The OA Episode 6 Season 1 Theories and Explanations

It would seem, that there has been a renaissance in the world of television. I’m not exactly sure who fired first, but I adore the fact that the stations and the cable channels, and the rental movie providers have all realized, oh crap, it’s all about amazing content. It isn’t about streaming. It isn’t about discs in mailboxes. It isn’t about rabbit ears antennae, or about chord cutters, or cable subscriptions. We have suddenly moved into the world of quality because of increased competition among many different content providers. And that? That, has brought us a show like The OA – which never in a million years would have been made without this most recent realization. HBO has brought us several big shows (the one I am most stoked about being Westworld of course). And now Netflix is ditching content purchases because they realize what owning the content does for the model.

Anyway, here we are at episode 6 of The OA and I’m still loving this ride. This episode is much shorter than the others (anyone know why? I went looking for answers but didn’t see any out there. But that doesn’t mean this episode is short on revelations. Holy cow!? The scope of this show just keeps widening and broadening and getting scarier really.

The OA Episode 6 Overview

Episode starts and thirty seconds in, I already have a question. What’s with the crash? Or the police coned off area? And the more I think about it, the more I can’t let it go. Is it possibly connected to the killer of 17 that’s on the loose? Maybe it was someone that was shot by this guy? There was no mention of it throughout the rest of the episode. I assumed that was a cooked grenade that would go off at the end of the episode. But alas nothing?

Anyway, the episode kicks off with the Five practicing the moves. Which begs the question… why does the OA think she can successfully do the moves if she doesn’t have all five moves yet? Or does she get the final move and then Homer is double-abducted? (What do you call an abduction when that person is already abduction? Abduction2 maybe?) But we’ll get to that later. I’m getting ahead of myself. Which, I have to say, I’m fairly surprised that this little enterprise of mine has worked at all… cause in my head I’m all over the place with this thing.

Back to the Abductees

Cut to the abductees, who were busy practicing the moves and creating scripts to capture the moves. Apparently, one of the by-products of inter-dimensional travel is amnesia. And so instead of forgetting the moves they began carving the scripts into their backs. And like that we now know how Prairie’s back was so destroyed and scarred. They are basically cutting the symbols into their flesh. GACK! If this is just a delusional vaguery then this Prairie is just completely gone. Mentally beyond. And I would agree with the professionals that first met her after her return, that she should be institutionalized … forever.

Prairie gives a quick overview of what is happening here and what their goal is. Which, to be honest, I really needed because at this point I wasn’t 100% sure what would happen when the fifth movement was finally received. “Dimensions of choices stacked on top of each other. The movements allow us to shift dimensions and stay there forever.”

Then one of the five asked the greatest question of the entire show so far. “Wait, you have never traveled?” And Prairie says no because every single movement that they received the “Angel Hunter” received as well. And worse than that, they just weren’t able to get the fifth movement.

The Angel Killer Isn’t Alone

Oh come on. This revelation is absolutely brilliant. We see that there is comradery between all the abductees, which is great for them… but terrible for our lonely protagonist, the Angel Killer. He though, does have a partner too. Apparently this guy, Dr. Leon Citro, is also running a “lab” and doing experiments on humans to try and understand the afterlife. And Dr. Hap and Dr. Citro are consulting about the progress they are making together. Which, seems the raw epitome of stupid in my opinion. What they are both doing is highly highly illegal on pretty much any level. But this opens the door to thinking that maybe there is a network of these “doctors” in search of “truth”? I liken this to the red lantern moment in the movie The Invitation, which I highly recommend you see if you haven’t yet. But the red lantern moment is that moment when you go – oh crap – this thing is much much bigger than I realized it was. And even just a single other doctor’s involvement is a massive increase in scale and scope. 

Well this Dr. Citro is a super nice guy, because he avoids becoming too familiar with the experimentees by using “cyanide and the incinerator”. But hey, he is on the verge of a serious breakthrough, so that makes it ok. Right? I mean, the meaning of the life, the universe and everything is worth a few broken eggs… isn’t it? Well, these two seem to think so anyway. Because what if, “The meaning to life is more life? How many nightmares would end then my friend?”

Dr. Hap has other ideas though, about “A garden of forking paths that allow them to travel into another dimension.”

But apparently their congenial and professional relationship takes a turn for the worse when Dr. Nitro, I mean, Dr. Citro goes ape-jealous and pulls out a gun. A GUN?!? That’s right, the illustrious doctor whips out a pistol and the fight. And now, the question of not just the episode but the entire season is this – WHAT WAS THAT PURPLE STUFF?! that Hap drowned him in? You know what I am talking about, right?! Here, here is a screen scrape of said liquid.

