Awake recap – 1×09: ‘Game Day’

Courtesy of NBC

This week Awake tries to deliver a bombshell twist outside of its central mythology, but mostly comes up lacking. As much as I appreciate the effort to do something more with Michael’s (Jason Isaacs) personal life (outside of the case of the week), this…is not the direction that I would have chosen.

Let’s bitch it out…

With four episodes left, I’ve decided to embrace the fact that creator Kyle Killen is not making the show that I thought he was when Awake first debuted. I thought he was making a show that explores one man’s relationship with his son and wife in the wake of one of their deaths. Killen has demonstrated that although that’s one part of the show, the majority is a procedural crime of the week non-serial. And that’s fine because ultimately it’s his show to make.

However, since there’s been very little indication that these cases will ultimately amount to anything, I’m no longer inclined to discuss them unless they’re particularly meaningful. And, similar to last week, I failed to find much of interest in either the dry cleaners fire or the murdered sports fan, so from now on I’ll hold my comments about the cases for the Observation section at the end of the post.

So that leaves us with the “twist” (if we can call it that) that ends the episode. During the course of ‘Game Day’, we learn that Rex’s (Dylan Minnette) girlfriend, Emma (Daniela Bobadilla) – first introduced in ‘That’s Not My Penguin’ – has dumped him because they got pregnant and she lost the baby. As with everything on this show, the impact of one world affects the other (“that tiny little thing” that can make everything different). With this knowledge, Michael goes to investigate Emma in the Red life (where Rex has died), and discovers that she’s still pregnant. As other recaps have noted, this is…not a great dramatic turn. Rarely is a child a welcome addition to a show – ohmygoodness look I randomly have a baby! – but in this case it feels like an obvious reason to delay the move to Oregon, which has been one of the few driving narrative forces on the show. As the AV Club says, this is one of those ‘wait to see how it plays out’ situations, but like them, I can’t say that I’m excited by this development.

Courtesy of NBC

Other Observations:

  • We once again see Michael have difficulty waking up in the morning. We’ve discussed this in the past – about whether or not living dual lives is impacting him physically. This recurring trope suggests that he is. Whether this will turn into something in the remaining four episodes remains to be seen.
  • Random sidebar: the nurse’s bleached bangs in the Red life when they visit the youth responsible for the dry cleaners fire is terribly distracting. What a strange casting decision!
  • As much as I’ve come to dislike the cases, I did enjoy spending more time with Wilmer Valderrama’s Vega this week. The bits and pieces we’ve caught from both partners (and shrinks) have made these rather rote cases more bearable, if only because they are interesting characters. It should be fun to see how the “farewell” party in Red life plays out now that we’ve learned Michael doesn’t like being the center of attention.

That’s it for this week. Were you interested by either case of the week or did you – like me – find them easy to solve and not overly engaging? What do you make of Emma’s pregnancy? Do you think this will delay the move to Oregon? Talk it out below.

Awake airs Thursdays at 10pm EST on NBC.

About cinephilactic

cinephilactic is a university contract instructor in Film Studies. He is an avid TV watcher, particularly science-fiction, fantasy and drama series. His favourite shows currently airing on TV include The Good Wife, Breaking Bad, Justified, Hannibal, Game Of Thrones and a smattering of shows on The CW. He has a tendency to "hate-watch" particular shows and likes to think that his sarcastic voice comes through in his reviews, though sometimes he's just being bitchy

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