‘Awake’ – ‘Kate Is Enough’: Don’t tell mom the babysitter’s red

A review of tonight’s “Awake” coming up just as soon as I make you a paper airplane…

“Kate is Enough” was one of the later episodes produced, but always with an eye on bumping it up to air with this first group of episodes. (Kyle Killen told me that they knew it would run early, but left it to NBC’s discretion on exactly when.) Airing episodes out of order isn’t that unusual a practice (NBC did it with tonight’s “Community” as well), but the relative seamlessness(*) with which everyone was able to do it here speaks once again to how the mythology and mystery of “Awake” is largely besides the point. If the show was really interested in giving us clues, one at a time, about what’s happened to Britten, what’s real and what isn’t, etc., it would be much harder to change the order(**). This is a cop procedural with a twist, and a character study (but not so much of one that they can’t, again, change the order in which the character experiences things).

(*) The one spot where airing this one now felt clunky is that Rex is acting out all the time, and no one can figure out why, and it’s taking place immediately after an episode where he was kidnapped and almost died alone in the desert.

(**) Though that hasn’t stopped NBC in the past. Just ask “Homicide” fans sometime about Crosetti.

“Kate Is Enough” was written by Killen. Based on the two non-Killen episodes I’ve seen (last week’s and the one that was originally produced as the fourth episode), he seems to take a less literal view of the relationship between the two worlds than some of the show’s other writers. Yes, Kate (played by Brianna Brown, who was the call girl in an early “Homeland” arc for Howard Gordon) has the same basic backstory in both, and she becomes important to both investigations (one as a witness and wearer of the key evidence, the other as the perp), but she’s essentially two different people, and her actions in one world don’t much impact the other. I think I prefer this spin on the show to something like last week where Britten can go question the same man in two different timelines and get the same info.

One minor complaint about this one, though, is that the show telegraphed the importance of the broken racket way too much. (Given what we know about Hannah, and why Rex took up the game again, was there any way it wasn’t going to turn out to be hers?) That said, Dylan Minnette continues to do very, very strong work – almost singlehandedly disproving the notion that all teenage boy characters on adult dramas have to be awful time-sucks – so I’m happy for the Rex focus.

What did everybody else think?