Awake: Outside Interference

Awake S01E02: "The Little Guy"

Welcome back to another episode of Law & Sleep Disorder! Following its fantastic pilot, NBC's Awake returned for Episode 2 with a lot of questions to answer about what direction it's going in as a series. After the first 40 minutes of "The Little Guy," we had a pretty good feeling that the series would succeed as an emotionally charged procedural with a twist, and were all aboard. But two minutes later, we found ourselves back at the station wondering where the series was headed.

For those first 40 minutes, "The Little Guy" proved that the strengths of the show overshadow its weaknesses. But those final few minutes with Harper (Laura Innes) and Mystery Man X sitting on a park bench exposing some giant cover-up are worrisome. That scene felt tacked on because it probably was. "The Little Guy" was all about studio notes making their way in, and the biggest Post-It was stuck on that final bit. Can't you just see NBC execs saying, "This is great and all, but can you add some conspiracy cover-up at the end of Episode 2 so that the audience knows where about to blow the roof off this joint? After all, we did pay all that money for Sophia from The Event to be in this, so we expect some dumbed-down mind-f***ery on top of your already intelligent mind-f***ery. Also, television viewers have the attention span of hyper-active guppies."

I understand that this is how television is made, and networks want shows to be big hits right out of the gate—so they're inclined to show their hand without actually showing their hand. But Awake is the closest thing network television has to art, and that final scene smacks of an executive telling creator Kyle Killen how to hold his paintbrush. I have little doubt that "The Little Guy" got NBC'd at the end there. Though I also have little proof, so take what I say with a generous helping of sodium chloride.

There's nothing wrong with the idea of two parties meeting on a park bench to tell us they know more about Michael's situation, but the timing wasn't optimal. At its core, Awake is about the emotional journey of a man coping with loss, and that's what made the pilot so brilliant. I felt great about Awake's future when Michael proudly watched both his wife and his son ride a motorcycle down the street. I was connected to Michael in that moment, and felt what he felt. But now I'm slightly concerned about Awake, because Harper and Mystery Man X had that clandestine pow-wow. Not only did it felt unnecessary, but it was an empathy boner killer. (Note to self: Start emo-core band called "Empathy Boner.")

I'm not saying the idea is bad. But optimistically thinking, there's plenty of time to unfurl the greater mystery. In its base form (which is already complex), Awake is strong enough on its own to survive—especially early on—without relying on big-picture plot revelations. Television isn't just about pacing individual episodes, it's about pacing seasons overall. I think "The Little Guy" would have been better if Awake had held those final moments for later in the season. Let us spend a few episodes getting used to the unique world Michael has created for himself before hitting us over the head with car-accident cover-ups.

Now that that's out of the way, what do we really think that conversation between Harper and MMX meant? Do they know about both of Michael's realities, or are they just talking about the car accident in this "red" reality? "Taking out his whole family?" Do they mean literally or figuratively, in the sense that one death destroyed his family unit? Things were intentionally left vague in order to illicit that "WTF" reaction, but it's the first seed of what Michael's overall goal in Season 1 is going to be: Find out what caused his car to fly off the road and sorta-kill his wife/son.

The episode also showed us that the two realities won't always lead to happy endings in Michael's casework. I'm not convinced that the cases are integral to the overall story, but I'm going to theorize because that final scene is leading me to believe that we haven't seen all of Awake's tricks. It was cool that he wasn't able to solve both cases and become a super cop in both realities, but I'm beginning to wonder if these standalone cases are really so standalone. Perhaps the case of Bernard McKenzie, the murdered homeless junkie, went unsolved (unlike his doctor counterpart in the "green" reality) because he's somehow involved in the bigger story? Like, maybe he witnessed "the little guy" commit the act that caused the car accident and needed to be "taken care of," and Michael's realities ARE trying to point him in the right direction to solve his ultimate case, the cause of his car accident? Michael didn't drop that line ("I'm still missing something in the other case, it didn't pay off") for nothing, and Harper really wanted Michael off the McKenzie case in the "red" reality for some reason. Whoa. I'm either on to something here or I'm a few thoughts away from wearing a straightjacket.

