'Awake' Review: "Guilty"

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Awake’ debuts its third closely-scrutinized episode in "Guilty" where Jason Isaacs' Detective Britten finds his son Rex kidnapped by an escaped man that he put away, and may have been wrongly accused, needing to investigate both realities for an answer.  No new mysteries behind Britten's dual realities this week, but who doesn't like a little procedural now and again?!

Now, you’ve seen the series and want to know how the show fares a third time around, whether the narrative device falls apart or works like a dream, no pun intended!  We’ve seen the first few episodes, so what does "Guilty" 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 third episode "Guilty"!

In a hospital, criminal John Cooper receives dialysis and gets led back to his escort, before managing to turn the tables and steal a gun from his officer, taking the van that brought him there.  Meanwhile, Rex remains somewhat aloof about his father attending his tennis matches, before Britten gets a call about Cooper’s escape, a man he was the one to bring to justice.  The escape warrants the attention of Britten’s old partner Jim Mayhew (William Russ), who reveals that Cooper used a paralytic agent on the guard.

In the red reality, Hannah informs her husband about a dedication ceremony thrown for Rex, which Dr. Lee believes Britten doesn’t want to attend because it would force him to confront his son’s death.  His living son of the blue reality however, thinks himself a bad person for wishing his mother was alive instead, when all of a sudden John Cooper gets  he and Tara to stop, before kidnapping Rex!  When Britten arrives at the scene, Tara doesn’t remember much, but Mayhew reveals that the nurse aiding in John’s dialysis failed a polygraph.  Interviewing her at the station ultimately doesn’t serve much good, as she helped but didn’t suspect John would kidnap anyone, thus knows nothing.

Tara silently informs Britten that Cooper left a message asking for him to call, and a quick number trace leads Britten to a payphone outside, where a homeless man was paid to fill in for Cooper.  Suddenly, the nearby payphone rings, and Cooper demands that Britten meet him, absent any escorts.  Britten goes to find Cooper, but Cooper alludes to having been wrongly convicted.  Before he can explain about his innocence or provide any information about Rex, the police strike him down, having followed Britten.  Distraught, Bird gives Britten the idea that he might have a clearer head if he sleeps.

Waking up in the other reality, Britten tracks down the still-living John cooper in prison, in the process skipping out on the dedication ceremony for Rex.  While Hannah gives a speech about a time Rex showed his true colors in coaxing a depressed girl into getting help, Britten meets with Cooper.  Cooper alludes that he might know of the “place in the desert” supposedly connected with his case, but will only talk if Britten clears his name and finds the real killer: Jim Mayhew.

Britten meets with Jim at his home, and though he tries to deny it all at first, Jim eventually admits that he killed Cooper’s “victim,” planted the gun, and stole $900,000.  What he didn’t realize however, was that Britten recorded the conversation, and the police outside collect their real man.  Cooper provides Britten with the location of the desert building, and in the other reality they race to Rex’s rescue.  They find the boy alive, while each of Britten’s therapist conjecture about why Britten might have created these dreams to cope with the guilt of putting the innocent Cooper away.

In the hospital for Rex, Britten consoles Tara and ensures her it wasn’t her fault, and she informs him that Rex recorded a message in anticipation of his death.  While Britten listens to Hannah’s pride about the dedication in the red reality, playing the message in the blue reality reveals that the boy was afraid of what he’d say to his father, and didn’t want to blame him or push him away.  He loves him, and even though Hannah is gone, loving his father is what he’ll hold onto.

"Guilty" definitely seems a little more procedural this week, and easier to follow, 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!

Filed Under: Awake, Jason Isaacs, NBC
Categories: TV Reviews
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