A review of tonight's "Awake" coming up just as soon as we have my desk bronzed...

I was traveling when last week's episode aired and never got around to reviewing it, but I found its climactic red world scene between Mike and Emma to be more powerful than most of went on with the Emma story tonight.

In general, both the personal and police stories in "Slack Water" were on the more predictable side of things. It was clear, for instance, that Hannah was right and the other adults were wrong about what Emma wanted, just as Ebert's Law of Economy of Characters(*) said that the green world landlord would turn out to be the real bad guy.

(*) I have a corollary that I guess you would call the Law of Economy of Guest Casting, where any actor who's too recognizable for what seems to be a minor expository role will turn out to be much more important in the end. The actor who played the building owner doesn't quite rise to that level, but I've seen him often enough in other shows that when the detectives spent so much time talking to him about the female victim, I said, "Yeah, he did it to get rid of the last rent-controlled tenant." Your mileage will vary depending on your knowledge of character actors.


The episode's strongest moment came courtesy of Laura Innes, who had to let a lot of conflicting emotions wash over her face after Britten told Capt. Harper (red world edition) that he wouldn't be leaving town just yet. I've been iffy on the conspiracy angle in general, but that was excellent.

(Also excellent, in an in-jokey way: the Brittens and Emma bond by sitting down to watch "The X-Files," where "Awake" producer Howard Gordon worked many moons ago. Due to weird legal reasons, none of the episode titles shown were from actual "X-Files" installments.)

Mainly, though, "Slack Water" was setting things up for what's coming in the season's home stretch. I've seen the next two episodes, which are quite good, and we'll be talking about those in the coming weeks.

What did everybody else think?