‘Awake’ – ‘Two Birds’: What’s red and green and mad all over?

A quick review of tonight’s “Awake” coming up just as soon as I know how to spell “tulip”…

Well, the news we’d all been dreading came last week when NBC declined to renew “Awake” for a second season. Given the horrific ratings, I wasn’t expecting anything else, and I’m mainly just pleased that the entire season will get to air. (Kyle Killen joked sadly last week on Twitter that “Awake” still lasted 600% longer than “Lone Star.”)  I’m assuming we’re not going to get closure on the mystery we really care about – about the nature of Britten’s dual existence – but the conspiracy angle looks like it’s not only going to conclude, but conclude very strongly, in the unplanned series finale.

This wasn’t a story arc I particularly enjoyed when it was just Harper and the Non-Smoking Man glowering at each other and speaking cryptically about what to do with Britten. But now that Britten is in the middle of it and causing a ton of trouble in both worlds(*), with the deaths of green Ed and red Bird, and Britten in custody in green world and a wounded fugitive in red. Excellent work from Jason Isaacs, Steve Harris and Laura Innes in both realities, and this is enough of a mess that it seems the only way Britten ends the series alive and free is if Harper’s pangs of conscience become too much for her to take.

(*) This was also the first episode to acknowledge that the conspiracy existed in green world, as well. In hindsight, one of those earlier scenes would have done better to be set in that world, though I’m still waiting for an explanation of why green Harper wasn’t nearly as concerned about Britten (letting him stay partnered with Bird, not trying to nudge him out, etc.). 

The downside, of course, to focusing so heavily on the conspiracy is that it minimized the presence of both Rex and Hannah, and hopefully however this resolves, it does so with enough time left for a few family moments before the end.

I’m disappointed this show won’t be continuing. But given that when I first saw it, I assumed it would be lucky to last a week or two longer than “Lone Star,” 13 episodes is something.

I’m hoping to talk to Killen after I see the finale, and either way, I’ll be writing a review. I’m in this to the end, even if it’s come sooner than I would have wanted.

What did everybody else think?