka tells his lieutenant the truth: He and Alex believe Hull was involved with a human trafficking ring. Rather than pry further, their lieutenant immediately shuts it down and reprimands them; they shouldn’t be wasting their time meddling in FBI affairs instead of working in homicide. Despite his instruction, Alex and Taka’s search for Shadowman continues. It appears as if the majority of these killings were ordered by Taylor Bennett for one reason or another, and Kumiko’s death was a result of her ability to track the Shadowman. Morrison, on the other hand, is an anomaly. So who would want him dead? Turns out, he had some disgruntled ex-employees that may have it out for him, and after doing some digging, Alex and Taka learn of one Tom Dolan who – after getting fired – drove himself crazy, got slapped with a divorce and a restraining order, and ended up in a homeless shelter. When Alex goes to visit his ex-wife, she’s guarded but truthful, whereas her daughter, Emily, seems to be hiding something. The detective leaves her business card with the teen just incase she decides to talk. While Alex is at the Dolan home in the Bronx, Taka finds the homeless shelter Tom was staying in and learns that he had a psychotic break with his social worker just two months before; he’d go on and on about how he made his bunk mate bite his own tongue off. But in speaking with the tongueless and mute shelterer, Taka realizes Tom Dolan is most definitely his guy. “Not an accident. A dream,” he writes on his notepad. With their new evidence in-tow, Alex and Taka are later shown reconvened at the precinct. It’s a late night, and they’re about to call it in when Taka gets an urgent text from Burton to meet him at Bill Boerg’s. More on that in a bit.

Woody hides away in a dream, but Burton finds him

While Taka and Alex chase their Tom Dolan lead, Burton and Tess decide that Woody may be a good resource for them to take on the Shadowman and Bennett. (They don’t know at this point that until recently forcing mayoral candidate Phil Whittaker streak down the sidewalk, Woody was working for Bennett.) Tess doesn’t know where her old friend is in the real world, but she knows where he likes to hang out in the dreamscape. Cut to: a dapper, tuxedoed Woody dropping into a 1920s-era Berlin cocktail lounge. He’s greeted like royalty there, and immediately lays eyes on that night’s cabaret singer: Elizabeth Harding, all dolled up. (In reality, he’s a truck stop motel in New Jersey, and Bennett, fuming after he ruined Whittaker’s campaign and she was forced to cut her politician loose, is hot on his trail.)

His cabaret fantasy is ruined, however, when Burton unexpectedly shows up. He makes a case for why Woody should help them: dreamers are being kidnapped and impregnated to create more dreamers. “You really must be desperate to be asking me for help,” Woody admits, but refuses to lend his dreamer abilities and expertise to the cause. Burton knows, though, that the higher ups at Hull/Bedford are not as untouchable as Woody once claimed them to be (see: Nicholas Hull’s suicide), and that if Woody knows what’s good for him, he’ll take the alliance, as unappetizing a prospect it is. But, he doesn’t, and Woody ultimately pays for his pride.

Next we see him, Burton has left him alone, and he’s coerced into the backroom with Elizabeth. They begin kissing and undressing until Elizabeth is on top of him in bed. And then—horrifyingly—Elizabeth fades out and reveals herself to be the Shadowman. The bed alights on fire and the Shadowman begins strangling Woody. But before he can squeeze out his last breath (per Taylor’s assignment), Burton jumps in and knocks him off. The Shadowman disappears. The bed they were laying on remains in flames, and Woody can’t use his powers to put it out. That’s when it’s clear that the fire is in the real world, and Woody awakes with a start to find his sleeve is caught fire due to a lit cigar on his bedside table. He gathers his things and rushes out the door to meet Burton in the real world. He knows he’s not as safe as he thought.

Woody begrudgingly meets with our heroes

Back in Bill Boerg’s facility, Burton tends to Woody’s burns and catches him up to speed on the Shadowman. “Sounds like something out of a bad horror movie,” Woody quips. And while he admits to being “not exactly the helpful type,” Woody can’t deny the impending doom the Shadowman could bring them all in the dreamscape. None of them have ever dealt with a dreamer so powerful. “He could kill any of us,” Tess says. “Yes, unless we work together,” says Taka. “So: Does that include you?” poses Burton. A full commitment from Woody is not confirmed this episode; the question of his allegiances through this new trial hangs in the air, unanswered.

Additional Takeaways

  • Shadowman is reprimanded for not being able to finish off Woody before Burton interrupted. The ominous organization he works for (which is, still unknown to him, run by Taylor Bennett) threatens his daughter Emily’s scholarship—and perhaps even safety—in the case he’s unable to finish the task.
  • Burton continues to be plagued by guilt for his time in the war and for his history with Hull/Bedford. It keeps him up at night, which, by episode’s end, makes for more one-on-one time with he and Tess, who’s also restless. He says that he wonders sometimes if all of this is karma. “If I hadn’t tried to take down Hull/Bedford, maybe none of this would have happened,” he says. But Tess comforts him, saying that she and James are safer with him and Taka than they ever were in Maine. Tess, too, feels guilty for the way she approached her time with Lainie. She admits that it was her choice of whether to stay or leave, and Tess just wanted her to stay in the hopes that it would bring some clarity to her own experience. She scoots closer to him on the floor of their apartment’s living room and puts her hand on his shoulder. “You’re a good man, Burton. That’s one thing I know for sure.” “Thank you,” he says. She puts her hand to his cheek and kisses him. He kisses her back.
  • And in the end, Taka may have stopped Sabine from killing herself, after all. He dreams that he comes home to her in their apartment, and she’s wearing a wedding gown with a string of pearls around her neck; he’s dressed in a white tuxedo. They look at each other tearfully, and she cautiously turns away before turning back and reaching for his hand. They kiss, and sway in each other’s arms in the middle of the kitchen, awash with relief. We then pan out of the dream and into reality, and Taka is sitting in one of Bill’s pods; tears stain his cheeks and blood drips from his nose, but he’s asleep, dreaming with the woman he loves, and convincing her to spend a little more time in the world before giving up.