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Alright, I have yet to watch episode 8 of The OA – but I’m about to. In the past couple posts I have tried to guess at where this show is going to go and now here we are. So in this post, I plan to write about the episode as it happens. Alright so let’s kick it off!

The OA Episode 8 Overview

The episode kicks off back where we were with the Sheriff of the town holding a gun to Dr. Hap’s head – and Hap starts by trying to talk his way out of what is obviously a very very bad situation. I mean, think about it. You’ve abducted a pile of people for the past 7 years. And in walks a police officer? Yeah. That’s not going to go very well for you. Except? Maybe? He can talk him into thinking that he can heal his wife Evelyn.

“You know well enough that there is no good and evil, there is only grey, there is only what a man can stand. These people can heal your wife. Let them try and if they succeed you walk away and let me do my research. If they fail you can lock me up.”

“You have a silver tongue, shut up I don’t make deals” says Sheriff Stan Markham.

But the next thing we know, the Sheriff and Dr. Hap are driving to go and get Evelyn to bring her to Homer and Prairie. And then the two of them have a fantastic conversation about the dilemma they find themselves in. Homer knows that if they choose to not heal her then the cop will put Dr. Hap in jail. Right? They’d be free. If they heal her though, then they will be trapped there forever. The glitch though? Prairie can’t not do it, “If we don’t help this woman, then we aren’t who we say we are.” And so they decide to heal her by performing the first two movements.

And then Evelyn, once she is healed, tells them that when she was a little girl, she drowned in the ocean. And when she died, she watched as the light faded out. And then she met a woman who told her that she had to carry a message inside of her, that it would be hard, and difficult and painful. And like that, Evelyn taught Homer and Prairie the fifth movement. But simultaneously Dr. Hap has memorized the fifth movement as well. Which, is critical to the rest of the show, and I bet even the next season as well.

After memorizing the move Homer and Prairie embrace – which is an enormous deal seeing as though they’ve always been separated by glass the last seven years. And then Dr. Hap shoots Evelyn and Stan while they are embracing. Which, as an aside, I have to say, is hardcore. But seemed sort of obvious that Hap would kill them because of the enormous liability to his work if he allowed them to live. Right? Then Dr. Hap drugs Prairie and takes her on a drive until daylight. Far away? And then tells her that she isn’t indispensable. That he is leaving her like he found her. And if she comes back, then all five of them will be gone, through the portal, and she is being left all alone.



Alright, so after conjecturing for the last week as to exactly how Prairie would be separated from Homer I now know. I will say that it seems strange that after killing Stan and Evelyn because of their liability to him he would allow the Original Angel to live. And yet, she didn’t know where the mine was. She couldn’t ever get back to them all again. And Dr. Hap was extraordinarily clear that even if she did find the mine that they would all be gone, that they will use the movements and cross over to the other side.

The OA the Five and The Parents

Cut back to Prairie, showing how he used the knife on her. Her dress top is down. Sports bra. High school teacher there. Kids there. And that is when everyone arrives at the house. And by everyone I mean everyone. All the parents. Teachers. School superintendent. President of the United States. Everyone. This isn’t going to go well for anyone. And Mrs. Johnson, Prairie’s mother, takes Prairie and hightails it out of there. And soon after the Johnsons leave the house and the media circus and head to a hotel. And it is then that Prairie starts telling her parents about the details of her abduction. How she didn’t touch another person for 7 years. How small her cell was, and how she sometimes slept underneath her bed. Such a good turn of events. I’m sure her parents were relieved to finally learn anything. And then while Prairie is still sleeping, her mother gets the note out that Prairie had left for them originally. Basically it said that she was going to go and try and find her father and show them that she was right all along. That he was still alive.

Meanwhile, Alfonzo and Steve are trying to track down Dr. Hap and eventually find a Japanese video of The OA I think? Then Alfonzo breaks into Prairie’s bedroom and finds several books about NDEs and Homer’s Iliad, which he takes to mean she made the stories up. And the FBI Psychologist shows up at the house tells Alfonzo that he was proud of him for supporting Prairie. “Do you know what second hand trauma is? It’s when you take someone else’s pain so that they can survive.”

