Awake Review: Rekindling in Red

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There wasn’t much to "Nightswimming" other than some very well disguised nudity.

Britten Offers Assistance

No conspiracies, no killers, not even murders. Just a procedural case that mirrored Britten’s life at home. And, although I’m always excited to look at and analyze the layers of all those overarching plots of Awake, at the end of the day a solid, well done procedural that pushes the characters forward is more than enough to be highly entertaining for an hour.

Which is exactly what "Nightswimming" does.

I had my doubts in the beginning of the episode. I had assumed tonight might be another penguin-esque outing as we watched Britten stark naked on top of that high dive. Could this be the episode that all of the stress of dealing with two realities causes a mental break? Could this be his San Diego moment?

Instead, just as it served as the introduction to the episode, it also served to introduce us to what makes Hannah and Michael so special. For most of the series, there hasn’t been much chemistry between the two. It’s understandable, and I didn’t (nor did I expect) things to change quickly. They both need to work towards a life without Rex.

That (red) reality is made even more apparent as Rex isn’t to be found in the episode. Stylistically, and narratively, it’s the right decision. The weight of Britten and Hannah’s journey together would have been diminished had we watched Britten and Rex together, and Awake must be given its due credit for only utilizing characters when the plot necessitates it rather than because they’re just there.

Getting back to Hannah and Michael, it’s nice to watch as they reconnect with each other. Michael is able to begin the move emotionally by giving away the things Hannah has decided they don’t need anymore – blindly putting his trust in her. The Green reality replicates this theme as well. The couple heading into witness protection had started to grow apart, and it seems once they were able to rediscover why they love each other; why the stuff they accumulated together didn’t have the same meaning as being together; they were able to put their trust back into one another.

Again, this is further brought home as Michael and Hannah share their high dive moment together as they decide to go skinny-dipping into their old college pool.

However, as nice as everything is about “Swimming” I’m still having a few lingering doubts about the episode. Did Britten decide to donate those things to Goodwill since he technically has a copy of them in the Green reality? Is Vega always going to be this insufferable all the time? I get it buddy, you’re not into the way Britten conducts his police work, but can you at least pretend to go along with things?

Real Reality Check

This is a tough one because there really isn’t a need necessarily to figure out which one is the real one in this episode. If Dr. Lee and Dr. Evans were present tonight this might be slightly easier as we here their takes on each side. But where’s the fun in saying neither or both? Britten is certainly much more open to moving now compared to prior, and this could point either way: he could be ready for a fresh start or he could be dreaming and it doesn’t really matter what happens because the dream will eventually become a distance and foggy memory.

Of course, that could easily be argued for the Green reality if slightly tweaked. He could easily be trying to keep everything the same after losing the love of his life and the woman who had such a direct impact on everything in his daily life. Hannah has an impact on their home, their possessions, Rex.

But, it could be argued that, as Britten is more and more willing to move on with his life, that the Green reality is the mental chain that is holding him back. The more steps he takes to begin to break the bonds that are keeping him there, the better his chances of moving on, and the move is the first step in the break.

We could debate and analyze ourselves in circles for the rest of the year and still never be any closer than we are right now, and tonight’s winner is Red because it is so nice to see why Hannah and Michael love each other.

What did you think of tonight's Awake? Is the show still holding your interest? What did you think of cases tonight? Were they a nice change of pace or is Awake better off with their tried and true formula?


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.2 / 5.0 (36 Votes)

I'm from Russia so please foigrve my mistakes) I saw you in LOST for the first time. You were really great, I mean, relationship between David and Jack was so touching, you did great job. Then I found that you're singer. And I was like whoa, this guy has so many talents! But that wasn't all. I was pleasantly surprised that your band THE FEAVER make such incredible music. Dylan, it's so amazing! You and your friends have very good taste in music. Oh, and The Strokes I've always wanted to listen them, but for some reason I didn't. And one day I started to read ur twitter. So, now I love this band too, so thank you!Wish you all the best. And inspiration for your next works))


I just hope they planned a bang-up finale since the show is not going to be back.

Sarah silva

I really enjoyed this episode!


Slower than I like but it was still good. The couple were bleh. It was great to see Britten and Hannah connecting. Vega is the worst. The CI said the tip was real but the details weren't but one detail did help find Alina.


yeah, this is the first episode weak episode of awake. hopefully they pick right back up. but i guess i dont love the whole conspiacy thing. i dont think the show needs it to be good. but only 2 episodes have even mentioned it, so as long as they keep it out of the way for most of the time, im, fine.


The only mind bending reality question I have (which I don't really believe I just wanted to have one) is that we never saw the cops at the pool see Hannah. Is this because Britten jumped off the high dive alone and hallucinated Hannah being there, because she is not real? Like I said, I don't really think so, but hey.


I enjoy this series so much. The storyline is so novel and the acting is first class. One of my favorite moments was when Detective Britten was coaxing the Protection Program wife to come back by using body language as well as words. It was so subtle the way he nodded affirmatively and smiled as a way of convincing her. As a criticism - her accent didn't sound very Russian to me...more like a Persian person's.


I also expected something along the lines of what happened in "penguin" after the first sequence. But by the end of the episode I was actually very satisfied on how everything played out. I like procedural shows,so I would watch this show either way they play it. That said, the penguin episode was really good and I wouldn't mind some more of that.

Ronald simkins

I also enjoy the show it reminds me a little bit of Charlie Jade where there are three universes red, blue and green. Charlie was a PI who actually used water to travel between the multiverses.


The first episode of Awake that didn't do for me. The acting was very weak by the guest stars and there was no momentum. I hope that this was the calm before the storm and the next episodes will be great.

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