Netflix’s new psychological drama The OA ended with an ambiguous bang. If you’re familiar with creator Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglig’s previous work (Sound of My Voice, The East), a murky close with more questions than answers is par for the course. But unlike their films, if Netflix greenlights The OA for a second season — which they say they’d be game for — we could actually be in store for more answers than usual. From Homer to secret braille messages, here are the most burning questions Season 2 needs to answer.
Spoilers ensue for The OA Season 1.
1. How does Prairie know what Hap was doing when he wasn’t with her?
At the end of Season 1, both the viewer and Prairie’s “real world” friends — Steve, French, Buck, Betty, and Jesse — have doubts about her story, thanks to the conveniently titled books French discovered in her house. However, there is considerable evidence that the books were a plant from her therapist. But, even assuming that’s the case and her story is legitimate, we still need major clarification on the point-of-view of the flashbacks to her experience. “Imagine everything I tell you as if you were me,” she tells her audience in the first episode. Most of her ensuing story is presented to us from her point of view, save for the parts that focus on Homer (Emory Cohen) and Hap (Jason Isaacs). With Homer, we can assume she’s relaying his experiences as he told them to her. But there’s almost no chance that Hap told her about his meeting and subsequent murder of his former NDE colleague in the sixth episode — so how on earth does she know what’s happened to Hap? Whose point of view was that part of the story presented to us in?
2. Why does it say “Rachel” in braille at the FBI therapist’s office?
One clever fan pointed out in a screen cap that there is braille on the wall of the therapist office that spells out “Rachel,” Prairie’s fellow prisoner who was unable to access the fifth and final Movement. Why the hell is her name in braille in the therapists office? Does this signify that this reality is also not as “real” as it seems? Or that he’s in on some kind of dimensional conspiracy? We need to know what’s up.
3. What was up with Homer’s NDE vision?
In the fourth episode, “Away,” we’re taken into Homer’s NDE experience. His version of the alternate dimension — in which he flees through the halls of a hospital as male voices pursue him — seems to be a premonition for his later experience in the real world trying to flee from the hotel in Cuba. But most curious of all, right before his NDE, he sneaks into Hap’s office and listens to what appears to be an audio of it. A man’s voice says, “Your name is not Homer.” Another voice says, “Do you know Dr. Roberts?”
As we understand his name to be Homer Roberts, we’re going to need more information about this sequence. Is this a clue that Homer is not, in fact, real? Is he secretly a doctor? Is this one reality trying to infringe upon another?
4. What’s with the flare Buck sees in the road?
In the sixth episode, “Forking Paths,” Buck bikes past the scene of a car accident, with flares and shards of metal and tires. In the middle of it is a red backpack, which sounds an awful lot like Rachel’s description about her NDE. This moment is not touched upon again. What’s going on here? Is it signifying a symbolic parallel between Buck and Rachel — or is there something bigger and weirder at work here?
5. Is there more to Prairie’s wolf sweatshirt that just a dope piece of clothing?
When French discovers the “incriminating” box of books beneath Prairie’s bed, her wolf sweatshirt is draped over it. After quickly holding it up to the light on his phone, he tosses it aside.
Later in the episode, when we check in with Prairie, she throws on the sweatshirt before running to the school. The way the show lingers on the sweatshirt during important plot moments implies that its far more significant than just a piece of cool clothing. If we look back at the Russian origins of Prairie’s story, Veles is a Slavic god of the Underworld who is often symbolized by a wolf and associated with snakes — another frequent symbol on The OA. Veles is the god of chaos, often locked in struggle with the god of order. Which brings us to the next question …
6. Will Russian mobsters ever come into the story, or was that plotline only relevant in the beginning?
One of the most intriguing parts of Prairie’s story is her fairytale-like origins in Russia and her father’s implied ties to the Russian mob. But save for the connection between her origin and her captured state — her father’s wealth came from mines; Hap imprisoned her in a mine — this plot point is not addressed again. Is the Russian backdrop important, will Season 2 become Eastern Promises? Or was it just a colorful backdrop for the inception of her tale?
7. Where is Hap now? Where are the other captives?
Assuming Prairie’s story is real — which is implied when the show’s final word is “Homer,” where are Hap and the other captives now? In an alternate dimension? Still rotting in his basement? On an island off the coast of Cuba? We need to know.
8. Where is Khatun and will she ever help the OA again?
Much like the Russian mob plotline, Khatun the mystical spirit-guide from an apparent mash-up of pantheons disappears from the story. Was this a Dumbledore-like deal; she helped only so far and now the OA is on her own? Or is she more like Yoda? Will she ever be back?
Season 2 would be a rare opportunity to see a Marling and Batmanglij project follow through on the questions it poses. If Netflix greenlights it, we’ll leave our front doors open for this unique puzzle box of a show.