In anticipation of tonight's new Awake episode, our Round Table panel of Carissa Pavlica, Lindey Kempton, Carla Day and Nick McHatton have gathered to assess last week's "The Little Guy."
How did Awake do transitioning from a pilot to a series?
Carissa: Much better than I anticipated, frankly. And I'm guessing more people thought it couldn't be done because they seem to have tuned out. That's too bad.
Lindsey: I thought it did really well. This week was as engrossing as the first, the pacing was great, and it dropped a hook right at the end of the second episode to bring viewers back for more.
Carla: It was a nice seamless transition. Sometimes, it is obvious that the second episode is done much later, but not here.
Nick: Really well, it's not even noticeable.
What did you think of the family developments this week?
Carissa: The wife just feels more alive to me. I'm trying to determine if that could be because in Britten's mind he knows his wife better than he knew his son.
Lindsey: Rex's motorcycle was a nice touch, personal and not unrealistic, and it helped start developing his character a little bit. It's nice to already see a dynamic developing between Britten and his wife around Rex. As Dr. Lee points out, maintaining his connection with Rex might not be compatible to keeping his wife. I think the real strength of the show lies here - a character driven drama about a family that is experiencing some really unusual, painful, and interesting things.
Carla: I liked them. One fear I had about the show is that it would be too depressing. The family is still mourning in both universes, but they are moving on. By the end of the episode, it was as if they were all living in one universe. Sad, but more happy which I enjoyed.
Nick: I loved them. Using both realities to get closer to his family is the best. It's something I hoped was going to happen.
How were the cases this week? How do you feel about the show leaving the Red one open ended?
Carissa: As I said above, since she feels more alive, I'm starting to believe Red is the waking world. It holds more color in general, while blue (or green) is more of a dream state. Things aren't closed neatly in real life (well, except on TV).
Lindsey: For me, the cases are partly a mechanism for delivering more information about Britten's predicament and his family. It's great the way they've (so far) related back to the family plot. Sam trying to deal with the loss of who he thought his father was and then killing his real father is an interesting side note to Britten's situation. I'm not sure how I feel about leaving the Red one open ended. I'm hoping that will continue to play into things and eventually reach some closure.
Carla: I knew they didn't solve, it but it wasn't front of mind so It didn't bother me. If the case had taken up a larger part of the episode, it might have mattered more. This time it worked.
Nick: I didn't find the cases as compelling as they were in the pilot, but this episode was more about Britten and his family beginning to move on. I believe the Red case was left open ended just so Britten can begin to piece together clues as to why the accident happened.
The ending sets up some pretty big things, what did you think of it? Do you have any theories?
Carissa: Just a whole lot of questions. First, it happens in Red. Second, WTF? Someone caused the accident. On purpose. I'm starting to get an alternate universe vibe here and Britten is our Peter Bishop, who can walk safely in both worlds. I have no idea, really, but I love the possibilities.
Lindsey: I was hoping Awake wouldn't go here. That being said, they haven't really revealed anything yet so I won't get too worked up just yet. But if they decide to go the route of government conspiracy, I will be seriously disappointed. We have a zillion shows like that and Awake doesn't need it to be a great drama.
Carla: The accident wasn't an accident, beyond that I have no clue. When Harper said, "… instead of taking out his WHOLE family." I took that to mean that neither universe as we know it exists initially. But, then is it just Britten's mind making up this conspiracy? He wasn't in that scene, so how are we seeing it? Still as lost as ever.
Nick: While the color scheme matched red reality, I'm not completely convinced it's red. The more I think about it, the more I wonder if that is intentionally misleading since Britten isn't in the scene. The color scheme is for us as an audience to know which reality Britten is in, that doesn't necessarily mean it has to follow the rules when he's not in the scene. I think the conspiracy will end being rather grounded in reality. Britten was probably discovering some path of corruption in his Department, and was about to put the final pieces together and so they needed to take him out. I think Harper meant she wished they didn't do with his whole family in the car.
As always, Real Reality Check: Which reality is real and which one is not? Why?
Carissa: Red, for all the reason above. And I don't think I'll be able to change my mind unless something earth shattering happens on the boys side.
Lindsey: Carissa's reasoning is pretty convincing, but I'm still resistant to believe that either is a dream. I love the idea of parallel realities, so I'm gonna stick with that for right now.
Carla: No clue. But, I don't think it is as simple as one is real and one isn't, especially after that scene on the park bench.
Nick: I still believe one is real and one isn't, it's what the creators have told us. While I'm not entirely sure if the ending is in the red reality or not, for now I'm still going with red at face value.