“But she told us a story and it wasn’t true. “

And like that time jumps, how far? A couple months maybe? Weeks? Can’t tell. But it’s obvious that many things have changed. Betty has been fired and she is packing up her things. Steve is back at the school again. The OA is now on drugs again and is wearing a tracking device on her ankle? Her dad tells her that he is proud of her for signing up for taking creative writing courses. And then Prairie goes up and has a bath. And while she is in the bath she falls asleep and has another premonition. She knew what was about to happen.

Cut to the cafeteria of the high school. And there is a man, dressed in black, with an M-16? Maybe an A-4? Anyway, he is walking across the grass heading towards the cafeteria. The doors have been chained closed. The kids can’t get away. And Steve looks at the others on the floor of the Caf and then jump up and begin performing the five movements. And I have to say that if handled even remotely differently – if not as passionately danced, if not as beautifully shot and edited – it would have looked really lame. But it worked. And while they are dancing someone jumps the shooter and takes the gun.

And then we learn that The Original Angel was shot in the chest as they were all finishing the final movement.

Final Moments of The OA Season 1

First, did you guys notice the shirt that Prairie was wearing? It was the one with the wolf on it that she held to her chest early on in the season in sort of a foreshadowing of the end? Also, did you see that there were five cracks in the glass representing the Five?  I thought that was pretty cool. So cool in fact I zoomed in in Photoshop to see if they were really cracks or if they were drawn on the glass. (I mean, how does one get glass to crack perfectly like that? (They appeared to be drawn.)) And also, as the ambulance was speeding away it was reminiscent of Prairie running after Dr. Hap’s car that was speeding away which was symbolic of Homer’s and Dr. Hap’s multi-dimensional travel? And so it is foreshadowing Prairie’s slipping off into the void through the gateway.

(Or she just died – and Dr. Hap killed all the abductees and himself.)

And then at the very very end – there is a shot of The Original Angel crying, staring off screen. Then cut to black and… “Homer?”

Such goodness.

Current Theories and Explanations for The OA

I will do one more post walking through the season from beginning to end with a full understanding of where the show was going and how it got there. It will be the only way to review the entirety of the season. But for now – the theories I started at the beginning still head through to the end. At least two of them did anyway. I’ll review my theories I posted during episode one in the final review of the entire season. I definitely should hold myself accountable! Hahah. So I don’t plan to delve into the theories discussion in this post. But I promise you the two that will standout will be the Flatliners Portal Theory and the Stark Raving Insane Theory. Hahah. Either Prairie is the real deal. Or she’s completely nuts. And the shows creators delicately walked that line from beginning to end.

Overall thoughts of the Entire The OA season

This show was thought out to the nth degree. It was well planned and well thought out and extraordinarily well executed. I adored the abductee strain of the story, but I loved the flatliner portion even more. Such a great twist to add Dr. Hap, the “rational” evil overlord. And I thought that all the characters from the Five to the Abductees were all well acted and well drawn. I probably do wish that they had made it 16 shows and had taken off shoots into various characters like how Lost did it? (Says the guy sitting on his couch doing nothing at all! Hahah.) Definitely could have bolstered the characters a ton and could have also given a ton of pathos to the ending. (Not that it needed more than it had.) But otherwise, it was a fantastic little show. In my follow-up post I will also conjecture about where I think the show’s season two will go. (Or is that a separate post entirely? Worried a bit that I am turning this into an AO fan site instead of a movie site! Hahaha.

Alright – I’m going to leave this post at that. Great season. Fantastic show. Check in tomorrow or soon for more info on Season 2, the theories, and other insights. Until next time.

Edited by, CY

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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21 Responses

  1. Jordan Abidor

    Great call on the shooter on the radio coming back up. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your fantastic recaps this weekend. Merry Christmas from a new fan

    • Taylor

      Hey Jordan,
      Thanks a ton for the shot out. And I’m glad you enjoyed them. Doing them was a bit of a stretch. Lots of work for an unknown reward. But heck, if you dug it, maybe I’ll start paying more attention to television. Thanks for taking the time out to leave a comment.

