It’d be a fool’s errand to ably dissect what just happened in the very final hour of Awake‘s largely outstanding 13-episode run. But it’s definitely an event worthy of a knee-jerk discussion.
Put most simply, the “red” world continued to be very unkind to Detective Britten. Upon waking in the alley, where he had retreated after being shot by Hawkins (Alias‘ Kevin Weisman), Britten was cuffed up and carted away by his diminutive yet dastardly prey. Britten still had some fight in him, however, and used a series of brutal kicks from the back seat to make his abductor crash the car, allowing Britten to flee — though looking awfully suspicious in doing so, bloodied, handcuffed and wagging a gun.
Britten sought refuge — as well as impromptu medical care — from shrink Dr. Lee, whom he them compelled to drive him to the storage facility where Kessel & Co. had stashed heir heroin haul. But when the storage cell turned up empty, prompting Lee to phone 9-1-1, Britten locked up the shrink inside, then summoned partner Vega for a rendezvous.
Vega did his best to hear Britten out, but ultimately led Harper and a capture team to his location, at which point the reality-hopper was locked up in jail.
Meanwhile, in the “green” world, Britten fared a bit better — if only in that he was free, and not hobbling around, feverish. Instead, partner Bird had uncovered the heroin in the storage locker, with all signs pointing to Kessel. But where was the dirty top cop? Harper, looking to save her own bacon as the walls closed in, had lured her cohort to a seedy motel, where she cuffed him up and promptly put a bullet in his head, leaving no clues behind.
Or so she thought.
Back in the “red” world, an incarcerated Britten, during a visit from his “concerned” captain, realized — thanks to the “Ed Munte” pseudonym showing up on her cell phone ringer — that Harper was in cahoots with Kessel. And had the bulls not come storming in, he quite possibly would have succeeded in choking his son’s killer to death. Instead, Britten seemingly broke down further, first by getting a jailhouse visit from himself, then listening in as Drs. Lee and Adams (competitively and rather amusingly) debated his condition, then being escorted to the “green” world motel murder scene by Vega… in a penguin suit (and I don’t mean tuxedo).
There, Vega made his partner aware of a clue that would connect Harper to the kill — the broken tip of her heel. Capping the wild dream state, Britten got the go-ahead from wife Hannah to nail Harper and good, then found his sleeping “green” self and kinda sorta like “melted” into it. (You had to be there.)
Upon awaking, “green” Britten added a bit of gum-shoe detective work — gleaning that Harper had a regular motel routine with Kessel — to the broken heel clue, landing his boss in the hottest of water (if not on the business end of his pistol).
The rousing, was-I-the-only-one-who-barely-blinked hour was capped by a session between Britten and Dr. Adams, who more fervently than ever argued that this was reality and the “red” world was but a dream. Britten contended that maybe there weren’t any rules, at which point Adams just froze. Literally, stopping midsentence. Her office door then opened into Britten’s home, where downstairs he was greeted by Rex… and then Hannah, and with no rubber band on his wrist.
Check back midday Friday for my debrief with Awake auteur Kyle Killen, who might shed some light on where Season 1 went, and what Season 2 might have looked like. But until then, theorize away! P.S. Any thoughts on what ED MUNTE might be an anagram for? (Update: TVLine reader AJ nailed it with UNMETED aka “Without dimension/measure”.) P.P.S. Here’s the Wiki backstory on the saying “Turtles all the way down.”