Awake Review: Everything in Every Way
Just when you think Awake had hit a creative brick wall, searching for new ways to push Britten and his dual realities forward in a compelling way, along comes "Game Day" and throws everyone a curve ball.
Is there really any need to talk about the two cases tonight? There isn’t much to talk about, the “twists” that Game Day tried to sneak in weren’t exactly sneaky. It’s hard to sneak in the theme of “things aren’t what they seem” when that very theme is being presented right in front of Britten. Rex didn’t understand why Emma broke up with him, and he knew the reasons presented to him weren’t truthful.
Once that theme is factored in to both cases tonight, the gotcha moment loses some luster because everyone can see it coming, especially when Britten explained some of the tells of lying. However, Awake always has one thing that can continually bail itself out of even the most redundant of cases or scenarios: its dual reality core.
In fact, Britten alludes to the real twist I didn’t see coming in the very beginning:
For me, every game could go either way. | permalink
Emma being pregnant with Rex’s baby in Hannah’s reality and Emma losing the baby in Rex’s reality is the perfect thread to weave a lot of the existing plots together. Which isn’t easy to do since babies aren’t the simplest of plot devices to use in a way that doesn’t cheapen the story or lessen the integrity of the characters. I mean, have you watched Days of our Lives? They’re the poster child for poor pregnancy plot devices.
Therefore, Awake has to be given its due credit. It seems nothing on the show is left to chance. Every word has a purpose, every case serves the characters (rather than the other way around), every plot point that seems simple enough ends up having multiple offshoots that build and enrich the story in ways that aren’t imagined.
The baby is no different. When we first met Emma in back in “The Little Guy” there was some awkwardness between her and Rex, but nothing that couldn’t be chalked up to butterflies or the beginning stages of a relationship. As it turns out that awkwardness is also layered with some unprotected sex and teenage foolishness, and that’s only in Rex’s reality.
For Hannah’s reality, Rex’s baby is what can keep her from moving to Oregon. It instantly gives her a purpose, in the sense that she can begin all over again. She couldn’t protect Rex, she didn’t have a chance to see him grow up and live out his dreams, but she can try again with his baby. She can carry on his legacy, she can live out her dreams of grandchildren, and, Rex’s baby solves Britten’s baby woes.
Back in the premiere, Hannah wanted to try having a baby right away, and here I thought that plot point had been forgotten.
Real Reality Check
This is another tough episode to pinpoint. Time in both realities was balanced, and nothing stood out like a penguin. Therefore, I’m going on pure emotion tonight: Red. I feel for Hannah, I can see how this can bring her back to her son. To bring her back to a bond and remind her of a love that she’s lost. Plus, the baby offers a crib full of complications and characterization wrinkles that I love. What happens to Michael and Hannah and their fresh start? Do they try to adopt the baby? What does Emma want? What do they really want?
- Vega was surprisingly pleasant this week.
- The teams’ colors were red and green. Naturally they are up against one another.
- There have been some comments and wonderings about Real Reality Check, and I’ll take this bullet to address them. Why do it? It’s just a fun little romp every week and it fosters discussions. Why one reality or the other? NBC, and the creators, have stressed one reality is real and one is a dream.
- I love Britten and Rex’s slow and steady bonding. A few weeks ago Rex would have been much more likely to go to Tara and ignore him.
- Speaking of Tara, where the heck is she?
- The therapists are adding less and less to the story. I love their characters and they offer great opportunities to relay a lot of information and ease audience confusion, but they’re slowly becoming less necessary. I hope Awake can find a way to keep them aboard and prevalent to the story.
Awake: "Game Day"
Nick McHatton is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.