Much like The Client List, I gave up on Awake last year because I just wasn’t that invested in the show as a whole. Of course, the two series aren’t comparable (Awake is thought-provoking television when it’s executed effectively while Client is pretty brainless) but I lost interest in Michael’s journey. I recently completed the show’s first and only season and I have to say, it was quite the ride.
I was expecting a concrete answer concerning Michael’s predicament. Was he in a coma? Did he make everything up? Was one of the two worlds definitely the real one? When I first watched the finale, I was somewhat disappointed. But it’s been a week, and the more I think about it, the more I realize that the resolution was pretty darn impressive. The writers chose to leave it open-ended, but definitely alluded to the fact that Michael sort of went on a psychotic break and created a whole new world with both his wife and son alive. At least, that’s the way I see it, and that makes it quite special. It’s a fitting ending to a journey that I admittedly grew quite emotionally invested in over the last few episodes. While I would have enjoyed a more definitive resolution, I’m not disappointed anymore.
Ultimately, Awake was an ambitious experiment for network television. The ratings were never good, but the show tackled a premise that was complicated, intelligent, and frequently enthralling. If the show had any faults, it was that they gave us way too many standalone cases that frequently turned the show into a cop-show and a by-the-numbers procedural. I know they needed material apart from Michael’s personal life but I still feel they could have gone about things differently (and perhaps salvaged the show in the process). Nevertheless, I appreciate what the show tried to accomplish in its short run, and I’m satisfied that we ultimately managed to get a pretty complete story.
And seriously, was there anything cooler than seeing both of Michael’s shrinks in the same frame arguing with each other? That was just beyond satisfying.
A solid and intriguing series finale to one of the most ambitious shows in recent years. I’ll fondly remember this one.