Awake: Mind Control

Awake S01E13: "Turtles All the Way Down"

(Be sure to check out our Q&A; with Awake creator Kyle Killen in which he discusses the meaning of the episode and discusses where the show would have gone in Season 2.)

There have been several IT WAS ALL A DREAM moments in television. Dallas, St. Elsewhere, Newhart, that time Allison Brie and Sarah Shahi were fighting over me in a pool of sausage gravy. It's a technique that's generally frowned upon, because as arrogant audiences, we're too smart for that trope. We've seen it done before so often that we expect to see it, and it was a popular theory when Awake started. Everything Michael is experiencing is a dream. His wife is dead. His son is dead. And he's dead. Or he's in a coma. Or he's suffocating under a fat lady.

Tonight's series finale "Turtles All the Way Down" touched on the notion that it was all a dream but never firmly stated that, or anything for that matter, leaving a whole lot of everything beautifully up for interpretation for all of eternity. It served as a very satisfying series finale with a heart-swelling final scene that keeps a lot of questions unanswered, but it was also a great season finale that kept just enough open to wonder what could have been.

Because we know Awake isn't coming back (pour some out for our homie, show creator Kyle Killen), we unfortunately have to take "Turtles All the Way Down" as finality, even though it serves us better as the end of a chapter of a series that, despite naysayers, easily could have gone more seasons. With this the end of the series, it appeared that Michael controlled his own mind and chose a third option rather than be resigned to living alternately in the Red and Green Worlds.

Let's look at the final chat with Dr. Evans, where she's convinced that Michael made huge steps by coming to terms with his "dream" state, which featured Vega in a penguin costume, astral-projected dream DVR with Kinect controls, and the thing that set the second half into orbit: both Michaels having a conversation with each other. Michael wasn't sold on Evans' idea that one reality was in his mind, and he never had been all season long. He wanted both Hannah and Rex, so he hung onto the two separate realities throughout the first season.

But his mind got stuck on solving the conspiracy of who tried to kill him and who ultimately killed Rex or killed Hannah as collateral damage. When he closed that door and sent Harper away in the Green reality, Michael said it wasn't like the other cases he'd solved where he found closure. Closure was what was missing. How did closing that "case" feel? "Like it doesn't matter," said Michael. Because to him, it didn't. He had been chasing the wrong thing. But it was something that would lead him on a path to closure.

"I believe you'll find that allowing yourself to invest fully in one real life is ultimately going to be a richer experience than dividing yourself between two," said Dr. Evans.

"What if I just had a dream?" was Michael's response.

That line could be interpreted a few ways. He could be talking about the past, how he just had a dream that created a phoney reality. Or it could be a new solution, as in "Why don't I just have a new dream?" And it hit him. Instead of creating two realities where his son and wife were both alive (or creating one reality where one was alive and living in actual reality where the other survived the accident), he abandoned both and created a new world where both his son and wife were alive. He took control of his mind like some lucid living. The only reality Michael cares about is one where Rex and Hannah are both available for breakfast around the kitchen table. This is a man who famously said, "When it comes to letting one of them go, I have no desire to ever make progress." Michael chose not to make progress. Michael chose his family unbroken, fabricated or not.

It's an ending very similar to Steven Soderbergh's Solaris [Spoilers for that movie incoming!], where George Clooney's character had been dealing with the death of his wife and went on a space mission to a planet that brings your desires to reality. Solaris brought his wife back (or at least a convincing facsimile), and when faced with the decision of getting sucked into Solaris in an exploding spacecraft or retreating back to Earth, he stayed put and was rewarded with an existence where he and his wife were together again. Even if it wasn't "real."

But what is real and what isn't? Relativity is the key here, and as long as everything feels real to Michael, who are you to tell him it isn't? Michael chose what was most important to him at the cost of everything else. Beautiful.

Killen has been quoted as saying that one of the realities was definitely real and one was not. I'm going to assume that he was telling the truth and say that Hannah's reality was the "dream," given the unusual sequence with Wilmer Valderrama as The Penguin and the impromptu dinner date with Hannah.

However, I think there's still a lot more to the story, and that's probably what Season 2 would have explored. How was Michael able to see the events in the Silver Saddle Hotel, which gave him the ammo he needed to put Harper away? Was there something else external involved in Michael's dual-reality predicament or was this the case of a man who was so strong-minded he was able to craft a separate reality? Would Michael have been forced to pull away from this new third reality he created and spent his days trying to get back? Would Bird grow out a sweet 'stache?

