It’s been just about a month since The OA hit Netflix, and fans are still deciphering its elaborate, mind-boggling narrative. Over the course of eight episodes, indie darlings Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij unpack the labyrinthine tale of Prairie Johnson (Marling), a 20-something who inexplicably resurfaces after seven years missing. Its purposefully ambiguous finale practically demands a follow-up, as there are a slew of OA plot holes that are never granted an answer. Spoilers for The OA ahead.
Many of the lingering questions hinge upon whether Prairie’s story was real. She spends the bulk of the show regaling her allies with an exhaustive account of her life, explaining in vivid detail how she discovered that she was the Original Angel and the interdimensional travel that came with it. It’s not until the last episode that the veracity of her tale is blatantly called into question, leaving many loose threads.
It’s rare that Netflix doesn’t renew an original series, so an OA Season 2 is highly likely. And if the show does return, there’s an extensive list of plot holes Marling and Batmanglij will need to address. While we wait for the streaming service to come to a verdict, here’s what’s still up in the air.
How Could Prairie Have Known That Hap Killed His Mentor?
Somewhere along Prairie’s fantastical retelling of her time in captivity, she recounts how Dr. Hap (Jason Isaacs) drowned his scientific mentor after a violent scuffle. However, we never see Hap divulge the details of his late-night encounter to any of his imprisoned angels. Later, when he experiments on Prairie, he tells her he got the scar on his forehead for the sake of his work, but that’s as far as he gets. So how would Prairie know what happened?
What About Hap’s Tomato Allergy?
At one point, Prairie attempts to murder Hap by poisoning a homemade stew she cooks for him. But instead of responding to the lethal dose of medication she mixes in, he has a severe allergic reaction the tomato base she used. Recall that when Prairie and Hap first met, they went out to eat for oysters and french fries. Hap specifically explains all the sauces — including ketchup — to Prairie, who was still blind at the time. Was he simply avoiding the condiment during their meal? Furthermore, Hap orders his own groceries, so why would he request something with a tomato base in the first place?
Why Was Elias At Prairie’s House?
Toward the end of the season, French (Brandon Perea) breaks into Prairie’s house, where he uncovers a collection of books beneath her bed. Their subjects cover much of what Prairie touched upon in her story, seemingly suggesting it was entirely fabricated. As French makes his way out of the house, he runs into Prairie’s FBI therapist, Elias Rahim (Riz Ahmed), which immediately begs the question: What the hell was he doing there? The ruling theory is that he’s investigating Prairie’s claims, whether it be for the government or in connection to Dr. Hap. Either way, his presence was highly suspicious.
Who Are Prairie’s Biological Parents?
Before Prairie met her adoptive family, she lived in Russia with her father, where she was known as Nina. She claimed a Russian mafia group called the Voi orchestrated the bus accident in which she had her first near-death experience, and her father subsequently sent her away to protect her. But while he was in hiding, he was mysteriously killed — which never gets a concrete explanation. Was that part of Prairie’s story real? If so, what actually happened to him? Who was her mother? And if not, who are her biological parents?
Why Was Steve Back At School In The Finale?
Steve’s (Patrick Gibson) violent, rebellious bouts eventually swayed his parents to ship him off to an intensive military school. Betty (Phyllis Smith) managed to save him from their first attempt to send him away, and we later see him back in high school as if nothing happened. Did his parents simply give up? And how did Steve, who appeared to be on the verge of expulsion, convince the school to let him stay?
If Prairie Was Lying, How Did She Regain Her Vision?
The OA finale suggests Prairie may have aggrandized much of the story she tells her band of misfit followers, but if she falsified the entire ordeal, how did she miraculously regain her vision?
Why Didn’t Jumping Off the Bridge Kill Prairie?
The series opens with Prairie jumping off of a bridge, which she astoundingly survives with minor injuries. If Prairie was lying about her death-defying nature, are we expected to believe it was simply a coincidence? And why was she allowed to leave the hospital so soon after a supposed suicide attempt?
How Did Prairie Know About Homer?
As soon as Prairie gains internet access, she looks up a news clip of Homer in the hospital that confirms he had a near-death experience. If she was dishonest about Hap’s experimentation, how would she know who Homer was or that he had an NDE?
Even after fans have had a chance to digest The OA's muddled premise, discussion blazes on. Here's hoping Netflix will renew the series so these questions can be put to bed.