“So tell me how this works” sets an eerie tone every episode and I love it. This week’s Awake was another great episode with good procedural stories and a callback to the core mystery … which seems like it will be moving front and center as the show hits is midseason. No time to waste, let’s get to the episode!
Red Rubberband World.
At Home. Selling a home in this market sucks , especially when your realtor not so subtly tells you that your house has problems and your husband lives in a borderline schizophrenic state, split between two worlds and is passively aggressively trying to discourage any move to any Portland. This is what Hannah is dealing with today. She starts to backtrack which gets Britten to tell her that he’s taking with the Captain today about leaving.
At Work. On the way to work (cause he doesn’t go until lunch time, I guess?), Britten goes through the good old Ricky’s Tacos drive through and once his order is in, the disembodied voice piping through the Sombrero Wearing order board (I presume that’s Ricky?) tells Britten that he can’t move to Portland because if he does, he’ll learn the truth. What truth, Britten asks? The truth about Westfield, it all starts with Westfield silly! When he drives up to the “gimme me tacos” window, Britten tries getting some answer from the cashier about what that whole Westfield conversation was about and cashier looks at Britten like he’s wearing his crazy pants … which he totally is. This whole thing reminded me of Steve Martin talking to the freeway traffic signs in LA Story. Doo waa diddy indeed.
Since Britten never really needs to show up to work, he heads over to Westfield Distributions’ abandoned warehouse (which is being leased by Diamond Ferris Real Estate in case that’s important later) where he takes a tour of the empty facility with a harassed leasing agent. He confirms he’s had the listing for four months and they left nothing behind but the rats. Not true my harassed friend, they also left behind a Ricky’s Tacos bag. SIGNS!
Station House. Captain Evil calls Britten in for the “talk” but he sidetracks it straightaway by asking to reopen the Westfield investigation … she shuts him down fast and says they looked at while he was in a coma and nothing came from him. Just then, Manny tells them that they’ve got a new case and Captain Evil tells Britten to solve actual open cases.
Crime scene. The morgue guy (who really does all of the police science on this show, even if its not even remotely connected to the morgue) is very excited about finding and excavating a body from concrete at a construction site. When Britten hurts Morgue Guy’s feelings (by not being enthusiastic enough), he throws him an ego stroke and says that “Han Solo didn’t look this good coming out of Carbonite.” (A Harry Potter reference would have been better given who Britten really is but Star Wars reference FTW!) As far as an ID goes, Morgue Guy has combed through old missing person reports and identified their concrete dead guy as Pablo Cabrera. You can tell because he is missing the tip of a forefingers and he went missing about the time that the body was entombed. He died from a fractured skull. Morgue Guy isn’t feeling the love from Manny and Britten and dude, you just gave them a three year old homicide to solve; I’d be angry too. Cut to Pablo’s hermano, Jose, playing with his kid. Britten and Manny show up to tell him they found his dead brother’s body and he has the cries. I should mention he’s got a tattoo of a tiger on his shoulder. Jose has no idea who could have killed Pablo seeing as he was only over the border a month when he disappeared. Britten sees the tattoo and bleeds thru to his case in the Green Rubberband World.
The Westfield Distribution Center. Britten (again ignores the real estate sign) walks up to the front door but when he sees the padlock, he trots back to his car. This entire scene was a set up to show us a mysterious guy sitting 30 feet away in another car spying on Britten (or rather, watching to see if he comes to the Distribution Center, I think). Mysterious guy calls Carl the Captain Evil’s cohort in evilness and tells him, they have a problem. Britten is an LAPD detective and doesn’t notice the strange guy in a car 30 feet away (in front of an abandoned distribution center) watching him? THIS is why there is so much unsolved crime in LA!
Carl the Thug is calling Captain Evil and complaining the he thought Britten was under control. She tells him he was just scratching an itch with the Westfield thing and there is nothing there to connect him to anything. Carl the Thug makes it clear that this is just a courtesy call, in fact things are already in the works to eliminate Britten so she just keep her head down and stay out of the way. Captain Evil tries to object but Carl the Thug already hung up.
Contraction Site. The racist foreman is getting Manny’s dander up with some illegal are sub-human trash rhetoric to the point that Britten dismisses him to go look for leads elsewhere. Once they are alone, Britten passively aggressively threatens racist foreman that he’ll bring in OSHA to comb through the operation with a fine tooth comb which will inevitably lead to a shut down racist foreman’s life being ruined, I guess? All of a sudden racist foreman remembers that there a guy named El Diablo on the job who was a real trouble maker. And who just disappeared one day. He had a tattoo of a devil on his back. As they leave, Manny is cranky about being dismissed and Britten imparts some veteran cop knowledge on Manny, telling him to never let the other person see him get pissed off, that’s what they are supposed to do. Their next plan is to show work the El Diablo angle at all of the local construction sites.
Later, with some Green Rubberband World revelations, Britten realizes that Jose’s tattoo is not really a tiger but the devil. Jose is El Diablo! TWIST!!! Jose bugs out when la policia show up and Britten and Manny give chase.