But once again, the strength of the episode was in the story of how Michael is coping with his situation, and his steely determination to not let go of his family and do what he can to repair the damage that has been done. Not only can both realities he lives in offer clues to police cases he's working, they can help him be a better father and a better husband to a wife and son who need him. The discovery that Rex was disobeying his parents and working on a motorcycle ended up working in so many different ways when it rightfully should have been cheese-ball hell. In the pilot, Rex was connecting to his mother through tennis, but Hannah has been in denial. We saw Hannah actively let go of her fear of being reminded of her son's existence, while simultaneously witnessing Rex and Michael have an all-too-rare father-son moment in the wake of the tragedy they share. And the final scene in that story, with Hannah riding her dead son's motorcycle and Rex getting his father's blessing was all about joyful progress. It was a bigger step for Hannah than it was for Rex, but an even bigger moment for the Brittens, who were back together again if only in Michael's heart. And ours.

"The Little Guy" didn't achieve the same level of excellence as the pilot, but I left the episode feeling much better about the future of the series because I feared so much could go wrong. The writers clearly know what the strong points of the show are, and will hopefully continue to give us the wonderful emotional moments that make Awake resonate with us long after we change the channel.



Dream Log

– Detective Vega (Wilmer Valderrama), know your place! Vega was all kinds of feisty in this episode, when he should have been in awe of his much-more-seasoned partner. What a jerk. Dislike Vega.

– I didn't like the transition between realities that was added to help clear things up for viewers. Apparently one of the complaints about the pilot was that it was too confusing and difficult to follow. It's not that hard. The realities look completely different. I say lose those transitions because they take away from the experience.

– I was wondering if Awake would be able to have scenes that didn't feature Michael in them. But tonight we got (at least) three: Hannah and Rex's friend Cole, Rex and Cole, and Harper and Mystery Man. The idea here being that these realities exist even when Michael isn't around, so can either of them truly be an illusion?

– One thing I like about the procedural aspect of Awake is that, because the show is focused on the family element, there isn't a lot of time to spend on the cases—which gets them solved relatively quickly. Most procedurals spend a good chunk of time chasing bad leads, and Awake doesn't appear to have that problem.


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

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As an emotional family drama, Awake is leagues ahead of most network shows. But as a police procedural, it feels contrived and unnecessary. Usually in any given show, the case of the week reflects the protagonist's current emotional struggle. It makes the episode feel more cohesive, and the case seem more relevant. But after the first two episodes of Awake, it's clear that the cases only exist to draw in the CSI:/Law & Order crowd (further evidenced by the tacked-on, hokey government conspiracy ending). After this show gets unfortunately cancelled, as its current ratings suggest, Kyle Killen should set his sights to cable. I could see Lone Star or Awake thriving on a station like FX, where his conceptual storytelling could blossom without the restraint of having to cater to a particular demographic.



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Tim, great recap! A great show is finally on NBC and so I had to get back to the best community for television on the internet, right?



I found the most interesting parts of this episode were the scenes that Michael wasn't in... How is that possible? Maybe we are thinking too much, but this is Kyle Killan right?



I was a little disappointed because I thought I had the whole show pinned down for the final twist-- both his wife AND son died and he is imagining both the therapists and he just comes home from work to an empty house. But alas, he talks about wife or kid to his coworkers so that shoots that one down.



I guess my problem with the show is that while it sets up cool concepts for the characters to exist in, these two dream worlds, it also breaks them, like when the camera goes outside of Michael's point view. What I am afraid of is the dreaded Deus Ex Machina to take this show off rails. Not being able to see a twist coming because nothing really makes any sense is bad script writing-- trust me!



But oh hell this is great television. I am in it till the end!



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"Not being able to see a twist coming because nothing really makes any sense is bad script writing-- trust me!"



This isn't necessarily true. If something doesn't make sense, it could be the intention. It may make sense later on. This eliminates the foresight from playing any part in poor writing. This could be done by way of deliberate ambiguity for twist's sake, e.g, Lost, Alcatraz, The Event... Or, it could be character related. Not necessarily masking their intentions for the mystery, but because it was the nature of the character, e.g, Breaking Bad, The Wire, The Sopranos.



