Awake episode 5 review: Oregon

The strongest outing for Awake since the pilot, read Caroline's review of the latest episode of Awake, here...


This review contains spoilers.

1.5 Oregon

This week of Awake proves once and for all that the writers know what they’re doing, and poses a few very intriguing questions to those who had stuck it out this long. In every way, Oregon is a huge improvement on past weeks, and marks the strongest outing for the show since the pilot episode. Even the case is vaguely interesting, with the criminal pushing the series into a pleasing direction for genre fans who’ve been waiting for some substantial developments.

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Firstly, let’s discuss the domestic side of the two worlds, as the only action in the red world this week was the question of whether Michael and his wife should move to Portland. Since the episode is called Oregon, let’s assume this is important. Hannah’s choice of movers pops up as a clue to solving the case in the green world, for example, but the crossover doesn’t extend past that point this time. What’s really intriguing about the possible relocation is what both therapists predict: the house of cards will have to fall.

From a viewer’s perspective, the show might be a lot more interesting were Michael and Hannah to move to a different state. The red world already looks lovely compared to the muted tones of the green, but a different landscape could liven up the visual aspects of the show even more, especially as we’re spending less and less time in the red lately. If they do move, what will become of Michael? Will his hold on both realities weaken? Or will his dual existences actually become clearer if he puts some literal distance between them? Then there’s the fact that the Gemini killer, whom I’ll get to in a minute, is heading that way at the end of the episode.

So, the biggie this week was the introduction of the Gemini killer, a figure I’m assuming will serve as Awake‘s big bad. The episode follows the character as he frames Michael for a murder he commits at the beginning of the story, and it soon becomes clear that he knows more about him than first revealed. It was only a matter of time before Michael was suspected, of course, his weird hunches and foreknowledge already prompting questions from his partner and captain. The only thing is, now that story has been done, like the kidnap of Rex a couple of weeks ago, they can’t go back there.

I only hope this quick use of interesting story ideas means that the writers have bigger plans for the weeks ahead, and the final moments here suggest as much. Just as I was thinking to myself, ‘when is this show going to introduce some more sci-fi elements?’ I was caught by pleasant surprise with a helluva tease for what’s coming. The Gemini killer knows about Michael’s dual worlds, and strongly implies that he might be experiencing the same phenomenon. I theorised about this last week with the character of Kate, but it seems my guess was slightly premature.

Seeing the world sideways is how he puts it, and it certainly gives more meaning to his title. In astrology Gemini is the sign of twins, of duality, and that ties into the ideas of Awake perfectly. Could he be the Joker to Michael’s Batman? Let’s hope so, as this twist has the promise to finally kick the show up the backside a little.

Read our review of last week’s episode, here.

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