I'm going to keep this one short, just so I can get back in the swing of writing about Sandman (sorry about the long delay since the last post!)
As an epilogue, it closes a number of the storylines in Seasons of Mists, while setting up a number of storylines for the future.
Nada's story ends in rebirth (and knowing the way that Gaiman operates, we shouldn't be surprised to encounter a grown Nada who has new significance).
We find Remiel and Duma remaking Hell to fit their own desires (Remiel's, at any rate). There's more than a small hint that Remiel will be the real devil, a truly tyrannical leader over Hell, as opposed to Lucifer's oddly benevolent attitude toward his wards.
And speaking of Satan himself, he's lounging on the beach. It seems fitting that as he's decided to go walkabout, we find him in Australia, basking in God's creation.
Loki makes a deal with Dream for his freedom (and Loki being Loki, this will definitely come back to bite everyone in the ass.
And Nuala. Oh Nuala. She is bound to Dream now, albeit in a less fair state.
Visually, this issue stresses movement. In each storyline, someone's breaking out of the panels and off the page, which is appropriate because, apart from Loki and Cluracan, everyone's behaving a little bit differently than they normally do. We see Dream be merciful not only to Nuala, who definitely deserves it, but to Loki, who definitely doesn't.
And so we arrive at the new normal. As we move into the next trade, Distant Mirrors, I'm sure we'll find that normal is nothing but a matter of perspective.
*BTW, the image I've used to illustrate this post is by Sandman superstar Jill Thompson, as part of A MOVIE PITCH!!! But it does illustrate a scene from this issue. http://twitpic.com/1fee0v