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‘Awake’ Review: “Game Day”

Awake Game Day
NBC

Awake’ dreams up its ninth episode in “Game Day” where Britten (Jason Isaacs) finds himself investigating the divergent results of a football game that caused a murder in one reality, and an arson investigation in the other.  Things are once again looking pretty procedural up until the ending, but “Game Day” isn’t lacking for the intriguing drama and strong performances that ‘Awake’ delivers consistently.

Now, you’ve seen the episode and want to know how the show fares toward the ending run of its first season, whether or not the show can hold up under its continually convoluted premise! We’ve seen the latest, so what does “Game Day” bring to the field, a major victory, or a crushing defeat?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about the ninth episode “Game Day”!

On the day of a big Seattle Vs. LA football game, Captain Harper tries to prepare her team in both realities for the possibility of violence and disorderly conduct from the many drinking fans.  In the green world, boisterous Rob and his sheepish younger brother Kenneth attend the game rooting for Seattle, while in the red world broken-armed tailor John Koh (hey look, ‘LOST‘s Dr. Pierre Chang!) places a foolish bet on Seattle, clearly already miles in debt.

While Britten notes to both therapists that he feels like he’s having trouble keeping track of some of the differences between worlds, it so happens that in the green world, Seattle makes a winning field goal, while in the red they miss.  So while Kenneth revels in his team’s victory, John Koh’s face drops now that he’s lost his own bet on Seattle.  Kenneth doesn’t have too long to celebrate however, as he’s discovered dead in the parking lot the next day.  Britten and Byrd investigate, but his brother Kenneth claims to have lost track of his drunk brother in all the excitement.

At home, Rex reels from a breakup with his girlfriend, something Britten does his best to support his son through, while in the red reality he deals with John Koh’s dry cleaning business having burned down, killing a woman who was secretly living there.  Near as they can tell, the fire was definitely arson, though the death wasn’t intentional.  Noting the sports memorabilia present, Britten also happens upon Koh’s ledger book, evidence of the many bets he’d placed.

While Vega plans to throw him a going away party, the duo visits the home of John Koh, first interacting with his meek wife.  John first theorizes that some vandalizing kids might have been responsible for the fire, before the subject turns to the $487,000 that John owed to his bookie, a gangster named Solomon Kang.

Investigating Kang doesn’t turn up any real leads either, as they best they learn from a visit is that the chemical used as an accelerant in the fire indeed came from Kang’s property.  They manage to identify the car belonging to someone who might have used it, but cant get any plate info.

Over in the green world, Britten awakes to find his son standing over him, eager to learn techniques of lie detection as he believes that Emma has been lying about the reasons she broke up with him.  Britten reluctantly offers his creepy son some tips, but not before a call from Byrd brings him to the site of a DUI crash, someone who fits the profile of football fan Rob’s killer.  Things certainly don’t look good for the man, as he was observed getting into an argument with Rob in the stadium, and has little memory of the events around leaving the parking lot, though he insists he never would have killed Rob.  Later, Rex tries to get the truth out of Emma by confronting her at Driver’s Ed, as she eventually cops to the fact that she indeed has a secret.

In the red world, Vega calls with news that he’s  tracked down the car from earlier, belonging to a young gangster thug, who predictably runs when Britten and Vega arrive at his house.  Not too bright though, he quickly manages to crash his sweet ride, ending up in the hospital to be interrogated by the detectives.  Under threat of major prison time, the boy confesses to the arson, but explains that it wasn’t Kang who put him up to the task.  Instead…

The detectives arrive at John Koh,’s house revealing that in fact Koh’s wife was the one to hire young Jin to set the fire, looking to cover for her husband’s gambling problem.  As they lead the wife into custody, Britten has an epiphany about a Seattle baseball hat key-chain on Jin’s keys, realizing he overlooked a detail in the green world.  There, Britten explains to Byrd that the Seattle hat found at Rob’s murder couldn’t actually have belonged to him, being far too small.  Instead, the hat perfectly fits his brother Kenneth, who confesses that Rob had always been abusive to him, embarrassed and emasculated him at the game, and though the intent wasn’t to kill, Kenneth was the one to accidentally beat his own brother to death with a brick.

Later, Rex shows up to the station to have a talk with his father, revealing that the real reason for his breakup was that Emma had gotten pregnant, and miscarried, not wanting to tell Rex.  After comforting his son, Britten comes to the realization that like the outcome of the football game, little details might be different in between his realities, so where this Emma lost the baby, the other might not have.  He confronts Emma at school in the other reality, who indeed reveals that she’s still preggers!

Back home, Hannah helps the movers load up stuff from the house, when Britten arrives to tell her they’ve got something to talk about…

There may only be a few episodes left in ‘Awake’s’ freshman season, and there still hasn’t been much movement in exploring some of the mythology behind the show, but “Game Day” paints a nice portrait of how the series can still  rather that waste every episode on action.

What did you think of “Nightswimming?”  Does ‘Awake’ still seem too slow and involved for you to get into?  You’ve heard our take, now let us know in the comments below if you’ve “awoken” to this fascinating series as well!

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