I agree, though. There isn't much quality television at the moment, and irrespective of the conspiracy cliche, it's still better than most.
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I may be wrong considering I didn't watch the show, but I was reminded of The Playboy Club when I saw this episode of Awake. If I remember correctly while reading about the development of TPC through news briefs on this site, it was originally supposed to be just a period piece, but they added the murder mystery later on. Maybe I'm wrong about that, and maybe the Awake writers also planned this from the beginning, but it at least feels like NBC told the writers of both shows to add a murder mystery.



I liked the episode until that ending. It's odd because without reading about it, I had this random thought before the episode started that I'd hate it if Awake became a more sci-fi type of show. I like it as a complex but emotional procedural. Anyways, hopefully the writers can handle the murder mystery as good as they've been writing the rest of the show. At the very least, it does add a bit more to the mystery of which reality is uh, real, if either are real at all... how literal was the captain when she said they took out his whole family... how much does she know in this reality... etc.



It was also interesting that they had scenes Michael wasn't in. As soon as they showed Hannah talking with Cole about the mail and bike, I was immediately a little surprised and entertained just by the fact that Michael wasn't there. I think Dr. Evans explained it a bit by saying Michael created this story of Hannah, Rex, and the bike, to bring his family closer together, but I think there may be more to it.
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The problem with the show is that it was set up with nowhere to go; either/or can't work because as soon as revelation hits about the "true" reality (and how many cases can we fit before that?), the show is over. So, the "meeting" threw a wrench into that and actually added to the possible longevity of the show. However, I completely agree that it was a) too soon and b) it looked every bit as corny as the show is not set up to be. Let's see what happens...
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This show pretty much lost me at the end of the first episode, during his monologue that you liked so much: If it costs me my sanity, at least I have them both. (Or whatever.) Yeah, exactly! And because NBC showed that part of the speech in commercials, that's all I could think watching the whole show, so there was a complete emotional disconnect for me. And I certainly didn't see anything emotional in the second episode. By the end I had just about given up on the show being anything but a procedural with a slight, but inconsequential, twist. Then the park bench meeting and I was like, ok, now it's maybe ABOUT something....

I actually had a harder time following which reality was which in this episode than the first. Maybe I'm dumb. Yeah, sometimes they look different, but not always. I need everyone to wear red or green, then I'll get it! :)

I couldn't figure out why he didn't investigate the homeless guy more. I don't mean after he was kicked off it, but when he was looking at mugshots. Why was the man homeless in red and a doctor in green? That would have been my first question. WAS he a doctor and then homeless due to bad choices? Could that short kid have been the murderer in both realities? Why not? Didn't even look into it. Focussed on mugshots. Why?

And still no emotional ... anything. Sorry, as far as I can tell - and as far as he is concerned - he HAS his family.

Does he live the same day twice? Or does he skip a day? Because wifey said something about himcoming home late last night so she couldn't talk to him about something. But what if he hadn't come home late and they had talked? Would he remember their conversation? Not if he skips a day, because he would have been talking to his son the day before. But if he repeats the day, then does he age twice as fast? Or half as fast?

Who cares?

Enough talk about emotional crap - there is none. It's a cop show with a family element. I guess I'll watch next week and see where this conspiracy thing goes. But if it's more, I solved the red crime in the green reality ... whatever.

Hey, maybe that's how whatsername gets her clues in Alcatraz....
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It's a shame the conspiracy angle is what allures you. Nothing personal against you, clearly you're not connecting with the emotional aspect (which I couldn't disagree more with,) but I'd argue that if the meat of the show isn't interesting to you, I wouldn't waste my time sticking around for the conspiracy story to improve it much. Basically, my advice is to spend your time with something else ;-)
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Jason Isaacs is truly amazing in this. It was actually a little disappointing that scenes without him have been established. As far as I am concerned he could and should be in every single shot.