There might be a large contingent of folks out there calling this a cop-out ending, but given the circumstances, I'd argue that it couldn't have been much better. This was a series that didn't know whether or not it was coming back when the finale was written (which was a while ago), and needed to provide a satisfactory ending that could serve both purposes. And it really did. When Michael walked downstairs and Rex and Hannah entered the room, it was one of the more rewarding television experiences of the season. And that's because so much care and effort went into making sure that scene paid off with incredible family moments throughout the season. Awake is so much more about Michael than other shows are about their protagonists, and seeing his reaction to having his family before him gave us the closure Michael so desperately sought and the happiest of possible endings for a man we cared so much about.


Dream Log

– I know I only talked about the last 10 minutes or so, but really, that's the good stuff that deserves talking about. I did really enjoy the entire episode, and loved the way the intensity held up. It's just that the last half of the episode, when Michael was in prison and was told he had a visitor, the show jumped to a whole new level. Once again, fantastic pacing. There was never a moment of downtime in the last two episodes.

– Lots of 2001 in this episode as well. Killen's influences are certainly in the right place.

– Let's go back to the episode "Kate is Enough," one of my favorites of the season. In that episode, Rex's old babysitter Kate was a superstar hotshot in one reality and a junkie jailbird in the other. In tonight's episode, Michael was on his way to commendation in one reality and in an orange prison jumpsuit in the other. The only difference between the two Kates was that in one, her mother made one more attempt to help her fix things. But here, it was actually Michael that helped himself out and became that extra push he needed. "Kate is Enough" was one of the episodes that was pushed way up in sequence to better convey the ideas the series was going to portray.

– Thank you Kyle, Leonard, Jason, and everyone else involved in Awake for putting together a fantastic show that will not be forgotten.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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Just like MyOwnWorstEnemy, flashforword, Happytown, awake leaves on as ambiguous and melancholic of endings as tv often loves to do. Although we would always love more seasons, I think miniseries like the ones mentioned provide the best television cable has written and not saturated with fillers like house or lost. All in all it was the happy ending, which we love to hate. I enjoyed the journey which was full of complexity and emotion like a movie, which doesn't need a sequel. The actor was perfect, the production was great and the story and writing takes precision. All I have to say is thanks for making it happen.
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I can say one thing to the "It was all just a dream" people. How many of you wake up from a dream fully clothed walking through a door from a doctor's office or hell even your closet or bathroom,into your bedroom?
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It so pisses me off that this awesome and original show got canceled because of people out there that watched the first episode and maybe even the second and wondered "Why is the tint changing? Why haven't they explained the entire series yet? Wait the story continues to the next episode? This is stupid why can't they be more original and give answers in their episodes? Oh look there's a new show about lawyers and doctors and American Idol is on tonight!"

REALITY TV HAS DESTROYED PEOPLE'S ATTENTION SPANS!
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While it's human nature to want to hold on to something that's good - I kind of like the idea of one-season shows. You tell *A* story, and when the story is done - the show is over. If you have a particularly great story to tell, why should it matter if it's told in one season? This show was proof of that. Great writing - great story - INCREDIBLE cast...



I can't wait to see what else this talented cast can individually come up with, especially Jason Isaacs. Oh, daddy!
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Just wondering what you think what my interpretation is, it kind of varies in one of two ways in a small reason, ill explain I'm writing this as my ending to the season/series



