Now we know the basics: In Thursday’s (March 1) premiere of “Awake” on NBC, we met Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs), for whom a fatal car accident changed his life. He now lives in two realities — one in which his wife (Laura Allen) survived but his son (Dylan Minnette) died, and one in which the opposite is true.
But what’s really going on here?
I have a few theories:
He died, and the dual realities are some sort of purgatory/heaven/hell. If this is true, it could be criticized as being way too close to “Lost” and way too soon for fans of the show to stomach the (sorta) recycled storyline.
Both his wife and son died, and this is a “Vanilla Sky”-type situation. This is viable and seems incredibly likely to me, but it would be so depressing to discover.
Aliens. I really hope it’s not aliens. And I’m also really hoping that the accident wasn’t “The Event.”
Government experiment. There was never an accident. A top-secret government agency is conducting an alternate-reality experiment on Michael to test their own theories about advanced crime-solving technologies.
He’s in a coma, and both his wife and son are alive and well. The dual realities only exist in his coma-induced dreams. This theory seems like the most likely, but it doesn’t explain the references to Michael being intoxicated before the accident — something he contends to both his therapists isn’t possible.
I’ll be examining the show against these theories as the series progresses, scouring for data that supports or debunks them in this mind-trip of a new show, which I, for one, am hoping has a long shell life.