      As for the shooter, yeah that was a lucky one because a few of the bigger cooked grenades never went off. But that radio news story seemed like a huge huge hint to me.

      Thanks again mate,

  2. Frank

    What betty saw or think, to decide to go back to the cafeteria and why did they started the mouvement after seeing the man with the gun ? My guess it was something the OA said but I can’t remember what and in which episode.

  3. Kira

    I have a question that I have yet to see addressed anywhere. Did Hap rape Prairie before he let her go? She said the sky was so blue after tearing her dress, then they cut away to everyone crying. It me it seem to me like she was raped.

    • Taylor Holmes

      That’s a great question Kira –
      I did a double take at that scene as well. It was building up to it. Dr. Hap was so jealous and so possessive of Prairie it’d be shocking if she wasn’t raped. Wish someone, anyone, from the show would return my emails or tweets so I could ask directly. But alas.

      I don’t think we can ever really know. I’d like to think that Hap was so intent on his scientific research that it wasn’t about his attraction to her. But there were so so so many chances he could have raped her. I think I did the math once and came up with at the very least 84 times that Hap put her under, killed her, and resuscitated her. (4 abductees, one drowning a week (that was mentioned somewhere? Like maybe ep4 or 5?)) comes out to something like 84. But that doesn’t account for odds and ends times that Prairie is knocked out.) And at any one of those times he could have. But I just don’t think he did it. Which makes him even more sinister in my mind. It’s like he thinks he is so logical that it justifies abducting people and experimenting on them at will.

      I don’t know Kira – do you think he did? There’s a lot of evidence to support both perspectives that’s for sure.

  4. Adam

    In the scenario where she is just crazy and the story she has weaved is a hoax her prediction of the shooting and nightmare from it may have been her subconscious hearing the news of the previous shooting and getting lucky with guessing the next place would be the school. As for the Five they are all people under high stress and I can see them cracking as well because this fits into OAs story I imagine the next season either be filled with mysticism or lunacy.

    • Taylor

      Hahahah yeah, I can totally see them all in the looney bin if they share absolutely anything of what they believe. And then? It’s like Twelve Monkeys and Bruce Willis! Hahah. Yeah,they could all crack for sure!

  5. jessica wolfson

    Some observations and questions from the 8 episodes . Where to start .. When she was on the plane with Hap – The back window was shaped like an A – I guess that means Angel Hunter ? When Abel was working on fixing something – the light was shaped like an O and looked like a Halo . I saw this lit up O again somewhere else. Also the FBI guy – when talking to her at one point said something along the lines of ‘i know how you feel – MORE THAN YOU KNOW ” ?? The ending, the boy outside with the gun looks totally different from the outdoor shot to how he did when we see him inside – he had brown hair outside but was taller and much blonder when we see the back of his head in the dining room – i hope Steve didn’t see himself ??? . Why did The OA not contact Homer’s family / son etc to reassure them that he hadn’t abandoned them ? etc etc etc !

    • jessica wolfson

      I’m really not sure if it is continuity or a clue, but i have looked again at the shooter to see if i am imagining it – from outside to inside they are different people , right down to his jeans being shorter when inside ! Have i gone mad ! Please help!