El Diablo Interrogation. El Diablo’s picture was ID’d by everyone at the construction sites and by the way, he isn’t popular at all. Here is the theory, El Diablo came across the border and killed his brother where after, he assumed his identity. El Diablo is PABLO, Jose is the dead guy in the concrete. Ay dios mio papi! El Diablo says it was an accident. Jose was on him about his shitty behavior from the start and they got into a fight one night. He didn’t mean to kill him. Oopsies. On the bright side, Jose/Pablo/El Diablo has finally come the man that Jose wanted him to be so happy ending! Not so much since Pablo is pretty down on having killed his hermano. Lo siento Pablo.
Britten is at Ricky’s Tacos, almost willing the Sombrero Man to speak to him again but he ends up just ordering an iced tea.
Captain Evil’s Office. Captain Evil tells Britten she sure will miss him and then gives him a big hug. He laughs uncomfortably and says this is just his notice, he’s not going anywhere yet. “HEHE, that’s what you think buddy” … she does not say that. Arriving home, Britten walks past the Diamond Ferris real estate For Sale sign in their yard while Captain Evil calls Carl the Thug to tell him to call off the dogs; you see, their problem just resigned!
On the Shrink’s Couch. Dr. Lee thinks it’s a little strange that Britten’s subconscious changed the story from a closed case to one that needed to be re-opened AND that Britten needed to solve it just as he’s getting ready to move. Maybe he didn’t change the story, Britten says, but rather, he just followed it to its conclusion? He’s had better responses, frankly. Later, Dr. Lee lays some “Pentimento” knowledge on Britten (to show how smart he is) and says that it’s a metaphor for Britten’s mind which caused him to re-imagine Pablo’s tiger tattoo (which he had on his mind from the Green Rubberband World case) to one of the devil. In the wrap up, Dr. Lee tells Britten that he’s creating a mirage of a case that can never be solved so that he never has move to Portland.
Green Rubberband World.
At Home. Nothing happens at home with Rex this week.
At Work. Britten is questioning Bird on what came of the Westfield case they were working after his accident and Bird says nothing came of it. Helpful. Unconvinced, he goes to look at the files but they’re (conveniently) called to a new case.
Crime scene. Sabrina Ferris (hmm Ferris, why do I know that name … oh, that’s right, IT’S THE NAME OF THE REAL ESTATE COMPANY THEY SHOWED US 8,000 TIMES IN THE RED RUBBERBAND WORLD THAT BRITTEN IGNORED!!!) is lying very dead on top of very crushed car. She jumped and witnesses spotted another kid show up at the roof top a second later. His name is Tim but we’ll call him Garbage Pail Kid (well, because he looks like a Garbage Pail Kid). Anyway, Garbage Pail Kid tells his tale of woe which involves Sabrina inviting him over to study and then getting to making the kisses and the sexy times. At the end, she sat there and cried and … wow, could there be anything worse for Garbage Pail Kid’s mojo than a girl crying right after you give it your best shot. Ah, memories of high school!. Bird is incredulous that hot (and dead) Sabrina would give it up to Garbage Pail Kid and Garbage Pail Kid totally gets it, he was shocked too. Getting back to the story, Sabrina ran away saying she was sorry and by the time Garbage Pail Kid found her, she was already on the roof’s edge and when he took a step towards her, boop, she jumped. Why would she do that? Garbage Pail Kid doesn’t know which is when angry dad shows up blaming Garbage Pail Kid for … something.
Angry Dad Interview. Sabrina felt bad for Garbage Pail Kid, Angry Dad explains, because he had a hard life. Angry Dad tried to discourage her from being his lab partner (and presumably leading him on?) but she was convinced Angry Dad had Garbage Pail Kid all wrong. Then he has the cries. Outside the interview room, Morgue Guy tells Britten and Bird that there was vaginal tearing so Sabrina had been raped on top of having the sexy times.
Garbage Pail Kid Interview. Britten is all, “I understand how sexy times can be confusing when you’re young and I am sure you didn’t mean to hurt her and hey, why don’t you just confess already.” And Garbage Pail Kid is totally on board. You see Sabrina was the only person that treated him like, well , a person and he loved her and if his aggressive sexy time skills forced her to jump, well, he is full of the sorries. And sads. Cut to Captain Less Evil in the hallway telling Bird and Britten the DA will make some kind of plea arrangement the next day and Bird marvels at the speed with which they wrapped that case up. Yeah guys, really, we’re clearly not done yet because too much of the episode is left.
Having had a bleed through in the Red Rubberband World to the Tiger on the vehicle pass on Sabrina’s car (the one she fell on, remember?), Britten heads to the police impound lot retrieves the vehicle pass which is for Tioga College, San Diego. If you are wondering, she checked in at 10:20 pm but the pass was valid from 10:20 Am to 5:20 PM (which makes no sense). Also, there is no obvious date on the pass. And last, parking was only $4 which seems like a good deal. Last, last, I could not find a Tioga college in San Diego but I did see that there is a Tioga Hall at UC San Diego so, I guess the show was being cute.
