I’m still hurting over The OA in every dimension. It’s been nearly two years since Netflix made the astonishing decision not to renew The OA for a third season and left fans hanging on the most excruciating cliffhanger since Twin Peaks’s “How’s Annie?” Part of me still wants to believe that there is more to come — that it’s all an elaborate meta part of the show that we are all unwitting participants in. I like that “in denial” part of me; it’s a much nicer place than the truth. We deserve The OA Part 3 and Parts 4 and 5 too.
The OA creator and lead actress Brit Marling and Jason Isaacs (who played the dastardly scientist, Hap the captivator) have both been very clear that the show is not coming back. Even so, fans were so upset about Netflix’s decision not to carry on with the show — despite there being another three seasons already mapped out — that a social media storm was whipped up begging for someone — anyone — to #SaveTheOA. Many Netflix subscriptions were cancelled in protest. Fans from all over the world filmed themselves doing the movements in support of the cause #TheOAIsReal. A young woman went on a hunger strike outside Netflix’s Los Angeles headquarters to protest for the show’s return. Brit Marling and the shows co-creator, Zal Batmanglij, visited her and offered her food and water, touched by the lengths to which fans would go to express their love for The OA.
That alone should be enough to tell you how much of an impact The OA made on people’s lives. In a very dark world, even before 2020 arrived, The OA brought a sense of magic and fantasy to our screens that hadn’t really been accomplished before. While the story’s premise is oppressive and desperate in places when I think of the show as a whole, all I see in my mind is a stunning bright white light (with a purple tint, of course) and a warm and comforting feeling washes through my body.
In Part 1, we met Prairie (Brit Marling), a young woman who was reunited with her adoptive parents after jumping from a bridge. Prairie had been missing for seven years before she jumped, and when she went missing, she was blind. With fully restored sight, she tells her parents and the police that she had been held captive, but she doesn’t really divulge much more information than that because she has people to protect.
As the story unfolds, Prairie makes friends with five people (referred to as the Crestwood 5 by fans): Betty Broderick Allen (BBA), Steve, Buck, Jesse, and French, all of whom have their own demons and vulnerabilities. Their futures are all pretty bleak before they meet Prairie, but they find inspiration and real friendship from Prairie (and each other) as she confides in them what happened to her during her captivity. Most of the first season is spent wondering whether Prairie was telling the truth or if she was crazy, but it’s clear that her story was real by the very end. Prairie, born in Russia and named Nina by her father, lost her sight at a young age after the school bus she was travelling in crashed off a bridge and drowned. She survived but had a near-death experience (NDE) during which she met a woman — or perhaps spirit guide is more apt — named Khatun in a realm between dimensions. This was the first time Nina’s life forked onto another path. In one dimension, Nina remained Nina and was not on the bus that crashed. After the NDE, Nina’s life forked into another path, and she became Prairie — named that by her adoptive parents, Nancy and Abel— after her birth father sent her away and was later killed (he was in the Russian Mafia).
It was the NDE that prompted Hap to track Prairie down. Hap, a megalomaniac scientist desperate to discover if there is life after death. He carried out completely unethical experiments on Prairie and four others who had also experienced NDEs — Homer, Rachel, Scott, and Renata — by drowning them over and over to try and find out where their souls travelled to. Imprisoned in a glass cage underground, Prairie became close to the other prisoners, especially Homer. The two had a strong connection from the second they met — almost as if they had always known each other. They probably had. Prairie’s love for Homer is the thread that runs through both seasons as she does whatever she can to reunite with him.
In the final moments of Part 1, a shooter storms the cafeteria of the school that the Crestwood 5 attend (or work at in the case of BBA, who was a teacher). Prairie — or The OA (original angel) as she is known to them — has shown them all special movements that she and the captives all learned during their NDEs. These movements were used to restore life to Scott when Hap’s experiment went too far and killed him, and they could also be used to create an invisible river for the soul to jump into and travel to another dimension at the point of death. As the school shooter prepares to massacre his classmates, the Crestwood 5 divert his attention by carrying out the movements. Distracted, the gunman stops shooting, and only one bullet strikes through a window and into the chest of OA, who just arrived at the school knowing something bad was going to happen to the boys. As the bullet hits, her soul gets whisked away to another dimension, which is where we find ourselves in Part 2.
