'Awake': Is Michael Britten schizophrenic?

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On Thursday's "Awake," Michael Britten ( Jason Isaacs) finds a solution to a hostage situation at a psychiatric hospital in his reality with Hannah ( Laura Allen) and finds a missing ring in his reality with Rex ( Dylan Minnette) -- but is he actually losing his mind in both worlds?

Much like Michael, Gabriel Wyath, the patient with schizophrenia threatening to blow up the hospital, is convinced that his sister who was murdered is actually alive. Dr. Lee ( BD Wong) tells Michael that Gabe reacted to her death by creating an elaborate conspiracy theory in which she was abducted by a fictional Dr. Wild from the lab where he worked. Later, once Michael realizes that Gabe's sister is in fact dead, Michael actually helps him to maintain the illusion that she's alive rather than tell him the truth.

And speaking of illusions, Michael's seeing penguins in both worlds after Gabe injects him with Ketamine inside the hospital. But if the world with Rex is actually the real world, then perhaps Michael only dreamed up the Ketamine injection to explain away the hallucinations he's actually started to have in his real reality as a result of his spiral into madness.

Additionally, does the conspiracy theory that Gabe dreamed up mirror the conspiracy theory that viewers were introduced to at the end of the second episode in which Captain Harper meets with a mystery man and discusses the accident? Could Michael have been dreaming that scene as a way to create a world in which both his wife and son are alive and are being held captive from him as a result of a conspiracy?

What did you think of "That's Not My Penguin"?


Photo/Video credit: NBC