A new interview with Awake creator Kyle Killen has surfaced, where he offers more intriguing insight into the series finale, the final scene’s Twin Peaks parallels, and the show’s serialized DNA.
On how the final scene represents a kind of ‘third space’ similar to the Black Lodge from Twin Peaks:
For us it was all about creating a third space. You have the Green and Red realities, and the reason they were so competitive is that they both always seemed completely real, they both obeyed all the rules. What we began to be hungry for was the opportunity to bend the rules. We did a little bit of that in the eleventh episode, “Say Hello To My Little Friend” sort of played with that, with hallucinations. So did “That’s Not My Penguin.” We started to realize there was no reason that even though one was a dream that seemed real, that there wasn’t room for this third space, that we couldn’t have dreams that felt like dreams. While the finale ends with a very nice grace note of his psyche ultimately delivering what he’s always desperately wanted, going forward when faced with the seeming reality that the Red World wasn’t real and that he’d given it up in order to deliver the answers he needed to catch Harper in the Green World, he came up with the idea that all the crazy stuff that happened in the Red World had been a dream, and once he realizes that he could dream between dreams, that’s exactly what happens. The Green World freezes and goes almost into a dream. But I don’t think he would have that level of control going forward. We always looked at that dream state as being more like the Black Lodge in Twin Peaks. A place where very strange things that were beyond his subconscious control would be able to happen. We hadn’t definitively worked out how we would use the dream space and how often we would use it as a place we went between the realities. But to us, it really opened up the world of the show in terms of what sort of things we’d be able to play with in terms of his continuing downward spiral and psychological fracture, really following that to the Nth degree. The dream space was going to give us a chance to push that and have that begin to really bleed over to the Red and Greens.
On his take on which world was real:
I always felt that it seemed more likely that the world in which his son died was the real world. To me the loss of a child is so abnormal and out of balance with nature that it’s the sort of thing that might cause, especially in a parent’s mind, to fracture in desperation to undo that. But again, the flip side of the argument is losing a wife who maybe there was something unsaid or unsolved between the two fo them that you couldn’t let her go in that condition. That’s another thing we would have explored in Season 2.
On whether the procedural element of Awake was a means of selling the show as being ‘audience friendly':
Yeah, my show just before this Lone Star was completely serialized. There was no case of the week element. On network in particular we discovered that’s fairly difficult to get an audience to consume a network drama the same way they consume a cable drama. You know a show like Revenge is evidence that it still can be done, I haven’t seen it but I understand that it’s a pretty tightly serialized ongoing narrative, so it can still happen. Just the idea of offering–especially with a concept that’s as mind-bending as Awake–a place for people to jump in, even if they came in late, where they would see an element that’s provided them with completeness and satisfaction in every episode, it was absolutely a reaction to intense serialization being a part of the reason that Lone Star was canceled. We wanted to find another way for people to hook into this show even if they came late.