It was an incredibly moving finale episode that solidified The OA as a cult show with a fandom who patiently waited three years to see what would happen next, all while theorising about what it might all mean. Not since Twin Peaks have I seen a fandom so passionate about solving a mystery and learning the mythology, and many of them created beautiful art and dance moves of their own. That was Part 1 in a nutshell, but I will focus mostly on Part 2 because there are so many unanswered questions, loose ends, and what-if’s that it should be a criminal offence to cancel a series at this point. If I ever become Queen or President, watch out Netflix.
Right then, let’s do this!
The Multiverse is a concept that turns up a lot in science fiction. In its simplest terms, the idea is that every decision creates alternate timelines in which events run slightly differently. So, for example, in this reality, your family moved to a different town when you were little; in another reality, they stayed in the town you were born. Naturally, every single divergence creates more paths and more alternate universes — the more important the decision, the greater the divergence between the dimensions. Think of your soul like a big tree with many branches, twigs, offshoots, and leaves.
The OA Part 2 embraces the concept of the Multiverse; I’m going to call them Dimension 1 (Season 1), Dimension 2 (Part 2), and Dimension 3 (what would have been Part 3) for ease of reference. It is revealed that the human mind can access an astral plane known as “the garden of forking paths,” with each fork in the road being an alternate universe. Near-Death Experiences (NDEs) are glimpses across time and space, with the subjects temporarily experiencing another universe. This could be the explanation for déjà vu, where you have a strange feeling something has happened before — perhaps it did happen to another version of you in another dimension.
Most of the human mind’s interaction with the Multiverse is subconscious, but according to Hap, only one thing is needed to make it conscious: faith. So, because she believed she would be with Homer, OA was able to leave Prairie’s dying body, jump across from Dimension 1, and take over the body of another version of herself — Nina Azarova — in Dimension 2. It turned out she’d actually managed to hone in on Homer’s mind as he, too, had travelled to this same dimension along with the rest of Prairie’s fellow prisoners and, unfortunately, Hap. In this new reality, Hap was Dr Percy, the chief psychiatrist running a hospital called Treasure Island, and Scott, Rachel, and Renata were all patients there. Homer, however, could not remember the jump. He was now Dr Homer Roberts (whose name you might recognise from the YouTube videos in Season 1), and the Homer we knew from Dimension 1 was buried deep in his subconscious.
As Hap forced his captives to take suicide pills before they completed the movements in Dimension 1, they are likely all dead in that dimension (as is Prairie). In Dimension 2, Nina was a very wealthy Russian socialite dating a tech guru, Pierre Ruskin, who is interestingly not shown until the penultimate episode of Season 2. Why keep his identity secret? We hadn’t seen him before — well, other than in Mad Men as Pete Campbell (and what a great crossover that would be).
The Movements — the strange interpretative dance routine that Prairie and the Crestwood 5 had learned back in Season 1 — appear to be linked to the fabric of the Multiverse itself, allowing people to manipulate it. All five movements, when performed together by five people, appear to open up the invisible river. Elodie, a somewhat mysterious character, arrived in Season 2 to give both Hap and OA some crucial information. Elodie travelled through dimensions regularly, using adorable, tiny robots that completed the movements. After seeing this, Hap created huge mechanical devices to perform the movements on his behalf — which worked out well for him as a man with no friends willing to help his cause. Why did Elodie show him what to do? I can only assume that there is a good reason why she needed him to succeed.
Elodie also helped OA by telling her the importance of connecting with the consciousness of her host, Nina. When Prairie was shot in Dimension 1, Nina was on a boat just outside San Francisco. At that moment, OA leapt into Nina’s body, suppressing Nina deep inside. This was OA’s biggest mistake. Caging Nina up deep in the subconscious meant that it took much longer than necessary to find out how to reach Homer and solve the “The House,” which I’ll get into later.
