Awake Review: Lacking Substance
"Slack Water" leaned towards mostly predictable tonight. In fact, it’s probably one of the poorer episodes Awake has doled out.
The case was rather underwhelming. It was pretty easy to see the landlord wrote the check for the murders. He wanted all of his rent-controlled tenants out of that building. This is really one of the most numbing cases Awake has every done.
The biggest things to come out of the episode involved Emma and the conspiracy. While Emma is an engaging high school student, I’m finding it hard to see where this plot thread is heading. It’s a great way, as I mentioned in last week’s review, to keep Michael and Hannah in L.A., but where’s the long term in this story?
Plus, it’s just full of awkwardness. I understand Hannah’s need to keep a connection open with Rex, and her intuition in recognizing that Emma’s choices weren’t really being considered were wonderful. However, we still don’t really know what Emma’s real choice is, and it ends up feeling like Hannah is putting her own spin on Emma’s predicament.
I suppose since Emma is staying at the Britten house that she truly wants to keep the baby, but what happens if she wants to move away? Or she doesn’t want Hannah and Michael to adopt it? Hannah has grand ideas and plans in the wake of Rex’s death, and it's still unknown just how much of those plans are fueled by her grief.
Perhaps this story would have felt more connective had Michael had some sort of actual role in it, but he stood idly by and let Hannah make all the decisions. It would work if this is an ensemble show, but, let’s be honest, this is Michael’s story and journey – not Hannah’s. As an audience, our main connection is with him and the choices he makes. At the very least, allow Michael to have an opinion and take on things that are happening, but once Hannah’s intuitions were confirmed he took a backseat.
Also, I’m curious why Hannah thinks Rex would tell her all about the sex he had with Emma. Yeah, he might have told her about his girlfriend, but even then we didn't know for sure they were couple until a few weeks ago.
The conspiracy, while short, offered up some rather good developments, though I think we all were hoping for something that might have been a little grander in scale or story. It makes sense that - in Britten’s world and being a cop - that the conspiracy and things he could have been looking into were about drugs and where it could lead him.
As it turns out Mysterious Man has a lot of heroin that’s going bad, and he apparently can’t move it until Britten is out of L.A. for good. This feels like a forced plot development, especially since it looks like Harper is part of keeping the police off his trail. But I’m willing to go with it since it looks we’re finally being pushed on path that may begin doling out answers about the accident.
Real Reality Check
Tonight isn’t a hard decision: Red. When all of the plot developments happen in Red with Emma and the conspiracy there’s no need to really even take a look at Green since it only had a case to deal with.
What did you think of tonight’s Awake?
Awake: "Slack Water"
Nick McHatton is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.