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‘Awake’ Review: “Two Birds”

Awake Two Birds
NBC

Awake’ puts a bullet in its twelfth episode with “Two Birds” where Britten (Jason Isaacs) finds himself on the trail of Detective Hawkins (Kevin Weisman), learning in both realities just how deep the conspiracy to kill him and his family goes.  There’s only one more week until the season (now confirmed to be series) finale, and “Two Birds” gives us our strongest case yet for why we’ve been robbed by this show’s untimely cancellation.

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 “Two Birds” confess, a conspiracy that saw NBC running this great show off the road, or a simple unfortunate accident??

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about the twelfth episode “Two Birds”!

Following up on the thread from last week’s “Say Hello to My Little Friend,” Britten attempts to convince both his therapists that what happened to his wife and son respectively was no accident.  However, they remain unconvinced, telling him that where previously he seemed to accept responsibility for their loss, now his mind might have distorted his memories and fabricated a scapegoat in order to cope.  Dr. Evans reminds him that his “memory” of seeing Hawkins in another car through a dimly lit mirror wouldn’t hold up under his own questioning, so he resolves to find real evidence.

Knowing danger could arrive at any moment, Britten spirits Rex away to stay with his Aunt, and in the process misses calls and a visit from Bird looking for unfinished case work from his partner.  Once there however, Bird stumbles upon Britten’s conspiracy wall linking the events to Detective Hawkins, and takes his concerns to Dr. Evans.  Evans won’t outright tell him details revealed within hers and Britten’s sessions, but willingly extolls that any intervention on Bird’s part should happen sooner, rather than later.  Because he’s cray-cray, yo!

As it happens, Britten is skulking about the shadows of Hawkins’ home, when Britten rushes in to confront Hawkins with a gun.  Under pain of a leg shot and a little light torture, Hawkins finally confesses that Britten was targeted for snooping to close to a police ring of seizing and re-distributing heroin, evidence of which can be found on Hawkins’ laptop.  Before Britten can retrieve the password-protected file however, Bird pulls in, distracting Britten long enough for Hawkins to get the drop on him!  After a bit of a struggle, Bird arrives to find Hawkins dead, Britten asking for his gun, and promising to explain.  Sure, why not?

Driving away, Britten does his best to explain the incredulous circumstances of why he killed Hawkins or learned about the conspiracy, though he still needs to crack open the password-protected files to secure any worthwhile evidence.  Bird reluctantly agrees to visit a local hacker he knows, but in the process of being un-cuffed to call, Bird smashes Britten’s head into the dash, knocking him out into the red world.

Once there, Britten leaves behind a very worried Hannah to call this reality’s Bird into a secret meeting, attempting not to arouse the suspicion of Bird’s partner in this reality, Hawkins himself.  When Bird meets Britten at a local park, Britten begs of his old partner to secure a copy of the file from his current partner’s laptop, while unbeknownst to them Halkins is photographing the exchange.  Hawkins then takes the photos to the other conspirators Captain Harper and the mysterious Carl, and to Harper’s horror, Carl now insists that Bird will have to die as well to keep their plot under wraps.

Arriving back at the station, Bird manages to intercept Hawkins long enough to download the restricted file from his laptop onto a drive, and get it to Britten, who vows to take it to the hacker Francis himself.  Upon arriving at the seedy hackers’ den, Britten is forced to trade his father’s expensive watch as payment for the decryption, though it takes far less time than expected, the password as simple as “tulip.”  Britten calls Bird out of a meeting to relay his findings, that Hawkins took out a lease for a storage facility linked to the mysterious “Westfield” case, dated the very same day as Britten’s accident!  Worse than that, the lease is co-signed by a Carl Kessel, none other than the chief of Bird’s new precinct!  No worries about the watch, though.  Britts totally gets it back, because Francis is just cool like that.

When Britten shows up to Bird’s house to trade findings,he finds his partner face up in a pool of his own blood!  Hawkins emerges from the shadows, threatening to kill Britten, when a moment of distraction allows Britten to flee, though not without taking a bullet to the side.  The precinct learns of the apparent murder, and while Vega does his best to convince Harper that Britten couldn’t be the type to go psychotic and murder his partner, Britten himself eventually collapses in an alley from blood loss and fatigue, Hawkins having abandoned pursuit.

Waking up in the backseat of the car in the green world, Britten is overjoyed to see Bird alive once more, though he wastes no time in explaining that he’s learned the password for Hawkins’ laptop, despite having been unconscious for a number of hours.  When the password succeeds and Britten explains the storage facility plot to his partner, Bird finally agrees to take the evidence to Captain Harper.

Of course Captain Harper needs to protect her own hide, dismissing Britten’s claims as unable to prove any illegal activity, though she reluctantly allows Byrd to lead a team to check out the storage facility, without keeping Captain Kessel in the loop, while keeping Britten in a holding cell.  As Bird leads his handcuffed former partner into custody, he reminds Britten that he’ll need to find something good in order to prove his innocence.

“I hope you’re right,” he says.

“Me too,” replies Britten weakly.

It really is a tremendous shame this show won’t live to see another season.  Complicated and occasionally too procedural as it may have been, “Two Birds” provides perfect evidence of the intelligence and well-crafted design of the series.  We’ll be extremely sad to see it wrap up its only run next week, though hopefully “Turtles All the Way Down” will be even 2/3 as satisfying or compelling as “Two Birds.”  Poor Bird.

What did you think of “Two Birds?”  Does ‘Awake’ still seem too slow and involved for you to get into, even a week before the finale?  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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