NBC’s “Awake” went from mind-bending to mind-blowing in its Season 1 finale on Thursday (May 24), which also marks the show’s series finale. The Kyle Killen-created series was among those that got the axe from NBC in May.
Jason Isaacs starred as Michael Britten, a man living in two realities — one in which his wife (Laura Allen) survives a car accident while his son (Dylan Minnette) died and another in which the opposite is true. While an innovative concept, it may have been too clever for its own good. The show debuted to around 6 million viewers but steadily declined week after week, falling to around 2 million viewers just before its cancellation.
Fans of the show are hoping “Awake” can find a second life on another network, but Killen doesn’t sound optimistic.
“We’re open to another home for the show but the chances are extraordinarily remote, so it’s probably best to think of and enjoy it as a miniseries,” he writes during a live chat with fans on EW.com during the East Coast airing of the finale.
He adds, “The ending you see is the ending we intended for the first season before it even began. It wasn’t hastily slapped together in response to cancelation. It had been shot long before cancelation.”
But he did think a second season was in the show’s future when he created the series. This really wasn’t meant to be the end for “Awake” — and Killen, for one, knew what was coming in Season 2.
“We had to at least convince the network we had some idea what we’d do in the first episode of season 2 before they’d let us do this finale,” he writes.
As for what actually happened in the finale, it’s open to interpretation. The show ends with Britten in an all-new reality — where he’s wearing neither a green nor a red band on his wrist — and both his wife and son are alive and well. It’s a dream within his dream world, one can only assume — a reality that seems much kinder to Britten than either of his two previous realities.
And if you really needed an answer to the question, “Which reality was the real reality?” … well, you’re probably out of luck.
“If your question is simply ‘Which is real?’ I can’t help you,” Killen writes. “We didn’t approach the show that way. It was about a man living two lives, not a man trying to figure out which was real and which wasn’t. We have our own answers, but really prefer to leave it open for interpretation and debate.”
Did you think the finale was a fitting end to the series? Do you hope the show finds a new home on another network?