VERY DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS
- The central conceit of this episode hinges on the different directions loss can take someone. Specifically for Britten, the two Kates are used as tools to help Rex through his pain/to nurture the dream where Rex is alive.
- Britten uses both the ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ versions of Kate to positive effect. The green-world Kate illustrates what may happen if he doesn’t keep reaching out to Rex. While the red-world Kate presents him with the instruction to keep on trying.
- The episode further raises the idea of events in the dream taking place before reality.
- As I mentioned last time out, one possible explanation is that Britten is a kind of precog, giving him the ability to ‘sense’ what is going to happen in the real world, before it seemingly happens.
- Alternatively, events in the dream and reality may be taking place in parallel, even though there appears to be a time delay between his experiences.
- If the green-world is the dream, it’s interesting that Britten should construct such a painful narrative for his son, when he could perhaps manifest a less harrowing interpretation of events.
- However, Britten is unable to consciously control the narrative taking place in his dreams. But presenting a world (be it red or green) which helps him to help Rex, is helpful to him, and a way of coping with his loss.
- Also, the more ‘real’ the dream, the more authentic the pain, the less chance there is of coming out of the ‘Matrix’, as it were. Whichever world is the dream, it makes sense for his mind to reflect as real a narrative as possible. Note how both therapists have an answer for everything, they are vital in maintaining the authenticity of both realms.
- The security camera serves as an allegory for Britten’s mind. The owner of the house didn’t see anything suspicious, but his camera did. In essence, Britten went into the dream (camera) to extract the subconscious information (recording device) that helped him solve the case and help Rex.
SLEEP ON IT
- One of the things worth considering in all of Britten’s puzzle piecing, is that he’s a detective. It’s his job to look for clues and use intuition as well as logic. This might give him a specific edge when dealing with his extraordinary scenario.
- Another way to look at it, is the notion that Britten, like most people, have the answers they need. It’s unlocking and interpreting them that is often the struggle. Britten’s heightened state allows him to get to the heart of the matter and resolve problems, sometimes by constructing obstacles to get solutions.
- In a sense, Kate’s role as Rex’s former babysitter is no coincidence. Britten needed a nurturing figure (even if it was an extension of himself, on one side) to help him articulate the source of Rex’s problem.
- At the same time, Kate is a reflection of Britten. He understands her story about not wanting to feel better after the death of her sister.
- There was an interesting little moment where Britten is woken up ‘unnaturally’ by Vega’s phone call. He can force himself to the other side, but can he control how early he awakes?
- I mentioned the concept of time taking place in a kind of flux. Dr. Lee taps into this idea when he says Britten went back and placed the photo of Kate in his dream. Whether or not Lee is a reliable narrator remains to be seen, but he speaks to the unconscious malleability of Britten’s dream world.
- If Britten’s dreams are able to change according to the needs of his reality, then that opens up a can of possibilities. Though personally, I still like the idea that the two worlds run in parallel, hence their ability to inform one another so discreetly.
- I also like the notion that Britten is a saboteur of his own mind, covering up irrefutable evidence that one side is more real than the other. But perhaps he has to if he wants to hold on to both ‘realities.’
- But is this much different from what people do every day to make themselves believe (rightly or wrongly) in certain things?
- The question will eventually become, can Britten handle the truth? But can he ever look subjectively at his situation, or is he too far gone in the melting pot of his mind?
- “I’m not going anywhere, I’m right here. I’m your father and I love you.” Britten telling Rex that he’s “here,” echoes his words in the previous installment.
Previously on Awake Observations: 1.03 “Guilty”