  6. Sally B

    Thank you for sharing your insightfful theories. If I may, here are a few of my own thoughts, observations and queries…
    1. What’s with all the purple? Starting from episode 1, it’s a predominent color, specifically in the clothing worn by many characters from all time segments of the story – Prairie, her Russian father, Nancy, Abel (albeit less frequently), the blind school students, their teacher and headmistress, Betty, Homer, New York ferry travelers, Statue of Liberty sight-seers, and more. Even Hap has on a brilliant purple scarf in the subway station. And while admittedly the high school color, the final shooting spree is a sea of purple-wearing students. A red herring, perhaps.
    2. She can’t be lying. If we were left to make this determination based solely on her story, I wouldn’t be as confident, but we, the objective audience, witness with our own eyes, not via her storytelling, two events that prove she possesses some sort of magical ability. The first event occurs on her first visit to the abandoned house when Steve’s dog viciously lunges and attacks her. With a mere touch, she magically subdues him. (And it’s not like she simply overpowers him, she actually transforms him from a menacing cur to a sweet, affectionate, almost loving pup. Secondly, and this is more subtle, but do you recall when she is trying on “Mom” clothes in the dressing room? Steve, who is on the other side of the dressing room door, so they can’t see each other, starts to comment that her outfit (or maybe her hair style, I can’t remember which) is –…. and at that exact moment, she blurts out, “boring,” as they finish the sentence in unison, making it clear that she read his mind. He looks bewildered, clearly taken aback that she predicted aloud this word choice, and she smiles ever so slightly. Both these incidents occur in “present day” (as opposed to in the past or as part of a flashback) so both are are outside of her narrative, meaning we can trust they really happened; therefore building the case that she genuinely has unique gifts… whether she’s an angel, I’m not sure, but she’s definitely has some kind of magic.
    3. When I watched a second time, I was amazed in the first or second episode when she is watching a YouTube video of Homer in the hospital being interviewed by reporters. He’s talking optimistically about recovering from his injuries and winning the championship. Then, he turns and looks directly into the camera, as if to look right at her, and says, “I’m going to get that championship ring and get out of here.” This is exactly what they attempt to do as captives – get the ring out of Hap’s bathroom in their plan to escape. So, it’s like a time travel thing where he’s trying to communicating a future thought/plan guised as one that conveniently relates to the predicament when the YouTube video was shot years prior. They definitely seems to be communicating across time via videos. Why else does she keep shooting those videos under the covers? They’re accessing some kind of technology that utilizes a video camera that transcends video capabilities as we understand them.
    4. I definitely think the FBI dude planted the books. Even if he didn’t, besides the name Homer, the tale she shares with th e others has nothing to do with the actual story of the “The Iliad,” so she wouldn’t need the entire book to give her saga more credibility. However, I can see how the FBI agent, in an effort to discredit her story, would throw in such a book, assuming the name Homer = The Iliad. In reality, however, she’s not connected the the two in her narrative, so even if she was lying, re-reading the Iliad wouldn’t be at all necessary.
    5. And what about Nancy? In the final scenes, Prairie is gardening with Abel, takes a bath, has a premonition, runs out the door, while explaining to Abel, “now I understand.” Despite the ankle band, he nods knowingly, and opens the door, freeing her to pursue her mission. It seems like Nancy is gone, like no longer living there kind of gone, not just at Costco, and Abel seems to be in on “it”. A lot of conjecture here, but, to me, Nancy is noticeably in absentia. I loved Nancy at first, but over time, she seemed more sinister to me, just as Prairie seemed to see Abel in a more loving/knowing light toward the end.
    6. Lastly, and this is way out there, but I read that Brit and her collaborator (sorry, his name escapes me) were disappointed that so many clues were overlooked by the viewers. Not sure if this is a rumor, but it made me scour for clues upon my second viewing. I thought it was kind of odd when Nancy and Prairie are taking a walk around the abandoned construction site in the first episode. Nancy stops to notice some construction materials (I believe) close to the curb and says, “wait, how did all of this stuff get way up here?” What’s the relevance of that observation/comment? Maybe I’m overthinking it, but she seems truly perplexed.
    Sorry if this is too long, rambling, or stating the obvious.
    I welcome any responses or explanations. Thank you.

    • Peter J

      Wow, this was great, thanks for sharing!
      I like your theory about Nancy being synical. Kind of odd that she just happened to have Prarie’s runaway note with her at the hotel, perhaps she wrote it herself in an attempt to make Prarie’s abduction story seem false?
      The FBI guy planting the books seems plausible too, perhaps they are all part of a huge coverup?

