Sunday, April 8, 2012

What I’m Watching: Awake

Awake: Season 1, Episode 6 “That’s Not My Penguin” (B-)

When a character on a serious drama sees a penguin standing a few feet from him, it’s time to question the show’s validity. Yet the penguin is clearly meant to be a sign that Michael is losing his grip on reality, mainly due to the ketamine injected in him by Gabriel the hostage-taker. It’s crucial, however, once he learns that Dr. Lee wasn’t actually present in the hospital with him, and that he was hallucinating him too, which lends credence to the fact that Michael is getting lost in his dual lives. The opening scene with Dr. Lee’s discussion of schizophrenia and the paired shots of Michael getting confused in both of his realities was quite effective in a rather literal way, and that’s where this episode’s strengths lay. Michael telling Gabriel that his sister was fine rather than breaking the news to him about her being dead was another interesting development, and it’s good that his peculiar condition is useful for something. Rex having a girl over came as a huge shock since he hasn’t done much since his kidnapping, which seems to have been entirely forgotten as he now goes around without Michael keeping much track of him. It turns out Emma is a good influence on both Rex and Michael, even if her first exchange with her boyfriend’s father was to give back the stolen jewelry her boyfriend gave to her. Michael could use some positive relationships outside of work, because he’s going to drown carrying his splintered state all by himself.

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