‘Awake: That’s Not My Penguin’ Review

Photo Credit: http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/?page=2

After being a bit disappointed with the last two episodes, particularly last week’s, Awake returned tonight with their best episode since the pilot. That’s Not My Penguin brought the show back to the intriguing premise that made this show so appealing in the first place.

This episode started out smart from the beginning as Dr. Lee informed his students about a patient he has with schizophrenia, Gabriel, that was interlaced with scenes of Britten confusing the two realities that he lives in. From the beginning the parallels between Gabriel and Britten were apparent, which helped make the rest of the episode rather incredible.

Gabriel eventually took over the hospital and Britten was sent in to calm him down. Watching Britten slowly relate to this man whose mind is fractured in a way was fascinating. It also raised questions such as how reliable of a mind does Britten have? What will it take to bring him to Gabriel’s level? This lead to an even more disturbing thought: what if he is there already? These are the type of thought provoking questions that make Awake such an appealing show, and this episode managed to throw them in with some truly intense drama.

It was exciting when Gabriel injected Britten with the drugs, forcing him into his other reality. This also allowed for some decent Rex development as he finally introduced his girlfriend to his father. All the while Britten is being haunted/assisted by a new, er, friend. The penguin injected some much needed comic relief in this very dark episode, even if he still was kind of creepy.

Once Britten woke up again in the hospital I enjoyed watching him and Dr. Lee working together. I loved even more how that was stripped away from us at the end with the reveal that the doctor never even entered the hospital, leading to more questions. But the rest of the climax played out extremely well as Britten recognized perhaps the only way that Gabriel could be at peace.

That’s Not My Penguin had everything that made the pilot so great: tons of thought provoking questions, great acting, and intense drama. I am glad to say that Awake is back on track. (9.5/10)

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