Tonight’s “Oregon” provides a new suspenseful element to the show when outsiders gain knowledge of Britten’s secret. One uses his psychological state to turn the tables on him and makes him the suspect, while the other appears to be impressed by the effectiveness of his unconventional work ethic. While both outsiders threaten Britten’s worlds at work, his family life also reaches a major crossroad when Hannah wants to move to Oregon for law school, leaving Britten to wonder what would happen if he lived in different places in both worlds.
Hannah visits Northwestern Oregon University Law School in Portland; she tells Britten that she loves it and wants to start a new life there, but Britten remains hesitant. He does not think of it as a “realistic option” until he finds moving papers Hannah has prepared. When he informs Dr. Lee of his predicament, he asks Britten to think about the situation from Hannah’s perspective. Britten concludes that Hannah wants to start over in a new place so things can be “good again,” but what does “good” mean? Dr. Lee wonders if Britten is part of Hannah’s new life and explains how often couples break-up after tragic events. He describes how “two people wander slowly away from one another” and asks Britten what he is more concerned about, Hannah leaving him or leaving L.A.
When Hannah doesn’t answer her cell phone, Britten grows even more nervous about the state of their marriage. When she returns home, he reveals his concern for her intentions and asks why she ordered the movers without telling him first. Hannah explains that she feels embarrassed for wanting to leave when Britten is managing his grief at home. Nonetheless, when she reached Portland she felt that being in a new place gave her hope. However, she insists that she is not running away to forget Rex because every time she looks at her husband, she’s reminded of her son and she would never want to be apart from him.
What the shrinks think
In another interwoven conversation with his psychologists, Britten begins to consider the consequences of moving to Oregon in the Red World and staying in L.A. with Rex in the Green World. Dr. Evans believes that Britten’s desire to please his wife and move with her to Oregon shows real progress on his part. Dr. Lee highlights the fact that the move could threaten the existence of both worlds; he believes the dual realities have been working because they both exist in the same location. Dr. Evans agrees that the “connection will corrode” if one life is lead in Oregon and the other in L.A. Both convey the difficulty of processing both worlds in two different locations and they insist that eventually one of the worlds will fade away. Dr. Evans expresses Britten’s dilemma in a gentler way; she explains how it will be good for him to move on, but it is also natural to struggle with the decision to leave. Either way, sooner or later she believes Britten will let go of the Red World and Hannah’s death. However, Britten believes his coping mechanism is fool-proof. He says “this thing works because I make it work” and nothing else can change it.
This week presents the first reoccurring case for Britten, planting a seed for what will surely become a very personal and mind-bending cat-and-mouse chase.
During his jog, a dog leads Britten to a victim whose wounds match the brutal work of serial killer known as Gemini. Captain Harper, Britten and Bird are not sure if it is the work of a copy-cat or if the wrong man was accused of being Gemini and the real Gemini is now back to kill again. Britten reaches out to Federal Agent Elizabeth Santoro (Megan Dodds) who spent the last 12 years studying, tracking down and ultimately killing Gemini (presumably). Santoro thinks it has to be a copy-cat because although the victim possesses Gemini’s signature marking, he is missing a 2 dollar bill. Britten goes back to the crime to find the dog and when they examine the contents of the dog’s stomach, they find a 2 dollar bill. Santoro still insists it is a copy-cat because she shot Gemini herself and considers the case to be closed. However, Captain Harper believes the evidence is worth revisiting Gemini’s cases, so Britten and Bird get to work.
They check out a motel, but have no luck, until Britten recognizes the moving company across the street. It is the same one Hannah used in the Red World, so Britten goes inside. He chases a man through the abandoned building, but he disappears. Britten notices a napkin with the same logo he had come across in the Red World with Vega and he believes it is a clue that may lead them to where Gemini has been hiding. When the rest of the team arrive at the scene, they are all curious as to why Britten decided to enter this particular building when he could have chosen from any other location he has visited throughout the case. Bird and Captain Harper are privy to his “hunches,” but Santoro accuses Britten of being a suspect and wants the Captain to consider him as one. As they leave the building, we see Gemini has overheard their conversation while hiding in a vent; he sneaks out dressed as a cop and follows Britten.
