If you haven’t already binge-watched The OA on Netflix, stop reading this post and come back when you’re done.
All caught up? Good, because from here on out it gets spoilery!
If you’re at all like me, finishing The OA once wasn’t enough. I’ve re-watched it in full at least once, but I’ve re-visited various scenes multiple times. THIS SHOW IS DRIVING ME INSANE. But in the best way.
It pops into my brain, randomly and inexplicably. I’ll be in the middle of a non-The OA conversation, and have to stop as a new thought pops into existence. Fortunately, my friends are equally as obsessed and are actively encouraging these random thought-bursts.
Most things I’ve read about The OA are trying to tackle the big things: is Prairie telling the truth? Are Hap and/or Rachel working for the FBI? Is Prairie actually in a mental institution, where Homer is another patient/her Doctor, and that’s why she wakes up in a white room? Or was Prairie actually abducted, but the other abductees are just delusions created as a coping mechanism? And the list goes on.
What keeps me up at night is less macro.
Why is Prairie obsessed with her video camera?
Prairie is obsessed with her video camera. She used it to record herself, mostly video of her talking to Homer It’s also what she used to record her plea for help, to gather her followers. But I’m still stuck on why it was so important to her that she would let a dog attack her over it.
I read one fan theory that speculated that her adopted father, Abel Johnson, was the real reason she was blinded and told her life would be too hard for her to watch. That the years she spent with Abel and Nancy were the years she was abused. That Abel, specifically, did things to young Prairie and that this video camera was involved.
I don’t think I buy this theory, for a number of reasons, but it does raise one other interesting question beyond her obsession with the video camera. Why was her sight taken for the years she lived with the Johnsons, and returned shortly after she was imprisoned by Hap? If Khatun blinded Prairie to protect her from the evils she was destined to experience, why return her vision during, arguably, the worst time of Prairie’s life? Unless she had already experienced the worst time…
Why doesn’t Prairie try to use her parents’ computer?
In the first episode, Prairie is determined to access the internet. She boots up her old iMac and is stumped when prompted for a password to connect. So she heads to her parents’ office, to look for where they have the password written down.
What leaves me dumbfounded is how quickly she bypasses her parents’ computer. My friends and I did discuss whether she would even know how to use a non-braille keyboard, or whether she could navigate a computer without the voice-prompts, since the entirety of her experience with a computer was when she was blind. But even supposing these things to be true, someone desperate enough to ask complete strangers for their WiFi passwords would explore this option.
What’s the deal with the wolf sweater?
The Wolf sweater deserves a post all of its own, but I’ll keep it brief.
- Homer also wore a wolf sweater.
- It’s purple, a colour that permeates much of The OA (and which is most commonly associated with spirituality).
- Prairie is wearing it every time something significant happens in the plot. For example, it’s covering the books French finds underneath her bed and she wears it to the school in the final episode.
- The shooter in the final episode is a “lone wolf” – is the sweater a premonition?
- Brit Marling gave us a clue, but like all clues uncovered in The OA, it summons up more questions than answers.
@whatlayneydoes I’ll give you a clue: look closely at what Homer leaves behind…
— brit marling (@britmarling) December 21, 2016
Are fish tanks symbolic of something significant?
Nina had nightmares about being stuck inside a fish tank. The snakes she studied in school were kept in fish tanks (which were also, interestingly, arranged to mirror Hap’s enclosure setup).
Homer finds his live animal in a fish tank during one of his NDEs. And then there’s Hap’s mining prison – when the camera pans out, it resembles a fish tank. He even cleans the glass, like you have to with fish tanks.
They appear too many times to be random or coincidence. The problem is I can’t decipher their significance.
- Why does she only take baths?
- Why does she say she hasn’t been touched in 7 years, when we know that’s not true?
- If she is making everything up, or if this is all a delusion, how is the return of her vision to be explained?
So, are you on my level of obsessed? Or can you firmly close this book and walk away, satisfied with what’s left for our imaginations to play with? Or are you in the camp that hated The OA? Let me know – I’d love to hear all and any thoughts!