      • Sally

        Yep, definitely something fishy about the books. Probably planted.p by the FBI guy. Another mystery is upon hearing her play the violin in the train station, how/why did Hap, recognize it? What was it about that song revealed it was played by someone who experienced a NDE inciting him to frantically find its source? How did he know she existed? It was the same thing with the Cuban singer… At the risk of being redundant, I’m still stymied by and unable to let go of all the purple. Watching it a second time, it just seemed so prominent. I wondered if purple clad people were similar or somehow linked. And some people wore lots of purple, like the teacher, and some people wore no to very little purple like Abel. And maybe the more purple they wore, the stronger the quality or experience that linked them. Another obscure observation I made was that although meek, damaged, and vulnerable, Prairie had a strength that enabled her to quietly and almost imperceptibly take control, lead and prevail over others…. For example, by the end of her meeting disguised as Steves mother, so subtly, and without being aggressive or confrontational, she had the teacher almost hypnotized, eating out the palm of her hand; and most importantly, the teacher’s feelings if anger and plans for his expulsion were literally turned upside down. And even though the OA herself disliked being touched, did anyone noticed how she firmly grabbed that teacher’s hand, saying, “you’ve lost someone, haven’t you? A parent? A friend? A sibling??” It was at that moment of physical contact that the teacher melted. (Also, how did Prairie know that the teacher was grieving a loss? I don’t think it was a lucky guess….). Also, as I mention above, in addition to prevailing her will over the dog, remember how she requested that everyone close their eyes when hearing her story? French refused at first, and she said, “okay, but will you do it for me?” He relented. (Now that I think of it, isn’t it kind of odd that she insisted that heir eyes be shut? Hmmmm.) Also, even though she was held captive by Hap, clearly not prevailing in that instance, she did seem to have some kind of power over him, like when he, with little hesitation, granted her request to feel sunshine, clearly a privilege not previously granted to the others. Also, he trusted only her, releasing her regularly to do housework. I don’t know what my point is except that she definitely had a way about her, a charisma, to almost take control others…. to bend their will. At times, it verged on being manipulative… and I almost feel guilty saying that but maybe that’s because I myself fell under her spell… Not really, but she is a character I wanted to like and trust. Regardless, she is definitely a fascinating, complex and layered character and I hope we learn the real truth about her… This brings me to my last, rambling, probably point: Although I loved the show, the nebulous ending infuriated me. I hung in there because I was riveted and dying to know how it would all go down, but it was l could almost hear the OA herself telling me, “Oh, sorry Sally, now that I have you hooked, I am going to ensure you tune in for season 2 by leaving you now with more questions than answers. Buh-bye… Homer is that you?” It felt like a cheap shot. But will I tune in the second I learn that season 2 is available? You bet. Thoughts anyone?

  7. BC

    Does anyone know what the Japanese or Chinese writing says in the title of the YouTube video of Prairie playing the violin? I’m wondering if that provides any clues to the story line.

      • Taylor Holmes

        Hey BC,
        If you send me the image, I’ll put it in the post and ask if anyone knows. email it to taylor at taylorholmes dot com.

        Thanks! Interesting question.

      • Taylor Holmes

        Apparently it’s Japanese, here’s the original:

        Here is the translation: “[Touching, must see] Blind (woman) violinist – NYC!!”
        You ask, I deliver. But I don’t think it bought us much though.

  8. Dianne

    Do you know where I could buy the long sleeve grey printed shirt that OA wears in Season1 Episode 7. I can not find any websites that actually help me find the long sleve shirt.

  9. Aimee

    My impression of the ending was a little different then most I believe.
    I think people may have missed the point of the shooting. I believe OA and her premonition was her way of knowing where to transcend. Just like when she was a little girl trapped under water drowning.
    The shooting was a way for the 5 to preform the movements and by her knowledge about being there, was able to “die” and travel.
    Here are my reasons for the parallel theory…
    The fish tanks. When Nina is studying the snake and there is one during Homer’s NDE. It’s pretty obvious they are representing the cells.
    Nina describing her father being very wealthy bc of mining. Hap lives in a mine.
    In the “prison” reality, Rachel is a singer whose NDE involves a car accident with a red backpack.
    In the “real world,” Buck who is also a singer bikes past a car accident with a red backpack one night on his way to the abandoned house.

  10. Aarti

    Remember when Khatun said, “All five of you must work together as one to avert a great evil,” and at the end, it took 5 of them to actually avert the evil? The shooter.
    there are endless perspectives, but the force always remained with the OA and who she imparted it to. Be it Homer or even the 5 supposedly normal humans in the “real world”


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