The OA storyline is like mixing M&Ms and Skittles in one bowl and not knowing what you will get when you take one out of the bowl. It never truly gives a proper conclusion to if Prairie’s experiences are true or if she is just delusional. Despite this, The OA is a mind-boggling story that keeps you wanting more and intrigued as to how everything will play out.
The plot never provides a direct pathway to where the story is leading and keeps you conflicted for which route it may take. It portrays elements of another dimension resembling the afterlife and that Prairie is possibly an angel but often contradicts this idea and displays signs of mental disability such as schizophrenia in Prairie. The implementation of two different interpretations of the storyline keep the viewers watching in suspense and thinking about how it will end. The suspense of the unknown keeps the focus of the show original and fresh which otherwise would seem like an unoriginal story about someone being enlightened or acquiring unknown powers.
The first episode, I admit, is tedious and a lot to analyze that can often scare viewers away, but quickly improves over the course of the next few episodes. You first see Prairie, who now calls herself OA, jump off a bridge and seemingly commit suicide but later wakes up in a hospital. The most overwhelming part is that she can now see after formerly being blind for most of her life. Along with her present storyline and flashbacks of her childhood in Russia, the episode becomes a bit confusing and makes the focus of the story unclear due to so many different events breeding multiple interpretations of the plot. However, the progression of the story through the next seven episodes becomes more focused with OA telling her story to five people she selected and events happening in the present.
Throughout these next seven episodes, the directors keep the viewers brains working overtime to figure out what route the plot is taking. OA explains that during her NDE, a woman named Khatun said that she is the original angel and has the power to enter another dimension. Elements such as Scott coming back to life after OA and Homer performing a dance ritual given from Khatun make the viewers believe that OA’s experiences are true. However, there is the idea that all these events are just her imagination because there is no proof of OA’s claims especially after being shot at the end of the season despite performing the ritual to enter another dimension. These two ideas conflict with each other creating the suspense that keeps the viewers wanting more of this well thought out series.
Overall, directors Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling created a unique storyline in The OA and provides a spinoff to the idea of the afterlife. Through the careful development of OA, Homer, and other supporting characters, the directors were able to create a well thought out story that doesn’t seem rushed and uninteresting as the show progressed. Even though the ending was somewhat dissatisfying and confusing because the answer to everything wasn’t revealed and if OA is truly who she says she is or is experiencing schizophrenic behavior, the answers will hopefully be answered in the second season.