Question: Do you think he experiences any given day twice? Like Thuesday happens twice for him. He can't be absent during every other day in each of his realities, right? And if that is the case, wouldn't he be able to predict events concerning the rest of the world on his second Thuesday?
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From a scientific perspective no! He lives the same day twice but in different realities. It means that you absolutely won't be able to foresee anything since the event/choice which started "splitting" one reality into two realities. From then on the timelines are completely independent of each other and this will be more clear when time passes (butterfly effect).
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i hate conspiracy plots. they are sooooooooo overused
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Ok finally see those two episodes. Guess the series had a a good story arch. It feels like they forced hte story of the conspiracy in a bit too early. I guess they wanted to sell the story as I had to watch the first episode 2 times. Well the first time i got bored then read about the consiracy. So they intend to keep us interested but kinda early. Now we know they tried to kill him because he noticed something he shouldn t have and said he was drunk when he got the accident like this nobody looks for foul play
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Maybe I'm dumb. But I liked the conspiracy scene at the end. So we know that Awake is not only about a man in a coma, who's dreaming two "realities".
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It didn't just have to be a coma. It could have easily just been the "reality of the fiction." I don't understand why they felt the need to explain the phenomenon. Everyone wants an explanation. I don't care if after six seasons and a strong series finale I was never detailed the mechanics of Awake's core enigma; that would cheapen it. I want to know what a human man would do if he was forced to live in two realities, with either loved one dead and alive. THAT IS ALL. And it works as a very stimulating yarn. The conspiracy angle is trite and derivative. I'm only slightly upset...but like the reviewer, I'm now extremely wary of investing any more time. Very small percentage they'll work the conspiracy to a convincing conclusion. But, I'll more than likely follow to the finale. *fingers crossed*
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They definitely showed their hands way too soon. That type of revelation should have been saved until at least half way through the season.
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I agree with you on all points in this review! Awake is a strong series in it's own, and I would be happy if it continued only to focus on Micheal and his struggle with realities. It's beatiful and close to tv-art, and Awake has so much potential. But they are going to NBC this so bad. In some way or another nbc is going to run wild with this conspiracy thing, and the show is going to end up as the event... I'm just waiting for the guardian angels/aliens.



Please nbc, please don't fuck this up. DO NOT turn this very promising series into another show consisting of Nothing But Crap...
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-Maybe Vega wasn't the greatest this episode, but I think his character has good stuff for the future, so I can okay that.

-Agree. No need for reality transitions (also, I consider them Blue and Yellow, not Red and Green).

-I guess so, at the very least, it seems that way.

-I like that, too, though they do it well. It's not that they don't spend time on bad leads, because that's regular policework, it's that the characters do all that offscreen. Which I am more than fine with.



I'm hoping that the Laura Innes/Myster Man thing was connected to the case and how that short man from the case of the week influences it. Also, Laura Innes is fantastic (though from "ER", not from "The Event"), so I am happy to see her in this show. The last couple of minutes could have done better but Kyle Killen, after only four episodes (two of this show, two from "Lone Star"), has already earned enough of my respect for me to give him the benefit of the doubt in making it all work out right.
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Liked this episode a lot better. The motorcycle scene was heart-warming. I like Vega's disloyalty, it adds dimension and uncertainty. A defiant partner can't bode well for him down the line. I see it getting him into real danger in the future. The wife and son did a great job in this episode. Dad has a nice ass, so kudos to him too.
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Kudos to AWAKE for revealing the conspiracy plot on the second ep - I actually like that they launch into that now while they could have plodded along with a few more 'cases of the week' based episodes... The bench scene made me think of The Matrix - I think there is more than a traditional cover up / conspiracy...



I enjoyed how the two realities evolved further from each other in particular in how the two psychs react to Michael's use of the 'other' reality...
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I disagree, I was sort of tuning out through the episode UNTIL the last few minutes.

I love the motorcycle storyline, and the laundry and that whole aspect of each reality lending itself to overcome an obstacle in the other. But procedural cop shows are not my thing so I was pretty much yawning through the cases. Then BAM all of a sudden there's a whole new plot point to consider.

You may feel like it's tacked on but I think this is a good start to the question everyone asked of the pilot- how far can this show really go with that one premise? I just hope that this is just an introduction to the complexity of having two worlds... a layer as opposed to an overarching second premise to the show. If this gets dragged out for a season I will quickly lose interest.

More plot twists please! I want the realities to be like two disjointed T.V shows connected by one messed up family with a insomniac at it's center. Bring on the drama!
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Bring on the drama? The show is already severely inundated in drama. The "plot twists" do nothing to support the drama. They only act as hooks for people who get bored of strong story-telling. From a writing standpoint, the end was ridiculous (relative to the powerful narrative already provided.) That last comment was for most people, for me, a conspiracy story arc is always a good way to see the dismantling of original storytelling's virtues.
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Just watched AWAKE episode 2. Still awesome. Like ep 1, it had the emotional stuff, a case to solve & some psychologist moments...then topped it off with some kind of conspiracy.



