alphabetical representations of thought
~ Thursday, May 3 ~

The Have and Have Knots

“For me every game could go either way. So it’s kind of hard to… keep track or care anymore.”

We all wish for the opportunity to do things over again. We wonder what would happen if whatever happened, happened differently. When our favorite team misses that last second field goal, we wishfully wonder: What if they hadn’t lost? What if the won?

“Game Day”, the latest installment of “Awake” made our wishes come true and gave us a glimpse into a world where what didn’t happen, happens. We watched with everyone else and gathered around the television in the final seconds of “Seattle vs. LA”, but Britten, with his back to the game, showed little to no interest in watching.

For us it’s a tossup of who will win and who will lose.  Glued to the screen in the final seconds we wonder how it all would end. For Detective Britten the game played has no finality. His end is just one part of a cosmic coin that lands on both sides - heads and tails. Whichever team won today may lose tomorrow, and so our beloved dualist Michael Britten has developed an apparent apathy for anything decided by “the flip of the coin”.

We live our lives trusting that there will only be one resolution, one inevitable end, “it is what it is” and we’ve grown accustomed to it. Michael Britten lives two lives and for him inevitability is two-sided. - He wins when he loses. He’s right when he’s wrong. He has and he has not.

Watching Awake each week gives us an opportunity to see what life would be like if it were lived in two directions; a bilateral journey down forking paths where anything that happens to us just might have an equal and opposite reaction.

In the second half of “Game Day”, we learned that Emma had lost Rex’s baby. Our hearts were pained and we understood why she distanced herself from him. Britten being the good father that he is, advised his son to be a good man and support Emma in any way he can.

His team had lost. And like every good coach will dictate; dignity was to be on display, not the agony of defeat.

In the final seconds of “Game Day”, we learned that Emma is pregnant with Rex’s baby. Our hearts swelled and we were happy for Grandpa Michael and Grandma Hanna. Britten being the good “grandfather”, took his own advice and decided to support Emma and his grandchild in any way he could.

His team won!  A celebration is in order; a celebration of life.  

It’s a bittersweet victory for Emma and Granma Hanna; losing Rex but gaining his protégé. That’s how the game of life is for us also. We live only one reality. Each day we’ll be on a losing team or on a winning one. We win some, we lose some. “Game Day” showed us what it’s like when we “win some” and “lose some”, both at the same time.

All the same, if you ask me, watching Awake each week is a “win-win” situation every time!

STAY TUNED:  Find out who will win and who will lose as the “Slackwater” begins to stir! Watch Awake tonight, think about it tomorrow, and read my take next week.

Tags: awake nbc television theories reviews s01e09 game day
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~ Thursday, April 26 ~

"Awake" is Transforming Lives

Last week Awake reminded us all what our beloved show is really about. At its core Awake isn’t about drive-thru omens and imaginary penguins. It’s not about sideways-living serial killers or dueling psychiatrists. And like it or not, whether played out by the actors or played out by the fans, Awake is not about detective work.

Last week’s episode showed us that Awake is a story about people, plain and simple. Awake is a story about a family suffering loss and starting anew. Awake is a story about waking up each morning and living another day. Awake is a story about life.

Choices: We all face them. We all make them. Sometimes we wish we had made them different. Other times we wish we’d made them better. The “choices” is what makes Awake so appealing to all us fans. The choices Detective Michael Britten makes each week are the same choices we make each day. We wake up each morning, do our job, live our life and learn to love our family.

We do the best with what we learned from our prior mistakes. We make better choices than we made the day before. Each and every day, our yesterday teaches us what we should do tomorrow.

Detective Michael Britten lives the dream; his yesterday is his tomorrow. Living each day twice, he learns the importance in adding fabric softener to the wash. He’s reminded to never give up on his teenage son. He discovers that things aren’t anywhere near as important as people are. He realizes that no matter what happens, we never really lose the people we love.

It’s ironic that unlike its protagonist, Awake may not be granted a second life. We may never see our favorite show for a second season. One day we’ll wake up to the horrifying reality that Awake isn’t on TV. Until then, I’ll be living the dream as long as I can.

I’ll learn to be a better me; to make better choices and to learn from my mistakes. I’ll wake up each morning and make my tomorrow better then my yesterday.

I tweeted this on February 27, 2012:

 “If the price for seeing #AWAKE , feeling #AWAKE , having #AWAKE in my life - is my sanity - it’s a price I will happily pay.” @killen8 #thx

Come what may, I’ll always remember Awake.

(STAY TUNED: My take on episode 9 is sure to be much livelier. It’s Game Day and I’m pumped!)