What Made OA the Original Angel? Was She the Only One?
When OA had her first NDE as Nina (the child) and as Prairie while in captivity in Dimension 1, she found herself in an astral plane: a place between the multiverses, outside of our comprehension — a stunningly beautiful starry abyss where Khatun, a guide or gatekeeper of sorts, resided. Khatun took Nina’s sight as a young girl in exchange for her consciousness to remain. Later on, when the grown-up Prairie met her again, she swallowed a dove to restore her vision and gained knowledge of one of the movements. When given a choice by Khatun, Prairie chose to return to her friends in Dimension 1 rather than be with her father, who was probably dead in Dimension 1 (but probably not in many others). It was Khatun that told her she was the original angel, but we never got to find out what this really meant.
Was OA the original soul? There must be one for each person — the one you are born with — like a tree is sewn into the ground, plants its roots, and grows a singular trunk. Does that mean that everyone has an original angel soul? Or was OA something more unique than that? The very first tree? We know that the five captives all had NDEs and exquisite talent. Would their ability to experience an NDE and recall what they saw in a parallel universe categorise them as angels? That would suggest that angels are the souls of humans who have learned to travel across space and time.
Swallowing the dove taught OA the first movement
Rachel was always the most intriguing character for me. She never learned a movement no matter how many times Hap almost killed her. While in captivity, only the plants in Rachel’s glass cell failed to thrive, as if she was already surrounded by death. My gut tells me that Rachel in Dimension 1 was not the original version of her soul.
If OA was really the very first angel — or should we say soul or consciousness — how was she created? By whom? For a show about angels, there is little to suggest that they are a biblical or religious creature. God and heaven are not a consideration; spirituality is a very personal, inner thing where you only need to believe in yourself and have faith in the power of love. This is such a deep and thought-provoking topic, which would have been explored so much further should the show have continued. (Writing this article really isn’t helping me feel less annoyed about its cancellation.)
So What Happens When You Possess Another Body?
So souls can jump from dimension to dimension, but only when they are fleeing a dying body. That would mean that the body it jumps into has to have an active consciousness. There appear to be three things that can happen:
The new soul takes over the body and represses the consciousness that body had. This happened in the case of OA, who arrived in Nina’s body and discovered that this was one of the lives she might have led — a reality where she didn’t get on the bus that day and didn’t lose her sight, where she grew up always knowing her father, and he didn’t die young, a reality in which she had all the wealth and privilege she could wish for. OA repressed this consciousness, perhaps out of jealousy of this version of herself who got to experience everything she’d ever wanted. In real-life terms, this could be considered as someone suffering from amnesia and having no recollection of who they were at al
The second possibility is that the new soul is repressed by the body’s original consciousness, as in Homer’s case, where his persona as Dr Roberts remained in control. It was perhaps Dimension 1’s Homer’s reluctance to jump with Hap that buried him deep in Dimension 2’s Homer/Dr Roberts. He was still in there, though, and Dr Roberts slowly began remembering and intuitively knowing that Dr Percy (Hap) was not to be trusted. It takes a kiss from OA to restore his memory in the final episode. In non-fictional terms, Homer might be someone who believed he could remember a past life.
The third scenario appears to be where multiple souls inhabit one body. Hap appears to fall into this category, as he remembered his life as Dr Percy, but Hap took over the driver’s seat with Dr Percy in the back, giving directions. Perhaps he could do this because, in every dimension, Hap is driven by the same cause. In Dimension 1, he was a scientist who recorded people’s NDEs. In Dimension 2, he is a psychiatrist working with Nina Azarova and her boyfriend, Pierre Rifkin, to lure kids playing Q Symphony to Nina’s house on Nob Hill. Through whatever medium, Hap is always trying to figure out how to traverse dimensions at any cost.