There were scenes in both realities which didn't have britton in them, meaning he probably wouldn't be dreaming that stuff, since u are usually in ur own dreams



But the reality where his wife is alive had more of those scenes, plus the huge conspiracy scene. Very interesting.



It seemed like this has happened before with someone else the way those 2 were talking at the end...or maybe I'm just reading into it too much.
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please die.
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Tim, you hit so many nails on the head that I hate to open this Pandora's box. Seen the movie Source Code? What if Michael was the only one who died in the accident and "Sophia" - could anyone have missed that voice from the event, even if you were texting and not watching the screen when she first spoke? - Sophia is exploiting some kind of simulation of Michael in the two worlds. Are you closer to the straight jacket now?



The episode was really great, all of the family stuff, which could be hokey, worked really well, but they really should have kept the last two minutes for the final cliff hanger of season one, why didn't they do that? Not confident about the future of one of the few original, creative and entertaining shows, eh?
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I liked this episode. In fact I liked it more than the pilot. It had a lot of heart but what really sold it for me was the fact that he didn't solve both cases due to clues he got in his other reality. I've been terrified this would turn into one of "those" shows. The kind of show I mostly can't stand where everything is wrapped up nice and neat at the end of each episode. Even though the last minute conspiracy seemed like an afterthought, this gave me great hopes for the future.

I just wished some channel in the US would say "OK so this doesn't give us 100+ million viewers each week but we'll keep it 'cause we really like it and it gives us cred for having it". Other than Fox keeping Fringe I see to little of that thinking. But considering Fox's track record I doubt we'll get more than maybe one more season, which makes me sad.
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And another interesting topic is hijacked by a grand conspiracy cliche. What will people call these guys? The Others? The Observers? The Shadow Agents (a la Day Break...anyone?). Whatever, the core emotional undertow of Awake is still strong enough to carry me along a little further.
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I guess I had lowered expectations as to how this series could move forward, so I was pleasantly surprised by this 2nd episode. I especially liked the motorcycle side-story.



Not only is it fairly easy to tell which reality he's in by who he interacts with (different family members, different partners, different shrinks), they also shoot the different scenes with filtered lenses on the camera (blue/green filter for one, red for the other). I don't know how anyone couldn't figure it out. Be that as it may, I don't mind the new transitions.



The end bit (which came several episodes too soon) where she said something about taking out his whole family leads me to want to believe there is a 3rd reality where both of his family members died, but it was based on things that happened in the red reality, so I'm not really sure what to make of it. As discussed below, showing up so early, it's obviously a desperate grab for viewer retention / water cooler addition.



So, was it just me or did every short perp Michael was looking up on the computer all have the same DOB 1-24-55??



Side note: In this show, Jason Issacs reminds me of a perfect cross between Timothy Dalton and Dustin Hoffman. Weird, I know!
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I was thinking Dustin Hoffman also! Particularly his voice.
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Just please don't be another Life on Mars (American version havent seen the british). The end was stupid and made all the emotion of the series pointless.
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Sorry, last sentence below got garbled. What it should read is: BTW, the Brit "Life" was quite good, and so was its spin-off, "Ashes to Ashes."
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Speaking of "Life on Mars," is "Awake" another show that's based on a Brit series? I got that feeling right from the beginning, but I don't know why. BTW, th"Ashes to Ashes."
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I dont think you can blame the writers or NBC officials for adding the last two minutes. If the ratings were good then they would have enough time to build a show. But they're not and so they had to act fast and try to make it crisp.
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I highly doubt that. It's nearly impossible to add unshot scenes a couple days before the actual screening due to the shooting and postproduction schedules. The scene might be added but it was definitely before releasing any episode to the public.
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Exactly right. It felt like we were supposed to have little hints with her looking over his shoulder for the next several episodes before they hit us over the head with that doozy.
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I love the procedural thing that went on in this episode, and I hope that they continue in that vain.
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I like that the beginning of the show is based on emotion and how Michael's family is coping with death, each in their one way. I like the two universes he created (Created by him? Maybe not), but is that enough to go on for an entire series? I don't think so. That's why I don't mind if there is some X-Files conspiracy in it. Even this soon. Because procedural? We've already seen all of it in a lot of shows. I need to see something different, and I think this show can be amazing.



