Friday, March 9, 2012

Awake 1.2: "Whole" Family

With episode 1.2,  I would now say Awake is the most complex, intelligent show on network - and maybe all - of television.

Among the central issues:  Why are the shrinks - Dr. Lee in the yellow, wife-alive reality, Dr. Evans in the blue, son-alive reality - not also present in the alternate realities (Lee in blue, Evans in yellow)?  Most of the characters - including Detectives Freeman (blue) and Vega (yellow) - are, though in different roles.   Also of some significance is that Lee is more critical of Britten's talk of the other reality, in contrast to Evans finding value in this (my wife pointed this out).  Does this mean that the yellow, wife-alive reality is somehow more primary, and the blue, son-alive closer to wish-fulfillment?  Probably not, but these differences bear watching.

Also of keen importance is the relationship of the cases in each reality, and the information that Britten gets from both of them.  In episode 1.2, the killer is a short man, who is brought to justice at the end of the blue-reality story.

But the short guy has much more significance in the yellow reality, where we learn at the end that he's the guy responsible for the car crash that killed Britten's son in the yellow reality and his wife in the blue reality.  This explains why Britten is really so interested in the short guy - maybe, as Captain Harper (played by Laura Innis of ER and The Event fame) tells us at the end of the episode, Britten somehow caught a glimpse of him ...

Which brings us to the mind-blowing revelation at the end of this episode - mind-blowing, even though the series has just started.   Harper, introduced in this episode in the yellow, wife-alive reality, urges Britten about halfway through the episode to go home and be with his wife.  Ok.  But, then, at the end, in a conversation with some higher-up - from CIA, FBI, who knows? - talks about the "horrendous" tragedy of Britten losing his "whole" family.  Not only that, she was responsible for the attempt to take him out.

That one word, "whole," may carry tremendous significance.   If Harper were purely part of the yellow, wife-alive reality, which would she should talk about Britten losing his whole family?  That characterization could only be made, I would think, by someone who can see both realities, and know that, if considered together, Britten could be said to have lost his whole family, his son in yellow and his wife in blue.  But, up until now, the only person to have such knowledge appears to be Britten himself.

As I said, complex, intelligent, very compelling television.

See also Awake ...


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