‘Awake’ Review: “Say Hello to My Little Friend”
‘Awake’ runs off the road its eleventh episode in “Say Hello to My Little Friend” where Britten (Jason Isaacs) finds himself unable to wake in his son's reality, and plagued by a mysterious hallucination (Kevin Weisman) who isn't much help in solving Britten's latest case. There's only one more episode until the season (likely series) finale, and “Say Hello to My Little Friend” should make the case for a renewal based on the strength of its story alone, but might be lost on the more average viewer.
You’ve seen the episode and want to know how the show fares toward the end 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 “Say Hello to My Little Friend” dredge up, style that's too-little-too-late, or a revelation in disguise?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about the eleventh episode “Say Hello to My Little Friend"!
Britten meets with Dr. Lee, seemingly angrier than usual, as he “shouldn’t be here, and “this isn’t how it works.” Apparently, one of the last things he can remember is attending a police carnival with Rex and Emma, bumping into a mysterious man, and bravely volunteering to be the first to do a bungee jump. Once he’s up on the platform however, he faints, and falls from the height, passing out in mid-jump, and waking up in the red world with his wife.
Unfazed, that day Britten travels with Hannah and Emma to view a sonogram of Rex’s baby, along the way questioning if Emma has had any contact with her parents. No time for that though, when there’s a killer on the loose! Britten and Vega next take to investigating a killer name Petrowski, who seems to kill thanks to the voices in his head. That isn’t the unusual part however, as when Rex takes to bed that night, he wakes the next morning once again in the red world!
Dr. Lee sees it as a sign of progress, that with all the new developments in his life Britten finally feels whole enough to let go of a dream reality, though Britten insists he needs to find a way to get back to his son. Upon leaving, Britten finds a mysterious man in the back of his car who doesn’t know who he is, but confidently states himself to be a hallucination of Britten's, for a purpose only known as far as Britten himself would know. Theorizing it might be related to closing the Petrowski case, Britten nervously drives off.
Britten continues pursuing every lead available, questioning Petrowski’s neighbors and co-workers if a little man ever interacted with him, Vega increasingly confused by the mysterious lead and retreaded line of questioning. In the middle of a conversation, Britten suddenly faints, and flashes back to Hanna and Rex singing “Bohemian Rhapsody" in the car just before the accident, before waking up, and shaking off Vega’s concerns. Later that night, things progress no better as Britten finds himself distracted, continually followed by the little guy, and unable to awake in his son’s world.
Vega calls with a new tip in the Petrowski case, that of a realtor who had recently hired the man, even allowing him to stay in his home a night. He doesn’t have any helpful information, or even an idea about the little guy, but the vision directs Britten’s attention to particle outline on a table, which the realtor reveals to be a list of foreclosed homes. Realizing that Petrowski would likely stay in one of those homes, Britten and Vega take a team to the premises to pursue and subdue him.
Interrogating Petrowski, the man readily confesses to the murders while acknowledging his mental instability, though Britten nearly throws away the man’s confession by continuing to press him about the little guy. Exhausted, he goes home to find no one there, and falls asleep. The following morning, with the case solved, Britten still finds himself in the red world, and searches for Rex in a daze only to find the little guy waiting for him, who explains that he too thought his presence had to do with the case. Walking in on him talking to himself, Hannah reminds him that he was to meet up with Emma’s father.
Britten reluctantly meets Emma’s father at a coffee shop, the little guy still bothering him, but barely manages a five minute conversation before the little guy starts shouting to get Britten’s attention. Curiously, the little guy seems to have spotted his real life counterpart, whom Britten abruptly runs out to chase after, but only succeeds in causing a traffic accident, blacking out to his fatal car crash once more, and running off after he comes to. Britten takes the description to his local sketch artist, creating a reasonable profile (good grief Kevin Weisman has a long face), before the sketch artist actually recognizes the man as police officer Ed Hawkins, none other than his old partner Byrd’s current pairing! Dun dun dun…
Britten meets with this reality’s Byrd (sporting a hideous goatee) before Hawkins himself shows up! When Britten questions their familiarity, Hawkins explains that he was actually first on the scene at Britten’s accident, though he wouldn’t expect him to remember that. Later that night, Britten flashes to the accident and pieces in the new information, remembering that Hannah had asked him to slow down prior to the crash. Finally believing himself to be responsible for Rex’s death, Britten collapses into a ball of sadness on the floor, and even Hannah’s comfort offers little respite from the grim reality.
With Captain Harper furious about Britten leaving the scene of the accident, the man quickly resigns rather than face suspension, too wracked with the guilt of causing his son’s death to continue. He visit’s Rex’s grave, only to find that the vision of Ed Hawkins still plagues him, uncertain of its purpose. That night, he removes the red bracelet from his wrist, and next meets with Emma’s father to extoll how much he’d give for one more moment with his son. Given that Emma’s still alive, he convinces her father that he should hold on to his child however they end up dealing with her pregnancy.
Seemingly convinced, the next night Emma receives a call from her father, and Hannah thanks Britten for his intervention. There’s no rest for the crazy however, as later that night Britten remembers further detail of the accident, that he didn’t crash the car, but rather another car behind them ran them off the road! Who was the driver, you ask Why, none other than Ed Hawkins!
Having experienced the truth, Britten wakes up in the green reality, after he’d just bungeed, overjoyed to see Rex once more. As all the officers of his realities observe the scene, from Vega to Harper to Byrd, Britten scans the crowd for signs of Hawkins.
Later that night, Britten places a call to Dr. Evans, needing to talk it through. He now realizes that he was stuck in Hannah’s world only as long as he had to realized the truth: Ed Hawkins was trying to kill him, and while brandishing a gun, agrees to meet Dr. Evans in half an hour.
Likely the best episode since the pilot, "Say Hello to My Little Friend does an excellent job of weaving back and forth between the mystery of Britten's accident and the devastating mental state it's placed him in, with Jason Isaacs completely selling the performance. It's too bad that with all of NBC's recent renewals, this isn't likely to be one of them...