At first, I thought maybe he was in a coma, or even dead. But the end of this episode brought new elements. Interesting! And maybe that was all part of this show right at the beginning? I would like to think that.
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(sorry, I meant : "in their own way")
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I also didn't mind the end because I trust the writers could take it somewhere interesting... but I have zero faith that they'll be allowed enough episodes to really make it work.
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One can always hope. :)
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I never completely agree with a review but in this case you've got everything. I hated the last two minutes because it took away from the last family moments, which I think is the best aspect. Can i ask a random question, is that wilmer Valderrama's natural accent or is he putting on one in his "acting"?



- side note, i really love the shrink in the green world. She still asserts that the other reality is a dream but is willing to help him work through it versus the Red world doc, who I think is pushing too hard for him to let it go. (gasp!) could he be part of this lame big season mystery that the TV execs are trying to drum up??
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"That scene felt tacked on because it probably was."

Spot on Tim. That had re-write all over it!!

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Whenever someone mentions The Event and Flashforward, I get confused. Which was which? I know they both lookd boring as hell, despite relatively good storylines, but the only storyline I remember is a mass bout of fatigue that ended in a worldwide fainting session and then, gasp, s**t hit the fan. Which was that? I think it was Flashforward.

Ah, well, it doesn't really matter, does it? I'd saythey btoh sucked either way.
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Flashforward was where they all passed out for about three minutes and saw their futures...unless they were dead in the future. The Event was with aliens who looked human but didn't age. Both could've been great, but both indeed sucked.
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Am I the only one who thinks the wife is hot?
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She's cute enough, but she does look like a beaver. She's held up well since 4400.
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nah, shes quite the milf.
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MILFCAKES
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OMG, are there aliens involved? Is this a matrix-kind of show? They took out his whole family? So many questions, but I think I like where it's heading.
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I agree with you Tim especially with the transitions and the conspiracy theory. They dont add to the show. But I would like to bring up the possible importance of the number 611. That's now three times that number has come up. The address of the building, the parking lot space number, and now in this episode with height of the guy they were interrogating. Im thinking 611 has to do with the car crash. Maybe it was the date of the crash or the time it happened. Hopefully, 611 does have some importance later in the show.
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Yeah good catch! That supports the theory that both realities only exist in his mind (and maybe he is actually living through the crash without realizing it) because pieces of his subconsciousness (maybe about the crash) pop up everywhere.
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Good catch!
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The episode was all good until the ending came. what the hell was that? I smell cancellation, just like The Event. And it looks like both realities are fake?
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I really loved it, I know the ending was a little weird but I feel like it added a lot of depth and mystery to the show. I honestly can't find anything I don't love about the show
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Enjoy the show while it lasts. The ratings dont look so good.
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So true, it dropped 20% to a horrible 1.6 and less than 5 million total viewers. For reference Person of Interest had a 3.4 and almost 16 million total viewers.
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a) Total viewers don't count for anything when it comes to renewal. Advertisers are only interested in the 18-49 share.

b) You need to compare it relative to its own network.



1.6 is not great for NBC, but its not too bad.
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Yeah, right, but is 1.6 and less than 5 million viewers really so bad for NBC?
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If it stays at 1.6 for the rest of the season, it will mostly get renewed. But, its very unlikely for a 10 pm show on NBC.
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"But Awake is the closest thing network television has to art, and that final scene smacks of an executive telling creator Kyle Killen how to hold his paintbrush."



- Alright maybe take a few deep breaths and stay that Empathy Boner as you call it.



Awake is off to a promising start, and I'm still interested in finding out where it's heading.



But the Pilot had it's handful of weak writing/plot hole moments, the same is the case with the 2nd episode.

The conversation in the end was expected, that it comes in this episode and not the 5th is hardly something that makes the whole thing reek or artistic handcuffs on the writing team from higher ups.