OA finally allows Nina to come to the surface alongside her at the end of Season 2, and their shared knowledge of Hap’s behaviour in both dimensions is a great asset. It’s hard to know for sure, but it appears that Dimension 1 Scott, Rachel, and Renata were also able to live in harmony with their Dimension 2 selves, though Renata did attempt to bury her former self. All this worked out perfectly for Hap/Dr. Percy considering he was running a psychiatric hospital where he could once again keep them all captive and pass off whatever they said about him as delusions or sudden changes in personality as the effects of Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Why Does OA Always End up with Hap and Homer in Her Life in Every Dimension?
I can’t truly answer this, of course, and we may never find out. However, something clearly draws these three people together. For OA and Homer, it is true love: a bond between them so strong that they could find each other across space and time.
In Dimension 1, they meet for the first time (we assume) while in captivity. There they spend seven years together, never being able to touch — so close but a million miles away. When they get to touch briefly in Dimension 1 and Dimension 2, it is potent — strong enough to heal the sick and bring the dead back to life, strong enough to pull Homer’s buried self to the surface. You can only imagine what power the two of them may have together. I don’t mean the power to rule the world or anything like that because neither of them would want that sort of control, but more that their love would become such a great source of good that it could bring harmony to those around them.
I like to think of them as Twin Flames or Twin Souls. This spiritual belief is that there is literally another half of your soul. At the beginning of time, you were created with two complete souls — one masculine one feminine — born into separate bodies (not necessarily a male and a female body, same-sex Twin Flames are just as possible) so that you would always have a companion who is energetically part of you. Because the two halves are born into separate bodies, the unconscious mind is always longing or searching for this connection.
This may be why so many people will keep turning lovers away and keep searching aimlessly for true love, not really knowing what they are looking for. What is missing is their Twin Flame, but they may never find it while in their lifetime on Earth. In fact, this is quite a rare experience. You may find it in another time and space, or even another dimension. If you are lucky enough to meet your Twin Flame, it is said that you will feel an indescribable “oneness,” a deep and all-encompassing passion for the other, total trust and acceptance of them, and a feeling of completeness that never dies. Love does not come close to what you experience. Your souls will do their own little homecoming dance, and you no longer need to worry about anything. You will think differently, you will feel differently…all of these things are not found so intensely in any other type of relationship, and this is absolutely life-changing to both of you.
So that may explain OA and Homer’s incredible connection, but what about Hap? In Dimension 1, OA and Homer spent years trying to get away from him, but in Dimension 2, Nina and Pierre Rifkin worked with Dr Percy, even to the point of funding his research into how humans could travel to another dimension without having to die. Dr Percy had also chosen Homer/Dr. Roberts to be his protégé. It feels to me that while Hap’s ruthlessness and lack of concern for his subjects made his experimentation unethical and him evil, the drive behind it wasn’t entirely erroneous. The three of them appear to need each other to accomplish something brilliant — though we may never know what it would have been.
Hap clearly had feelings for Prairie in Dimension 1 and continued to have them in Dimension 2, going so far as to trap her surrounded by his mechanical movement machines with the intention of taking her to Dimension 3. This was a place that he’d already learned about from Scott’s final NDE, where OA had a name beginning with B, and she and Hap were a couple. At this point, was Hap more interested in getting OA to love him than the end game? What Hap never seems to learn is that you cannot be forced to love someone.
There are so many loose ends regarding the character arcs that I need to say something about each one.
As I said earlier, Rachel was always the most intriguing character for me. In Dimension 1, she did not receive a movement, and her plants all died in her cell. In Dimension 2, the version of her had suffered brain damage in the accident she was in with her little brother, which led to her first NDE. Here she is tragically unable to speak or sing. The Dimension 2 version of Rachel may well have housed her original soul. Like Prairie housed her original soul in Dimension 1 without sight after her first NDE, Rachel lost her voice when she returned from the astral plane.
If there can be a positive to take from Rachel’s heartbreaking story, it is that Dr Percy trusted her to help him with his secret experiments because she couldn’t tell anyone about what she had seen. This gave her the knowledge that Hap was keeping Steve, Jesse, and French in his “garden pool,” sprouting shoots and flowers as events took place in their alternate realities or new lives were created. Hap learned that consuming these flowers could set a marker for which dimension you wished to travel to, and this might have been possible without your body in the current dimension having to die first.
