This Detail About 'The OA' Ending That You Might Have Missed May Confirm Prairie's Story
In the two-and-a-half weeks since Netflix's newest obsession-worthy original series debuted, eager fans have devoured the show multiple times and pored over every intriguing frame in an effort to catch clues about The OA and its many mysteries. Devoted viewers have caught the tiniest of Easter eggs — like the word "Rachel" inexplicably written in braille on the wall of the FBI office. But there are some details that even the most eagle-eyed audience members might not catch during their first time or two through the series… like these details about The OA's ending that could potentially have huge ramifications for the show's future.
The first detail comes at the climax of the school shooting sequence, after Prairie's recruits have successfully completed the five Movements and distracted the gunman long enough for a cafeteria worker to tackle him to the ground. As the shooter falls, his rifle goes off… and the students look over in horror at Prairie, standing just outside the glass, clutching a bullet wound in the middle of her chest. It's understandable if, in the moment, you found yourself distracted by the shock of our protagonist getting shot, or perplexed by the seemingly beatific expression on her face. But a closer look reveals something very interesting about this moment.
Notice how the bullet hole has left exactly five large cracks in the glass in front of Prairie? That's clearly the kind of detail that's just unremarkable enough to go unnoticed on first glance, but also apparent enough upon examination that it's clearly intentional. Even once you notice the pattern of the cracks, it might be tempting to dismiss the detail as just a symbolic reference to a significant number: the five captives, the five recruits, the five Movements.
But I think this particular detail may be more meaningful than that. The way those five cracks leave a pattern in the window clearly evokes the layout of the five glass cells in Hap's basement that Prairie, Homer, Scott, Rachel, and Renata were imprisoned in. If we believe that Prairie's story is true and that the Five Movements really can open an inter-dimensional portal, perhaps the image of her former prison etched into the glass is meant to convey the fact that the Movements were successful… and Prairie's soul is in transit, on its way to reunite with Homer and the others.
The second overlooked detail in The OA's ending may help confirm that theory. The instant that Prairie is loaded into the ambulance and the doors close behind her, a rustling sound can be heard whispering through the air. It's easy to miss since it sounds very similar to the wind in the trees that was heard in the moments leading up to the climactic sequence. But the look on Steve's face as he — and no one else — hears it confirms its importance.
Earlier in the season, Hap told Prairie a story about how, when he worked as an anesthesiologist, he swore he could hear a "whoosh" as a patient's soul left and then reentered their body during an NDE. Is that the same sound Steve heard? Was it the noise of Prairie's soul literally leaving her body?
Put together, these two small moments certainly seem to imply that the Movements were successful: the cracks signify the opening of the portal and the "whoosh" signifies Prairie's travel through it. Where did she end up? Sadly, we'll have to wait until a still-hypothetical Season 2 to find out. But in the meantime, the hidden details in the show certainly seem to imply that Prairie wasn't making her story up or hallucinating an alternate reality; but rather that everything happened exactly as she said… and that she's truly the Original Angel.