The OA | A Sociopath's Opinion

January 03, 2017 Anson 0 Comments

This is NOT a summary of the show, but my thoughts on whether the OA is telling us the truth or weaving a web of lies.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers.

With the holidays right around the corner, Netflix released, what they describe an American mystery drama web television series with science fiction, supernatural and fantasy elements, The OA. With four adjectives describing the show, I had high expectations. So when a friend suggested I watch it, I did.

I went in to the first episode with tingling disquietude, which settled as it progressed. The creators of the show, Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij are master storytellers, I can tell you that much. They reveal just enough to feed a small chunk of your curiosity leaving you begging for more (which is effective storytelling if you ask me). The show had me instantly hooked, largely because I actually believe and have done enormous amount of research on multi dimensions, elevated consciousness, cross-dimensional travel and other, what I'd like to call Scientifically-Spiritual phenomena (there are quite a lot of related articles on this website).

That being said, Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij built up gargantuan amount of curiosity within its viewers and sadly, the season finale failed to deliver. Picture wearing your best tuxedo and going on a date, spending an evening in the finest hotel dining under the stars next to a pool, washing down the meatiest lobster with exquisite vintage wine, engaging in stimulating conversation that arouses your senses, rushing back with pent up sexual urgency only to be turned down with a good night kiss at the doorstep. On the cheek. Yes it was that bloody frustrating.

With that out of the way, I'm now going to give you my opinion on The OA's story about her captivity and the five movements. My argument on why her story about her capture and her experiences that take her beyond the physical realm is true , and also on whether I believe the entire afterlife and back hoopla was just a story conjured by a disturbed mind looking to find company and unload grief.

Assuming you are here only after having been confused by the finale, I'm going to skip the show's summary and jump right into it.

Argument 1: OA's story is a hoax.

Considering Prairie's history, she isn't what you'd call 'a reliable witness'.

Prairie suffered immensely as a child. A scarring car crash, her father's death, living with a trafficking aunt, it's hard to believe her childhood hasn't taken a toll on her psyche. She then goes missing for seven long years. Imagine being out in the world alone for seven years. It is hard enough with all your senses intact but for a blind teenager, it's extreme torture. We know from her parents that she had severe mental and emotional issues as a child, and the added trauma she went through in those seven years leads us to believe she is mentally affected and makes us greatly doubt the credibility of her story.

If Hap, the cabin and the captives exist,where are they now?

There are numerous instances where Steve and the other four disciples to whom OA is telling her story search for clues of the other captives, but find none. Considering one was an athlete and two, singers, there should have been some traces on the internet. Yet we see none throughout the show. This raises serious doubt on their existence.

You're blind? It's all in your mind.

When mental factors such as stress cause physical symptoms the condition is known as somatisation. Somatoform disorders are a severe form of somatisation where physical symptoms can cause great distress, often long-term. However, people with somatoform disorders are usually convinced that their symptoms have a physical cause.

One such physical disorder caused by Somatisation: Blindness.

Nina is a very young, sheltered girl, who experiences a horrific car crash. The van she is in, topples and crashes into a lake probably fifty feet below and begins to sink. Imagine the claustrophobia, being trapped in a van, slowly sinking to the bottom of a lake. Locked in, watching water slowly seep in, knowing you're going to run out of oxygen any second. She definitely went through extreme traumatic stress. Nina drowns and as her body is cut off from oxygen, probably hallucinates the entire Khatun sequence, where her guardian angel Khatun tells her she will send her back but without her eyesight. She is rescued, but the severe mental trauma causes her to believe her hallucination and despite of having perfect working set of eyes, cannot see. A Somatoform disorder.

This might also help explain how she got her sight back. When she goes missing, something or someone reaffirms her, leading her to be able to see again. Considering her eyes were perfectly fine, the right type of mental stimulation could have helped her regain sight.

Icing on the cake, the books.

The most significant clue disproving OA's story is the books Alfonso finds in her room. Her entire story follows this pattern: A Russian beginning, captivity where she falls in love with Homer, near death experiences and Angels. Surprisingly (or maybe not so much), these are the exact books Alfonso finds in her room. The Russian novel The Oligarchs, Encyclopedia of Near Death Experiences, Book of Angels and The Iliad by Homer. Remember what Sherlock says about coincidences: The universe is rarely so lazy.

It's actually a common psychological occurrence. Kidnapping survivors are unable to cope with what really occurred and often believe in an alternate version of the event. They believe this alternate version so strongly that for them, it's actually the truth. The reality of her missing years might have been so brutal and distressing, that her mind conjured a fallback story to relieve her of the pain. A story in which she finds friends, falls in love, is treated with kindness by her captor and one in which she is an angel. All picked up from books she may have read.

