Netflix has been doing a great job with their Original Series Programming, especially their TV Dramas. With Stranger Things and The Crown up for Golden Globe Nominations, Netflix has proved to deliver shows with great storylines. I too can attest that both shows are nothing short of amazing because of my tendency to over indulge into Netflix series. Just when I thought that I was finished binge watching shows on Netflix, The OA popped up on my “Must Watch” radar and I watched the full season within 2 days. Before this I heard nothing about The OA, and I later learned that Netflix released it’s trailer just days before it’s premiere. Forewarning for those who have not watched all 8 episodes of The OA, this blog does contain spoilers.
In the first episode of The OA a young woman jumps off a bridge into a body of water, after had been reported missing for 7 years. Not only does she reappear in her hometown, but she comes back with the ability to see after years of blindness. No one can quite understand how the young woman miraculously regained her sight or how she had gotten on the bridge. When the video of the young woman goes viral her adoptive parents (Scott Wilson and Alice Krige) rush to be by her side, hoping they would figure out where she’d been all those years. Instead their daughter treats them both like strangers, and insists that she can not tell them what happened or if anything had happened at all.
Viewers come to find out that the young woman played by Brit Marling wants to be referred to as The OA, not by Prairie Johnson her adoptive name. As the series progresses The OA does not tell her story to those who seek her, but only for the people she sought out. Those people end up being a small group of teenagers and a school teacher played by Patrick Gibson, Brendan Myer, Ian Alexander, Brandon Perea and Phyllis Smith. The OA decided that they would meet her at a vacant house every night for 1 hour until her full story was disclosed to them. Each person in the group were all different, but still one thing brought them all together… “curiosity”. They knew nothing about The OA except that she came off as extremely captivating and interesting. Each night The OA would release more details about her previous life, multiple near death experiences, her father, adoptive parents, the circumstances of her kidnapping, and her purpose in life. Every night, The OA’s small group would learn more and more about her purpose and their purpose in her life.
Although the media, doctors, and her adoptive parents looked at The OA as a victim, she never presented herself as one. The OA believed that she made a choice to continuously come back to life and face it’s consequences. The OA showed viewers that in each near death experience she would travel to another world and come in contact with a motherly but mythical figure. Each time, the woman would shower The OA with affection and plead for her to stay in the new unknown world, because she knew that chaos would await for The OA in the real world. Yet, The OA would choose to go back to the real world and face tremendous consequence, such as blindness and captivity, but all for a long term purpose.
The OA’s purpose started to come full circle after she reveals she was held captive by a doctor, who’s obsessed with the phenomena of near death experiences. For several years The OA and 4 other people (Emory Cohen, Will Brill, Paz Vega and Chloe Levine) who had faced near death experiences, were experimented on by Dr. Hunter Hap (Jason Isaacs). Hap would experiment on their bodies, by repeatedly killing and bringing them back to life and recorded their experiences. The OA explained to the group how over time they figured out how to escape Hap’s captivity, but could not fully play out their plan. Their lives would all begin and end with 5 body movements they had learned in their near death experiments.
Both groups of people that The OA came in contact with in captivity and in her hometown were strangers, but now had a feeling of closeness to each other and sense of purpose in their lives.
But, was The OA telling the truth? Or does the each group want to trust the unknown, because it helps them escape from their own realities? Does everyone really serve a higher purpose? Will The OA get to travel back into the new world? And finally, will there be a Season 2?