I mean it’s a cold storage locker for dead bodies people. This isn’t some sort of embalming liquid. What is this? At first I assumed that his face was going to melt or something. But then it was splashing everywhere and realized that it couldn’t be acid. So yeah, I am placing a bounty out for the answer to this question. If you figure it out, I will give you one free hug. Promise. (And I hate hugs. Sad, but true. A little OCD about close contact. Yes, I have people issues. We’ll talk about it another time.)

Purple goo aside, Hap kills Citro and then tips off a nurse that there are people in the abandoned wing of the hospital that are in need of help. Hands her a key and bolts. Can we talk about that a second? So Dr. Hap has a conscience? What? I mean, I know that he’s an academic, and a scientist determined to find out what is beyond death. But he’s also evil @#[email protected] And yet that little maneuver to save the test subjects and jeopardize himself? Totally shocking to me.  (I thought this was going to be a short write up. I am possibly the wordiest writer on the planet.) But it is shocking dangit. Who is that guy? Anyway, let us away, because goodness happens next.

Dr. Hap is shaken by the encounter with his colleague that he’s just killed. And so Hap proposes to prairie that they work together to use the first two movements to heal others and that they get money in order to provide for the research in getting the last of the movements. Prairie though is sure something weird just happened. There’s a scar on his head, and he’s freaking out. So she rightly, and naturally assumes something bad happens. And when Dr. Hap says, “I had to protect the work.” she naturally concludes that he’s killed someone that was challenging him and his work. 

Then under she goes.

It was affecting though to see Prairie killed for the first time. It’s always been someone else up until this episode. And the way they just nonchalantly just buckle up and setup the procedure without giving it any thought. Prairie is just as complicit in the experiment as Dr. Hap is. Which, leads me to conjecture maybe she’s just as insane? It really is a very real possibility. I have a blog post about the movie The Prestige, you know, the movie by Christopher Nolan, wherein I posit that more than three quarters of the movie are narrated by someone reading from a journal. And in these journals they are written for the other person’s enemy, knowingly and intentionally lying to him. So most of the movie is told to us by an untrustworthy source. Could it possibly be that the entirety of the whole season of The OA be a lie? I’ll discuss this theory further below. 

After Prairie comes back Dr. Hap isolated a sound from her travels – which, I have to say, I’m dubious about – and he decides that he knows exactly where Prairie was. And he believes that she was among the rings of Saturn. No really. Which, could explain why she isn’t getting the fifth movement? Maybe she is traveling to the wrong location now? Is there a way to control where one goes? Is there some method for manipulating this detail?

And Homer is completely demoralized by The OA’s inability to get the final movement. “What did we think would happen anyway? What would we do? Garden?” And he begins this funny discourse about how they would garden, and how they would figure it out. Year one, the crops are too close. Year two caterpillars. Year three… and so on. And for a little while I was confused as to what this was about. But it was very obviously a reference to what they were doing now. They don’t know how to travel beyond death, and yet they are trying, and trying and trying again until they get it perfect. So by the end they are laughing about the fact that of course they’d garden even if they didn’t know what they were doing. Because they would figure it out dangit.  

And then the episode ends with the policeman walking into Dr. Hap’s house and seeing the hostages. He then pulls a gun on Dr. Hap. Fade to black.  

Current Theories and Explanations for The OA

Insanity Just Insanity Mam Theory

Insane. She’s in-freaking-sane. Out of her mind. Completely gone. Says this theory. I’ve maintained that this theory would be carried through to the end come hell or high water and so far it’s born out to be true. And I actually have a very good feeling that the show will end assuming she’s nuts. Like, lock her away nuts. But that’s just me.

It’s Malicious Lies Theory

All along I have been talking about the fact that the show’s creators are obviously never going to rule out the possibility that Prairie is just blooming insane. But what if it’s not insanity? What if it is willful? What if it is something more malevolent and evil than just insanity? I do know that there is a lot of talk on the interwebs about the ending of the show, because when I go get photos for these posts they are everywhere. Obviously, being 6 episodes in the last thing I want to know is how it ends. But I am sure there is discussion out there about Prairie just being insane. But I do think this lie theory is pretty tight. Sure… she seems nice enough. But what if she’s starting a church of the “Five Movements”? Or something else devious like that? Very real possibility.

Church of the Five Movement Flatliners

And to counterbalance the lies is this theory. The theory continues on as it always has from episode one. That through flatlining people will grab the answers necessary to create a path to the otherside of life. To create a home outside of the troubles of this life and to live blissfully in some other adjacent inter-dimensional something or other. Prairie is determined to make it there. To leave this life and its troubles in order to solve the chaos that has been in her life from the beginning.

Overall thoughts of Episode 6 and The OA

My main concern at this point is how the show is going to coalesce two different timeline threads simultaneously in the final two episodes. Right? There are a few things that need to happen in the Abduction thread. Just have to happen for any of this to make sense. Right?  Possible super spoilers below if you are following along and haven’t seen the ending yet. But I have not either, so I can’t say whether they are or arn’t.

