CliqueClack TV

Awake season finale – This is fantastic. This is madness.

NBC's 'Awake' ends with two weeks of strong episodes, which are unfortunately not enough to save it from cancellation. That may not matter, as this finale felt very much like closure.

- Season 1, Episode 13 - "Turtles All The Way"

Some of you may recall that I pretty much gave up on Awake after the fifth episode. There are a few reasons for that. Firstly, I wasn’t interested in the crimes of the week, which were becoming a primary focus of each episode. It also didn’t help that show creator Kyle Killen came right out and said there’s nothing more to the dual-world aspect of the show than one of them not being real. Finally, the ratings were pretty much spelling out that things were looking rather bleak for the show’s future, so tuning in every week felt like a waste of time. Ultimately, NBC passed on picking the show up for another season.

Then, last week, we started a poll here at CliqueClack, asking which cancelled show we’d all like to see live on. Fellow Clacker Meredith mentioned she voted for Awake, and that last week’s episode really kicked things up a bit. Really? I had to give it a watch. As it turns out, she was right.

I would say if you gave a newcomer to Awake the show’s first two episodes, and then the last two, they may wonder why the show failed. Perhaps you’d miss some tiny details in there, but they’re quickly summed up in flashbacks. If the show could have kept with this sort of material all along, at least I would have tuned in every week. Others would have likely stayed tuned in as well. Unfortunately, I don’t believe the strength of these last two episodes is enough to say the show deserved to live on to see another season, as there’s no promise it wouldn’t do the same filler-like episodes again.

What I don’t understand now is why Killen would say one of Michael’s realities was the “real” one, and none of this was all due to a coma or elaborate dream. Perhaps he intentionally misdirected us or changed his mind at the last moment, when it seemed his show was doomed. It could still be that — had there been a second season — what we saw in that final scene could have been brushed off as something else entirely. Who knows. We may never know.

It’s nice that Awake ended with what feels very much like a fitting series finale. Oh there are still some questions, such as what was going on in the first place with Michael’s dreams/visions and why he’d have been living with one of each of his family members dead while they were actually alive. In any case, I’m satisfied. While it was a great ending, Awake doesn’t deserve another season because, quite simply, it doesn’t need one.

Photo Credit: Michael Desmond/NBC

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

15 Responses to “Awake season finale – This is fantastic. This is madness.”

May 24, 2012 at 11:24 PM

How was this a great season finale? The whole point of this show was that he was living in two different worlds and now we’ll never know why or how. This show was so well written up until the last episode. This show was extremely smart and then in the last episode they basically just gave up. You would have to have an iq of 0 to find this finale pleasing.

May 24, 2012 at 11:48 PM

With the statements from the shows creator, misdirection within the show itself and the ever increasing amounts of nonsensical plot I believe it is fair to say that I don’t think anyone involved with the making of Awake had as much sense of direction and where the show was supposed to be going as the Micheal character.

As for Kyle Killen telling everyone that there is nothing to the whole two realities more than one is real and one isn’t just snacks of a tall story in itself as without the prolonged mistery of the dual-worlds the show would be a very short pitch to a studio that I don’t think anyone would have bought into.

In short the show started well, had some potential and apparently a mysterious thread running through it with a long term goal which was thrown away early on in favour of a misguided Lost meets Twin Peaks type crappy plot that simply turned viewers off.

I watched the series, it killed a few hours of spare time I had, I shan’t miss it and that really sums up the show in that it wasn’t ground-breaking, imaginative or resourceful and we are better off with it not being on air.

For once I agree with the execs who cancelled the show.

I’m going to stop typing now as I can feel myself getting more and more bitter with every word.

May 25, 2012 at 1:00 AM

I liked the finale. I just came to the conclusion that they wanted to have a happy ending since there was no season 2, so they added that last bit on for no reason than to have a happy ending. I just decided to pretend that last bit happened, and that the show ended in Cherry Jones’ office.

May 25, 2012 at 1:14 AM

Honestly I think the ending would have gone much better this way:

When Jones asks him what will happen when he goes to sleep he responds “I don’t know doc, I just…I don’t know….”, it then cuts to him having dinner with Rex, has a smile on his face but its not quite all there. We then cut to him getting into bed his eyes close, credits roll.

