04 April 2012
Awake: Season One, Episode Five
Series premise: A cop drama following Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs) after a car accident that results in his life literally splitting in two. He has two realities--one where his wife survives and one where his son does. He doesn't know which one is real and which is a dream, but he does know that clues in one will often solve cases in the other.
Thoughts on episode five: This episode brought the series somewhere I have been waiting for it to go and then ended bringing it somewhere I never expected.
First, Britten has been solving crimes based on "hunches" he can't explain for four episodes. Obviously, we know the clues come from his other reality, but he's already in forced therapy, so he can't tell his partners or his superiors where he is really getting his clues. So far, they have been suspicious and wary. In this episode, Britten is finally put under investigation by an FBI agent. It is the logical conclusion... a hunch once in a while is luck more than anything else. Hunches that solve every single one of his cases... smells like a set up. I was so glad the writers went here and the episode handled it beautifully.
Second, they went somewhere I didn't expect. Every episode, we feel the tension between Britten and his wife. They love each other, yes, but they also lost a son. Not a lot of couples make it through that and for the Britten's it is even harder, because Michael isn't grieving. For Michael, their son isn't dead. At the end of episode five, the couple decides to leave LA and start fresh somewhere new.
This wouldn't be so shocking, except that Michael lives in two realities and now, each one will have a different location in addition to separate family members, partners, therapists, and cases. It's a lot for Michael as a character to handle and I'm interested to see how the writers handle this complication in future episodes.
Overall, I'm still totally in love with this show. I can't express how much I want this series renewed.