1. Michael is dead, Hannah and Rex alive

2. Michael, Hannah and Rex are dead



OK 1: Neither realities were real. Events that happened before the accident were all real. Michael was first partnered with Bird, knew Harper for a long time, became partners with Vega Bird partnered with Hawkins. Michael was investigating the conspiracy with the help of Bird NOT Vega He was getting real close and the crash happened and he died. If this was number 2 Hannah and Rex both "moved on" to heaven or wherever you choose to believe is the "Better Place" But Michael being Michael had too much unsolved business and therefore went to purgatory, hence the beginning of the series with no memory of what happened. Therefore he was unknowingly being tested by forces trying to sway him to their side. The manifestations of Hannah and Rex were there to remind him of what he needed to do in order to get what hewanted the most, both of them back, along with other things like in "Ricky's Taco's" being told where that warehouse was. As well as all the other seemingly supernatural things that happened. Then there was the opposing forces like the Capt trying to deter him, assigning Vega to be his babysitter, even the cases he worked on to try to seem business as usual but those coincidences that popped up like I mentioned the Taco vendor etc. Most importantly the shrinks who tried to convince Michael that whichever one he was talking to was reality, That one of his family was dead and he was going crazy because he couldn't accept it. However it took all that time because he could only remember things he knew in life, much like the "Hawkins" in Michael's head who also only knew what Michael knew. It was that fake Hawkins that finally allowed Michael to be able to see through the BS and remember. In the red world he just went rogue damning the consequences which took him to the "other" place where he met himself and that meeting gave him the power to access the truth and gave him power, and destroyed the red world. and in the "other" place the shrinks which I consider the villains tried together to get Michael to think he is crazy, not whenhe yelled Shut Up! they disappeared. Armed with this power he accesed the truth "Vega in the penguin costume showing Harper kill" and armed with that knowledge took down Harper, with the green world crumbling Dr Evans made one attempt but Michael shut her and it down and passed the "test" and was able to "move on" Now here is the little reason Hannah and Rex might be alive, cuz when Michael "moved on" those two just acted like a normal day, I would think if they were dead also they would know what Michael knows and it would have been more of a welcoming reunion.



Ok sorry for writing so much, people please tell me what you think

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The show getting pickup by another network is unlikely at this point. Kyle Killen already said that he is not interested in moving the show. Regardless, I'm happy with the ending.
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"It's just that the last half of the episode, when Michael was in prison and was told he had a visitor, the show jumped to a whole new level. "



i know, one that happened it was pretty much one WTF moment after another until the end.



i thought it was great. so sad it's over
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No matter what anyone would say ,i loved the show and really really hope for a second season.
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Horrible, horrible ending. Seriously...
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That was a great episode. I had a feeling that it was going to be cancelled. The lady who played the captain, has now been on 2 shows that were cancelled before the first season truly ended. I liked that one too. I would love to see the show have a surprise re-appearing.
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this is an awesome show..... they need to bring it back for atleast a season 2....
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Awake dragged in the middle and it became another cop show then. But once they made the time lines matter it became fantastic! I don't like cop shows. But this got more and more interesting the closer it got to the end. Sorry to see it end. But they wrote the finally like a final show.
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This show must really go on!
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The whole point is to get the show going & get answers when the time is right! It got 13 episodes for! how could they give us more? #SaveAwake
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Well..... I am glad I didn't bother after the first 4. The ending sounds too much like the series as a whole.... no logic / no answers.



I don't think any series / season needs to end in the ambiguous way described by Tim. It seems it was also never explained why the two realities were so different (when it should only have been about the survival of his wife and son).



I actually believe there was not a clear idea of the ending when this started. There seemed to be no clues as to where it was heading. If one reality was supposed to be real, in the first 4 episodes there was no clue at all to this. Pure guessing is not good TV.
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4 episodes, you expect to have clear answers to where a serialized/sci fi/mystery show is going in 4 episodes? This was a show that should have gone on for seasons and your bitching cuz there was no clue or answer about the show's biggest mystery in the BEGINNING of the show show. You probably didn't get past a few episodes of Lost because they didn't say what the island was, why they were there. You want to watch a show that tells you where it's going stick to 1 stand alone episode shows like Law and Order or CSI
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Awake must go on!!!...

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Get #SaveAwake trending on Twitter! Target @TNTWeKnowDrama & @AMC_TV !!!
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AMC or TNT should pick this!
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TNT should pick this show and pair it with Southland!!!
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Totally agree!
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I am so pissed at the show creator Kyle Killian

I just read a interview with him where he said he knew there was little chance

for the show on a network like NBC but he pitched it to them anyway

He had already a bad experiance with the big network in his show Lone Star

but he still decided to try again he wanted to put a cable show on a network

He said it was his experment that didnt succsied obviously

We are paying the price for his experment putting such a great show on

a network like NBC who is known for her stright to the axe approch is madness

I really hope he will at least try and save the show and pitched it to the cabel network

where the show belong in the first placel
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such an interesting show and concept!