Rachel attacked Hap when she got the chance, but he overpowered and killed her. Such was Rachel’s determination to contact the boys, BBA, and Angie in Dimension 1; her spirit travelled to Buck’s vanity mirror and made contact with him. You see, Rachel didn’t have a body to return to in Dimension 1 as it was already dead (Hap made them all take suicide pills before their jump to Dimension 2). This would explain why Rachel appeared to the Crestwood 5 at the medium’s house through the television and told them that it was only safe for BBA to jump. Why? Because BBA was not in Hap’s pool in Dimension 2. If Steve, Jesse, and French had jumped into Dimension 2, they would have been trapped in their unconscious bodies in the pool.
Now that Rachel’s soul has no host body in Dimension 1, she is, for all intents and purposes, a ghost. Perhaps this is what ghosts are: souls without a body to call home, lost, only able to exist in inanimate objects or buildings, needing to be contained in something to survive. Rachel’s dead plants may have been an indicator that her original soul was gone. Perhaps, once the original is dead, no more paths can be laid, and no more seeds can be sown.
Though not a major player in Season 2, Scott did divulge some vital information to Dr Roberts: that in his last NDE, he had travelled somewhere that OA was named something beginning with B, that she and Hap were in a relationship, and that Hap had a British accent. This meant that Scott had seen Dimension 3, where Hap was the British actor Jason Isaacs, and OA was Brit Marling. In that dimension, Hap and OA were married. Being somewhat obsessed with OA, Hap delighted in the knowledge that in an alternate reality, she loved him, so this is where he planned to take them both — the repercussions of which I will talk about further on. Hap then had no choice (at least in his messed-up mind) but to bump Scott off once again, leaving him unconscious in his pool, sprouting flowers that would lead Hap to a place where he thought he could be happy with OA.
Understandably, Renata was still very bitter about how Homer had tricked her into becoming one of Hap’s captives, and in Dimension 2, she tried to bury that reality in her new host body. When it came to the crunch, though, she did the right thing. Finding Homer trapped in the glass elevator of the Treasure Island hospital, she realised that he had remembered who he was and smashed his way to freedom with a fire extinguisher.
While his time spent in Dimension 2 was mostly as Dr Roberts, he did have an extraordinary dream. A long-haired Homer travelled through fields in what appeared to be the Middle Ages/Medieval times by his clothing and the mud huts around him. He reaches a place where a witch-like older woman shows him several human back skins. The skins are all in strange wooden boxes covered over with animal hide. He is looking for someone — someone he had only touched once: OA. Could this dream have been an insight into where Homer would travel to next? As we learned from Riskin’s dream academy, dreams can be a way for the human mind to briefly see alternate dimensions.
After Renata breaks him free from the elevator, Homer rushes outside to where Hap is luring OA to travel with him to Dimension 3. Homer tries to pull her away, and Hap shoots him. As he lays dying in her arms, she promises that they will jump together and that she will reunite with him in the next dimension. As his body is dying, Homer’s soul can jump. Hap can jump, too, for he has eaten part of Scott’s flower, which will lead the way to the dimension he intended to travel to. OA refuses to eat the flower and begins to ascend into the sky like a true angel. Powered by her love and desire to be with Homer and the Crestwood 5 doing the movements for her in Dimension 1, she intends to travel somewhere far away from Hap. It doesn’t work out that way.
Karim Washington & The House on Nob Hill
Karim was a brand new character in Season 2, so we never learned of his existence in Dimension 1 (or any other dimension other than 2). Hired as a private investigator to find a missing girl, Michelle Vu, he was led into a deadly game, a mind-bending puzzle, and ultimately his destiny.
