Awake

Season 1 Episode 6

That's Not My Penguin

4
Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Apr 05, 2012 on NBC
AIRED:
8.2
out of 10
User Rating
98 votes
5

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

TV.com Episode Review

  • HAPPILY CONFUSED

    Awake: Penguinsanity!

    Michael found himself face to face with a schizophrenic this week as doubts about his own ability to sustain both realities came to light.

  • Episode Summary

    In one reality, Michael finds himself collaborating with Dr. Lee to help a man with schizophrenia who has taken a hospital hostage. The key to helping him is a ring in the other reality that disappears. Meanwhile, Michael starts hallucinating and sees a penguin everywhere, while Rex tells his father about his new girlfriend Emma.

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    SUBMIT REVIEW
    • "Awake" continues to wow me!

      9.5
      This is among the best episodes so far in the series, and the first so far that I found the red reality better than the green (they were both the same in the pilot, but I was more convinced that the green reality is real than the red). The small amounts of the green reality were alright, not too good, except for the "progressive parenting", and Rex's girlfriend is so sweet! I love her! The story of the red reality was intense and mind-bending. The most mind-bending part of it was Dr. Lee. He wasn't actually there. But the mental patient recognized that Dr. Lee was there, saying what are you two talking about. Did he see Dr. Lee there as well? Did he think that Det. Britten was crazy, and wanted to go along with the fact that he was talking to someone? I have so many questions so far, how many of them will "Awake" be able to answer in the next 7 episodes? I hope all of them!moreless
    • Clue or mistake in dialogue? Spoiler

      8.0
      At the end of the episode, the male therapist claims he was never in the room with Britten while he was trying to talk to the mental patient out of killing everybody. HOWEVER, during the scene where Britten and the therapist are talking about what he should say to the mental patient, the mental patient walks up and asks "What are you two talking about?" Why would the patient ask what the two of them were talking about if Britten was truly the only one in the room?moreless
    • Michael's Beautiful Mind

      9.0
      Heretofore, the the weight of Britten's two realities have been juggled nicely as Britten finds a certain comfort living in both since by doing such he still has his wife and son.,only separately. He has managed to function, even thrivingh by solving each realitiy's crime by leveraging facts from one to the other. Now, it's all falling apart as he begins to believe he may not be simply dreaming one and living the other, but fully hallucinating. He knows he is beginning to show signs of schizophrenia in no small part as he begins to see an obvious hallucination of a penguin! Yes, a penguin which is a great device as it's cute, but obviously so "out-there" it can only be in his mind. Throw on top of this his growing fear of insanity a case where he has to negotiate with a man who could well be himself if he continues to move toward full-blown schizophrenia. The complexity of it is over-the-top good. In the end realizes what a kindred soul needs to avert the possible destruction at hand, A gamble in creating a truth based on a loose interpretation of a deceased sister's freedom whereby he sensed the hostage taker's sister called him "Trip" totally selling the young man as to it's validity - allowing him to surrender. Just as Michael is feeling better in a post stand-off session with Dr. Lee he realizes Dr. Lee really wasn't there with him as he imagined. Michael is left to still wonder if he is better or worse. Wow, best episode so far, this show amazes, for the life of me I don't understand the low viewership. Absolutely best new show of the season!moreless
    • Crazy Good!

      10
      Like the other reviewer I must agree that this is arguably the best episode yet. It got a little weird for me towards the middle, but overall was a great episode. I loved the symbolism and how Michael won in the end. By win I mean he proved that it is OK to live in a fake world. He always seems to find reasons to convince the audience why he should stay the way he is. I like that they aren't doing two cases in every episode, but still connecting the two realities. I also like that it shows this show can work without family stuff. I actually think the parts with the son where the least interesting, although good character development. I am interested to see where they take this concept of him confusing the realities. I wonder how long before everyone starts to figure out what he is going through. I also liked how they showed what would happen if he fell asleep or was knocked out in one reality. Great script, great acting, great episode. Best episode yet.moreless
    • What a show! (spoilers)

      10
      Let me start by saying that to me this was the best episode following the pilot! Awake features a main character whose mental state is the ongoing theme and as the series continues we are given more and more hints about it, how Michael sees the world and how this affects his "life".



      In this episode Michael had to resolve a hostage situation, dealing with a schizophrenic hostage taker. Could have been a pretty standard episode like the ones before including a case and some family drama but this time we actually see how unstable Michael is. From the beginning of the episode he first starts mixing up details of the 2 realities which in the end even lead to small (penguin) and big (Dr. Lee) hallucinations. So this is the 1st time we really see Michael understand that things he sees are not real. A major step in a possible reveal if one or both of his realities are in fact completely imagined. There was also a small scene before he lied to the schizophrenic: Michael had some sort of an enlightening moment where he also had some sort of flashes - Theraphist 1 says his wife is dead, Therapist 2 says his son is dead, we see the car crash and THEN Michael standing alone at the crash site looking down the hill where no car can be seen. Is that a (partly metaphorical) glimpse of the reality Michael got in that scene? Are his son AND wife truly dead and when he finally gets to admit this real fact, he decides to turn away from it and lie to the hostage taker - and symbollically to himself to keep going his 2 dreams?



      Whatever the meaning behind it all is - there was much room for interpretation which was a key factor of the pilot being received so well. Keeping things ambiguous and allowing different interpretations is imho where this show should head to. I also hope they leave this focus on Michael's mental situation rather than the cases-of-the-weeks or even the family drama elements as long as they are not connected to Michael suppressing the reality.



      In short: This episode featured great writing with some awesome ideas. If the show continues like this (weekly Fight Club anyone?) it could get very far.moreless
    Jason Isaacs

    Jason Isaacs

    Det. Michael Britten

    Laura Allen

    Laura Allen

    Hannah Britten

    Steve Harris

    Steve Harris

    Det. Isaiah "Bird" Freeman

    Dylan Minnette

    Dylan Minnette

    Rex Britten

    BD Wong

    BD Wong

    Dr. John Lee

    Wilmer Valderrama

    Wilmer Valderrama

    Det. Efrem Vega

    Billy Lush

    Billy Lush

    Gabriel Wyath

    Guest Star

    Matt Riedy

    Matt Riedy

    SWAT Commander Hamilton

    Guest Star

    John Christopher Storey

    John Christopher Storey

    Tech

    Guest Star

    Daniela Bobadilla

    Daniela Bobadilla

    Emma

    Recurring Role

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

    FILTER BY TYPE

    • TRIVIA (0)

    • QUOTES (2)

      • Emma: They practice progressive parenting. As long as I tell the truth, they trust me.
        Rex: They must want to kill me.
        Emma: No. They'd be more mad at you if they found out you were giving me this. Processed sugar.
        Rex: So you're allowed to sleep over at your boyfriend's, but you can't have Cap'n Crunch?
        Emma: Progressive parenting.

      • Evans: But when you came face-to-face with the larger revelations, you backed down. You retreated into a--a scenario where yous ave the day, you play the hero, win the affection of the wife you've eared losing, and the approval of the therapist who's expressed doubts in you. Just like Gabe, you hold the keys that will tell you what's real and what's not. But for the moment, you're unwilling to turn them.

    • NOTES (2)

    • ALLUSIONS (0)

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