Instead we are left with 2 broke girls, the new girl, and bitch!!!

do we have an obsession for crummy shows about idiot girls??????
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Why won't TNT pick this amazing show up? What a great finale. I am so sad to see this just go along the way side. Somebody PLEASE save this show.
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Really going to miss this one.... but at least it ended nicely.... though it could easily only been the beginning of something greater, and deeper, and even more interesting.... And such a wonderful cast. --Sigh
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It's a real shame Awake has ended. The show had really started to show what it could do with this dual-reality. I loved the way in the penultimate episode we had the first real understanding that he didn't have to go to bed at night before he swapped - he just had to be knocked out, and he'd wake up the other side.



I'm really glad they ended it with Michael seeing his whole family back together again, whether it be reality or not. It just broke my heart to see Michael break down when he did a few episodes ago, it got me really emotional - it's really one of the first times that's happened to me watching a tv show. And for him to see his family again just makes me happy :-)
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Oh men that was awesome. And I must say Michael is so gawd damn masculine and handsome. I wonder who makes his suits and shirts!

Too bad this series didn't get the recognition it deserved. But I couldn't be happier with the end. It kind of reminds me of Goren's character. I was happy they left him and Michael 'happy' not mad or dead in the end.
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How tragic that this show reached an astronomically high standard in the finale, only to be cut short. I don't understand how TV executives work but surely it would be a great investment for a cable network to continue this show. There's no risk really, it's critically adored and is a buzz show, that would certainly pull in enough viewers by cable standards. How rare is it to see an incredibly satisfying finale that is also completely unpredictable.

Also if anyone reading the article thinks they might want to check out Solaris, then I STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you watch the original Russian version rather than the Soderbergh remake. Yes it's in Russian and fairly long but it's a wonderful experience.
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I actually adored this. It made me thing so much about what Michael wanted and what everything meant for the future. The ending was open-ended which makes me feel good for the end of the show, but also for the potential future. It made so much sense-ish, but helped me let go of the show. Performances in the episodes were amazing, especially Wilmer in the penguin costume actually worked! I love this show, and it will go down as the best show that ended too quick. I was especially impressed with how the finale was open-ended but worked as a series finale.
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I thought it was a very good series finale, and it could have served as a season finale as well, considering that Awake has never been afraid to 'go there'.



Wasn't the first penguin sequence in his son's reality? Then the issue of reality is wide open again. I love this third option, and it sort of feels like you made up your mind with that one; he really is gone to the world, but he is living a happy life. The implications of how we can look at certain types of schizophrenia therefore is mindblowing. That is why I love this show, you are rooting for someone who is almost certainly mad.



That said, both realities felt real to me. I liked Hanna's reality more, but that is because of the lighter lighting, I think. I wouldn't normally choose the life of a spouse over that of a child, probably. But they both felt real to me; I kept waiting for someone to slip up and say something indicating Hanna had died in the Hanna-reality, so that he would know he wasn't crazy, but that isn't even possible in show's worldbuilding, which made me fall in love with it even more. I didn't trust myself anymore! I really loved this show, even if I considered its pace a little slow for my personal taste, it always managed to leave a lasting impression and this last episode was fantastic - so many interpretations are possible!
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Good episode. Good series. Sad to see it go.
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In what universe or reality do Miranda rights exist on this show? I've never seen so many interrogations that led to confessions without any lawyers present. Their clearance rate in court must be horrible.
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Brilliant finale, LOVED it. :)
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Any talks to bring it to another network?
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I think its unfortunate the series ended, could have had a good run if it was continued. Found the series very engaging, more so then any other in recent time
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The Ending I choose is not mine, I must give credit to the doctor who episode featuring the dream lord. The third reality had to be the real one because britten had to much power in the green and red worlds. I kind of like that there are a lot of loose ends and I also would have liked to have seen it developed further.
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I really don't understand why great shows like this get cancelled.... Still hoping an other network picks it up. But if not, then at least we have a proper ending, with lots of questions still unanswered but without the feeling 'now we'll never know' (like with Terra Nova. Not that anybody cares..) I hope that one day Kyle Killen gets the credits he deserves!!
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So angry that this is over and reality crap is still on the air! we need more shows that make you think! I liked the finale and the fact that he can create another universe, it was a good ending since they couldn't leave us with a crazy cliffhanger. I'm going to miss this show a lot!
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Really great show, sad that they pulled the plug. It's pretty clear that cerebral shows like Awake need to go immediately to cable. Really like the idea and given the circumstances I'm perfectly satisfied with the open ended conclusion. My personal opinion is that IF the show were extending, they would have left Michael hanging in Prison in one reality and happily oblivious to Cpt. Harper's misdeeds in the other. I'm sure we would have seen Rex's child born and a lot of good crime dramas solved by Det. Britten's subconscious.

