‘Awake: That’s Not My Penguin’ – Recap

Posted Friday, April 6th, 2012 04:00 pm GMT -4 by

Britten confronts what might happen to him if he’s not careful this week, in the form of a schizophrenic patient at a psychiatric institution. In the Rex world, meanwhile, we’ve got another family-centric storyline.

Hannah: Dr. Lee is taking a group of students through the psychiatric wing of a hospital, while a man paces behind a door. The scene switches between Hannah and Rex during a voiceover from a medical student describing schizophrenia. The assumption we’re supposed to make here is that Britten himself is a case-study for the disease, but it feels a bit forced.

Rex: Britten’s on the phone with their cellphone company while Rex argues with him about not handing in a permission slip. It happens that Britten’s forgetting things now… because he asks patrolman Vega about fingerprints when his partner in this world is Bird. And then he ends up dropping a bunch of evidence on the floor, while Bird chuckles. The manager of the evidence room appears later with the same box, complaining that there’s coffee on it and a cheap ring is missing.

Awake Britten and GabeHannah: Britten extracts a promise from Hannah about spending all day in bed tomorrow right before she leaves for work. Vega and Britten are eating lunch, and Vega mocks him for running a stop sign.

They get a call that a patient’s taken over a hospital. After responding, they find out it’s Gabe… the patient Dr. Lee was looking at in the beginning. Gabe has Britten wave at the camera, right before asking to talk to his sister. The nurse who reported the event tells him that Christie, the sister, was murdered.

Dr. Lee is the one who’s worked the most with Gabe, and once he shows up to the briefing he and Britten share a tense look. Dr. Lee explains that after Christie was murdered, Gabe created a conspiracy theory where she was abducted by agents from the government lab he worked at. Britten asks if Gabe can be reasoned with, to which Dr. Lee answers so long as Gabe responds to things only he can see and hear it’s unlikely. A dig on Britten?

The police decide to try sniping Gabe through a window, but they need someone on the inside to get him into position. And Gabe’s agreed to allow someone into the hospital wing. There’s just one problem – he’ll only take Britten. Hannah calls right as they’re making plans to get Britten inside, and he’s cautious to not mention any details of what’s happening. Once he hangs up, he walks right up to the hospital, holds his hands up for the camera to see, and then Gabe lets him in. Dun dun duuuuun.

Hannah’s listening to the TV when she hears that an officer has been let into the building where the hostage situation has taken place. She can’t raise Britten, so she calls Vega. And he confirms that yes, Britten’s the one inside. Whoops. Guess the not wanting her to worry part backfired.

Britten enters the common room of the psychiatric wing. The patients are wandering around listless, and then Gabe demands Britten show him that he’s clean. Britten opens his shirt to show that he is; and then he’s ordered to take a seat. Gabe asks what they told him, and Britten explains that he’s there to help him find her sister… and then also they said Gabe was making it up.

Gabe tries to say he’s not making it up. He shows Britten maps and pictures… and then Britten sees the dead man switch Gabe’s holding. He prevents Gabe  from walking over to the window, where the sniper will take him out. Gabe tells him Dr. Wild has Christie, and then Britten flashes on the ring.

Another patient bangs repeatedly on the window, until at last Gabe goes over and kicks the man’s feet out from under him. The sniper takes the shot, but thankfully Britten is fast enough to knock Gabe aside. They struggle a bit, and Gabe thinks Britten’s trying to kill him until at last he’s released and they both stand up. Then Gabe says he can’t have Britten making so much noise, so he bashes the detective in the head with a baseball bat.

When Britten comes to, Gabe stands over him holding a needle. And one of the doctors, locked behind a door, shouts that if Gabe injects Britten it’ll kill him. So what does Gabe do? Slam the needle into Britten’s chest of course.

Rex: Britten wakes up in bed, his heart pounding. Whew! Except now I suppose he’s wondering if he died in the Hannah world.

Britten calls Bird, asking if the ring with the name Wild on it showed up at all. He rushes downstairs and right past Rex, who’s carrying two bowls of Captain Crunch upstairs. To his bedroom. Where his girlfriend sits on the bed in a t-shirt. Go Rex. The girlfriend makes an argument for Rex asking Britten what’s going on; and she says that her parents know full well she spent the night last night. Progressive parenting, she calls it. So long as she tells the truth, they trust her. Interesting theory.

The PenguinBritten’s doing his coffee while talking to Bird about the ring. Bird says there’s no need to look for the ring, since the perp in the case plead guilty that morning. Britten pushes that something’s not right with the case. And then he turns around and sees a penguin. A real, live penguin. Chilling in the hallway.

