Spoilers ahead for Season 1 of The OA.
If you have sat down and spent the eight hours to watch #TheOA, you are no doubt aware of just how much you have to pay attention to this show to even have a clue about what is going on. Similar to its fellow #Netflix Original Series, Stranger Things, The OA deals with some out-of-this-world experiences and a lot of sci-fi subjects that we might not fully understand. And just like #StrangerThings, The OA leaves us with a decent amount of questions after all is said and done.
Basically, this show is a mystery-drama that follows Prairie Johnson, a young woman (Brit Marling) who is brought home after going missing seven years earlier. Upon her return to Michigan — complete with regained sight and mysterious scars on her back — she becomes a local hero and creates a small cult-like following, insisting that she is an angel capable of traveling to another dimension.
This marks Marling's third collaboration with director Zal Batmanglij, following the independent films Sound of My Voice and The East. (She also serves as executive producer and co-creator.)
Let's focus on four big questions we have after the finale of The OA. (Again, this article contains massive spoilers, in case you haven't finished the series yet.)
While some viewers might think the answers are right in front of us, some might not have picked up on everything as quickly. If you think you know the answers to these four questions — or have an awesome theory — let us know in the comments!
1. Where Did The School Shooting Even Come From?
The OA was full of seemingly random events (or events that were spliced apart), but the school shooting was perhaps the biggest "WTF" moment of the whole season. It pretty much came out of nowhere and didn't seem to hold much relevance on its own, as we never are introduced to the shooter, nor are we aware of any motivation.
However, it does sort of appear that the shooting was the recurring nightmare that Prairie had experienced since childhood. Seeing as how Prairie goes running to the school to complete the cycles with Steve, French, Buck, Jesse and Ms. Broderick-Allen after awakening from the nosebleed nightmare, it would only make sense to assume that was the recurring premonition that had been spliced apart. The only question is, why a school shooting?
2. Was Homer's NDE Experience A Premonition For Prairie's Death?
During Hap's experiments, Prairie and Homer devise a plan to attempt to make it past the gas phase so they could remember their near-death experience (a.k.a., NDE) and piece together the puzzles of an alternate dimension and/or an afterlife. It's a lot to process, eh?
Well, there is another big question that was brought up in the finale after Prairie was shot by the shooter at the high school. Homer's successful path through his NDE showed him being chased through a building. When Prairie awakens from the aftermath of the shooting, we hear Homer running through the building; the screen goes black and we hear her call his name.
The question remains, was Homer's NDE experiment a premonition of Prairie's death? Or was Prairie simply successful in channeling another dimension during the shooting, and she needed another NDE to get there?
3. Better Yet, Did Prairie Actually Die After Being Shot?
This question seems rather simple, but it's really not as simple as it might seem. Seeing how Prairie believes she is an angel, and that some of her known premonitions appear to have come true, you can't help but have difficulty believing that Prairie actually dies after being shot.
Along with the question of whether Homer's NDE was a premonition of the shooting (or Prairie's death), we don't really have any way of knowing if Prairie woke up in an alternate dimension or if she is stuck in yet another NDE. You can assume that she isn't really dead, but if The OA taught us anything it's that we shouldn't assume we know exactly what is going on.
4. Was Prairie Lying The Whole Time?
This is something we never really get clarification on. Despite French seemingly finding evidence that Prairie was not telling the truth about her experiences with Hap (and the fact that they couldn't find evidence of her fellow captives online), it is difficult to figure out where Prairie's stories came from or how she regained her sight if the experiences were not true. It just simply cannot be, right?
If Prairie was not lying, then that would mean Hap is still out there experimenting on NDE survivors and that Homer is likely dead by now. However, if Prairie was lying, then we are left to believe that she is nothing but a mentally ill young woman who randomly disappeared for seven years, which is what her parents have been told since she was a child.
The validity of Prairie's experiences and how she regained her sight sort of depend on her experiences with Hap being true, so it would be a very big punch to viewers if it turned out that Prairie was actually just insane.