Tags: awake nbc television reviews Jason Isaacs s01e08
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~ Wednesday, April 18 ~

The Full Meal Deal

As we drive-thru the halfway mark of Awake’s inaugural season, back-story and character building take the fore as action and pacing sit comfortably constrained in the backseat. After two previous action-packed episodes (Oregon, That’s Not My Penguin), Awake’s story makers have once again given us a morsel of mystery to sink our teeth into – Ricky’s Tacos.

The story of a man dreaming in two realities has now become the “full meal deal”. When most television procedurals are serving viewers nothing more than cheesy clues and refried story arcs, last Thursday’s Awake gave us a heaping-helping of ‘a Chicken Burrito; no sour cream and a large iced tea’! I don’t know about you, but I love what Kyle Killen and this team of writer’s is cooking up each week. There is real substance to what they’re serving us; this isn’t your run-of-the-mill TV dinner.

Dining on Awake each week will give you that refreshingly full feeling yet you’ll still be hungering for more. There are so many delightful dishes on their ever-expanding menu that a distinguished prime-time television coinsurer would be crazy not to return for more. If you haven’t tried the taste of Awake here are but two masterful menu items you might have missed:

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Tags: awake nbc television theories reviews s01e07 fast food mexican drive-thru tacos diamond
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~ Thursday, April 12 ~

Mr. Britten’s Penguins (Michael takes a nap)

“Explain to me: What exactly is so great about seeing reality, for what it is?”

Once upon a time, there was a Los Angeles Police Detective named Michael Britten. One day Mr. Britten and his family had an accident. After the accident Mr. Britten couldn’t sleep. In fact, he never slept again. Sometimes he was awake with his wife, other times he was awake with his son. Mr. Britten was always awake!

One sunny LA morning, Detective Britten and his partner Detective Vega responded to a disturbance at a psychiatric hospital. A crazy man named Gabe had made a bomb and threatened to blow up the hospital and his hostages. Mr. Britten didn’t want that to happen so he went inside the hospital to talk to the crazy man. He hoped he could get him to release the hostages and not blow the place to smithereens.

While inside, Gabe, the crazy man hit Mr. Britten on the head. For the first time in a long time, Mr. Britten finally gets some Z’s. Actually, it was more like a quick power nap. A short time later, when Mr. Britten woke up, the bad man gave him a shot with a great big needle, right in the heart. The medicine was called ketamine.

Similar to all medications, this medicine can help people, but when too much is used a person might start to see things that aren’t really there. Like say – penguins.

Now in the Green world, while Mr. Britten is talking to Detective “Bird” on the phone, Mr. Britten sees a penguin. “That’s not my penguin,” Mr. Britten says. Tilting his head he wonders: Just whose penguin is it?

Wanna know?

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Tags: awake nbc television theories reviews s01e06 penquins children stories Jason Isaacs bd wong Cherry Jones
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~ Wednesday, April 4 ~

The “Id”, “Ego” and “Super Ego” (AWAKE: A Map of the Mind)

Five episodes into AWAKE and one thing is more evident than ever before: Michael Britten’s mind is out of control!

When first we met Michael’s mind, we found it imagining a world where his wife is alive and his son has died. Then, we see a world where the opposite has occurred; his wife has died and his son is alive. But Britten’s mind hadn’t finished with us yet.

We learned from episode 2 of AWAKE that there’s a “little guy”, hanging around somewhere in his unconsciousness. This foe of small stature has yet to rear his ugly (little) head. Dreaming in the third-person-point-of-view, Michael’s mind envisioned Captain Harper and a Mystery Man conspiring on a park bench - “The Red Revelation”.

“The Green Rubber Band Reality” has it itself been riddled with its own share of troubling twists and turns. Rex was kidnapped in week 3; His former babysitter, Kate was arrested for murder in week 4. The same week Rex made a rumpus over a broken tennis racket. So, in the first four episodes, Rex has been the chief-tricky-challenge in Michael’s green, goody-two-shoes globosity.

And then, Episode 5 gave the green world an on-going and gratifying goon to love to hate. The green world’s little guy is a great big serial killer named Gemini. Is this Britten’s astrological twin or is this serial killing comrade but a figment of Michael’s multifaceted mind?

Here’s what I think.

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Tags: awake nbc television theories reviews Jason Isaacs s01e05 Sigmund Freud Id Ego Super Ego
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~ Thursday, March 29 ~

Kate Is Awake (a study in divergence)

When Kate Porter became the polarizing figure in Michael Britten’s duality, “Kate Is Enough”( last Thursday’s episode) appeared to have been too much for some AWAKE Fans to handle. And it just might have caused a division between those casual fans and we Awakers.

The National Broadcasting Company chose “to not to” run the episode as creator Kyle Killen had intended. Episode 4 was originally produced as episode 8. And so it seems, running it out of its original sequence has caused quite a stir: Some AWAKE fans argue: When an episode runs far and away from its indented air-date, the episode in question is nothing more than a filler of an episode. Others respond: There was nothing “filler” about Episode 4! Though played out of place in the grand scheme of things, “Kate Is Enough” will be viewed as an integral component in our understanding of the wide, wide world of AWAKE.

