Awake: Getting a Move On

Awake S01E07: "Ricky's Tacos"

I'm going to keep this short today because I'm not sure there's a whole lot to the overall story that we can extract from last night's episode of Awake, "Ricky's Tacos." It seems the main purpose of the episode was to remind us that there's a larger force working against Michael in the form of his police captain, Tricia Harper, and a mystery man, Carl. Had we not seen the bumper at the end of Episode 2 with Harper and Carl chatting on a bench, "Ricky's Tacos" might have offered more of a pay-off, but instead it felt like a purposeful momentum shift to prepare us for a return to the "What's the deal with the accident?" question.

I'm not sure we needed an entire episode to establish this. And I still think the Harper-Carl confab on the bench in Episode 2 was the result of NBC wanting to tell early audiences where the show was headed. But correct me if I'm wrong: Did we really learn anything new on that front in "Ricky's Tacos?" I didn't see anything, and we may even see less if Michael actually goes through with this move (he can't, can he?).

What "Ricky's Tacos" did show off was Awake's ability to spend time with its case-of-the-week characters, which helps build the impact of a case and make it more than just about good guys catching bad guys. There was a lot of humanizing of not-rapist Tim (Community's Fat Neil!), the rape-y dad's younger daughter, and especially El Diablo when the spotlight was on them, and that kind of development goes a long way toward making the procedural aspect of Awake more competent than that of other cops-and-robbers shows.

However, as I've said before, Awake's strength is in Michael's relationships with Rex and Hannah and his little victories as he's able to hang on to both of them by using his gift and adapting to his unique state. The emotional impact the show is now known for was glaringly absent in "Ricky's Tacos," and frankly made the episode skippable if you're in a hurry. No, I do not consider staring at a plumber's butt crack with your wife to be an emotional moment.



Dream Log
– Michael: "Sex is confusing, complicated. Sometimes you don't even know what's happening when it's happening." Amen, brother!

– I did like the comparison between Michael's constructed realities, artists leaving remnants of their ideas on works, and tattoos. I'm sure we all assumed that the tiger tattoo had some connection, but I didn't think of it as being an altered version of the prime suspect's devil.

– The case in the blue reality was fairly predictable, yet it still held my attention. And yes, that was Ted Beneke from Breaking Bad as the father. A Community AND a Breaking Bad connection in the same episode? Score!


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Apr 18, 2012
if the cable networks were as sensitive as tv.com monitors there would be NO HBO or much of anything else good to watch either. geez
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Apr 16, 2012
For an episode that was, as you said, not the most important, it was still great. Do not cancel this show, please?
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Apr 15, 2012
I can't hear you over the sound of me rubbing his sword on my balls.

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Apr 15, 2012
I also couldn't help but call him "Fat Neil" during the episode.



I was exceptionally disappointed in the final turn though, it was ok to have Fat Neil not be a rapist, but the dad was SUCH a tv cliche; and while I appreciate that Laura Innes did actual try a little harder this time, it seems like the casting directors have shoehorned her into only these types of parts which always feel just outside of her reach to the point where I find her presence here grating, and it's not really her fault.



This was a pretty bland episode overall, and the writers keep adding little elements like Michael hearing important hints like hallucenations which makes the show feel cheap rather than deep.



And maybe it's time to get the therapists to stop being so confrontational and work smarter, it's getting really frustrating to hear the same words and tones from each one without building any progress with either.



The tiger tattoo was a clever move because people have done that in real life, use a bigger tat to cover a smaller one. The case itself wasn't really anything, but the acting was ok, the justification wasn't entirely ridiculous, but somehow it also wasn't compelling.
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Apr 15, 2012
Fat Neil!!!! :D
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Apr 15, 2012
"Sex is confusing, complicated. Sometimes you don't even know what's happening when it's happening." Really? Speak for yourself. I pretty much know what goes where.
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Apr 15, 2012
yeah i agree ppl say episode 2 got dumb near the end when the conspiracy stuff showed up.. im my opinion thats what made the shock WORTH watching... now the show isnt just some dumb show about a guy getting in an accident in living in two realities one where his son is alive and the other where just his wife is and he solves crime sin both realities..





instead now the show actually has a plot or driving force as you find out that "accident" wasnt just an accident and now you wanna know how and when the main character finds out and what he does when he does... so yeah the whole conspiracy thing is the reason i LIKE the show... at first i only watched it because his son is hott.. now i watch it because its actually GOOD and its going somewhere plotwise
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Apr 14, 2012
I personally don't understand all the hate over the so called 'conspiracy' element of the show, for me it is far superior for there to be some tangible, albeit seemingly paranormal, reason for Michael's car crash. I think I would prefer for there to be some Fringe/Lost style weirdness going on rather than him simply being in a coma once we get to the end.