Karim and Fola as he begins the game
His search for Michelle took him to a huge uninhabited house in San Francisco’s Nob Hill neighbourhood. Inside the house, he found youths desperately trying to get to the next level of an online game called Q Symphony. He learned that Michelle had been playing the game and perhaps had gotten further than anyone else in solving the puzzle, but where was she now? On discovering that Q Symphony was created by tech guru Pierre Ruskin, who just so happened to be Nina Azarova’s boyfriend, Karim was also able to learn that Nina owned the house.
OA/Nina was still in the psychiatric hospital at this point, so Karim visited her, and she told him that Michelle Vu was Buck. Karim broke OA/Nina out of the hospital, and together they visited the house on Nob Hill looking for answers.
Meanwhile, Pierre Ruskin was luring young people into a dream study of sorts in an attempt to work out the puzzle of the house. Nina and Dr Percy were also involved in these experiments. Soon they began seeing patterns in the dreams the subjects were having. They all saw a tunnel the size of a coffin, a double-sided staircase, and a rose window — all of which could be found in the house on Nob Hill.
The game leads to the house on Nob Hill
It turns out that the house was built on what was once sacred Native American soil and that it was said to be a significant, spiritual place. There was a huge concentration of mercury found on the premises — enough to kill and certainly enough to cause major hallucinations, which initially explained away what Karim had seen in the house. The mercury likely made so many of the game players sick, suicidal or messed their minds up for good. Either that or the fact it was a portal to another dimension: a place where the veil between worlds was fragile.
Not until the very end did Ruskin reveal to Karim a fourth reoccurring vision in the dreams: they all described seeing the same man, Karim. The house was calling to him; he had to be the one to solve the puzzle. Karim did indeed reach the rose window, which only Michelle/Buck had done before him, and as he opened it, he was able to see OA rising into the sky as she attempted to leave this dimension.
Just at that moment, a dove that had been roosting in the attic space of the house flew out of the rose window, piercing the fabric between dimensions, knocking OA off her path, and sending her crashing to the ground. Karim was able to see from Dimension 2 into Dimension 3, and the most shocking moment for all OA fans was revealed.
The Crestwood 5
Buck/Michelle Vu/Ian Alexander
In Dimension 1, Michelle Vu was known to us as Buck, a trans boy, only called Michelle by his father. In Dimension 2, Michelle was still Michelle, and she was an avid player of Q Symphony. The game led her to the house on Nob Hill, where she got to the rose window and (it seems) ventured through it and into Dimension 3.
All the while, Pierre Ruskin had been keeping her unconscious body in his house, where her aunt sat by her bedside, much to Karim’s disbelief. All this time, the aunt had known where Michelle’s body was, just not her soul. Only Karim, the man in people’s dreams, would figure out how to pull her back home.
As Karim watched through the rose window into Dimension 3, he saw Buck/Michelle there and called to her. She went to him and jumped back through the window; her soul returned to her body. We have no idea what happened to Karim at that point. Was he, too, thrown into Dimension 3, or was he still in the house?
Jesse had the saddest story. With no parents around and only his older sister (who was barely more than a child herself), he was left to his own devices and to cope with the trauma he’d been through alone. The school shooting had given him PTSD; the sound of a car backfiring made him vomit with fear. Jesse turned to drugs to keep himself calm, eventually overdosing by sticking pain med patches all over his body. Whether he intentionally took his own life is left open to interpretation, but Jesse certainly didn’t have any hope for the future; he literally had to do something to take the pain away. In Dimension 1, he no longer exists. The others tried their best to bring him back to life with the movements, but he had been gone too long, or maybe he just didn’t want to be saved.
In Dimension 2, Jesse lives but is unconscious in Dr Percy’s pool. Presumably, he, along with Buck, Steve, and French, were all lured to the house by the Q Symphony game, and that is how Dr Percy found them. With their minds twisted by the game and the high levels of mercury in the house, their parents likely willingly allowed them to be taken to Treasure Island to be treated by Dr Percy (if he hadn’t just kidnapped them, that is).
