‘Awake’ Recap: “The Little Guy”
‘Awake’ debuts its hotly-anticipated follow-up to the pilot episode in "The Little Guy,' where Jason Isaacs' Detective Britten finds himself fixated on the murder of a fertility doctor in one reality, and his homeless counterpart in the other, searching for a "little guy" while his wife Hannah and son Rex coordinate across realities of Rex fixing up a motorcycle. Not only that, but exciting new conspiracies behind Britten's dual realities await!
But you’ve seen the pilot and want to know how the show fares a second time around, so you want to know whether or not it’s worth checking out! We’ve seen the first few episodes, so what does "The Little Guy" bring, and will it be enough to jolt you out of your sleep?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about the second episode "The Little Guy"!
Settling into his new dual realities, Detective Britten picks up little tricks of how to navigate, learning laundry techniques from his wife to take to his son, though his therapists disagree on the seriousness of his condition, and how it affects his casework. To that end, Britten investigates the insulin-induced death of a well-known fertility specialist in the blue reality, who also appears as an unrelated homeless man’s death in the red. (So wait, how does this work again?)
While Britten continues struggling to connect and spend time with Rex in the blue world, the red sees an unusual realization that Rex had been having packages delivered to their neighbor. Britten has no trouble looking to find out the contents of these mysterious packages, though Hannah has much more trouble dealing with the idea of items Rex left behind, as Britten believes she wants to forget about the death entirely. Hannah works herself up the courage to ask her son’s friend Cole about the mysterious packages, which turn out to be parts to a motorcycle the two were constructing. Rather than concern, she finally expresses pride in the memory of her son.
Meanwhile, Britten investigates the murder of homeless Ben McKenzie in the red world, to his partner Vega’s great annoyance, until finally obtaining a tip that the culprit was a short man referred to as “The Little Guy.” This gives Britten the incentive that the culprit in the blue world is like to be short as well, discounting the most likely suspect of McKenzie’s partner. Still, the existence of clues in both worlds puzzles and irritates Bird and Vega, who can’t seem to understand where Britten’s hunches are coming from, or why he lets them determine his police work. Britten does his best to skirt the issue around Bird, but has no problem condescending that Vega should do whatever he says as a rookie. Take that, Fez.
Corroborating a hunch that the main suspect was in fact watching a football game at the time of the murder, Britten follows up a hacking lead from the victim’s computer toward the teenage son of one of McKenzie’s employees, who was looking for information on his real father, and seems to have a valid enough alibi. Back at home, Hanna brings Britten up to speed about their son’s motorcycle, which clicks with Rex’s excuse-filled behavior in the blue reality. Things are not better in the Red reality, where Britten’s seemingly random investigation into the homeless McKenzie and his spats with Vega over what it does for his career draw the ire of Britten’s boss (Laura Innes) who reminds him she gave him the chance to retire after the accident.
In the blue world, Britten’s forensic technician re-examines the DNA markers to realize that all of the fertility clinic patients are related, meaning McKenzie had subbed his own sperm, possibly for years. This brings the investigation back to the teenager, whose alibi falls through, and admits he murdered his apparent father thinking the death would leave everyone better off, punishing McKenzie rather than a slap on the wrist, and sparing all of McKenzie’s “children” from learning the horrifying truth about their fathers.
The blue world’s case is resolved, but Britten confides in both therapists it seems odd to have no closure on the red Ben McKenzie’s murder, and either doctor theorizes how they might, or might not be closure in and of themselves. In particular, Dr. Evans believes that he concocted the homeless man story as a way for his subconscious mind to point out that he already knew about his son’s motorcycle. Britten casually slips to his son that he knows where he’s going at night, and in both realities manages to watch over both his son, and wife gleefully taking a ride on the hog.
Meanwhile in the red reality after she observes Britten making amends with Vega, his boss meets a mysterious figure on a park bench, claiming to still be keeping an eye on the detective. Apparently, taking out Britten’s family was no accident, and she asks her conspirator if in fact the man they used for the accident could be “the little guy” Britten seems so eerily fixated on…can you say, CONSPIRACY?!
I think "The Little Guy" did a fine job of keeping things interesting from the stellar pilot, but what did you think? Does 'Awake's dream-like premise seem too complicated for you to get into? You’ve heard our take, now let us know in the comments below if you’ve “awoken” to continuing this brilliant new series as well!