The question is: With a month of Thursdays (four weeks of episodes) behind us, have we learned all that we need to know about the world of AWAKE?

Let’s examine the evidence thus far…

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Tags: Cherry Jones Jason Isaacs awake bd wong brianna brown nbc reviews television theories s01e04
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~ Wednesday, March 21 ~

Duality Is a Downer (AWAKE: “Guilty” of great acting)

Our green rubber band reality can be a cruel place to live. When we lose someone or something we love we’re left only with our innate inability to do anything about it. It makes us feel helpless and it almost always makes us feel blue. For Michael Britten, however, our bluish-green reality is a much different world. AWAKE’s law of motion leaves Isaac Newton reaching for relativity. For every action in Britten’s green world there is an equal and opposite re-action in the red one. And yet his duality can still be a downer, sometimes.

For me, last week’s AWAKE offering was a “Guilty” pleasure. And there was more than enough guiltiness to go around in this episode. Rex, like many television teenagers before him, was abducted and left for dead in an abandoned shack somewhere in the middle of nowhere. But this kidnapping was quite different. This snatch and grab didn’t play out on a one world modded map. This one really hit home. This one toyed with my emotions.

I have to admit, while watching this dream within a dream that we will call this week’s AWAKE, I did get a little misty-eyed now and then.

Here’s what happened:

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Tags: awake nbc television reviews Jason Isaacs Dylan Minnette Laura Allen
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~ Thursday, March 15 ~

The Red Revelation - Part 3

Michael Britten doesn’t dream in “black and white”.  A lucid dreamer, although aware of the dreaming, doesn’t always understand the dream. The beauty of his dream might only be seen in the eye of the beholder, but dreaming in the third person point-of-view is nothing short of mind-boggling. When Detective Michael Britten dreamt the dream wherein he didn’t play a part, the dream that unveiled “The Red Revelation”, was he awake to the knowledge found within?

Since its inception, Michael Britten’s life in the red rubber band world has been anything but green. His insight on the dream world gives him the clear advantage over the mortal-man and his one-world reality. The dream world isn’t always wonderful, even for a super-dreamer. Dangers are found (even for a bona fide dreaming superman); enemies will no doubt be waiting for him just around that ever-elusive, imaginary corner.

As agents of evil always do, the Mystery-Man and the Little-Guy who caused the Dynamic Detective’s accident, will no doubt do their best to make Britten’s (red rubber band) dream world - a nightmare. Nevertheless, these evildoers are only the minions of a master-minding and indomitable nemesis; a prognostic projection of Detective Michael Britten’s subconscious mind.

Not unlike all the other great criminal minds of our time, Britten’s archenemy resides within himself, in the dark and deep recesses of a reality that doesn’t really exist.

Who is he?

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Tags: awake nbc television theories reviews inception Jason Isaacs BD Wong
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~ Tuesday, March 13 ~

The Red Revelation - Part 2

At the end of last week’s episode of AWAKE we learned of, what I will call, “The Red Revelation”. The color “red” no doubt implying an element of danger and that was surely the case. But “red” also colors the world where Britten’s boss, Captain Harper and a mysterious, angry looking and more than likely not so gentle, gentleman continue to conspire about the Britten family’s automobile “accident”.

So even in that last scene of the “The Little Guy”, the question, ‘was he a little guy’, was still being asked.  Now, I don’t want the LPA to boycott NBC or this blog for that matter, but I can’t help but think continuing to harp on a person’s hight can only mean that “The little guy will go a long way”!

In the weeks to come, when we look back at episode 2, we might not remember it as the most action-packed episode of the series. But what we will remember is that when we saw “The Little Guy”, we really started to feel the inscrutableness of watching AWAKE.

That petite exposé arrived as the episode was ending, but there was a very big clue at the beginning of the episode. I think it one of the foremost clues to unraveling our formidable, “Red Revelation” mystery.

Like most things we might miss, it was something someone said.

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Tags: Cherry Jones Jason Isaacs awake nbc reviews s01e02 television theories BD Wong
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~ Friday, March 9 ~

The Red Revelation - Part 1

The second episode of AWAKE that aired last night was titled The Little Guy. So this week’s mystery was finding a “little guy”. But it wasn’t just Detective Michael Britten who was asking about a person’s vertical prowess.

In the last scene of the episode, even Britten’s boss, Captain Harper, wanted to know if the person who caused Britten’s accident was short, you know a “little guy”. (Wait! ‘CAUSED’?)That’s right, caused. It seems, the thing that started all this flip-flopping back and forth between two realties (the accident), wasn’t really an accident after all.

But that’s not the half of it!

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Tags: awake nbc television theories reviews s01e02
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