The OA Season 1 Theories and Details Explained


My apologies everyone – between this massive lung crunching cough that I have, the holiday’s festivities and a massively overwhelming urge to stop writing about OA after 8 straight episodes, I have just not gotten back to working on this thread. But I do think this is the money post. It’s the one where we look back through all the episodes, from beginning to end, and then look for threads and themes and insights that we just didn’t have when myopically staring at each episode individually. So what I plan to do with this post is two things. The first, is to play out a few theories of what might actually be going on here. I will also take a look back at some of the theories I came up with over the course of the show’s journey and see how well I did predicting where this show was going. Secondly, I will also play out some options for where season 2 is going to go. There is one theory in particular that I’m absolutely fond of. But we’ll get to that soon enough.

There are two main theories that counter-balance this show, and only two. Obviously, there are shades and variations of theories that I will also throw in later. But this is a very Binary equation. On or Off. Either Prairie is right. Or Prairie is wrong.

OA Theory 1 – Prairie is Right

The first theory that we need to grapple with is this – she’s telling us the truth. Everything we see from the stories in the attic, to the conversations with the FBI, to  her chats alone with Dr. Hap. All literal truths. The muli-dimensional traveling? True. The experiments in the basement of Dr. Hap’s converted mine home? True.

Evidence for: There are a ton of facts that can be certified throughout the course of the first season. For example, she was blind, and now she can see. That is a significant unarguable fact. At the end of episode 8, Prairie had a real premonition telling her about the coming tragedy at the school which occurred. Also, Prairie quickly searches the interwebs and finds a YouTube video of Homer talking about his Football injury. She is definitely adopted, and originally from Russia. Prairie finds a video of herself speaking in Russian – so we can fairly certain this is true. We also know that while the five movements might not open an interdimensional portal, the first two definitely can heal. We saw this occur twice.

Contra Arguments Against: The fact that she was blind and that now she can see again is a real world phenomenon and has been documented before. Here is one example. Definitely doesn’t really prove anything, save to say it was weird.

Let’s talk about that football video of Homer’s injuries. Either Homer Roberts’ name isn’t Homer Roberts or that video is completely irrelevant because this quaterback’s name looks like C. Klein to me. And when I went digging, I found out that Reddit places the game as the November 19, 2011 game between K-State and that this video was just one of Collin Klein’s four fumbles. If you click through this image to get the bigger one – you can see that this screenshot of the video she pulled up on the YouTubes shows his name as Klein (or Allen, but definitely not Roberts.)

With regard to the premonition, we know from episode 7 that the radio was playing a news bulletin about a shooter loose in the community, and having killed 17 people. Could it be that Elias, the FBI agent, was right? That Psychics are really just Empaths that are highly tuned in to the world around them? That they take in details that other people would normally dismiss out of hand? Could it be that Prairie is just a highly empathetic person? (Don’t worry, I’ll cover that in another theory.) And if you look back at my episode 7? Or 6 recap? Not sure which, you’ll see that even I could tell that that shooter was going to be interwoven into the story at the end.

As for the Russian, fine, let’s say she can speak Russian, but how is it that she can read in English so well? Things like Homer’s Illiad? Definitely not simple reading. She was blind most of her adult life. Now as to the first two movements actually healing people, she could just be straight up lying to the Five. Right? We have no reason to believe that there was a dungeon at all, let alone that she and Homer healed people twice.

OA Theory 0 – Prairie is Insane

There is no if, ands or buts about it – this has got to be one of the most on target theories of the whole lot that we have discussed. Now, granted, I would love for this show to be legit and to take us into wild and supernatural multidimensional places, but that is NEVER going to happen. No no no. It’s just simpler to assume Prairie is wrong for whatever reason. Maybe it is trauma from a real abduction. Name your reason. But the bottom line is that Prairie is a little coo-coo.

Evidence For: The books Man! The BOOKS! If you are a huge proponent of this theory, then you are going to be yelling at the screen about the books that French finds underneath Prairie’s bed. And when Elias (the FBI agent) and French run into each other in the house French is of the mind that Prairie needs help offloading the stress of her ordeal, and French has done that for her.

Contra Arguments Against: Wait. What is French doing in Prairie’s house again? Remind me? Cause that doesn’t seem like what a friendly FBI Trauma Counselor would be doing… unless?! Unless he had just planted the books to make it look like Prairie was making it all up.

It could very well be that she believes herself to be telling the truth. It could be that she is convinced. But that doesn’t specifically mean she is telling the truth. Could very well be that we have a detailed Empath on our hands that is truly crushed by the weight of 7 years in captivity and has a hard time seeing rightside up from upside down.

