A lot of people didn't like Awake's ending. I've heard arguments that it was just shoehorned in because of the show's cancellation. I can understand that argument although making an episode in case of cancellation is near impossible. There were also complaints that it left a lot of things unanswered. I'll admit it wasn't what I was expecting. I did enjoy the Awake ending for what it was and respect it as a decent season closer and an ok ending to the show.
For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, Awake is about a man who has been involved in a car crash with his wife and son. There was a fatality in the car crash but Michael doesn't seem to be solidified on the details of who exactly died in the car crash being split between two realities one where he lost his wife and the other where he lost his son. He uses these dual realities to solve crimes while he looks to solve the mystery behind his car crash. If I had made an ending to the show I would have done it a little differently.
In one reality Michael finds out that Captain Carl Kessel was involved or responsible for the car crash but his Captain Harper kills Kessel before he can tell anything about her involvement. In reality 2, before he can point the finger at anyone, he is arrested and thrown in jail. It's in jail that he realizes that his Captain Harper was responsible for the death of Kessel through a caller id name. However, he's behind bars and thus unable to do anything about the information he learns. He goes through a small mental break and the realities blur together as he witnesses the murder of Kessel by Harper and finds an important clue needed to arrest Harper in reality 1.
Realizing something is better than nothing he abandons reality 2, saying goodbye to his wife, and goes back to reality 1 where he can stop Harper. She gets arrested and he returns to reality 1's therapist. While in the therapist he finds that he still isn't content with things as they are. He decides that if he is just dreaming then he is going to take control of it himself and live happily. He lets go of reality 1 too and goes to a place where he can live happily with his wife and son both alive.
Confusing right? Imagine how hard it is for me having to explain it, and I could be completely wrong who knows.
How I Would Have Done It:
Anyone who watched Future Diaries knows how weird and confusing multiple universes can get but I used that as inspiration.
Instead of abandoning reality 2, Michael uses both dimensions to solve and figure out the crime. In both realities Harper is arrested only in reality 2 Kessler is also arrested. Sitting in the office of Reality 1's therapist Michael tells of how hard it is being apart of both realities and how he doesn't feel like he can mourn with his wife or his son because neither of them are dead to him. A knock on the door and reality 2's therapist walks in and takes a seat. Michael looks confused but then they begin to explain. Both realities are real but the Michael sitting before them doesn't belong to either one of them.
In the original reality either Michael is the one that died or they all died but his soul refused to pass on. Both therapists are higher beings who decided that they would like to try to give Michael a chance to solve his own murder by allowing him to go to two separate realities to find details he couldn't in only one. They had to quietly watch over him so that he wouldn't grow too comfortable believing either reality is fully real or he may be stuck in it. Now that the crimes are solved he can let go of it and move on. The therapists go to the door and slide the knob to the other side; they open the door the reverse way and on the other side is a bright light, he walks through it and back into his house. His son and wife walks in, his son asks if he can get a ride to school, but Michael says "actually, how about we all just stay in today."
Why I think this would work:
In the final episode there's a scene where the two therapists are arguing back and forth about which one is real and have radically different views on the situation so this could be used as a reason for why there are two different realities because they both had different feelings on what Michael needs to have to solve this crime. Like the little devil and the little angel on his shoulder to help him make decisions.
Michael sees the murder of Kessler as if he were in the room during his mental break which shows a level of omniscience which one would believe that ghosts possess since they have no ties to the world anymore and exist outside of time. It would also explain why very inconsistent amounts of time passes for him in either reality and why despite being in both realities he doesn't feel tied to either one. Plus I really wanted there to be a reason for having the therapists in the first place. I wanted them to be a crucial part of the story.