Now this is what I’m talkin’ about. When I’m watching a psychological-thriller type show, I want my mind messed with. I want to see some seriously messed up things taking place, and this week’s episode of Awake was chock full of mind twists, hallucinations and, best of all, BD WONG.
We start off with Dr. Lee and some interns rattling off the symptoms of schizophrenia, almost all of which Michael exhibits during a delightful little montage in which Michael confuses facts from one reality with another. He confuses evidence and people at the police station, he mixed up some bills and now he and Rex don’t have phone service, and he generally isn’t firmly in one reality or the other. He also isn’t really paying much attention to Rex these days, who just so happens to have a girlfriend who chillz in his bedroom. OVERNIGHT. Scandal. But anyway, Michael is called to the scene of a hostage situation at a psychiatric hospital, a psych hospital that happens to employ one Dr. Lee. The crazy guy who has rigged the building to explode, Gabe, is a schizophrenic who will basically serve as the cautionary tale for Michael throughout the episode. Gabe’s sister, with whom he was very close, was murdered four years ago, but because he can’t cope with the loss, Gabe created an alternate reality in which she hasn’t died, but was merely taken prisoner buy some super secret government agents who are trying to get information about him out of her. Sound familiar? (Minus the sinister secret agents part.)
In true TV drama fashion, Gabe decides to let one guy and one guy ONLY into the hospital and took a shining to Michael a little earlier, so they send him in to neutralize the situation. Aaaaand this is when things get really trippy. Gabe has a “dead man’s switch,” meaning if he dies, everybody blows up, so Michael’s initial plan of getting him into position for the sniper isn’t going to work out. But no one on the outside knows the plan, so when Gabe hits the X that marks the spot, the sniper shoots, Michael tackles Gabe so he doesn’t die, there is mayhem, Gabe thinks Michael is trying to kill him and ends up smashing him over the head with what looks like a baseball bat (where did he get a baseball bat in a psych hospital!?) and plunging a very large needle containing god knows what into Michael’s chest as the nurse trapped behind the door screams, “GABE! NO! YOU’LL KILL HIM!”
Michael wakes up in the green reality. Is Michael dead? In a coma? Cue penguin hallucinations. Michael keeps seeing this rather adorable penguin walking around that conveniently helps him find the clues to solve a piece of the puzzle that will allow him to both return to the red reality and save all the hostages and himself from dying a gruesome, bomb-filled death and also get to know his son a bit better. Ah, family. Back in the red reality, Michael does some quick thinking on his feet (or rather while he sits, since he was bludgeoned over the head and then stabbed in the chest) and, instead of helping Gabe realize his sister is dead thereby pushing him into living in “reality,” Michael perpetuates Gabe’s delusion and tells him this his sister is alive and escaped her captors. But at least Gabe’s happy and lets everybody go. Hooray!
But what do the shrinks have to say about all of this?
Dr. Evans in the green reality thinks that his “dream” (aka the red reality schizo hostage situation) was a way for him to try to acknowledge the fact that he cannot continue his double life, that perhaps his subconscious is trying to wake him up from these dream states, that he had this elaborate nightmare of madness because he is deeply afraid of ending up like Gabe.
That’s one possibility.
In the red reality, Dr. Lee is very impressed with Michael’s progress! But that’s because he doesn’t know that Michael hallucinated Dr. Lee being in the psych ward, helping him figure out how to solve the Gabe situation. He also doesn’t know about the super cute penguin hallucination. Psh, details!
Tune in next week for what promises to be a real look into Michael’s own car crash mystery (FINALLY) and how that creepy police chief and ominous suit-wearing dude figure into all this craziness.
Thanks for reading, and as always, thanks for watching KPRC Local 2!