Ever read a book or watched a movie or seen a tv show and the whole story ended by telling you that what you just experienced was a dream, plan, or drug induced hallucination? I hate that. I really do.
Why? Because I feel like they just wasted my time. 'Why did they tell me that if none of it counts?' I ask myself. Admittedly, there are some times when I wanted that to be the end (I thought the end of Inglorious Basterds should have been Brad Pitt's character saying, "And that's the way it's gonna go down.") but all in all, it usually just ticks me off.
But I recently watched a video that made me question some of my perception of such endings. The video is a House M.D. fanvid to the song "I Kissed A Girl" by Katie Perry. If you like House it's a good laugh. But, the thing that rendered a rather ordinary video if well done video truly exceptional was that the end was House waking up. The whole concept was House's dream, which means that the video was House dreaming of 13 and Cameron getting together. If you follow the show, you know it's definitely something he'd do, and it's great.
So, I guess what I'm saying is that sometimes the Take Back ending of Fake Out story works. The key is knowing if you're doing it to amuse your audience or give them useful information, or if you're just doing it to screw with their heads (that's my theory on why some people do it) or to tell the story that you can't get away with otherwise since you'd have to disregard a ton of your characterization (another thing I think happens occasionally).
How do you feel about Fake Out stories? Ever used one?