It's a good step to set up the mystery and the questions both the moral ones and the more sciency ones, but that's still leaves the resolving to be done which is by far the more difficult part of good writing. I for one am holding judgement on the genius of the show until we're a little further along the latter.
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I haven't seen this episode, so I can't comment on this review, but I want to say that anyone who thought that the pilot was too difficult to follow is an idiot.
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I wouldn't call them an idiot haha, but it certainly was no Inception (which, for the reconrd, was also pretty easy to follow. Meaning this was cake. That was a three tire cake, this is two.
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I couldn't agree more
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Tim,

Maybe you can help clear this up for me ...

If he's living in two realities does this mean he lives everyday twice? Like, march 9, 2011 with his wife and then he wakes up and lives March 9, 2011 with his son? ..And if so would the days have the same current events? Would he be able to tell from living the day once already that a bus would crash at 6pm that same day in his sons reality and that sort of thing?



This isn't something they've covered but it seems like it would have been the therapists first question .. I hope the writers have taken this into consideration and I'm just overlooking something.
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It seems to me he never actially sleeps. But when he wakes up, he hasn't exactly LOST sleep.

Let's say he has Reality 1 (with his wife), and Reality 2 (with his son).

Night in Reality 1 is daytime in Reality 2, and he exists in either reality during daytime. it's like being on opposite sides of the world...only they're two different realities.

If that makes any sense at all, that's what I'm getting from this show.
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I think he sleeps; he just wakes up on the other side from the night before. I also think he does the same day in each world. He obviously can't just skip every other day in each world, but it's not balanced to be active in one world only while he's asleep in in the other as he's pulling about 18 awake, 6 asleep. You could say time moves differently, but if one side moved slow, it wouldn't balance out during vice-versa. I think time just stops in the world he leaves somewhere during his sleep.



Of course there's the theory that it's all in his head. That would likely top Lost in disappointing endings...but not by much.
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but still ..wouldn't the same things happen in the world on both days ..and would he be able to witness things that happen in the world in reality 1, like say car bomb goes off in new york ..wouldn't he be able to go into reality 2 and stop that car bomb from going off? it seems like everything is the same minus his family ..
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No, because of the butterfly effect. In short: If you see them as physical, seperate universes they are really different and you can't expect time to go parallel as different choices lead to different timelines.

If it's all in his head, it's a different story. Then everything is possible and we'll have to see how it will be approached.
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Well it wouldn't be impossible per se, it would be just very unlikely. Different universes already begin being different on an atomar level. And if you know that there are infinite ones....there will be ones where the rippley effect of a choice will be big and maybe ones where it will only change an atom - for noone to notice.
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Right. It's safe to say that they were the same reality before something happened differently (we'll say it was Michael's car crash for now), but are now two different entities. Like taking two cups of water, putting a drops of blue dye in one, and red dye in another.



This is what annoys me about Fringe. There's no way the same people would exist in both worlds once they started to diverge. The people who were already around would be fine, but the butterfly effect would alter the other world exponentially over time. It's impossible that the same people would be born after the divergence.



Both are just shows, but if they're aiming for intelligent, they need to be consistent.
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Okay, I haven't read what Tim wrote yet so I apologize if I'm repeating the same thoughts, but I just wanted to give my thumbs up to the coroner. None of the CSI crap (and I say that lovingly and loving the shows); just very straight-forward, with all the with and complete economy of dialogue.



I am impressed with the scripting of this show thus far, and I'm glad the producers have thus far decided we don't all need flat in the face exposition to create an idea of what's going on.
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NBC: "....but you gotta admit, The Event had a lot of good ideas."



Killen: "Uh, a few, I guess, but the writing was shit."



NBC: "But that's what we have *you* for this time! We'll just take all the good elements from the Event (we'll decide for you what those were) and you can fit your little stuff in around them. Win-Win! Glad we had this talk."



Killen: "......"



The Event vibe is terrifying enough, but what I really don't want is a new pair of Scully's to naysay Michael's Mulder. If the man's hunches are panning out, the partners need to sthu and see if he's going somewhere with it. Also with the spying, Vega's like a lispy little Krycek. It's sad how little was actually Wilderrama being Fez and how much is actually just...him.



One thing Michael could do with the hater psychiatrist is find him on the other side and get him to tell him something only he'd know. Assuming he exists at all over there. That could also work for his family. Something that only the wife and the son know. It would be harder to prove that one hadn't told Michael before they died, but there'd have to be something.



It could also work with the black partner later if Michael has to tell him what's going on. If Michael tracked him down on the other side where he was transferred away and got a good secret out of him, it might shut him up for a few days.

