Trying to make sense of Netflix’s enigmatic new series The OA and its mystifying ending is a tricky a task. Just as the Inquisitr delved into the hidden clues of The OA, it will now posit five theories that could explain The OA’s ending.
Warning: This article contains spoilers for The OA.
OA Theory #1: The alternate dimension is a form of reincarnation.
What if the other dimension Prairie (Brit Marling) continually references is actually a form of reincarnation? That in the midst of an NDA (near-death experience), souls go somewhere, before returning in someone else’s body. What if, when another person’s soul enters that new body, they bring a facet of their old body with them?
This could explain the person waking up with new talents. If the new soul was able to play an instrument in their earlier life, the new incarnation housing them would be able to as well. If the new soul could see in their old body, they might heal the blind body they are newly dwelling in, and vice versa.
The new soul would be aware of everything about the original person because they also inhabit the original person’s mind. Therefore, the new soul would be able to act, and remember, as if they were the original person. They might even believe they are the original person. The question is: What has become of the new soul’s former body?
OA Theory #2: Alfonso is linking to Homer’s soul.
Near the end of The OA, Alfonso aka French (Brandon Perea) goes to a sink to splash some water on his face. When he finishes, he looks in the mirror and sees Homer’s face staring back at him. What if Alfonso sustaining that facial wound during his fight with Steve (Patrick Gibson) somehow opened the door for Alfonso to link to Homer (Emory Cohen)? Is it possible in the OA universe for a person to bring another soul on board, without having to die?
OA Theory #3: Prairie’s entire story is an allegory for what actually happened to her.
When The OA ends, Alfonso finds a set of books in Prairie’s room. Each of them centers on one of the topics Prairie claims are a part of her narrative. There are reasons to believe there is a hole in this discovery. When did Prairie have time to collect the books and read them all when she had just returned home with her eyesight? That being said, it is entirely possible that like the matryoshka dolls, Prairie’s entire story cloaks a darker one.
The plain truth might be that she was held captive and had horrible things happen to her, things she has re-imagined through a fantastical story that gives her missing years a sense of personal purpose. A key moment that potentially supports this OA theory occurs near the end of the season.
A girl approaches Prairie and her parents in a crowded restaurant and rudely begins asking what sort of things Prairie suffered while she was being held captive. Prairie never corrects the girl’s assertions or puts her own parents’ minds at ease. If nothing in that vein occurred, why didn’t Prairie flatly deny it?
OA Theory #4: The matryoshka dolls play a significant role in offering a crucial clue.
Throughout the series, matryoshka dolls appear in reference to Prairie’s Russian heritage. In many ways, it is the perfect metaphor for The OA and the way its story unfolds. At first, what Prairie says sounds so sensational that it is impossible to believe. Then she breaks it down into smaller and smaller pieces that neatly fit into her overwhelming narrative.
What if they represent something else, though? The truth about Prairie’s imprisonment might be a simple and disturbing one. While she was in New York, she was abducted, held against her will, tortured, and released without explanation.
OA Theory #5: Prairie, Homer, and the other captives, are immune to death’s side effects.
For his experiments, Hap (Jason Isaacs) kills his captives and brings them back to life. He does not do this procedure, once or twice. He does it countless times. Nevertheless, Prairie and the others suffer no physical fallout.
For instance, they do not experience any brain damage from the lack of oxygen to their brains. Instead, they continually come back to life, without any permanent side effects. There is more to the group that Hap assembles, then all of them having experienced NDAs. They are all able to keep coming back to life, hassle free.
In an interview with Variety shortly after the release of the series, The OA’s creators, Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, discussed the possibilities of continuing The OA with Season 2. On the prospects, Batmanglij said the following.
“Yes, we designed it that way. 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… Brit and I figured out the whole thing. The whole thing’s a riddle. There are a lot of clues.”
Do any of those “clues” lead to the following theories? Only time, and a Season 2 renewal by Netflix, will resolve whether any of these OA theories actually help explain its ending. Season 1 of The OA is currently available to stream on Netflix.
[Featured Image by JoJo Whilden/Netflix]