In Dimension 1, Steve was heartbroken that Prairie had died but totally convinced that she had made the jump as intended. Steve always had the most faith in OA, and that was his biggest strength. The hardest part was not knowing and not being able to contact her. Keen to jump dimensions to find OA put a strain on his relationship with Angie, but she stuck by him. Steve had grown into a valiant young man due to his experiences with OA; it made him stronger, calmer, and more determined than ever.
After Jesse’s death, Steve spent hours trying to bring his friend back from the dead but without success. Crushed by the loss, Steve ran away from the rest of the group and to what would have been the Treasure Island hospital in Dimension 1.
Alfonso “French” Sosa still struggled to come to terms with what happened at the school and to OA, and he couldn’t quite convince himself to believe that the OA had successfully jumped. He and Steve continued to squabble but eventually became close when French revealed to Steve that he was gay. Steve’s reaction was supportive, and while he teased him about it at first, it was a far cry from how Steve would have treated French before OA made him a better person.
Always looking for a logical answer, after Jesse’s death, French contacted Elias, Prairie’s FBI psychologist, expecting him to convince the others that they should return home. Elias surprised them all by letting them know that they should travel to Treasure Island, as OA needed their help, confirming to us viewers that we were right in our suspicions that there was more to Elias than meets the eye (but left us no closer to finding out what he was doing or who he was doing it for). Was he, too, a traveller of dimensions? Another angel sent to protect OA?
Betty had been in a lot of trouble after the school shooting. Fired for her bizarre-on-the-outside relationship with the boys and about to get into even deeper doodah for “kidnapping” the gang and taking them on a road trip across America in search of Buck’s vanity mirror, which had been collected for recycling.
In addition to all the awful things the Crestwood 5 had collectively experienced, BBA also had a recurring dream where a shadowy male figure lurked in a doorway behind her. She thought it was her deceased twin brother, Theo, but it turned out to be Steve who had shaved his head. BBA had begun having psychic experiences; she just knew that Jesse was dead before anyone found him, and the vision of Steve would come to pass when the gang joined together again at Treasure Island.
The Dimension 1 version of the hospital was a derelict building, but it still had a hexagonal fish tank, just as OA had described to them from Homer’s NDE when he ate a sea creature and learned a movement. BBA was able to sense OA in Dimension 2 and led the gang to the pool, where she could also sense Steve, French, and Jesse in this other reality. Drawn to OA’s presence, BBA led them outside where, in Dimension 2, Hap had set his robots off on their movements. BBA, Angie, and the boys also began doing the movements in a cross-dimensional battle with Hap. Their power was stronger than Hap’s, for they had faith and good intention behind them.
Steve was so determined to find OA that his body collapsed, and his soul jumped to be with her. With the dove knocking OA off her path, Hap won out. He and OA travelled to Dimension 3: a reality in which the actors who play the characters of OA and Hap (Brit Marling and Jason Isaacs) are themselves. Sort of.
What Happens if You Meet Yourself in Another Dimension? (or Get Squeezed to Death by a Giant Psychic Octopus?)
Throughout both seasons, the characters crossed dimensions either via a dream, an NDE or by jumping there. On more than one occasion, it came very close to a character meeting their alternate self.
Homer’s NDE led him into the roof space of Treasure Island in Dimension 2. OA pointed out to him that the noises they could hear shuffling about above them was actually Dimension 1 Homer. Then when OA goes to the SYZYGY club and finds herself as part of a show with a giant psychic octopus named Old Night, he telepathically talks through her, tells her that he knows she is The OA and that he is Azrael, The Angel of Death. Old Night strangles OA to death with his tentacles, but only so that she can briefly glimpse into another dimension. OA finds herself in the bathroom of a plane, then makes her way down the aisle towards a woman with short blonde hair who has her back to us. This, we later find out, is Brit from Dimension 3. If Karim hadn’t dived to OA’s rescue, killing Old Night and resuscitating her, would she have come face to face with herself?
This, in my opinion, is the reason why Hap and Pierre Riskin have to be stopped. If they were physically able to cross into a dimension, which both of them appear keen to make happen, there is a chance you could meet your alter-ego, and I can’t imagine that being anything but cataclysmic.