He immediately visits Dr. Evans, and asks her about drugs that could cause hallucinations. She offers up ketamine as a possibility, which leads Britten to explain about the hostage situation in the Hannah world.

She says this is a positive first step because Britten’s acknowledging the danger of someone not recognizing what’s in front of them. Throughout all of this, the penguin stands next to the coffee table. The scene switches to Britten at the station looking for the ring, with the penguin still following.

Dr. Evans continues talking in voiceover about how Britten’s connected himself to Gabe as a method to showcase what can happen when madness takes over. Yeah, I’d be freaked out if I was injected with something in a “dream” and suddenly I was hallucinating a penguin. I’d prefer to hallucinate a loyal dog or something.

Britten continues looking for the ring, going so far as to rip apart his bed and even pull everything out of his car. He’s rolling up the rug in his living room when the penguin growls at him. And then Rex walks in, asking what’s going on. Britten tells him about the ring, but Rex says he didn’t see it. Then the penguin motions with its head, and Britten shouts for Rex to come down.

Rex admits to taking the ring because he wanted to give it to his girlfriend. This sparks an emotional conversation where Britten realizes he and Rex aren’t connecting. And then Rex offers for Britten to come meet the girl – Emma. So Britten heads over there and grabs the ring. Emma gives him a hug goodbye, which shocks him a bit. Britten then heads to sleep, and flashes into the other world.

Dr. Lee sitting in the roomHannah: Britten comes to with Dr. Lee examining him. The good doctor confirms Britten was dosed with ketamine, which explains the penguin in the other world. Then the power dies, and Britten tells Dr. Lee that means SWAT is looking for a way to come in and shoot a man wired to explode. This is, naturally, a bad idea. But then Britten couldn’t tell them about the deadman switch. Britten tries to convince Gabe to let him make a phone call and stop the police from coming in. He gets through by saying if the cops come in there, Gabe won’t get answers. Vega picks up and has SWAT stand down, which then allows Britten to ask about Dr. Wild and also a trip they took to some beach or something.

Gabe talks about sometimes seeing Christie in his room. He knows she’s not really there, and he recognizes this. He really wants to see her for real though. Then Vega calls and tells him the only reference to Wild is the Wild Rose Cemetery where Christie is buried. So that secret underground location? Yeah, might be her in the coffin. And there’s no trip in 2007 to a beach… by all accounts Gabe was under some pretty heavy therapy then.

Britten sits down next to Dr. Lee out in the main room. He tells Dr. Lee what they found out, and the doctor says there’s a chance they can guide Gabe back to reality because he’s starting to include details such as the Wild Rose Cemetery into his narrative. This means on some level he remembers burying his sister. So Dr. Lee wants Britten to help by convincing Gabe to tell him that Christie is dead.

Britten’s not convinced, since this is the same thing Dr. Lee’s been doing for years. Gabe sees them talking, and interrupts. Then Britten says he has information about Christie… but stops. The scene switches between worlds for a moment while Britten remembers what he was told about Hannah and Rex.

And then he weaves a story about Christie escaping while leaving a message behind that she’s free and will never let anyone catch her again. Some day, Britten tells him, he’ll get to see Christie again. The last line of the message? I love you, Trip. Yeah, turns out “Trip” was Gabe’s nickname… since he’s the third of his name.

Later, Dr. Lee asks how Britten knew Christie called Gabe by the name “Trip.” Britten admits he didn’t – he just took a chance.

Rex: Dr. Evans is surprised Britten didn’t take the opportunity to make Gabe see the truth. Britten wonders how Gabe would be better off thinking of his sister in the ground instead of free and waiting for her. According to Dr. Evans, this sums up the reason why every major religion has an afterlife. What troubles her, though, is that Britten backed down from the larger revelations about the perils of madness.

Britten sits in his living room, looking at a book – “That’s Not My Penguin” – while Dr. Evans keeps talking about revelations in voiceover. The book, by the way was Rex’s when he was a kid. Britten at last asks Dr. Evans why she’s so intent on forcing him to a revelation, since Gabe didn’t need it. Dr. Evans admits she’d rather not institutionalize Britten. And that’s why she pushes.

Hannah: Dr. Lee asks if Britten was scared during the ordeal. And Britten comments that of course he was… wasn’t the doctor? Dr. Lee says of course he was, but he wasn’t inside like Britten. Once he finished treating the detective, Dr. Lee was put into a secure van. So the Dr. Lee who advised Britten? Yeah, didn’t actually exist. He was part of the ketamine. Umm, anyone else freaked?

Next week: Some connections to Britten’s accident.

Miss last week’s episode? Check out our recap of last week’s episode: ‘Oregon’.