Shame that isn't the case. I think there are a lot of ways you can resolve it in your own mind. My choice is that Michael's subconscious was working Overtime to resolve a case involving dirty cops and he lost sight of what was most important....His family.. Through his subconscious he resolved the case AND came to appreciate what was most important.

I like that ending and I'm going with it.
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This episode just jerked us around, the ultimate deus ex machina and cheap ending, no real character development, just a puzzle that will forever be missing pieces. Even the showdown between the therapists wasn't as satisfying as I hoped. It seemed like they were trying to make the green world feel the most authentic even before all the goofy stuff in the red world went down. To me, the ending wasn't the problem except for feeling trite, the way they got to the ending was the problem.
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I loved how they ended it, it was so fitting and just made me smile that even if it were not real Michael got what he wanted. I am really going to miss this show even more now
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First of all, I don't know how Tim would've missed this, but Dr. Lee has a black cat named Pele'! Can it be any cooler? (You know, as a Brazilian black cat owner, I can only say "NO!")



Let's think about the episode. First, to me reality #3 (with Hanna and Rex) is most likely a dream. If there's one constant in this multiverse, is the conspiracy. If there was an conspiracy, there was an accident. If there was an accident, somebody died. If somebody died, reality 3 is a dream. And especially because he didn't even bother to construct a mental scene in which he woke up to that reality; he just walked through a magic door to reach it, and there he was.



Also, the show reminds me of the so great movie "Waking Life," in which a guy wakes up from a dream, just to wake up again, and again and again, until we're sure there's no mortal reality for him to wake up to. So, when he wakes up for the third time, I no longer believe he did wake up at all.



That having been said, let's see which reality (Red or Green) can be real (if they aren't both fake). If Green reality is real, then Michael had a nightmare of being sent to prison, then a crazy dream with himself/Hannah/Penguin Vega in which he saw a vital clue from Green reality he couldn't have seen (the evidence from the Harper's shoe heel), then wakes up and goes to Dr. Evans for therapy. Then, as she confirms Hannah's reality is a dream and he has to hold on to Rex's reality only, he has a breakdown, becomes non-responsive and imagine a third reality. That seems too weak a reason for him to flip out like that.



On the other hand, if the Red reality is the real one, it means Michael really got screwed. He ended very badly, and upon realizing he would be locked in jail and would never see Rex and even Hannah anymore, he had a complete breakdown. It was too much for his fragile psyche. From this point on, he had a hallucination, seeing himself, getting freed, seeing evidence that was only in his kind and that placed Captain Harper in jail.



His mind then sought refuge in the Green reality, where he solved the conspiracy and things ended much better, but even that wasn't enough anymore, and he felt empty, he felt it was unreal. So, he concocted a third reality and simply walked through a door to reach it. And lived with his imaginary family happily ever after.



I really wished the Green reality at least were real, and he could've come out victorious, but I have little hope of that happening. To me he, unfortunately, ended in jail.



Now, I'd be very happy to be convinced of the opposite.
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Come on BBC remake *crosses fingers*
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I love it when a show or a film has a somewhat ambiguous ending, allowing the viewer to write his or her own ending. For the final episode of Awake, I came up with two possible alternatives: Michael Britten is either alive or dead. If alive, he dreamed the entire thing, oversleeping in the process. If dead, he apparently lingered in that nether world between life and death following the accident for a time before succumbing and joining the rest of his family.
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Me torn between a brilliant finale or a crapy one. I guess i will let my imagination go on and settle for a brilliant one.

