By Benjamin Lindsay
[Contains spoilers for Falling Water 104, “Castles Made of Sand”]
Now with Ann-Marie Bowen officially in the picture, Woody’s character coming into focus, and Tess continuing her dream tests with Bill, Falling Water Episode 104, “Castles Made of Sand,” has our trio of protagonists slowly learning that their dreams have greater repercussions in the real world.
But first let’s talk about Andy.
Andy’s back, and seemingly stroke-free (so Bill wasn’t lying there). What seems to have happened, however, is he’s gone AWOL from Bill’s experiments and apparently, AWOL from The Green. Episode 104 opens with him disguising himself, shaving off his beard and packing his bags. Where he’s going is anyone’s guess. While packing, he’s interrupted by a loud knock on the door, and in comes Ann-Marie. She knows he’s been working with Bill since leaving The Green three years prior, and she’s come to him now for help. The boy is missing, and she needs him to help her get him back.
He wasn’t lying about Andy’s stroke, but can we really trust Bill?
Was it just us, or did Bill’s response to Tess’s dream test this week seem especially menacing? Her task was to collect the other dreamers in the room and lead them to a meeting place in the dream warehouse. When she finds her first man, they’re immediately apprehended by the same faceless man-monster from last week’s episode; her partner is choked to death and she’s dragged away from the scene, quickly waking with a fright. When she awakes, it’s already dark out, hours later, and she’s mysteriously alone in the room. Where did all the other sleep subjects go? Bill sort of shrugs off her concerns and simply tells her to keep working and to keep trying to get to the heart of who her fellow subjects are. He’s definitely not telling her the whole truth here.
Tess rekindles a relationship with two men from her past.
We don’t know much about Javier Mendoza other than the fact that he’s a world traveler and adventurer, he’s an ex-lover of Tess’s, and he’s dying from cancer. Tess’s arc in 104 begins with her visiting Javier in the hospital. Though he is a handsome and strong man, it’s clear that he is on his last legs. She also confesses to him that she’s been having intense dreams again, indicating he’s familiar with her history with dreams and mental health issues. Later, he wishes to share one last dance with Tess, and she tells him to sleep. Together, they dream they’re in Marcello’s, but the faceless man returns, pulling Tess out of the restaurant and into the warehouse. Before he can attack her further, she takes an ice pick and stabs the creature, watching him bleed out before fleeing back to Marcello’s. When she returns, Javier is gone, and when she awakes, he’s dead. Later on in the episode, Andy is shown dead, bleeding from the chest in a dumpster and wearing the same denim jacket as the faceless man. Were they somehow one in the same?
Tess also accidentally runs into Levon, her brief fling and fellow sleep subject who got kicked out of the tests because she found a sketch of her boy in his bathroom. He’s not very happy to see her. Comparing her to Goldilocks, he says she’s a little girl going into someone else’s home, taking and breaking everything for herself, but in the end, the bears will come home, find her, and kill her. I don’t know how much of a sage Levon really is, but his predictions ring with an air of truth.
Taka learns more about The Green.
Taka’s main action this episode is between him and the psychologist from his mother’s hospital, Sabine (Tess’s sister), and her patient, Alice. In hopes of learning more from Alice and the death ritual he witnessed in the woods, he and Sabine call Alice in for some questioning. Taka, following his gut on this one, let’s her know that he knows more than he’s letting on, mentioning in passing the death of someone with a plastic bag while they were eating an ice cream sundae, the same way she killed the Belgian ambassador last week. Alice opens up, speaking about her neighbor, Trey, who was found among the dead bodies of The Green. She says that they weren’t supposed to die but that they were betrayed -- betrayed by fat men who eats too much ice cream. She ends the session by calling Taka a blind sheep with his head in the mud, ready for slaughter.
Taka finds a love interest of his own.
Apparently, some sparks were flying in that meeting with Alice and Sabine, and Taka has a dream where Sabine disrobes for him and pleasures herself in the corner. Crossing paths with her the next day, the two end up spending the day together and eventually make their way back to her apartment, where she reenacts the scene from his dream. Did she know he dreamt of her? Did she dream of him, too? As she’s reaching the height of her pleasure, she calls out, and the screen cuts to Taka’s paralyzed mother, who’s calling out for the first time from her hospital room.
Burton learns more about the woman in red.
This episode is a practice in repetition for Burton, who dreams over and over again of meeting with the Woman in Red while she sits at her typewriter, writing the same thing over and again: “Mere anarchy…” He prods her further to tell him who she is and what they’re doing there, to which she simply responds that he should enjoy and accept the time that they have together. The second time her asks her, she acknowledges that he’s talking in circles, so she clearly knows that he’s dreaming and re-dreaming the same scene, too. Later on, Burton tells the Woman in Red that he’s conjured her, and it’s time for her leave. Begging him to let her stay, the woman pleads that he won’t be okay without her, and she’ll be lost in the dark, but her pleas fall on deaf ears, and she leaves.
Burton finds Woody in Marcello’s.
In each of the dreams while Burton and the woman are talking, a shadowed, unclear figure is looming in the doorway clouded by smoke, watching them. In Burton’s second dream, he decides to follow the figure, who ends up being a blonde woman dressed in all white. Panicked at being found out, she runs away, and upon following her, Burton ends up in Marcello’s. Once in the restaurant, Burton loses sight of the woman, but he finds Woody and the Belgian businessman from 103 in the back bouncing a green tennis ball with the young blonde boy. Woody immediately stops playing and angrily tells Burton that this isn’t for him to see, and then the next morning, the Belgian inexplicably pulls out of doing business with White Sand. In order to get him back, the team and Burton decide to pull out all the stops, inviting a number of international investors to the White Sand offices to auction, effectively lighting a fire under the Belgian’s ass to close the deal on Malaysia. To further discuss work plans, Burton coyly asks Woody to join him for dinner at Marcello’s, an invitation he declines. “There are sirens everywhere just waiting to drag us into the well,” Woody warns, tossing Burton a green tennis ball, the same from his dream. The next day, the buyers begin arriving to the New York offices, and guess who Burton finds as their first guest? The woman in white who was watching him and the Woman in Red. “So nice of you to meet me,” she says with a smile.