Station house. Bird isn’t buying Britten’s conspiracy theory about maybe an ex boyfriend at Tioga raping Sabrina before she travelled the 300 miles to LA to jump after sexy times with Garbage Pail Kid. When you say it like that, yeah, it seems unlikely. Britten’s mind is made up and he is driving to San Diego but gets distracted by Bird’s delicious looking lunch from Ricky’s Taco’s. Luckily Bird brought for Britten too.
Tioga College. The Ex Boyfriend (Chris Chapman) is in mid booty call when Britten shows up. Once they’re alone, he can’t believe she’s dead but he hasn’t really spoke to her lately. He last saw her two nights ago when she showed up on his doorstep all horned and trying to have the sexy times and talking about having the babies and the family and Chris was all, “oh, hell no.” You see, they broke up a year ago because of her strong abstinence beliefs so clearly she was not in her right mind when she showed up here. Chris tells Britten to look in Sabrina’s diaries cause she took that shit serious. On his way off of campus, Britten calls Bird and sells him on the idea that neither Chris no the Garbage Pail Kid raped Sabrina but rather, she was hiding a pregnancy by trying to find a replacement baby daddy. Bird likes it.
Westfield Distribution Center. Britten is checking out Westfield in this world because, sure, why not? There is similarly nothing here but the question is, is Captain Lesser Evil behind clearing out this Warehouse too? Not clear her role, if any, in evil doing in the Green Rubberband World. Anyway, Bird calls and tells Britten that the autopsy’s back and huzzah, Sabrina was four week preggers.
Sabrina’s Home. Angry Dad has a confused about why the detectives are still detecting seeing as Garbage Pail Kid is a lock and Britten has to tell him new evidence has come up and by the way, were you aware that your daughter was four weeks with child? WHAT, WHAT?!?!, Angry Dad says, not possible seeing as Sabrina was a good girl. Angry Dad also denies that Sabrina kept any diaries but hey, take a look if you want. In Sabrina’s room, they don’t find a diary but Britten does find some questionable marks in the floor which seem to indicate the dresser being moved in front of the bedroom door, frequently. That’s strange. Sabrina’s little sister, Ally, opens her bedroom daughter long enough to convey the, “I’m in trouble here vibe” and Britten and Bird escort Angry and Creepy Dad down to the station for some more questions
Creeper Dad Interview. Creeper Dad’s lawyer is outraged, outraged I say! at these child molestation accusations and Britten is not amused; in fact, he would like to no what he is doing to his daughters such that his oldest daughter committed suicide but not before repeatedly barricading herself in her room. He leaves out the, “You sick fuck” part. Creeper Dad is officially lawyered up so no more talking for you, Britten. Outside the interrogation room, Britten tells Captain Lesser Evil that he doesn’t want to wait 12 days for the fetus DNA test to come back and so he gets the idea to have Captain Lesser Evil do some womanly bonding with Ally.
Ally Talk. Ally, quite rightly, thinks its cool that Captain Lesser Evil is everyone’s boss and Harper tells her that she thinks Ally can do whatever she wants in life BUT she needs to be brave in the face of tough times. Captain Lesser Evil cuts to the quick and says matter of factly that she knows Creeper Dad was molesting Sabrina and she thinks he was doing funny stuff to Ally so how about it? Ally hesitates and Captain Lesser Evil pushes gently, she understands its hard but what Creeper Dad is doing is wrong; just think of your sister if you need courage. Ally spills her guts starting with, “it started after their mom died … he said he did it because he loved them so much.” Thank God, we’re speared the rest of that story before it gets too horrible and we cut to Creeper Dad being hauled away in handcuffs and Garbage Pail Kid being released.
On the Shrink’s Couch. Dr. Evans starts the episode by digging into the talking drive-thru Sombrero Man and says it’s a symbol which is used to taking commands but which is now giving them. She doesn’t really say what that means but at the end of the day, it boils down to Britten’s subconscious preparing to make the Portland move but also trying to fight that move. Later, Dr. Evans asks Britten if he found anything at the Westfield warehouse and he says nope. And not in your dream either? Again, nope. She asks him why he thinks that is and of course he says, because he is missing something. She thinks that its because there is nothing there to find. It means his subconscious is making an excuse for him to stay right where he is; creating unfinished business to keep things as is. Or perhaps, HE IS MISSING THE NAME OF THE REAL ESTATE COMPANY WHICH THE CAMERA ZOOMED IN ON 5,000 TIMES AND HAS THE SAME NAME AS HIS VICTIM’S LAST NAME?!?!?!?!?!
Some random thoughts to ponder; I hate that they are making us like Handy Manny. I know he is going to screw over Britten at some point and we are being pushed into maximum shock affect for that moment. And its working and I hate it. Where is Hot Coach Tara? Does Green Rubberband World Captain Lesser Evil have a hush, hush conspiracy thing going like her Red Rubberband World doppelganger? Is there a Green Rubberband World Carl? And last, where the hell was the Penguin? More Penguin Show!