Exec who pulled it off may you burn in tv hell
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Can anyone say "Life on Mars" very similar show and ending (as far as it goes for the US version). From the beginning the end was predictable. Either he was dreaming the whole time, on in a coma or he actually died. Good show but it was on NBC!
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And it wasn't even "the ending". I can find a way to sell you every possible ending you can imagine for this show after this finale. They left it so ambiguous that we have hints right now but 5 seasons from here it could really have gotten anywhere.
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He was not dreaming the whole time. This is confirmed 100% fact from the creator and writers mouth numerous times today. The ending is absolutely nothing like Life On Mars (US). Read TVline or Hitfix interviews with Kyle Killen if you don't believe me.
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Well, in my dream the exec responsible for pulling this series is now a EUNICH. Busily fanning a very overweight Rosanne Barr lookalike with the voice of Fran Dresser yelling "faster, faster, no slower, faster, faaaaaaaaaster, sloooooooooower......."
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I'm so divided about how I feel about this one.



It was definitely a cop out and leaves more questions than answers and doesn't really answer the question about what was real. And whether the last scene was real, or in his head, or "heaven".



But considering they were facing cancellation, at least they attempted to wrap things up that answered the other plot threads (the conspiracy etc), and to give some attempt at closure on what was happening to Michael. All things considering, I think they did the absolute best job of concluding things as they could.



Just a real shame there is no second season to truly wrap things up.
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The ending is less of a "cop-out" than Inception's ending. In this story we know for a fact that reality #3 is fake, in Inception we don't know if the top stops spinning so we never know if the ending was a dream or reality. In Inception we don't know if Dicaprio decides to live the rest of his life in a delusional dream world, in Awake we're left to assume Britten has decided to live the rest of his life in a delusional dream world.
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Well I doubt that they wrote the final episode just a couple weeks ago as a reaction to the ratings (shooting schedules are usually very tight on TV). So why would they answer every question if they wanted a 2nd season?



But why is it a cop out? They can't reveal everything so they decided to give an ending which leaves enough room for interpretation. What would have been a better ending in your opinion? Having someone tell him what exactly was going on and what's real? I think THAT kind of Deus Ex Machina would have been a cop out.

I mean what is "real"? Whatever you experience is. If you believe in an afterlife - you think "heaven" will be "real"? Is life before death real then? Can both be real? Who is to say what is real and not? A shrink? Some divine entity? Real is whatever you (want to) believe is real. I think these are the questions that were raised by the show and would have been explored would it continue. And in that I think Awake delivered what it promised to do. But I can understand if there were different expectations.
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True, things are written and filmed in advance, but it's not unheard of for a new show like that which is unsure of a second season to shoot a few alternate endings. The editing can be spliced in as necessary depending on what happens with the ratings/network fairly quickly. I have to think there was another season-ender that was more of a cliff-hanger in the event there was to be a season 2. I think what we got was the version labeled "If We Don't Get A Second Chance At This, This Won't Answer Everything But Hopefully It Will Be Satisfying."



And let's not forget, this may be as good as we could've hoped for anyway. LOST ran for 6 seasons, and was well aware after season 3 that there would be exactly 3 more seasons, no more, no less. The LOST writers also maintained from the beginning that there was an explanation to everything, and that they had everything all worked out. And you see what we got.....they lied to us. Even with all that time and firm scheduling, they still failed to answer a crap-ton of questions the show had introduced, and even the producers got on camera and copped out in a major way by saying "fans need to realize this show was never about the questions, the mystery, or the loose ends....it was always about the characters." Well, okay, they succeeded in making great characters, but WHY introduce all the questions/mystery if that's not your point and you never intended to resolve it? I'm not sure we'd have gotten something much different at the end had the show continued......except that I would've had more awesome episodes of AWAKE to watch.



Ultimately, the show went out with what I call a British feel. I've noticed the U.K. often prefers stories that either don't end happily, or just plain don't end. They either leave things hanging or there's no resolution to the story, it just stops, without the "goodbye" feel that American shows get at the end. (Kinda like the end of the British version of THE OFFICE, there's really no finality to the stories of the characters, they just sort of.....go on.) I recall the British audience criticized the American re-make of their LIFE ON MARS because of the concrete ending, whereas the original British version ended much like AWAKE, with many interpretations for the viewer to choose from. Ah well.....since Isaacs is a British guy, maybe AWAKE ended in a manner he personally was happy with.



