Awake Review: Forced Perceptions

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"Guilty" was all about difficult choices and their lasting repercussions for everyone involved.

Britten, more than anyone else, is faced with so many choices on Awake, and more often than not those decisions are placed on opposing sides. None was more prevalent than his search for Rex tonight after one of his past arrests came back to haunt him by kidnapping the teenager. Which means we also get to spent a majority of our time in the green reality while Britten worked all of the angles to find Rex.

Michael on the Phone

This expanded allotment of time gave us a bigger picture of Rex and some of the emotions that are driving him since the accident. We’ve all noticed he has openly shunned his dad and now we know why: Rex feels like he lost the wrong parent. It’s understandable, and heart-renching to hear.

Rex knows this, and he sees this as his problem. So until he can begin to cope and move through these emotions he’s going to keep his distance. Rex knows Britten is stepping up to the plate to be there now that he is without Hannah, and being faced with the very real possibility of death means that those emotions and his path towards acceptance and forgiveness are accelerated.

Rex doesn’t have a bridge, or a go-between with Hannah, to his father anymore. It’s either all or nothing, and that’s the choice Rex takes: all in. He’s not about to lose another parent, he’s not about to watch his family get another subtraction, and coincidentally he’s not as different from his father as he might think he is. Because Britten makes the exact some choice with Rex: all in.

Britten is willing to risk further widening the gap he has with Hannah if it means finding even one scrap of information that can further his investigation into finding Rex, someone who he still doesn’t know for sure may or may not be real. He’s even willing to make Hannah go by herself to a memorial in Rex’s honor.

Speaking of the memorial in the red reality, that too further parallels how alike he and Britten really are. They’re both willing to go above and beyond their job descriptions, putting in the extra effort needed to save or help someone in need. Even if that means they put their own relationships at risk.

And with that it’s time for...

Real Reality Check

This week’s winner is green! If only for the dominant amount of time we get to spend in it. While Dr. Lee’s argument that Britten’s guilt over not suspecting, or not putting enough stock in Cooper’s word, is decently compelling on its own, it doesn’t stand up for me upon further examination. Britten doesn’t strike me as the kind of man to glance over evidence that leads to a different conclusion, even if it means going after your partner.

I truly believe he didn’t have enough information to warrant going after anyone other than Cooper, especially with all the evidence stacked against him. Although Hannah's "you were tossing and turning all night" felt like a clue, or maybe it wasn't.

A few other thoughts:

  • How awesome is it that Britten can, in essence, force himself to go to the other reality? Let’s hope he doesn’t become an Ambien addict in the process or get knocked out. Although talk about a cool idea – Britten getting captured and knocked out and somehow has to use one reality to get out of his predicament? Let’s get on that Awake writers, there’s nothing even remotely complicated about this idea at all!
  • Dr. Lee and Dr. Evans continue to play hard and soft therapists, respectively. But they still come to one common conclusion and that is Britten’s guilt. No matter what his consciousness dreams up he’s still guilty that he put this entire thing in motion. So while he gets to enjoy his family, he also gets to deal with facing the predicament of helping two people grief through losing people that are still there for him.
  • No mysterious suit people looking ominous on park benches this week.
  • I don’t know if this matters but NBC has changed the airing order of the episodes, switching four and five so that five goes next week. Hopefully that doesn’t have an impact on overall cohesion.

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Were you disappointed they played the kidnapping case so quickly? Excited? Did you like the way the realities were used this week?


Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (52 Votes)

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Conor, Rex yelled it to Britten when Cooper called him. It probably came up when he helped Cooper in the red reality.


One thing no one seems to bring up is the question of how Britten knew where the 'place in the desert' was in the Green reality. There is no way he had that in his subconscious (the psychiatrists' excuse for everything). To me, this points to the red reality being real and the Rex kidnapping story was his way of getting out of attending the memorial/dedication with his wife.


The case wasn't good but it was a good episode. Britten getting captured and figuring out how to escape or whatever with info from the other reality would be awesome.


Another sterling episode, the acting and writing quality of this show is so good that this seems to be the norm, and is a welcome change to many tv shows out there. Also, is it me or is Rex's tennis coach developing a crush on Britten? That could lead to some awkward encounters, since Britten is obviously devoted to his wife (and not just in a grieving widow way) and also I would be surprised if Rex DIDN'T have a crush on the hot girl not that much older than him. Finally, is this the first time we have seen scenes from both Rex and Hannah's perspective that didn't include Britten? In reality bending narratives like this those scenes tend to mean that is reality and the dream only includes scenes from the dreamers perspective. Maybe it was intentional that we saw these type of scenes from both sides to keep us guessing.


A good episode, but I would like it more if the writers don't fall upon cliches to solve the cases. It gets hard to like a show when it gets predictable.


Not as gripping as earlier episodes since it was clear from the moment he was introduced that his previous partner was a bad guy. Only required a few moments to figure out exactly how.


I loved this episode! This is the first time I actually understood what was going on. Alex, why would you stop watching the show just because they changed the order of the episodes? You wouldn't have even known that if you didn't read it here....sounds like you already had one foot out the door and this just nudged you out.


Why would NBC switch out those episodes? I guess I'm going to have to wait 2 weeks so I can see them in the appropriate order. You see that NBC? That's 1 less viewer you'll be getting next Thursday. All because you want to mess with the order line-up.

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Awake Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

Every time he smiles at me, every time he hugs me and says he loves me. I'm afraid he's gonna see that I didn't choose him.


You were tossing and turning last night. Did you have a bad dream?