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Awake – What if there’s more than one Michael?

While being bored again by this week's episode of 'Awake' -- though less than with the previous two -- a sort-of epiphany came to me about what's going on with Michael and the two worlds he seemingly inhabits.

- Season 1, Episode 5 - "Oregon"

Let’s face it: without the morsels of mystery we’re given related to Michael’s unique predicament, at five episodes in, the show’s tanking. This week’s crime-of-the-week was slightly better than the previous few episodes, though, as it’s bringing more people to question where Michael gets his “hunches,” and it also brought in a possible long-term enemy: The Gemini Killer. And that name right there sparked an idea in me for what might be going on with Michael.

When The Gemini Killer was first mentioned, I got to wondering why someone would be called that. Gemini is typically associated with the astrology sign, which has twins as its symbol. Of course, the name the FBI gave this killer wouldn’t have anything to do with Michael at all, but the writers for Awake sure did. So did they just come up with a cool name that’s akin to “Zodiac Killer,” or are they throwing us some sort of hint? For some reason, I felt it had to be connected to Michael’s situation, so I paused the episode to collect my thoughts in my tired brain, and it started to come together a bit.

Most people seem to be assuming one of three things is going on here. Either Michael is dead, and this is all some sort of afterlife experience; he’s in a coma and dreaming the whole thing; or he’s living one of these worlds, but the other is a dream. What I don’t think I’ve heard anyone mention is that both of these worlds exist in separate dimensions (for lack of a better term), and we are watching two different Michaels. In effect, there are two Michaels, and both of them are dreaming and unaware of the other. When blue-world Michael goes to sleep, he dreams of his wife being alive, and vice-versa in yellow world. What might be happening, though, is that a phenomena is occurring where, as Michael sleeps, he’s experiencing what’s going on in the other dimension.

So what’s this all mean then? What’s the point? I’d say the point is that Michael loves his family so much in both of these realities that — combined with the exact timing of a car crash in both worlds and the trauma associated with it — his dreams are occupied by each of them. The effect of the precise timing of the crash in both worlds triggered off the phenomena of each Michael being able to experience the other’s world.

I’m totally eating my words from earlier, where I said the mystery of the show was completely secondary … well, it is secondary, but not in what I want to see out of the show. The cop drama’s been done to death, and there’s little new here in that regard. So, I find fun in thinking about the otherworldly piece over the other stuff. That might mean I have nothing specific to talk about on a weekly basis with this show, but I’ll certainly try. I’m just not cut out for talking about the crime-of-the-week, hence my lack of non-Red-John Mentalist reviews every week.

Final thought: if Michal transports to the other reality when he goes to “sleep,” does he ever truly sleep?

Photo Credit: Justin Lubin/NBC

Categories: | Awake | Episode Reviews | Features | General | News | TV Shows |

7 Responses to “Awake – What if there’s more than one Michael?”

March 30, 2012 at 2:37 PM

I don’t know if I’m allowed to point at other websites, but this interview is a good read that sort of kills your theory:

March 30, 2012 at 2:42 PM

How dare you read other sites! Ha ha … no, citing other sources is fine, just as long as you don’t link to “Work from Home and make $$$” or “Real pharmaceuticals from Canada.”

March 30, 2012 at 2:58 PM

OH … well … then nevermind. :)

I like my theory better! But seriously, if he’s sticking with that premise, he’s lost me. There’s nothing compelling enough about the rest of the show to make me want to sit through the crimes of the week.

March 30, 2012 at 3:31 PM

I’ve been going on the theory that *both* worlds are real, but I guess I’m wrong about that, heh.

I’m OK with one world being real and one world being fake. Anything but “it’s all a dream!” Now we can look for clues to which world is the real one (and we can also start debating which world would be more depressing – the one where his wife is dead or the one where his son is). There’s something admirable about the show having the character have two normal lives, instead of hitting us over the head with the sci-fi/supernatural aspect of it.

March 30, 2012 at 8:46 PM

This was not my favorite of the 5–maybe even my least favorite. I found the speed at which the FBI profiler assumes it’s him, and his captain turns against him and agrees to search his house, utterly unrealistic. Like he’d really call from his own house? For a show that’s tried not to give us TV cliches before, and pulled it off, this was a failure. Even with that, and the standard-TV serial killer plot, it wasn’t a bad hour of TV, just a nearly-bad hour of “Awake”. At least his partner didn’t for a moment think he’d turned into a killer. And at least we got a few moments at the end with the therapists.

Did everyone catch the destination for the killer? When he hung up the phone in the airport, they were announcing his flight–to Portland. So I guess we’re not going to have some convenient reason pop up from Britten as to why they can’t move there. But it seems right to me that he couldn’t keep up the dream world in one city if he were living in another. Maybe the Portland line was just a throwaway.

March 31, 2012 at 4:13 AM

Either Michael made the phone call or the killer did. If it was the killer, he could easily have planted evidence around the house. Say, some $2 bills?

So, searching the house doesn’t resolve the issue of who made the call.

Whatever happened to the “big reveal” about “the small man”? It’s been ignored for the last two episodes, and now they’ve added another multi-episode storyline?

March 31, 2012 at 1:33 PM

Gemini Killer = Was in Exorcist 3 aka Legion. Been there, done that. How about Capricorn Killer? Pisces Killer?

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