The final whoosh.

In the final scene, OA is shot by the school shooter. We are led to believe, by the whoosh Steve hears and the final closing scene were she wakes up saying 'Homer', that she died. The writers have cleverly played this scene, building the illusion that she died and woke up in an alternate dimension, opened by the five movements her five disciples perform in the school cafeteria. This is however not very clear because they do not actually show her die. She is very much alive entering the ambulance and the paramedics don't seem urgent in their movement, which they would have been if she was critical. The final scene could just be of her waking up in the hospital. Just a hook for season 2?

Argument 2: OA's story is true

Proof of the captives existence.

OA claims that she is the original angel (OA). She and four other captives were survivors of death and in their near death experiences have communicated with their guardian angels and received a unique 'movement' each. When all five are performed, an invisible gateway opens that grants access to other dimensions.

Now no one other than OA herself has met the four captives or the mad scientist Hap. This works against our argument because it seems like they're all in her head. But wait. When OA first returns, she searches 'Homer Roberts' on the internet and finds a video documenting Homer's injury and his statement after getting out of his coma. This proves at least one member from her kidnapping story exists.

And the blind shall see

We know for a fact that OA was blind when she was taken in by her adoptive parents, because we hear it from people other than OA herself (her parents). When she's back after seven years of being captive, she miraculously can see. Now the only medical way of getting your eyesight back is through a transplant and OA definitely didn't have the money for one (at least when she ran away from home). So the only explanation for her sight returning is the one she gives, a gift from her angel after an NDE.

Granted I spoke about Somatisation earlier, but considering she had a lot of medical help throughout her life, some doctor would have probably picked up on it no?

The books.

The largest factor discrediting her story is the books Alfonso finds in OA's room. A fictional book on the transitional period in Russia, a book on near death experiences, a book about Angels and a book by Homer. This seems to be too much of a coincidence and raises a lot flags. It seems like Prairie is extremely mentally disturbed by whatever happened to her when she went missing, and is coping by weaving a story that she finds acceptable, a story that helps her move on. She's weaving this story by picking up on what she has read in books.

But here's the problem. Before OA went missing, she was blind, so those books were definitely bought after she returned. After her return, she begins telling her story to the five disciples almost the very next day. It's impossible she read all those books in a day. Also, as Alfonso flips through the pages, you notice the books are almost brand new. There is no discolouring of pages. They seem to have been lying dormant in the Amazon box they arrived in.

What is most unusual here is, FBI agent Elias Rahim in the Johnson's home. What was he doing there?? Did he plant the books? We don't know how much OA has told him but he could have had motive to discredit her story.

The Dream.

The only supernatural phenomena we see are OA's dreams, which seem to be prophecies. The first dream OA has is of her drowning, which comes true. In her second dream, she sees herself climbing a large stone face battling raging wind, and once she crosses it she meets her father. This dream leads her to the statue of liberty, which she thinks is what the stone face symbolizes, and hopes to find her father. Now this dream does not seem to come true, because she doesn't actually find her father, but if you think of it, this event leads to her capture which in turn leads to her escape and the next NDE (after receiving a blow to the head). This takes her back to Khatun, her angel, who gives her the option of going back to her friends, or to move on and spend eternity with her father. So in essence, she does find her father, bringing truth to her second prophecy.

Now both these premonitions are told to us as a story by OA, which my contemporaries will say cannot be considered proof because she's the one telling it.

But to give OA credibility comes her third premonition. She sees a hazy picture with a lot of screaming, a falling tray and a gun shot. She understands its meaning in the season finale and runs to the school cafeteria where the shooting takes place. Ironically, the shooting is foiled by her five followers who perform the 'movements' which distract the shooter long enough to be tackled.

There was no reason for OA to have been standing there outside the school cafeteria. She was on house arrest, there was no reason for her to get out of her house even! This is no mere coincidence, no right place at the right time moment. This was an actual premonition rightly read by OA. This would only mean OA was actually gifted and probably gives strength to her entire narrative.

Now the Five movements don't open a gateway exactly, but even if they did we wouldn't know because from the start it has been described as 'invisible'.

I guess we will just have to wait for season 2 to find out. But one thing is for sure, OA and her movements might not have saved the four captives in Hap's cabin, but they did save the five disciples she had. Steve manages to normalize his life and control his anger. Betty is able to move on from her brother's death and embraces life. Buck accepts his sexuality and becomes more confident. Jesse becomes more compassionate. Alfonso finds new meaning in life, past his books and peer's expectations. OA was, in a sense, an angel to these five.