After 'Awake': What Was Up with 'The Little Guy'?
After 'Awake': What Was Up with 'The Little Guy'?
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Bet you didn't see that ending coming...

For its second episode, Awake delivered another twisty, mind-bending episode and cemented the parallel-crime aspect of the show. But it also brought up a whole host of confusing stories. Keep reading for an attempt (not necessarily successful) to decipher and explain just what the heck is going on in Awake.

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WARNING: If you have not yet watched "The Little Guy," you are in danger of encountering major Awake spoilers. You'll only have yourself to blame if you continue...

That Final Scene
The accident wasn't an accident? A mysterious group wants to keep something desperately important from Detective Britten? What???

The surprising and potentially story-changing final scene of "The Little Guy" was both intriguing and problematic.

On the intriguing front, a larger story -- possibly containing explanations for everything happening in Awake -- might just fit. Michael Britten's cross-reality obsessions seem to relate only to his crimes, but perhaps there is a greater truth sneaking in. The titular "little guy" was, to Britten, only the key to finding a murderer. But to Captain Harper, it was a sign that Britten may have known about the conspiracy.

The problematic issues are in the scene itself. Seeming to come out of nowhere, the clandestine meeting of Captain Harper and the Mystery Man didn't fit with the rest of the episode. And -- SPOILER ALERT -- the scene doesn't fit anywhere into the next two episodes either. An explanation might come to us eventually, but there will be a wait.

Do we need the conspiracy to get us through?

Non-Michael Britten Stories
A lot of the Awake explanation theories out there posit that all of this is some kind of coma dream happening in the mind of Michael Britten. That's certainly a possibility. But there are some aspects of Awake that do not support this at all.

The biggest flaw in the coma theory? Some of the stories in Awake involve supporting characters acting without Britten's knowledge.

We had three major examples of this in "The Little Guy."

  • Hannah found out about the motorcycle from Rex's friend. We saw how that played long before Michael knew anything relating to that secret.
  • Rex and his friend worked on the bike and discussed a secret road trip. Michael never learned about this.
  • Most importantly, Captain Harper had her conspiracy conversation with that Mystery Man. Britten wouldn't be calmly working his cases if he thought the car accident had been planned.

But Britten would have to know, if this were all happening in his mind. Just like the Constitution-reading in the pilot episode, we have to accept that Awake is not only in Michael Britten's mind if we are to accept Awake at all.

How Different Are the Realities?
Two episodes in, a question has to be asked: How different are Michael Britten's two realities?

The big differences come in the police cases. This week, a successful doctor named Bernard McKenzie was murdered in the wife-universe. Meanwhile, a homeless man named Bernard McKenzie perished in the son-universe. Fair enough.

Here's the issue: We can only presume that each universe's other Bernard survived. Thus, all of the motivations and actions of a universe's would-be murderers had to have altered.

But why? We could go with the chaos-theory belief that every event -- in the case of Awake, the Britten family car crash -- impacts the entire world. But it does seem like a stretch to believe that the car-crash survival of Rex (instead of Hannah) somehow stopped an unrelated teenage boy from discovering the paternity that would lead him to murdering Dr. McKenzie. How would that work?

The only reasonable explanation is that Britten's two universes differ in ways more profound than just the survival of Hannah or Rex. What those implications might mean to Awake remains to be seen.

What did you think of the final scene's twist? Does anything in "The Little Guy" change your opinion about what's happening in Awake? Did you like the episode? Leave your comments below!

(Images courtesy of NBC)




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