Gilbert Speaks: Review of The OA, S01 E01

19 Dec

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Although I can watch all eight episodes of The OA in one sitting, after watching the first two, I’ve decided it’s wiser to savor the experience. I want to watch one episode a day in order for me to enjoy every delicious morsel. The OA is Netflix’s new sci-fi/fantasy series that stars Brit Marling as Prairie Johnson and the secret she shares after disappearing for seven years. Meet me after the jump for a review of the first episode.

Homecoming

The scene starts with a woman (Brit Marling) jumping from a bridge. Her unsuccessful suicide is caught on video and it goes viral. At the hospital, she is unhappy about surviving. The nursing staff and police are unable to get her to talk about the strange scars on her back. It isn’t long before the news reaches her adoptive parents; Abel Johnson (Scott Wilson) and Nancy Johnson (Alice Krige), who then rush to Prairie’s bedside. Their joy of finding their daughter is offset by the fact that Prairie is no longer blind. Is it a miracle?

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We learn through their conversations that Prairie is considered unstable and has been on medication most of her life. It doesn’t help much that Prairie, who has begun calling herself “The OA” won’t confide in her adoptive parents about her whereabouts for the last seven years. Even the police are stumped and, how can they explain her regained eyesight? The only clue given is when Prairie claims that she has died more times than she can count. There is another clue to where she’s been when Prairie tries to find her friend, Homer.

The psychological evaluation from the hospital suggests that Prairie’s parents keep her away from the internet, which isn’t that damn hard considering Prairie’s computer is older than dirt and mom refuses to share the Wi-Fi password. But, Prairie needs that computer to find Homer. A brisk walk with mom brings Prairie into contact with Steve when she spies him doing some dangerous handstands on the roof of an abandoned building.

Steve

Steve played oh so devilishly by Patrick Gibson is one messed up kid. He strikes out at everyone when he’s not dealing drugs or beating up on his classmates. He is a bully, but maybe it’s because he’s misunderstood, or…he never received that well deserved spanking. When Prairie enters the abandoned building to speak with him, Steve has his big dog attack Prairie. Steve and his friends are surprised when Prairie bites back and the dog becomes submissive. Later, Steve makes a deal with Prairie: he will help her get a team together if she helps him with a school problem. Seems Steve is ready to be expelled and sent to military reform school.

Conclusion

Prairie’s meeting with Steve’s teacher, Ms. Broderick-Allen (Phyllis Smith), is worth watching this episode, and we finally begin to understand that Prairie has powers that may or may not be connected to her disappearance. Bad boy Steve comes through for Prairie and brings his friends to help her. Buck (Ian Alexander) a transgender teen, is the most interesting and likeable of the friends. I hinted earlier that Prairie had a way with people and I was proven right when Ms. Broderick-Allen shows up and becomes the fifth connection.

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What really surprised me about this episode is that the opening credits start in the middle of the show. It is during this time that we learn about Prairie’s past. She was the daughter of a powerful and rich Russian entrepreneur. Her mother died in childbirth. Her name was Nina and she had nightmares which caused her nose to bleed. Her nightmares might have been premonitions or visions of the future. There is no safe zone in Russia and everyone is an enemy and Prairie/Nina’s father (Nikolai Nikolaeff) has his own share of enemies who cause the school bus carrying Nina and her friends to crash into the frozen river below. Prairie/Nina tells Steve and the others that everyone on that bus died…everyone…even Nina.

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Just when you think this can’t get weirder than it is, we watch as the flashbacks show a dead Nina meeting GOD. The creator is a woman and she tells Nina that she can stay or go back. Nina wants to be with her father, but to grant that wish, God takes away her eyesight and Nina wakes up to her father trying to revive her on the shore.

I’m hooked on this show and once you watch the first episode, you will be too. See you on Monday when I review episode 02 of The OA..

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2 Responses to “Gilbert Speaks: Review of The OA, S01 E01”

  1. spreadyourwingswithmarica December 19, 2016 at 5:00 am #

    Watched the first one today!!

    • gilbertspeaks December 19, 2016 at 3:58 pm #

      Wait until you watch the second episode. This is really a cool show

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