Having been made an easy target, Gemini calls the police station from Britten’s home phone. He taunts Santoro and praises Britten for finding him in a single day. Santoro decides the call and Britten’s questionable psychological state provide enough evidence to consider him a suspect, so the captain takes Britten’s gun and leaves him in the interrogation room while a team searches his house. After an hour of waiting, Bird finally visits Britten and says he made sure Rex did not catch the cops canvassing his house. Bird also confesses that their partnership has been different since the accident, with Britten’s weird hunches and how they keep splitting up instead of working together, but he still believes Britten is innocent and wants to help. Bird gives him the latest Gemini file and Britten sees a picture of that strange logo, they look it up and learn that it is for the Bay Street Café. Britten also notices that Santoro is holding a coffee cup with the same logo and they head out to the park closest to the Cafe.
Gemini captures Santoro, drugs her, takes her to the woods and begins carving the Gemini signature on her arm. Bird tosses Britten his gun as they canvas the woods, Britten runs to help Santoro while Bird tries to capture Gemini. The serial killer makes a clean escape, but at least Santoro was saved from further harm and Britten’s name can be cleared.
As the episode concludes, Britten receives a call on his cell from Gemini. He says he “visited” Dr. Evans and knows all about Britten’s “awake” state. Gemini implies that they are sort of kindred spirits in that Britten’s psychological dilemma also makes him special in a strange way because they both can sees things that others cannot. Gemini eerily wishes Britten to have “sweet dreams” and as he hangs up, we realize Gemini is headed to Portland.
While watching the episode, it at times felt under-whelming compared to the anticipation of seeing what would happen when Britten became a suspect. Although the acting is always strong, some scenes unfortunately play slower and feel a bit boring. However, in hindsight, this episode has given us a lot to ponder over the next week and the rest of the season.
Having a serial killer called Gemini as Britten’s threatening nemesis is an interesting and creative twist, which makes for various paralleled possibilities in both worlds. Depending on which world is real, one could argue that Gemini is a figment of Britten’s imagination and a metaphor for his realities that can jeopardize his livelihood in the true “real world.” It is fascinating for Gemini to surface in Rex’s Green World the same time Hannah wants Britten to leave L.A. in the Red World. It is even more puzzling to have Gemini travel to Portland when we know neither Hannah nor Britten will be there in the Green World, yet we are still worried that Gemini’s presence in Portland will cross over to the Red World and threaten Hannah’s fresh start. Perhaps this will be a reason for Britten to keep Hannah from moving to Portland, maybe he will even tell her the whole truth of his “dream” and hope his “hunch” will encourage her to stay in L.A. Gemini could simply be an incarnation of Britten’s fears, a doppelganger created to prevent Britten from moving on and letting go of one world.
What did you think of “Oregon”? What do you make of Gemini’s endgame? Do you think Britten’s dual worlds can continue to exist in different cities? Will the Red World continue to exist if Hannah chooses to move to Portland without Britten?
Share your thoughts and Talk TV with Tiffany on Facebook for scoop on more shows.
- As always, clever and careful writing tethers these worlds together beautifully. Various activities, places, objects, and people became crucial clues.
- Vega and Britten seem to be making progress in their working relationship, the snippet we saw of them this week emphasized the fact that Vega can learn from Britten and should know his place as rookie. The “rookie tax” bit was funny too.
- Captain Harper’s presence is equally powerful in both worlds. Harper, Lee, Evans, and Britten are the only characters to play the same roles in both worlds. They are the constants we should probably follow closely for clues as to which world is real. Unfortunately, there has been no more mention of the accident and conspiracy from Harper, so hopefully she will reveal some details of her involvement soon.
- Love the “Gemini” concept. It is a perfectly clever vehicle to use throughout the series as “duality” poses such a great threat to Britten and the multiple meanings of the word fit so many aspects of the show. Check it out on Wikipedia.