Gilbert Speaks On Season 01 of “The OA”

27 Dec

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I wanted to savor the show and do weekly reviews of Netflix’s “The OA”, but something happened that caused me to finish the remaining planned reviews of this eight episode series in one post: Bronchitis! Did my marathon viewing of the entire series of “The OA” cure my bronchitis? Find out after the jump.

Prairie

Was this whole series based on a dream or reality? We are left to ponder this over the last four episodes. When Prairie was knocked out, she died and meets once again with Katoon. Prairie is given a choice, the same choice that people who have had near death experiences always get: Stay or go back. The offer to stay is so tempting to Prairie because she can be with her beloved father, but what about her friends who are still prisoners of the mad scientist, Hap. Prairie decides to save her friends and with her sacrifice she receives another gift…she gets to swallow a life-bird and she learns a special movement; a dance of power.

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When Prairie’s soul returns to its body, Prairie regains her sight, but she keeps this secret from Hap. This man is obsessed with what Prairie experienced and saw, but she keeps the part about the life-bird and what she and the others really are to herself. As of yet, neither Prairie nor her friends know what Hap does to them when he takes them from the cell. A plan is hatched and over the years, Homer tries to avoid the gas that permeates their prison to learn what Hap is doing.

Dr. Hunter Hap

This monster is worthy of a guest stint on American Horror Story. The gas he allows to seep into the glass cages only makes them docile because the experiment is horrendous. Hap is repeatedly drowning and reviving his prisoners. He wants to hear that whoosh sound again. He won’t stop until he does. Is it for science? Is he alone in his madness?

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More on that later, but Homer finally manages to die awake after managing to view some of Hap’s videos while the good doctor is busy speaking with a local policeman about his sick wife. All this time, Hap is unaware that Prairie can see and that she is using what she learned on the other side to control the experiments…but with Scott becoming so weak, Hap visits Cuba for a new subject and is rebuffed by the musician.

Prairie

We now understand with Homer’s many trips to the other side and his swallowing his own life-creature that OA stands for Original Angels. Homer now knows the second part of the power dance. He, Prairie and the others constantly practice this dance to the confusion of Dr. Hap. But, when Scott is taken to the drowning station (it’s the only name I can give this equipment from hell) he rats out Prairie. This angers Hap so much that he doesn’t monitor Scott’s vital signs and Scott dies. This creepy doctor throws Scott’s dead body back into the glass prison and he tells Prairie that her game is over. When Prairie and Homer combine the two movements they’ve learned on the other side, something miraculous occurs. Scott is brought back to life and he has the third movement.

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This is why Prairie needed her special five when she returned home. She needs to teach them the five movements to enable her to save the others, but Hap “the angel hunter” is also learning the movements and this time, he uses Homer to capture the fifth angel.

Homer

He is drugged and put on Hap’s private plane and off they go to Cuba. Homer’s one chance to escape is hindered because the hotel staff thinks he is a deranged son of their favorite hotel guest. Homer, after being locked away from even the slightest human touch, gives in to the romantic overtures of the unsuspecting Renata (Pas Vega).

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Hap not only listens in to the lovemaking but also plays the audio for his captives back in the states. Prairie is both relieved that Homer is alive and crushed because she can never feel his touch. Now that Renata is a prisoner, they have the four movements, but without the fifth…there is no escape.

Prairie’s Five

While we learn through flashbacks how the fifth and final movement was obtained and how Prairie escaped the prison, we are also learning more about Betty and the boys. Betty is heartbroken over her brother’s death and Steve is betrayed by his parents. When Steve’s family allows him to be forcibly abducted into a boot camp, Betty saves the day. It will cost her a teaching career, but she and the others get to hear the final part of the story.

Conclusion

Even mad scientists have their mentors and for Hap, it’s a pathologist named Leon who does his research on his subjects in an abandoned part of the hospital. But, when Hap confides in Leon about his success, Leon tries to kill him. When Officer Stan brings his ALS-stricken wife, Evelyn, to be healed by Hap’s angels, Prairie and Homer learn the fifth movements from Evelyn and in the process get to physically touch. Hap kills the officer and his wife and then dumps Prairie on a deserted road. Now we know how she got out.

Was Prairie telling the truth or was she delusional? We see that Prairie’s family is quite dysfunctional in its own way, and her mother wanted to keep Prairie dependent on her forever. But there are also enough causes to believe she was delusional when French finds books under Prairie’s bed that cover what she’s been telling them all along. My favorite character, besides Prairie and Homer, was the teacher. Betty, played kick-ass wonderful by Phyllis Smith, was the rock strength of the group even though she didn’t know she had a voice. She gave up that check for 50,000 dollars to save Steve. She did what every good teacher does day in and day out; she gave her all for her students.

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It isn’t until an armed shooter enters the school that everything falls into place. We finally understand Prairie’s story as truth. Prairie, Betty, Steve, Buck, French and Jesse do the five movements as the other students huddle under their desks. The power dance distracts the shooter long enough for him to be disarmed, but there is causality.

Prairie dies on the way to the hospital, but her friends have heard the loud whoosh and know that she has gone to save her friends. But…is Homer dead? Will there be a season 02? Why did the boys need to leave their doors open? Will Betty keep her job at the school? I have been totally captured by the beauty of the story. The OA sure helped me to forget my bronchitis, but I need to find out if there is a second season to look forward to. I might need to contact the creators of the show. Wish me luck.

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