Awake Review: Everything in Every Way

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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.

Britten Investigates Dueling Cases

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?

Other thoughts:

  • 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.


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (36 Votes)

I like this show alot. I really identfy with the main character. I hope we don't lose this one next season.


I'm wondering if the conspiracy was always meant to be the main plotline and the writers were gradually introducing it as a tease. They may be surprised that fans actually don't like that plot which could put a wrench in the series. Anyway, my vote is that the green reality is the actual reality. His interaction with rex is more believable and real than his life with Hannah


Good. Too bad the ratings are so low.


* when michael asks emma


awesome episode after last week, which has been the only episode that didn't do anything for me. yeah, the cases were pretty obvious, but the pregnant thing, my brother guessed it, but when he said it i wasnt even thinking about the other world. then at the end when he asks, and says "rex's baby" it hit me. Good job awake. i hope it gets renewed though the ratings according to suggest that it won't which sucks, cause this is the best show on tv right now ( besides breaking bad, dexter sucks now) and I also hope they kinda drop the conspiracy element if they're luckyto get a 2nd season.


It was an awesome show!!! Really clever link between the two realities. Also made sense of the earlier, seemingly senseless gratuitous Rex is having sex in Michael's home and he doesn't know, episode which bugged me at the time. Michael has a reason to resist the move , to become involved in his grandchild's life. So clever. Keep it up NBC!


Kenneth was played by Chris Marquette.


Does anyone know the name of the guest star who played the guy who killed his brother (the character name was Kenneth)? It was driving me crazy the whole episode because I couldn't figure out what I've seen him in before. IMBD doesn't have the information.


This episode did nothing to excite me. The "could go either way" theme was very, very obvious, and it was still hammered to death and beyond. Neither case was particularly interesting, and nothing we saw gave us any clues (at least none that are apparent now) about what's going on with Britten. It's always nice when scripts are tight in the ways Nick pointed out (e.g., the red and green team colors being parallel to the universes' colors), but that doesn't substitute for movement in the broader story.

Sarah silva

This was a great episode!
My husband guest right away that Emma was pregnant. I guess they had to have a reason for Hannah and Michael to stay, however I hope that they do that story line well as it has to be believable that Hannah would give up her dream of going to school in Oregon to stay in LA so I think that it is very possible that they will adopt the baby OR have Emma move in with them and raise the baby with her.
I guessed the brother did it and the wife set the fire almost right away.

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Awake Season 1 Episode 9 Quotes

You giving you your ex-girlfriend a polygraph is not one of your better ideas.


I'm not huge on goodbyes.