by Chris Harnick | Mon., Dec. 19, 2016 8:48 AM
So you watched The OA. Or you tried to watch The OA and stopped because you couldn't get on board. Or your friend told you to watch The OA but you don't trust her judgment. Regardless, you want to talk about the ending of The OA, Netflix's latest new series that dropped shrouded in mystery.
Co-created by and starring Brit Marling as Prairie Johnson, a formerly blind woman who returns to her family with her sight after being held captive for years. During her captivity, she realized she was an angel—the original angel, hence the name, The OA—and that she had a series of near-death experiences. Or did she?
Prairie's story could be a lie, everything about it. French (Brandon Perea) found books in her room that would indicate she was doing research on exactly what she was telling her followers. Russian oligarchy, angels, near-death experiences, etc. they were all there. Riz Ahmed's FBI agent was there too. Why? Who knows.
But then the Fifth Movement happened and Betty (Phyllis Smith), Buck (Ian Alexander), Jesse (Brendan Meyer) and Steve (Patrick Gibson) stopped a school shooting. Yes, they stopped a school shooting with a dance. Was it because they actually accomplished the impossible and did some supernatural dance or people just stopped to look at what the heck these five people were doing dancing around the cafeteria? Is French possessed by Homer? Is he an angel? Who knows.
Prairie was shot by the gunman, but when viewers see her after the ambulance ride she's in a white room and saying, "Homer?" Whatttttt???
When asked by EW if there was any possibility that Prairie was telling the truth about her abduction, co-creator Zal Batmanglij said, "I don't know if that's true. It is a story, so anything is possible within a story. "
Marling told EW the whole show was leading up to the end moment.
"The thing that was in the DNA was that the story gets tested, that they believe in this story so much, that they're skeptical at first, but then lean into it and believe, and it really unites them. And then, of course, the bottom drops out. I think it was always about the final moments being about whether there's something that her story contains that tells the truth for them, that mattered—whether or not every aspect of it was true. And that's really true [as a filmmaker], you make something and then it doesn't belong to you anymore. It's up to the audience's interpretation of what feels true and important and meaningful to them, and what doesn't," she said.
Marling said the writers have everything figured out.
"But the question is: How long does the story continue? In terms of the core emotional story, it's really about an outsider who has a traumatic experience and comes back to the small town she grew up in, and there's a group of lost boys having their own traumatic experience, and there's something in her story that moves them; something they need," she said. "So whether or not they believe the story is true, the boys are changed by the experience and so is she. So in that sense, everything about the core emotional storyline between the strange woman and group of boys resolves itself in the end."
The OA is now streaming on Netflix.
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