TV Fanatic Works Better with Prime Instant Video
40,000 other titles are available to watch now.

Awake Review: Endlessly Spinning in Circles

by at . Comments

Kyle Killen really put one of his favorite themes to work this week on "Kate is Enough," with Kate taking two branching paths in her life.

Britten in Therapy

On the red side, Kate became a successful investment banker, while, on the green side, she turned to a life of drugs and addiction. All of that stemming from the death of her sister, which offers a great parallel that we can use to put Britten and his problems under a microscope.

It’s hard not to wonder if Kate’s story, and her pushing of her sister to go through with their little surfing outing that turned deadly, is some foreshadowing of how Britten’s accident, that put all of this into motion, came to be. As we’ve learned over the course of the series Britten hasn’t always been the best family man – often leaving Hannah and Rex to enjoy each other’s company without him.

Perhaps Britten pushed for his family to go out that night or his family pushed him even though he might have known the suit people were onto him. (I’m taking him at his word that he doesn’t remember anything before the accident.) It seems like a somewhat plausible explanation as to why these two realities are happening to Britten. He is so guilt ridden about what happened to his family - that it might be due to what his work led him to - that he is willing to create realities that, while helping him get used to the idea of having a relationship with one or the other, are not fully letting him get rid of his guilt or move on with his life in any truly meaningful way yet.

Dr. Lee seems to have picked up on this as well when he says:

Every time the answers become clear you try to find ways to cover them up. | permalink

Rex, like on last Thursday's Awake installment, is the family member taking center stage this week, and I can understand the appeal since there are a lot of topics to mine from him at the moment, especially since he’s dependent on Britten while Hannah, in some senses, is not. And while I really enjoy Rex, I really want to begin getting to know Hannah as a character.

At times, Hannah actually feels like somewhat of a foil or just purely a source of information on Rex. Naturally, it’s going to be harder to get to know her since she’s determined to move forward with her life in ways that Britten does not. There is just very little there for her right now, and her character is suffering for it.

Getting to Rex, I’m slightly curious why Britten wasn’t able to piece together why Rex was so upset at and beat up his best friend over the tennis racket. He knows Hannah played Tennis, how could he not recognize her racket? Was that another clue to his forgotten memories? Along with him forgetting the death of Kate’s sister? However, I do have to give him points for at least keeping up with Rex, and continuing to try to get to the bottom of why.

Which brings me to...

Real Reality Check

If I were a patient of Dr. Lee’s he would probably tell me I’m also spinning endlessly on which reality is real. This episode is really tough to gauge because it veered towards its procedural roots and a focus on the cases over family. That being said I’m giving the narrow victory to red. Britten not putting together the pieces about Hannah’s racket didn’t set well with me, and I wonder if it could be one of those dream moments where you recognize the object but can’t quite remember why you recognize it.

A Few More Thoughts:

  • Vega is really beginning to get under my skin. His constant moaning and groaning over Britten wanting to go over every angle and doing his job well gets old quickly. He knows Britten is good at closing cases so why is he still trying to close these cases so quickly? Is he intentionally trying to provoke Britten to get more information for Harper?
  • Dr. Lee and Dr. Evans continue their differing therapy styles although Dr. Lee seems to be almost hell bent on making sure Britten believes his reality is the real one. Dr. Evans continues to be less interested in why Britten is dreaming one world, and more interested in the whys behind them. She wants to know how Britten is moving on with his relationship with Rex, if he’s beginning to imagine a life without Hannah or if he’s even grieving.
  • I really loved tonight’s cases.  It reminds me of one of my favorite Fringe episodes this season when they dealt with the same suspect who was a serial killer on one side. And while this wasn’t nearly as gruesome the small decisions that we as humans make that end up changing our entire lives is such a fascinating concept and one of the many reasons why I love both Awake and Fringe.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
  • 4.8 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (31 Votes)

Nick McHatton is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

Tags: ,
Fortyseven

@David, this episode was originally the 9th but was moved up.

Avatar

I thought it was a great episode too...but why is there no mention/aftermath of Rex being kidnapped?!

Fortyseven

I enjoyed the cases tonight particularly the 2 Kates. The scene with the interspersed dialogue of the Kates relating their lifestories was awesome. Maybe there are other people who can experience multiple timelines and Britten found out during a case? Maybe's Britten's accident wasn't an accident?

Avatar

This show is awesome. It's fastly becoming my favorite shot on network TV. Too bad it's going to be cancelled. It's definitely the BEST show on TV right now.

Avatar

I wonder if there are 3 realities. The captain mentioned that they destroyed Britten's family. I've wondered since the pilot whether Rex and Hannah are both actually dead and Britten is either 1) floating through alternate realities where each still lives (although separately) 2) manifesting them in two realities in a dream state to attempt to unconsciously come to terms with both their deaths and the reason for their deaths. Great episode. Pity NBC decided to put the show on Thursdays when so many other great shows are watched by the 18+ rating demographic needed to keep the show going. I hope they don't cancel it.

Sarah silva

This was a great episode.
Nick, you are contradicting yourself a bit in the recap. You say that Michael seems to have been so busy with work that he often left Rex and Hannah alone, so it is very possible that Michael did not recognize that it was Hannah's tennis racket. Plus I do not recall Michael seeing the tennis racket when he came to get Rex at school, so there was really no way Michael knew.
Also if he really was not around then that is why last week or the week before Rex said he wishes his dad died not his mom. However I do like the fact that we will see Michael try to get closer to Rex.
I really like the writing on this show and when Michael was talking to Kate in both realities and she told him how she went down the paths she did. In the reality where she said her mom did not give up and helped her heal from her the guilt of her sisters death, helped Michael go back to the other reality and work things out with Rex. It seems like he learns lessons in both realities and it helps him go from one to the other and work on his relationship with Hannah and Rex.
Is it bad that I could understand Wilmer Valderama more when he was on that 70's show than in this show, there are times where I miss what he is saying.

Avatar

Very good episode indeed. I am impressed by the writing of this series, not so much for the dialog, which isn't bad at all, but for the quality of the story line(s). It's one thing to pound out interesting and engaging words, quite another to manage to keep two occasionally intersecting, yet separate universes going. It's got to be a little like juggling chainsaws.
For a while there, with Kate, I harked back to 'The Butterfly Effect' wondering if something Britten did caused the starkly divergent paths for her life.
Then I wondered what would happen if Britten came across someone else that was ALSO aware of the two (or more) different universes, the Dr.s' explaining it away as well since they believe he seeds his own 'dreams' with evidence to support both of the dual realities.
It's enough to make my head hurt. That's why I love it.

Niks4u

I loved this episode. It was very gripping. I really like this show and hope that they continue the good work. Its amazing how our choices define us, and shows that we make our own destiny.

Awake Season 1 Episode 4 Quotes

The old fashioned way we go play detective.

Britten

Like everything else, things are different, but equally plausible.

Britten