Awake Review: A Long Line of Red Herrings?

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If there’s one thing Awake loves to do every week, it's make me second-guess myself at every single turn - and "Ricky's Tacos" super-sized that feeling.

About Those Tacos?

Are the clues really clues? Or are they just a long series of red herrings hell bent on making me pull my hair out? Sadly, while Britten’s sudden realization to follow through on his old cases before his accident, specifically Westfield Distribution, there isn’t much to go on or enjoy in terms of the cases this week.

While the theme of tonight’s cases were rather ingenious and offered a great idea to launch from with the idea of Pentimento, most of it ended up falling flat. A lot of that had to do with the fact that the two were very much separated from each other. Little to no clues kept the movement flowing from one reality to the other, and as a result hampered the overall stories. When there’s nothing keeping us connected to both cases other than Britten himself why have two cases? Watching one case can be depressing enough.

The only high point of the cases was watching Captain Harper’s layers continue to unfold. At this point I find it hard to believe she’s what we would consider an antagonist, but rather just a pawn. It’s clear from what she’s shown so far that she is at least trying to deflect her higher ups from planning whatever they might be planning for Britten, and she tries to steer him clear of his past. Does Harper do so out of guilt or a want to keep everything hidden? Only time will tell.

Getting back to Britten, he mostly kept to himself as he worked through the cases and dwelled on Westfield Distribution.

Which brings us to clues. Harper said the warehouse is clean, and I believe her, except for one tiny detail: Diamond Ferris – the company selling it. Did it look familiar? That’s because Britten gave a look of disgust to his for sale sign. His home is being sold by Ferris Diamond.

The phone call nefarious guy Carl made to Harper made it abundantly clear things are out of her control now, and we known Britten is being watched – large ring man proved that (I am terrible at coming up with names). With all the repairs being made to Britten’s house in red, could the realtor be a spy for Carl?

Or am I right in thinking this is just another trap in a long line of red herrings? I guess that’s part of the beauty of Awake

Real Reality Check

While I would love to say Green is the winner this week if only because of Fat Neil from Community, that would be a lie. The winner is Red. It’s beginning to look more and more like the conspiracy might be contained to Red. I can’t remember a single time it has veered out. Could the same be true for the Gemini killer? Is Awake heading towards two overarching “enemies” for Britten?

Other thoughts:

  • It was enjoyable to see Vega just a little less on Britten’s case this week, and Britten returned the favor by imparting some more of his wisdom.
  • I loved when Britten asked Freeman about Westfield Distribution. It was a great way to tie him back into the history of the show and remind us that before all of this happened it was just the two of them working on cases. I hope as the season progresses this gets played on some more.
  • Ricky’s Tacos logo changes color to match the reality.
  • The Westfield Distribution location might look familiar to some Chuck fans out there. You’ll remember Sarah walking down that path in a Nerd Herd outfit on Chuck Versus Tom Sawyer as Team Bartowski infiltrated Atari headquarters.

What did you think of the episode? Am I right in thinking these are red herrings? What are your theories? Let us know in the comments!

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Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (31 Votes)

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

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A long line of red herrings? Are you talking about Awake or THE KILLING?


I'm still bothered by the pieces that clearly don't come from Britten. We see this in both realities -- the captain speaking with her cohorts in the bright reality, the son chatting in bed with his girlfriend in the dim reality, etc. -- and so we know (if one and only one reality is "real") that at least some of these "out of band" messages never happened. It's a cheat and a bad choice from the writers/producers to allow "dreams" that Britten doesn't know about.

Sarah silva

I liked this episode.
All the "clues" that show up in both realities is quite interesting, there has to be a reason, I am trying to think too much about it as it will drive me crazy!
I knew the dad was the one that got his daughter pregnant. I am glad the sister admitted to Harper what their father did to them.
My husband brought up a good point/observation/question, he wonders what significance there is to Carl only being in the reality where Hannah is alive.
It did not bother me that the cases were not connected, I actually liked that break and what we got that was connected was Ricky's Tacos and Westfield Distribution.


Similar to the previous ep with the Penguin and imaginary Dr Lee, this episode showed something that was clearly outisde of reality when the Drive-Thru speaker started talking to Britten. I wonder if this is going to become a growing trend, if he is going to start hallucinating within each of his realities as well as being unable to tell which is real.


I agree with the review. Unless I'm mistaken, the last 2 episodes have had Britten hallucinating in the redverse so future eps will have him hallucinate in the greenverse.