As for this episode in particular, it wasn't by any means one of the best but I enjoyed the procedural cop stories, and especially Breaking Bad's Beneke along with Fat Neil. The only problem is that I almost instantaneously decided that Fat Neil was innocent. I mean how could Dukane of clan Dukane have raped and killed some innocent girl, he's probably still traumatised from Pierce Hawthorne raping the Dukane family.....again.
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Apr 14, 2012
The acting continues to be superlative, IMHO...In particular the ancillary characters add depth to the series in not merely going through the motions but owning the roles
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Apr 14, 2012
I like the suggested move so early because the show is still young enough to pull of something so daring. That said, I don't think he'll do it now, but I would love to see him do it later. It would add to the complexity of the show but hey, Fringe has two universes and two timelines and I can keep THAT straight. Two universes in alternate places would not be that much of a problem and will really push the boundaries of the show, especially in how they are going to make the cases overlap then.
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Apr 14, 2012
I like the show and am surprised to hear it's been cancelled (I read about it through a comment on the show page). However, it does seem predictable at times. You knew from the first moment that it was the brother and the father and that the little sister would be the key. I guess I've just been spoilt by amazing shows. Still, I like Jason Isaacs and I'm interested to see where it's going, Kind of reminds me of Life on Mars.
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Apr 18, 2012
It hasn't been cancelled yet, that was just a troll. But it isn't looking good either.
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Apr 14, 2012
I enjoyed the show this time, though not as much as I usually do. My concern is that I've heard some complaints that the show is too procedural, and an episode like this only confirms that idea. Perhaps people are not tuning in because they are having problem to see the identity of the show. Is it a procedural? A supernatural drama? A psychological thriller? A conspiracy plot? All of the above?



Another thing. Michael can't go to Oregon because he would lose Dr. Lee, and the show wouldn't be the same without him.
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Apr 14, 2012
I think you're over looking the time the show gave to Harper. We got to see her figuatively fight for Micheal's life in one reality and give a monologue to the daughter in the other reality that I think showed a lot of her character. Also I think it raises the question of whether the conspiracy exists in both realities but only one Harper is in on it, or if its just a single reality thing. After all I think he was supposed to have been drinking in both realities before the accident. In the one reality its clearly a cover up, does that go for both of them? What was happening in the other reality?
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Apr 14, 2012
I ended up falling asleep on this, not because it wasn't good, but because I was exhausted. My dad says I didn't miss much. Either way, I absolutely love this show! It's a fantastic and interesting show.
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Apr 14, 2012
There is no family stuff only procedural stuff and yet somehow I enjoyed it more than episode when Michael's son was kidnapped. May be coz case was strong in terms of character and in theme it was kinda sensitive issue (blue reality case). And I think there is just a coverin' up of something involvin' Michael's boss that led to his accident in yellow reality. There is no conspiracy of creatin' Michael's situation I think. In blue reality his lady boss seems fine.
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Apr 14, 2012
it's green, not blue
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Apr 14, 2012
First of all, Fat Neil! \o/

Second, I really hope Michael and Hannah move. I'd love to see Michael dealing with 2 such different realities. Also, the change of scenery would maybe bring some awesome cases with it. Though, I'd have to say, I'd be sad to see Det. Vega go.

Third, I missed family time. I always like seeing the interactions between Michael and his family.

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Apr 14, 2012
this show looks more and more like the UK version of Life on Mars without a perfect writing, when you add low ratings, I'm scared we're gonna be throwing our tvs by the windows after the finale :(
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XY
Apr 14, 2012
"Sex is confusing, complicated. Sometimes you don't even know what's happening when it's happening." - best moment of the episode.
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Apr 14, 2012
Yeah this wasn't the best of episodes. The family being absent from the story was very apparent and both of the killers were super obvious from the get go.
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