OA Theory 2 – Prairie Inception Theory

What about one more theory, (yes, this breaks my binary theory idea. But you know you want something other than Insane or Correct) one that jumps way off of this antipodal dialectic (that phrase ‘Anitpodal Dialectic’ is free. No extra charge at all. Such goodness right there. Pearls before swine I tell you pearls…) If any of you have been around long enough to discuss Inception with me you’ll know that I think the entire movie is being told at dream layer 1. And that I think Mal is the only one to have successfully left the dream.

So how would this play out in OA? Well, I had been talking throughout the reviews of the various episodes of the season mainly about Flatliners. Flatliners is a movie that had Med Students killing each other and then bringing themselves back in order to try and figure out what is beyond death. What if I was thinking about it all wrong and inside out? What if it’s more like Inception, in that the entirety of the season is a dream. And the only reality we see at all is the last few seconds… “Homer?” That bit.

Maybe Hap is her doctor in reality? Perhaps Homer and the gang are all there in rooms nearby? Maybe Prairie (or whatever her name is) has been picking up bits and pieces of reality as the seven years have toiled on? See where I am going with this here? No? Neither do I.

OA Season 2 Possibilities

Maybe a better way to go about finding the truth for Season 1 is by figuring out where Season 2 could possibly go. I am sure that if I was Brad Pitt, and I was being pitched this story by Zal Batmanglij, and Brit Marling, my very first question would be… “and let’s assume that these eight shows of yours are a success and everyone is clamoring for more? Where do we go then?” Don’t you think? I mean, I would anyway. And let’s be clear Zal has said in more than one interview that the show was designed to continue. So, Brad wasn’t requiring a rock solid answer, but maybe just a hint of a direction. No? We would sort of go this-a-way… which would be enough to say that the show hadn’t cul de sac’d itself.  I’m just going to toss out several different ideas as they come to me:

Another Angel possibility

What if, instead of starting with the Original Angel saying “Homer?”, maybe the show starts with a different Angel, which has just died, and came back and has visions of a mission and a calling that culminates in the finding of The OA? The reason this is a good theory is that it gives you a ton of run way to figure out exactly what happened at the ending of season 1. It’s like how Season 2 of Lost was all about opening the hatch that was found at the end of Season 1. (Sorry if I just spoiled it for you, but come on! That show has got to be fifty years old at this point!)

The Five Possibility

Or instead of a new angel, what is the Five go hunting for her? She disappears from the ambulance and then the five are on the hunt? Constantly getting visions and hints, but nothing solid. All the while being cajoled and battered by the FBI and their parents?

Awake From A Coma

Girlfiend in a coma I know, I know, it’s seriousssss…. (sorry, a little Morrisey there for you. Again, free of charge.) But what if the season kicks off with a boot to the head like, Prairie waking up from a Coma? This would put it right up there with season 1’s amazing start (you remember, her jumping from the bridge, right?) and we’d all be like… WHAT?!  And maybe he’s really been her doctor all along? And the Inception theory is right? But the struggle there is, where does the show go from here? Everyone casts doubt on her belief, until we find out that she did see Homer and the others. She did free them. And it was real? No, that’s rubbish. Oh no, I’ve got it now…

Prairie wakes up from a coma, she’s been unconscious for 7 years and then Dr. Hap walks in and he is her doctor? Yes. And maybe he has insinuated himself into the hospital? Oh, come on, that is good. But we don’t learn that until episode 3 or 4? So all that time we are doubting our own sanity. And the reason he interjected himself as her doctor (forged paperwork, transfer, I DONT KNOW, these are just details people) was because he realized that he couldn’t make the 5th movement work because the other four wouldn’t do it? Or, he got it wrong somehow, so he needs her again? And then as the show goes on we actually see that Prairie did free the five and they are all back here on earth?

Failed Jump

And what if the jump just ‘failed’? Prairie chats with Khatun and learns that there are 7 movements for portals. And five for stopping bullets. Or something? and then we stay in this state of balance and flux. We continue to assume she’s wrong, but could be right? It would allow for the toying to continue.

Will there be a season 2 of The OA?

The question of the day though is, will there even be a season 2 of The OA?

“Whether it will happen or not, I think that’s up to you guys. All of you in the world. If people connect to it. I would like to see this story continue…”

And Brit Marling? She also has stated for the record that she’d like to see the story continue…

“We spent a good three years just cobbling the mathematics of the labyrinth of a mind-bender that could go for many, many hours. We wanted to solve the riddle. We wanted to know what was at the center of the labyrinth within the very first chapter.”

So it would appear that the architects have at least built a main floor that is capable of handling a second story addition. Right? It would appear so anyway. And I for one cannot wait to see where Brit and Zal go with this thing. Because it has been a great ride so far. Do you have ideas on where the show is going to go? Or whether or not Prairie is insane? Love to hear about them below.

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