Just how wild will the universe-hopping show Awake get? It's building towards a massive, surprising climax, according to co-star Wilmer Valderrama. "We just shot the season finale last week, and let me just tell you: Where this show is going, it's so ridiculously unpredictable that it's just so much fun. Everything is possible, in a way. We're living in two parallel dreams, two parallel realities. And we definitely have a lot of fun with that."
On Awake, Detective Michael Britten (Jason Isaacs) gets in a car accident, and afterwards he's stuck between two alternate realities — one in which is wife died, and one in which his son died. Every time he goes to sleep, he wakes up in the other reality.
Valderrama plays Detective Efram Vega, Britten's new partner in one of the show's two alternate realities. Vega has just been promoted to detective, apparently so he can keep an eye on Britten for the Police Chief — and meanwhile, he keeps seeing signs that Britten is acting strange.
Valderrama says that he's been sent "a bunch of amazing scripts" over the years, but when he read the pilot script for Awake, he was blown away. "I saw how groundbreaking that script is." He went into a meeting with the producers, and "They said, 'This is the deal: We're trying to do something that's never been done before,' and right away they had me there." He feels like the show is "something completely unexpected, that you couldn't even imagine being on prime time."
Valderrama promises we're going to learn that there was much more to Britten's car accident than meets the eye. "There's a conspiracy that's about to be introduced to you in tomorrow night's episode. There's something big happening here."
The relationship between Britten and Vega will continue to evolve, says Valderrama. "The question is, are they truly partners?" The question hanging over Vega is whether he was really promoted on his own merits, or just "hired to keep an eye on Michael and report everything that he sees." The two detectives don't trust each other — Britten thinks Vega is spying on him, and "I don't necessarily trust his ideas and his point of view on things, because they're just bizarre. And then you'll see that evolve over the series, and it'll build to a very, very explosive place, and our characters really have an interesting roller coaster."
Valderrama says he knows what's really going on on this show, and where it's ultimately going. "We get to know a little bit more and more every episode." He won't give any hints, but he does offer a promise:
One thing I promise you from Awake is, we're not going to wake up with you one day and say, 'Oh, it was all a dream.' Everything you will see on this show throughout the entire series is going to be some kind of clue, some kind of hint, that together will form the right equation that's going to equal the resolution that we all want... That's the exciting thing about the show, that we're taking notes from some of our fellow high-concept shows and we're definitely not going to leave you hanging at all.
He adds that he's "super happy" with the way the first season ends, and he believes the second season will be "just as explosive."
So is what's going on with Det. Britten supernatural or magical in nature? Valderrama says it's not ever going to be overtly mystical or science-fictional. "He's experiencing some kind of condition for sure," says Valderrama. "Everything is possible on this show. We are living two parallel realities, two parallel dreams — we don't know which one is real, so anything can truly happen on this show... We randomly have a penguin on the show at one point... There are some interesting directions we're going through, and they all make complete sense, and they all become part of our emotional journey that we go along with Michael Britten."
Awake airs tomorrow night at 10 PM on NBC.