Of course, the most important question is how the hell did they get that massive octopus into a nightclub? Who caught the octopus? How did Nina find out it was psychic? How did this end up being a stage show? If nothing else, I need answers to these questions.
What Would Part 3 Have Held in Store?
Well, after the giant octopus episode, The OA could have gone absolutely anywhere. As it stands, OA and Hap are in Dimension 3, London. OA is now Brit, an actress on a show probably called The OA. Hap is now Jason Isaacs, and the actors are married to each other.
Their relationship is a dead giveaway that though it’s close to the dimension we, the viewer, reside in, it is not exactly ours, for Brit Marling and Jason Isaacs are not married in real life. As actors, how would Hap have progressed towards his ultimate goal? Have his priorities changed a little now, to him needing OA to be his partner and by his side while he revels in his success?
It seems likely that OA as Brit would have no recollection of who she really is and that OA would be buried deep in Brit’s subconscious. Hap would likely want to keep her like that, but he didn’t bank on Steve also showing up to the party. In a wonderful mirroring of the finale of Part 1, Steve chases the ambulance with OA on board down the street, but this time he catches up, bursts in, and says hello to Hap, letting him know that he knows who he really is. So I do not doubt that Steve would have been trying to convince a recovering OA of her true self while Hap actively tried to do the opposite so that he could keep her in his clutches as his adoring wife.
Just how immoral is Hap really? Would he have taken Brit as his wife, had romantic and sexual relations with her with the knowledge that OA would have hated every second? Knowing that Brit would be thinking she was sleeping with Jason Isaacs, not Hap? It’s a troubling thought, and I would have loved to see just how selfish Hap really was or, alternatively, how much he really loved OA — if he’s even capable of such a concept.
Would we have seen Karim again, and did he and Elias have a link? Both of them were police officers, and both helped OA enormously. Old Night told OA that she had a brother in every dimension—were they her brothers in Dimensions 1 and 2, sent to protect OA (but by whom?). Would there be another brother with a different identity in Dimension 3?
Was it Michelle that returned from Dimension 3 into Dimension 2 when Karim pulled them through the rose window, or did Michelle’s body receive a new occupant? If the meta context of the finale is anything to go by, it could be that the soul now in Michelle’s body was actually the soul of Ian Alexander, the actor who plays Buck/Michelle. With Michelle being the only person to have made it through the rose window and back, Pierre Ruskin would have been getting answers from her in unscrupulous ways, no doubt.
Would Rachel and Jesse be alive and well in Dimension 3? It would have been wonderful to see Jesse lead a less painful life with his parents or a partner to share things with so he wasn’t so alone. I would have loved to have seen Rachel as the famous singer Sharon Van Etten in Dimension 3, as that is who she actually is of course.
The tables appear to have turned for Homer, who probably did not make it to Dimension 3 but is now somewhere in a very distant space and time, far different from anywhere we’ve seen before. If OA couldn’t remember Homer, it may be difficult for him to track her down or learn how to get closer to her again. Steve may be the answer to that problem, but I am not sure that he realises the sacrifice he’s made to be with OA. He’s presumably dead now in Dimension 1 and comatose in Dimension 2. Steve cannot return to his home, his family, friends, or girlfriend.
So there we have it—over 7,000 words on why The OA definitely should not have been cancelled. Like a book with the end pages torn out, it’s cruel to leave us hanging like this. I keep faith in the fact that there are so many passionate fans across the world who will keep fighting for more. David Lynch and Mark Frost said there would be no more Twin Peaks for 25 years, but fan power won in the end, and Part 3 dazzled us during the summer of 2017. No, I do not want to wait for 25 years to find out what happens to OA, Homer, Hap, and all our friends, but if I have to, it will be worth it. In the meantime, I hope that Brit and Zal will thrill us with other stories in whatever form they take, be it new TV, films or even novels. Minds as magical as theirs need a strong platform that will take risks and trust in the unknown. Sit tight.