‘Awake’ Recap (Season 1, Episode 12): Tiptoe Through the Tulips
On this week’s Awake, Michael takes on the man who tried to kill him, with the help of a couple of Birds.
Although Michael is now certain that Detective Ed Hawkins ran his car off the road on the night of that fateful “accident,” both of his therapists are skeptical. And he knows he hasn’t got shred of evidence to take to his colleagues. So in both the red and green worlds, Michael’s preparing to take Hawkins down, and he asks his wife and son to get out of town so they won’t be in the line of fire.
In the green world, Michael’s been calling in sick and won’t return Bird’s calls, so Bird goes around his house to see what’s up. Through the garage window he sees Michael’s collection of evidence about Hawkins, which freaks him out. Bird talks to Dr. Evans, who only makes him more worried that Michael is going to do something drastic.
Meanwhile, Michael is doing just that. He’s broken into Hawkins’ home and shot him in the leg. After further threats, Hawkins confesses to everything: he was involved in selling off confiscated narcotics, and they were being sold through Westfield. When Michael got too close to the truth, Hawkins tried to kill him. Hawkins tells Michael the evidence is on his laptop, but the file is password protected. While Michael’s distracted, Hawkins attacks him, and Michael retaliates, shooting and killing Hawkins. When Bird arrives on the scene and sees Hawkins dead, Michael demands his gun and essentially takes him hostage. While driving away, Bird claims that he’ll lead Michael to a hacker he knows, who can unlock the file, but Bird attacks Michael and knocks him out.
MIchael wakes up in the red world, where he asks that version of Bird to meet him, but not to tell Hawkins about it. Bird does so, but Hawkins is clearly suspicious. Michael tells Bird about everything, and Bird is skeptical, but Michael asks him to get the file from Hawkins’ laptop. Meanwhile, their meeting is observed by Hawkins, who can’t hear but knows something’s up. He reports to Harper and Carl. Carl thinks both Michael and Bird need to die, and plans to set it up so it looks like Michael killed Bird. Harper is on board, but clearly conflicted.
Bird manages to get the file and send it to Michael, who goes to their hacker friend for help. It turns out that the password is “tulip”, and file is a lease agreement for a storage space co-signed by Ed Hawkins and Carl Kessel, the chief at that precinct. The lease was signed the day after Westfield closed–the day of Michael’s accident. So they had moved the heroin there. The two arrange to meet after work to check out the facility and prove Hawkins is up to no good. But when Michael arrives at Bird’s house, he’s too late. Hawkins has killed Bird, and shoots Michael. As a wounded Michael flees, Harper tells his colleagues that Michael killed Bird and is on the run. She reacts furiously to Vega’s skepticism. Meanwhile, Michael just manages to elude Hawkins before passing out in an alley.
Michael wakes up in the green world, in the back of Bird’s car. Bird is ready to take him into custody, but Michael tells him the password to Hawkins’ file. Although Bird is confused about how he could know this, the file confirms everything Michael says. Bird brings Michael in handcuffs into Harper’s office, explaining the situation. Harper seems very skeptical, but allows Bird to investigate the storage facility. Meanwhile, she keeps Michael in a holding cell, because after all, he did shoot a fellow officer.
After months of dancing around this conspiracy, we’re finally getting to the bottom of everything, and at least these plot threads are starting to pay off. While the storyline hasn’t really been all that successful all season, it certainly made for a great episode this week. Watching Michael go through two parallel versions of the same case–his own–proved fascinating to watch.
But I wonder whether the two cases are really so similar at all. While the conspiracies seem to match up to one another, this episode is the first time we’ve gotten any indication of the conspiracy in this world. The broad outline seems to be quite similar, but might the details be quite different? For one thing, we’ve never seen anything in the green world to suggest that Harper has gone dirty in the way her red world counterpart has. And even though she seems a little harsh on Britten this week, that hasn’t necessarily changed. I wonder if the writers are hiding a little twist there.
And then there’s the bigger question: does this conspiracy have something to do with Michael’s two-world situation? Common sense suggests it would: after all, it all started with the accident, and Hawkins was the man responsible for the accident. But what we know about the conspiracy seems a lot more down to earth: it’s really just a case of police corruption with nothing supernatural, metaphysical, or otherworldly to it. There’s one more week to find out, and I’m very interested to see what this is all leading toward.
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