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The fact that half the crew of The Event and then Laura Innes, a big old black-hole of soul-sucking tedium, is now involved with Awake doesn't bode well. Granted, Sophia on The Event wasn't well-written (I'm good! I'm bad! I'm kinda good! I'm okay with committing genocide!), but Innes did her part as well.
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Haha I miss the Event. Sometimes it was like computer-generated stories. Just so random.
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I didn't find the transitions too bothersome, but that ending was sooo tacked on. I understand there has to be some sort of goal to move forward, but a government conspiracy? Ughh, you really couldn't have gone any other way?
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Yeah, this was a massive disappointment. I just finished it on the DVR and hoped TV.com would be tackling this already. This is a suit or someone with really bad taste saying "let's make it more like 'Lost'." Last week's premise was already convoluted enough, the guy has a car accident and his life takes 2 divergent paths along conflicting timelines that may or may not intertwine, assuming he's not just making it all up, and also the more time he tries to spend in either one, the more he risks destroying his brain from sleep-deprivation. Where in that did we need a CONSPIRACY?!? Even if it's just a simple conspiracy to cause or fake a car crash involving the guy and his family where the motive is to silence a cop who was getting 'too close to the truth!" as so many conspiracies in cop shows before have been about, it's still a needless add-on to create artificial tension and storylines, adding "mystery" and asking which side Fez from That '70s Show is really on. It robs the main character of his nuance by giving him a simple task to complete. It's lazy and it utterly ruined the show for me. Hell, even just the casting of the mystery man was painfully obvious and trite -- I was so hoping he'd just be a concerned police higher-up or DA who wanted to make sure his cases weren't about to be torpedoed by the man who thinks he has feet in alternate universes, but sadly not. Why was dealing with complicated feelings while solving crimes not good enough to create both drama and intrigue? I really hope this wasn't the intention of the show to begin with, that would definitely recast the pilot in a much worse light for me.



As for the transitions, that too was embarrassing, like scene transitions from the Adam West Batman letting the kiddies know that the scene is moving on. One timeline/universe is brighter and less depressed, the cinematography shows it, and the other is clearly darker and more unhappy. If that's not good enough, then you should just watch the Home Shopping Channel because you're the type of person who is ruining good TV for the rest of us. NBC shouldn't have even bothered picking this pilot up if they weren't going to try to create a new audience with it, if they were just going to try to pander to the lowest common denominator -- guess what NBC, the more you do that, the lower your ratings get, idiots! At least when the other networks do it, they do it with a specific vision, they don't just flail about assuming everybody watching has the IQ and attention span of a goldfish.
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Totally agree. Networks have to stop making compromises. When it comes to stories which are intelligent and creative enough to stand for their own, there shouldn't be a need to add stupidity. Series - like movies - are a medium for art and should be handeled such more often. There's enough mainstream out there for 95% of the viewers. 'nuff said.
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Totally agree with you, Tim. The real problem with the final scene was that the first time we saw something fundamental which was not told from Michael's perspective. So either it is "real" or it is happening in a part of Michael's head where he has no access to - literally in his "unconsciousness". The writers have to be careful if they really want us to look behind that curtain. 3rd person narration scenes without Michael will really be a problem if there are too many.

Transitions were stupid and I figure you were right about the NBC execs forcing the last scene. Why do they buy such an artful show if they want to mess with it anyway?
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Colour filters are nice addition, add more climate to the show. Don't you dare criticise it.
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No one is criticising the colour filters. The opposite in fact. We're saying we don't need the black/white therapist picture between transitions 'cause the colour filtering is really enough.
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I agree on all the above points, especially the theory that unsolved cases might end up pointing toward what caused the Brittens's crash. The transitions were a bit annoying after not having any in the pilot (c'mon people, don't let the slower viewers ruin something beautiful for the rest of us able to keep up - let's put some intelligence back into television... not everything has to be presented on a silver platter). I really missed the interactions with the shrinks, but I know that they're only useful scenes to a point and think that if there had been any more interaction shown, it would have been overboard and forcing it. Enjoyable episode but not as involved overall.
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that was a fantastic episode..ending kind of came out of the blue. I'm cautiously optimistic though.... Can't wait for next week.
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