Awake on Netflix: That ending explained and all your questions answered


Gina Rodriguez stars in Awake.


What happens when everyone in the world loses the ability to fall asleep? We all go mad, according to Netflix’s Awake, a sci-fi thriller starring Gina Rodriguez as a mom protecting her children during an “extinction event”. If you missed the flick’s explanation for how the world reached this state, here are some answers, including what’s next after that hopeful ending.

Read more: Awake review — Netflix has found its next Bird Box with Gina Rodriguez thriller

Warning: Spoilers ahead


Shamier Anderson plays Dodge and Lucius Hoyos plays Noah.


What caused the no-sleeping phenomenon?

While Jill’s in custody at the military hub, Major Murphy starts talking about the no-sleeping phenomenon. “It was some sort of a solar flare,” she says, continuing, “It changed our electromagnetic wiring. It affected our glymphatic system. Messed with our clocks.”

Let’s break all of that down. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, “Solar flares are large eruptions of energy coming off the Sun containing several different forms of energy: heat, magnetic energy, and ionizing radiation.” So that ionizing radiation, which can damage satellites, made it through the Earth’s atmosphere, which normally protects us. The magnetic energy interrupted everything, from radios to our electromagnetic wiring.

What’s our electromagnetic wiring? According to one simple definition, “You are an electric field — a giant electric field which holds your atoms together, and which uses other electric fields to talk to other bits of yourself.” As for your glymphatic system, according to Nueronline, “The glymphatic system is a network of vessels that clear waste from the central nervous system (CNS), mostly during sleep.” This explains the acceleration of everyone’s descent into madness.

Why do cars stop working when the power cuts off?

We first see the power cut that kicks off events when Jill (Rodriguez) is driving. She, Noah and Matilda hear static on the radio, then it crackles and shuts off. Several cars veer across the road and Jill slams the breaks, only for another car to smash them into the nearby lake. Later, a soldier says, “Anything with a microchip is fried.” Cars use semiconductors, tiny but critical chips, for fuel injection, infotainment systems and cruise control. The first microprocessor chips were put in cars in the early ’80s. The men at the garage get a Dodge Polara, first introduced in the early ’60s, working again by fitting it with an older…

Read More: Awake on Netflix: That ending explained and all your questions answered

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