When The OA first released on Netflix in December of 2016, it seemingly came out of nowhere. There was no big promotion for the series, it dropped a week after it was announced, and it had a trailer that left many Netflix subscribers scratching their heads and asking: “What is this show about?”
Two years after the show’s premiere, and I still can’t seem to answer that question to anyone who asks without sounding like a crazy, dimension-spewing, angel-believing babbling idiot who’s majoring in interpretive dance.
But today, my friends and fellow The OA fans alike, we will try to answer that question and uncover many more as we delve into the many fan theories and mysteries within the show. And you know I am an avid fan as I have intently written on The OA before in my article: “Top 5 Underrated TV Shows You NEED to Binge-Watch.” But this time, I mean business. The show’s co-creator Brit Marling recently promised the shows return with a second season soon, so now avid fans can only theorize…
*MAJOR SPOILERS for the series The OA ahead. You’ve been warned!*
1. The “Crestwood Five” are reflections of the five captives.
Prairie recreates the five movements by recruiting Steve, French, Buck, Jesse and ‘BBA’ – otherwise known as the “Crestwood Five.” Avid fans may notice that the “Crestwood Five” have many similarities between The OA’s other captives…
Buck is Rachel.
While held prisoner, Rachel shares a story in which her brother and herself get into a car accident. In her NDE she was floating above the accident scene and could: “see my little brother’s red backpack in the middle of the road.” Sound familiar?
As you may recall, Buck bike rides past a red backpack in the center of the road. The scene looks as if a car accident took place and is eerily similar to Rachel’s story.
Another similarity between the two is that both Rachel and Buck can sing.
French is Homer
French and Homer share multiple similarities. Both are jocks and breadwinners of their family – as Homer feels guilty about not being able to be there for his ‘son’.
Also, after discovering the books under Prairies bed, French goes into her bathroom and looks into a mirror, only to find Homer looking back at him in the mirror – with the same cut on his forehead mind you! If this isn’t a sign that French and Homer share a connection, I don’t know what is.
BBA is Renata
Betty Broaderick-Allen – or BBA – is similar to the captive Renata in that they are both the older women out of their group who like to spend time with young men. They are also the last ones to join the group, Renata is kidnapped last and BBA is the fifth to join the group at the abandoned house.
Jesse is Scott
Jesse and Scott are not only both stoners, but they both don’t have any apparent family – besides Jesse’s sister. This could hint that the two are parallels of each other.
Steve is ‘The OA’
Steve and The OA both have light blonde hair, they are seemingly the leader of their group and they often mirror each other’s movements. Also, after the school shooting, as the YouTube channel UPROXX explains in their video: “there is a perfect form cut from [Steve’s] face to hers.” Coincidence? I think not!
One theory suggests that there are two dimensions that reflect each other. One in which there is The OA being held captive with the other prisoners – Homer, Scott, Rachel, and Renata. And the other were those same captives, are reincarnated as someone else with mirroring stories – Steve, French, Buck, Jesse, and BBA.
If you’d like to watch this fan theory explained through drawings, check out the amazing video below:
2. Season two will take place within Homer’s NDE.
Ever wondered what that last shot of the series was all about? Of course, you did! Who didn’t?
Completely out of nowhere and in a location that looks eerily similar to an insane asylum, one can’t help but wonder where The OA went.
The shot’s location looks awfully similar to Homer’s NDE. You know, the one where he is crawling through a vent only to fall into a white hallway? The one where he opens up a door to another white room where there’s a fish tank split up into five sections by the glass – extremely similar to the glass cage split into five identically shaped portions that hold the five captives? The same tank with which he reaches inside and shoves a fish down his mouth?? Yeah, that location.
It sure does look like an asylum, and not only that but Homer and The OA are seemingly wearing pink robes in those scenes. Once again, coincidence? I think not!
My own personal theory is that The OA herself succeeded in traveling to a different dimension to Homer, although it’s not the dimension she suspected…
In this dimension, the five captives are held in an asylum and are taken for crazy. Whether it be their claim that they were held captive by a persistent scientist, or their revelation that they are all angels who can travel to different dimensions through interpretive dance, we can only find out in season two…
3. The FBI Agent is in on everything
Let us go back to the season finale. Remember when French sneaks into Prairie’s house and bumps into the FBI Agent in the middle of the night?? What is he doing there?!
Not only is it extremely suspicious that the FBI Agent would be in Prairies house in the middle of the night, but it begs the question: “did he plant those books there?” Like seriously, what the heck was he doing there?!
The books are in an Amazon box and Prairie doesn’t have much time to shop online, let alone use the internet. The books are also not in braille. Prairie was blind before, she can only read braille.
A popular theory suggests that Elias Rahim – the FBI Agent – is actually in on the experiments with Hap. Another theorizes that Elias is a reflection – or reincarnation — of Hap in a different dimension.
4. Overlapping events
Many events in Prairie’s present overlap with events from Prairie’s past being held captive. This could imply that one: the overlapping events are subtle hints that there are two dimensions intertwining – I.e. “The Crestwood Five” are reflections of the five captives – or two: Prairie is crazy and was inspired by certain events or instances to fabricate the whole story.
Some subtle instances of overlapping between stories include:
• The OA’s biological father’s mine and Hap’s mine. Remember when The OA is first describing her story and childhood? Remember how she says her father was a wealthy man who owned a mine?
• There is a brief shot of Prairies adoptive father, Abel Johnson, working on a device under a very familiar light:
Very similar to the one Hap was using in his lab when questioning Prairie about her NDE.
Trust me, there are more overlaps, this just scratches the surface. Go ahead, next time you rewatch the show try to notice similarities between past and present. You’ll be surprised.
5. Prairie is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and it’s all in her head.
One popular theory suggests that Prairie was indeed kidnapped, but that she made up the other captives as a coping mechanism from her trauma. This would explain the similarities between “The Crestwood Five” and the captives, the overlapping events, and the box of books found under her bed. Prairie would simply be taking inspiration from certain events and things around her, creating a complex and imaginative narrative in her head that she explains to the boys to be real. Where ultimately, it’s all a delusion.
Could it all be in her head? Is Prairie telling the truth? Is she really in an insane asylum? Is she traveling through other dimensions? And will there be another interpretive dance sequence?!
We can only guess as we wait for season two…