May 25, 2012 at 2:39 AM

My interpretation is that he woke up and realized that the accident has not happened yet. In his mind while dreaming he was playing out various scenarios about the crime regarding the drugs and how his knowledge of it would result in an attempt on his life in a car accident. Now that he is awake he knows the evidence that will convict all of the guilty people and prevent the car accident and thus prevent the killing of his family.

May 25, 2012 at 2:53 AM

This was the worst ending ever! I mean they used the old, “everything was just dream” shtick. Been done so many times and is an easy way out. Was hoping for a clever ending that has you thinking. This was just the most unsatisfying rushed end to what looked like a well written end.Still better then Lost ending

May 25, 2012 at 5:09 AM

My first interpretation of the ending was that both realities were in fact real to him, but since he made everything right and restored justice to those involved in the murder of his son/wife, the universe gave him back his family.

But then I am looking back now and realize the last point we see him at in the “red” reality is in a jail cell after he chokes out Cpt. Harper after he fails to provide evidence when he storage locker was empty and got turned in.

So… He never brang anyone to justice in the “red” reality because Hawkins was still alive after the car crash, and Cpt. Keslar and Harper were too. Everyone in the “red” reality thought he was crazy and that was that.

He only cleared his name in the “green” reality and only justice was served there. I am starting to think that the “red” reality is the truth and he fabricated his elaborate success in the “green” world by bringing down all “the bad guys” as a scapegoat to his ultimate reality that they got away with it and there’s nothing he can do about it.

May 25, 2012 at 5:44 AM

I just wish for a season 2!! There really is a lot left to cover. In a season 2 – it can get much more crazy! Think of the show ‘Fringe’ – could have been ended long ago – but, the writers figured out a way to keep many tuned-in. I am really sad to think this show is finished. And I hope it’s not. The bizarre twists could be awesome!

May 25, 2012 at 7:32 AM

I would have ended the show with Britten waking up, still inside the car, just after it crashed… Or with Britten in some sort of purgatory, watching his wife and son live out there lives without him. Anything but what I just watched.

May 25, 2012 at 10:32 AM

I’d like to see a link to where Killen said that one life wasn’t real because he just did a post-finale interview on HitFix where he said he never planned on revealing that (he liked the idea of keeping it open-ended. So I think maybe some of you misinterpreted that.

I personally loved the finale (the last three eps in general were great). It was gorgeous, wrapped up the conspiracy and gave enough info for people to decide if they think one life was more ‘real’ than the other. I personally think he created a third world where both are alive – whether it’s a dream, a hallucination or where he’ll go when he’s in ‘red’ instead of jail – I found it satisfying.

Our take:

May 25, 2012 at 11:26 AM

I personally tend to not be interested in the ‘it was all a dream’ stuff,” Killen said. “Even if it takes you seven seasons to get to ‘it was all a dream.’ If you want me to invest in an idea, just do what you promised. You told me in the first week that one of these worlds was real and one was fake and that [Britten] couldn’t tell the difference. I understand that there’s a value to put a twist on a twist, but I also feel like there’s a value to seeing that first story through to the end and finding out, emotionally, what it would mean to discover that there wasn’t a way out of the box. That the rules were exactly the way they were in the beginning.


May 25, 2012 at 6:16 PM

The final episode was about Michael’s descent into madness, not about “it was all a dream”. Remember he was warned if he went through the open door, he could not return. He symbolically locked one therapist in the storage facility and he froze the other one mid-explanation. He chose to no longer function in a painful “real” world. He could not chose between his wife and his son Instead he chose to create a world with them both.

May 25, 2012 at 8:08 PM

WOW, you are right, that makes the most sense. Even though I had to dig through the internet to find this unofficial explanation.

When I was watching the last scene I thought that the “time machine” function just got activated, so pretty much what Gavin said a few comments earlier, that his brilliant detective mind kept working during sleeping.

Even though in that case I was hoping that Michael will take off with his family, all leave the house, and then the camera slowly turns to michael’s desk and you can see that the current case which is open on his desk, (so probably what he is working on) has the title ‘Westfield’.

May 25, 2012 at 10:31 PM

I thought the show was great. This reminded me of a rather long mini-series because where can they go after this???? If there would have been a season two, which reality would he be in? I think the writers wanted to give us closure and this one was just as good as any.
The cast was great and had me from the beginning.

May 27, 2012 at 8:35 PM has an interview with him saying the ending wasn’t happy, it was a sign that he was getting worse and making up another world to live in. That a car accident did happen and someone is really dead.

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