'Awake' Ending Explained: Sleepless world threatens humanity but there's cure

'Awake' dives deep into a world where humanity is barely holding on by a thread, as insomnia chips away at the human mind

                            'Awake' Ending Explained: Sleepless world threatens humanity but there's cure
Lucius Hoyos as Noah, Gina Rodriguez as Jill Adams, Ariana Greenblatt as Matilda as seem in 'Awake' (Netflix)

'Awake' paints a disturbing picture of a world where humans can no longer sleep, resulting in sheer insanity with every passing moment. In a world such as this, it is up to Jill Adams (Gina Rodriguez) to keep her son Noah (Lucius Hoyos) and her daughter Matilda (Ariana Greenblatt) safe, seeing that Matilda is one of the last humans left who can sleep.

If thriller movies such as 'Awake' excite you, you should also consider checking out the following titles — 'The Secrets She Keeps', 'A Party Gone Wrong', 'American Traitor: The Trial of Axis Sally' and 'The Woman in the Window'.


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At the start of the movie, we see Jill, a former army veteran who now works as a security guard at a university, struggling to make ends meet. Seeing that her children are now legally under the care of their grandmother (Frances Fisher), she visits often but is only allowed to spend a few hours with her daughter Matilda and Noah. While Matilda appreciates what little time she has with her mother, Noah is not as forthcoming.

While the family is driving, Jill and Noah get into an argument and Jill loses control of the car. The car is hit by another vehicle, causing it to topple and fall into the lake. Jill manages to free her kids and herself, but suddenly, she realizes Matilda is missing. She spots her on the riverbank, where the sherrif and a cop have managed to resuscitate her after she blacked out. Upon going to the hospital, they realize that not only has the power gone out but that people are now unable to sleep.

Gina Rodriguez as Jill, Ariana Greenblatt as Matilda, as seen in 'Awake' (Peter H Stranks/NETFLIX)

Back at the university, Professor Murphy (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a psychiatrist who worked with Jill overseas has been summoned to a military hub, seeing that they have found one woman who can sleep. She requests Jill join her. Jill isn't too pleased with the offer, but Murphy gives her assistant Brian (Finn Jones) all the details and asks him to get Jill along.

Brian then explains to Jill that the more hours pass without sleep, the more all of humanity will proceed to go insane, which will lead to inevitable deaths. Jill rushes home, since that she is aware that Matilda is the only one who can still sleep, but finds out that the children's grandmother has taken her to the local church.

At the church, people break out into hysterics over the news and try to sacrifice Matilda. Jill barely manages to make it in time and save her. However, Brian, who follows them gets shot in the process. Jill manages to secure a functional car and after Noah pleads with her, she agrees to go to the military hub. They stop by a library to find a map, and Jill begins teaching Matilda self-defense skills.

However, Matilda is so distraught in having to use a gun that she runs out to the car. Jill notices from the window that convicts are running in the street and she rushes out with Noah to get to safety. But she soon realizes that her car and Matilda both are gone. As the convicts get ready to attack Noah and Jill, the car with Matilda swerves in, with a convict at the wheel. Jill and Noah get in, while Jill holds the man at gunpoint. They soon have a scuffle for the gun, when Jill informs him that it doesn't have bullets anyway. The convict introduces himself as 'Dodge' (Shamier Anderson) and says he's headed North. Jill soon teaches Matilda how to drive, in hope of giving her a fighting chance. They soon part ways with Dodge, as Jill, Noah and Matilda find a safe house. Jill insists that the children stay, while she goes and checks the hub.

At the military hub, she realizes that the one woman they have is being used to experiment on, while everyone at the hub is slowly losing their sanity. Murphy catches Jill and soon, Dodge, Noah and Matilda are captured as well. Matilda tells them the truth about how she can sleep and is immediately whisked away, while Jill and Noah are held captive.

Murphy visits Jill where she is being held captive and explains that a solar flare changed electromagnetic wiring in humans, except for Matilda. Jill, who can barely stay coherent, pleads for Matilda's life.

Back at the lab, Murphy begins to wonder if they should be testing on Noah as well. Just as they are about to put Matilda under, gunshots are heard. A sleep-deprived soldier mistook an acorn for a grenade and opened fire. Murphy, now insane herself, is ready to sacrifice Matilda. However, another doctor kills Murphy. Jill barely manages to save Matilda, while Dodge manages to save a now delirious Noah but dies in the process. Noah, who is now hallucinating, ends up electrocuting himself. In an attempt to save him, Matilda and Jill try to resuscitate him with a defibrillator.

However, the sudden shock results in the two of them passing out. When Matilda wakes up, she realizes that everyone at the hub is dead. A barely alive Jill is still holding on to Noah. Matilda realizes that Noah is still alive and her brother slowly regains consciousness. He tells her that he was dreaming, implying that he passed out and managed to sleep. Matilda soon realizes that they might have just found the cure — when the solar flare happened, Matilda nearly drowned.

But the sheriff brought her back. The fact that she almost died and came back jump-started her body, allowing her to sleep. This was the same with Noah, seeing that the electrocution helped bring him back. They realize it's the only way to save their mother — they take Jill to a lake and begin to drown her. As the scene closes, it's implied that Jill nearly dies... until we hear her gasping for breath, implying that they managed to save her. 

'Awake' is now streaming on Netflix.

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