If you reimagine “Awakenings,” you see things different. This segment gets into psychology, the inner child. Also, it looks at non compulsive seizures. Toward the end, Henry’s libertarian impulse for freedom is beginning to be narrowed. And finally, Nikolai, the teleporting slave capturer from Eastern Europe, breaks into Henry’s house. Reimagine this broadcast and see the underlying messages.
During “Awakenings,” you might of missed a bit of psychology: Henry’s inner child interrupts her, and her younger self tells her she’s a monster while beating Clay Boone. This happens when Henry, wanting Clay to say sorry, beats Clay so he won’t get away with assaulting her. Henry’s inner child makes an astute observation which comes as a shock to Henry because she thought Clay was the monster. Careful, you do not become the monster warns Henry’s inner child.
This episode exposes us to Henry’s non compulsive seizures. These are seizures you have when awake. Sometimes, kids have them when they go into staring spells only to be shaken out of it by teachers. People have non compulsive seizures all the time and totally unaware of it.
In case you haven’t read between the lines, Nikolai doesn’t care about liberty. We can draw this conclusion when Nikolai teleports/breaks into Henry’s home. Nikolai doesn’t respect the right of privacy, choice, personhood, or a person’s right to define their own existence.
That being said, we should say something about the right of privacy. Privacy is not once mentioned in the US Constitution. In fact, privacy is an unenumerated right with origins in the mid 20th century. The right has it’s origins in the Griswald case (1965) and the Caroline Products footnote 4 case (1938). Courts agree the right of privacy is a made up right. However, according to recent Supreme Court cases on fundamental rights, if the state intrudes on your privacy, they are acting unconstitutional, but Nikolai is a private individual working for a private multinational corp which is not covered by the right of privacy, an extension of the Due Process clause under the 14th amendment.
And the right of privacy is not an absolute at the state level either. One just has to think of Roe v. Wade where Buck v. Bell was favourably cited. Buck said a state had an interest in a woman’s health, so a state can sterilize a woman without her consent or choice
Nikolai is a character pre 20th century. Nikolai, a character he’ll bent on destroying Henry’s libertarian impulse, is a throw back to a time before the bill of rights- slavery times. And now this character is reeking havoc in a time when liberty exists along with a made up right of privacy.
Nikolai, the slave capturer teleporter who works for a multinational corporation, does not want Henry to define her own existence or personal actions. In fact, later, we see a special room, prepared only for Henry, the corporation has made to restrain and imprison Henry. It’s this room where Henry will essentially be a slave. She won’t have rights of freedom or privacy and she will be studied. She’ll probably be experimented on and dissected by the multinational corporation.
In case you missed it, this episode makes you wonder who will save Henry from the demons and Nikolai, the teleporting slave capturer. Will it be Henry’s mom who is concerned with mostly herself? What about Henry’s schizophrenic teleporting dad? What about Townes or Jenna? Or can she even save herself at this point? One thing is for sure, the teleporting slave capturer is real and he can kill Henry.
Overall, this episode has a few non-obvious messages. One, the right of privacy is under attack. Also, slavery can return. That being said, we are not bound by the past because new insights are made on the human condition, and we move on. However, moving on can mean leaving behind privacy or a return to slavery, for the future remains to be seen.