Everything didn't get a neat explanation, but it was strangely satisfying, and I think that (like LOST) is a testament to the creation of some great characters that we rooted for. But since it didn't end neatly and more of the story could still be told, I'm just gonna keep my fingers crossed that the universe will do me this one solid and AMC or FX or somebody like that will pick up the show and run with it.
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Well don't take me wrong, buddy - but there are a lot of assumptions already here about what the writers intended and not. Some say, it's a reaction to the ratings, some (like me) say it's not and now you say there's an alternative ending. I'd like to see some actual facts about what the writers have to say about this.
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I didn't know the show was officially not being renewed until watching this episode, but by the end I came on here to check it out and sure enough my thoughts, much to my chagrin, were confirmed. No way they would have opted for quite this ending if there was a sure-fire sign of renewal, so they tried to tie it up nicely with a lot of room to still question what indeed was real. And that, is a good thing (since it's over). Leave the people asking and you leave the people interested.



There's no way the show could continue in a second season with an ending like that.
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That was the ending planned from the start as part of the pitch for the first season, so you are completely wrong. In fact NBC forced the writers to craft the first episode of the 2nd season to prove how they would continue the show. I can tell you myself how I would have continued the show. Britten now has 3 realities in his tool box. In red reality he is a prisoner sentenced for the crime of killing Det. Bird permanently separated from his wife, in green reality he is a hero promoted to Captain for exposing the huge drug scandal, in the third reality he has traveled back to an ideal time before the accident which gives him information about what happened leading up to the original accident which could save him in red reality. The red reality was left with no satisfying resolution, in fact it's about as miserable and dire as you could possibly leave things for Britten.
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Red reality: Hell

Green Reality: purgatory

Third or I'm calling it White reality: Heaven
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I like what you're saying much more - do you have any source were we can read this?
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This Ending was great at first I thought Wtf what kind of ending is this

but then I realize how genious it really is

They left just enough space for the show to move on/or the end it quite nicely

I dont think this end really confirm that both realities were fake or even one

The ending was so ambiguous maybe he is in a coma maybe one reallity

is fake and one is real

but I still can see the possibility that Micheal is Leaping between univeries

and chosing is own path perhaps with the help of some higer being

I am really hoping that this show might ger picked up

there is still so much to tell

I have to say I came to this show with a bit a fear of Jason Issacs playing a good guy since I always know him to play villians with is somewhat scary blue eyes

but I must pull my hat down to him he really did some brilliant acting in this series

and I found myself even liking him better as a good guy

I really hope we can see him soon in anothr great series

or better yet Awake season 2 (cross my fingers)
More+
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So, shades of "Dallas", the whole thing was a DREAM. Feels like a cop-out, but i'm glad that he ended up with his family intact. Choosing one or the other would be Sophie's Choice.
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Zero shades of "Dallas" in fact the creator explicitly mentions it is not anything like Dallas in this interview today with TVline:



"I've seen some really interesting [theories], and I wouldn't say that anyone is wrong except the people who are calling it a Dallas or a Newhart, any variation on "and then he woke up." That is absolutely not what we intended. If you watch the last few minutes again, I'm not sure what the argument for that [interpretation] even is. I suppose there's the berpossibility that he's in a coma and now having a third dream in the coma, but in no way should it be interpreted as, "He woke up and his family was fine. He'd just been having two nightmares."" -Kyle Killen 'Awake' creator
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Thanks for the quote. I get nervous convulsions when people fail to understand such basic clear things (like there are still people thinking that in LOST the island itself was part of the purgatory.....). Michael did NOT wake up in the finale. If anything, he fell asleep within a dream. So "everything WAS a dream" is kind of the wrong sentence to use as the dream continues.
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Thank you! I feel the same when people say that about Lost.

As for Awake I can say one thing to the "It was all just a dream" people. How many of you wake up from a dream fully clothed walking through a door from a doctor's office or hell even your closet or bathroom,into your bedroom?
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Don't get me wrong, Rex you're a nice kid but sorry dude I'd keep Hannah
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I'm sad that this was another brilliant episode. Sad because we will never have another episode of Awake. I'm almost going to say I wish it sucked.



I would have had a problem with this ending if they knew that it was also the season finale. You're right, they didn't know so it's okay. I have so many questions in my head now: Where would they go from here? Is this reality will be his only one from now on? Is he in coma? And why is Jason Isaacs so sexy? He needs to be in a show soon.



I'll bitch at people who say TV is full of crap. I'll tell them it's their fault because they didn't watch Awake.
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