  1. Prairie needs to get free, be freed, run away somehow.
  2. Homer needs to be lost, left behind, completely gone AWOL
  3. Prairie needs to get the fifth movement
  4. Oh, and the whole gun to head thing needs to be resolved.

And on The Five side there are also things that need to happen for this whole thing to dovetail.

  1. The five will envoke the 5 movements
  2. They need to find Homer
  3. There will be an active shooter situation

No? But the writers won’t do anything too miraculous in the Five storyline because then that won’t be explainable as Prairie being insane. Maybe Dr. Hap will show up hunting for her with Homer in the car. And then maybe this 17 killer guy will kill Hap conveniently in a collision of events that could just possibly be “miraculous” or induced by the 5 movements. I personally think that Prairie and Homer will both start off season two in a mental institution because the balance there would be just perfect. But that’s just me. Maybe I’m off by 180 degrees. I don’t know. But these things make sense to me.

Can I just say that this Netflix, release everything at once business is stressful? With Westworld I was able to stay up late one night a week and crank a walkthrough out. But with this? This is nuts. Just saying. But dang how much do I love this show?


Interested in reading all of my OA episode recaps so far?
Episode 1 – The Homecoming
Episode 2 – New Colossus
Episode 3 – Champion
Episode 4 – Away
Episode 5 – Paradise
Episode 6 – Forking Paths
Episode 7 – Empire of Light
Episode 8 – Invisible Self
OA Season 1 Theories & Season 2 Conjecture

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10 Responses

  1. April

    I’m so glad you talked about the purple goo bc I swear when OA found August dead in the bathtub, the water looked a lot like that purple goo. What??? Why!! It can’t be coincidence but WTF

  2. Happy Pancake

    I thought it was the gas that made the dungeoneers forget, rather than afterlife amnesia. I thought that that was why it was important that Homer kept trying to make it to the afterlife sans gas. So he could remember.

    I thought it was a strange move on Hap’s part to hand the nurse a note and give her instructions on his escape from the hospital killing he’d just committed. He was presumably uncovered when he entered the hospital and Dr. Citro’s company, and intra-hospital cameras would have picked him up. Dr. Citro dies and a scarf-covered man rushes out, and provides notice on the way? Doesn’t make sense to me. And going back to Trust, how could Hap have trusted Citro to that degree and vice-versa when each knows what the other is capable of? Honor among thieves? Hap’s “step into my room and open container no. 20” moment was his Prairie-walk-into-her-cell, only he did not see it coming.

    I forgot to mention in my previous episode comment how much Scott resembled Jesus lying on the cross in his death pose and clothing and hirsuteness. It had a foreshadowing quality.

    In every episode thus far, I have not found Prairie insane at all. Perhaps I trust my narrator too greatly, but I have believed her. That being said, if I was one of the 5 newly gathered tribe meeting in the abandoned house, I would find her crazy as a betsy bug and cannot imagine doing a damn thing she asked. Viewing world vs. story world perspective.

    I’ve also been wondering how the drowning experience done over and over has not permanently damaged their sinuses and lungs. Not a speck of pneumonia, brain damage, heart damage, or other complications among them. And how does Hap bring them back to life? That has not been shown. Just because each has had an NDE prior to their abduction does not guarantee that each would survive even one more death experience. What allows them to die and revive with such frequency and ease?

  3. Alden

    I think the purple goo is potassium chloride. They mentioned it a few minutes before. The liquid is clear, but if you burn it, it turns purple. This might be a wild theory, but it’s the OA, so who the hell knows? Also, I believe August was lying in a bathtub full of it in an early episode.

    • Taylor Holmes

      But why would he be dipping, basting, the bodies in potassium chloride prior to burning them?… in the cold storage?! Like literally the one thing that I don’t have a clue about in this series.

  4. Kris

    Not sure if mentioned before, but the episode ends short because the front door is closed. Can’t wait to finish the last two episodes.

    • Celine

      Kris! Glad you commented on the end. Who is that man? He is looking for “Melissa. ” Is that the abandoned house?

  5. Juliet N K

    I always thought that the purple liquid is some sort of chemical that preserves bodies somehow.. The OA found Augusts body mostly submerged in that liquid at least a few weeks AFTER August’s death (because her death must have occurred before The OA’s arrival at the lab), and her body was not decomposed at all. I dont see what else the liquid’s purpose would be…

    • Taylor Holmes

      I guess that makes sense? But really? A 1 inch deep pool of liquid in a cold storage locker? I don’t know. I wish anyone from the creative team would respond to my questions. Because that would definitely be one of them. But alas.



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