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TV Review: AWAKE - That's Not My Penguin 1.6

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

For me this was the best episode of Awake so far, I have really enjoyed the series but so far it's been more procedural crime drama rather than explaining what the Sci-Fi mystery twist is. This far two things have ran constant in Awake that we want answers to, firstly is the police conspiracy side of things which up to now is pointing towards the fact that the Britten's car accident maybe wasn't so much of an accident, and then you have the which reality is real question, the main focus of everyones attention. "That's Not My Penguin" is the first episode which has started to deliver answers to one of those questions, or maybe the writers are just throwing us a curve ball to keep us off the scent.

Every little clue thrown in so far has pointed towards the fact that the blue/green reality where Martin lives with his son Rex is the real one, "That's Not My Penguin" certainly didn't do anything to change my opinion on that, it only served as more concrete evidence that everything in the nice glossy red reality is in fact a dream, a world built by Michael Britten to help him come to terms with the fact he lost his wife. By this reveal, if it is a reveal can we presume that the writers are looking to wrap Awake after one season? Let's face it that's the whole mystery and if Britten is going to start putting together the pieces six episodes in I think he may well have solved it by the time we are at the season finale.

"That's Not My Penguin" focused on a young guy named Gabe who just happened to be holed up in a psych hospital in the red world. Gabe believed that his sister who had died some years earlier had been kidnapped and the nurses on the ward were hiding her from him so, he decided to lay siege to the ward held the staff captive and wired up some explosives. That put Michael in kind of a predicament, he faced a hostage negotiation with a mental patient who possibly has the same condition as him, but that made gripping TV for us as this is where all of the answers came.

I think this is possibly the first episode where I have laughed, up to this point there really hasn't been to much to laugh about but when that Penguin showed up in the psych ward I had to have a little chuckle to myself. That penguin was of course the first of two hallucinations that Michael was about to have, it didn't escape from the zoo section of the hospital, it was never there and only present in the mind of Michael. I'm not sure on this but I have to ask the question, can you hallucinate in a dream? I would say the answer would have to be yes, as the writers wouldn't have done that otherwise unless of course it's not a dream.

Lets say it is a dream, it's a pretty elaborate one, it's a whole other world and the hallucinations seem to point to the other world being the real one. The Dr (B.D. Wong) in the red reality showed up in that psych ward I was thinking this is a bit of a twist, I didn't pick up right away that it was just Michael hallucinating, it really was brilliant at the end of the episode when you find out that he was never there in the first place, Michael Britten's mind sending him a message possibly?

I'm really enjoying this show, it is brilliant and I have no doubt that some twists and turns will be coming our way, but for now I stand that the blue/green reality is the real one, the rest is just a dream, however, I'm still aware that this show could throw us a massive curve ball, we often thought that Lost might provide answers, they never came so why should we think any different in Awake, this show really is that good and I can't wait to see more.
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