It’s like Lost 2.0, but a whole lot weirder: The OA, Netflix’s thrilling, new-agey, interpretive dance-filled masterpiece, is inspiring the same level of intense scrutiny and fan theorizing as Lost, which is impressive, considering Season 1 of The OA is only eight episodes long. But each episode is jam-packed with hints, clues, and easter eggs, leaving behind a ton of unanswered questions Season 2 had better address.
Of the many, many questions about The OA, the one that looms largest is, “Did Prairie make it all up?” Your opinion about that big question will inform your opinion about most of the unanswered questions below. Vote up the questions you think Season 2 most needs to address.
After French discovers the mysterious box of books in Prairie’s house, what is FBI victim counselor Elias Rahim doing there? Was he watching the house? How did he get in without a key? Did he plant the books? Why?
His behavior with French is a little odd, as well. Yes, he’s a counselor, but it’s unusual to hug a teenage boy you’ve presumably never met in a dark house you just broke into. What’s his connection with French?
Prairie’s disciples thought the books were evidence she was lying, but why? The books appeared to be brand new from Amazon and almost entirely unmolested (there was one dog-eared page, but that’s it). Steve knows she didn’t have internet access until a few days before she started telling her story, because he’s the one that hooked her up with a router. So even if she had the books overnighted to her home, how did she pay for it? Did she steal her mother’s credit card? Why wasn’t Steve more skeptical?
If Prairie didn’t order the books, who did? A popular theory points to the FBI agent planting them to discredit her for some mysterious reason. Prairie’s mother, Nancy, is another suspect, if only because of access and knowledge (she’s aware of Homer from the videos). One of the disciples - let’s call them the Crestwood 5 - may also be in on it, considering they know her whole story, so they would know what it takes to make it look like she was fabricating it.
It doesn’t seem likely that Prairie ordered the books herself. The box was covered by her favorite wolf hoodie, meaning she would have noticed that the box was missing when she went to retrieve it, which means she would have known the Crestwood 5 were on to her if she was lying. It’s also likely that Prairie wouldn’t have been able to read in English very well, anyway, whether she ordered the books or not, considering she was a Russian native when she went blind and there’s no evidence she learned to read in captivity.
If she’s lying about her past, she may have been able to learn English well enough in seven years, of course - anything’s possible if her background is a total fabrication - but why order these specific books? She had internet access before she started telling her story, so she could have looked up anything. Many translations of the Iliad, for example, are in the public domain and available online. Why order a new paperback? The Homer connection aside, what does the Iliad have to do with anything?
Is Prairie in a mental hospital at the end of Season 1? It kind of looks like the site of Homer’s NDE vision, when he ate the sea creature. Did she survive and get put away by her parents? Is she in purgatory? Is she a prisoner once again, perhaps locked up by Hap, who retrieved her using the five movements? Does she actually see Homer in this moment, or is she calling out to him?
Will Season 2 find Prairie with a new cast of disciples in an alternate dimension, or will she free her old cellmates? What is her new mission? If she made her whole story up, is this final scene just meant to be symbolic of her afterlife? If she’s actually dead and can’t return, will Season 2 of The OA not feature the Original Angel? It seems unlikely, considering how many loose ends there are to tie up, like how Hap’s prisoners pooped with no access to a toilet. Seriously: are we to believe they all pooped in that little stream? Gross.
Prairie insists that everyone in the Crestwood 5 has to leave their front door open before meeting at the unfinished house. Why? She says that each person needs to "invite [her] in," but that's not really much of an explanation. Does it have anything to do with Hap leaving his front door open, leading to the discovery of the fifth movement and Prairie’s eventual escape? Is it just a trust exercise? Did she see it in a premonition? Does she want the neighborhood to discover the Crestwood 5 meetings? They eventually do, leading to a chain of events that ultimately prevents the school shooting. Is it all part of the plan, or just a made-up detail?