The OA, a Netflix original series, tells the story of Prairie Johnson (Brit Marling), a blind woman who went missing seven years ago and resurfaces in a public suicide attempt. She survives the attempt, but miraculously she can now see.
What follows is quite a ride as Prairie seeks to get back to the people she left behind by recruiting five local people to hear her story and enact a ritual that will accomplish this. Her story of her captivity is both horrifying and hopeful, and in many ways it mirrors her life and those of the people she recruited. The sense of being trapped and alone but finding hope in community.
The spiritual aspect is interesting without being ham-fisted and preachy. In fact, I particularly enjoyed how seriously it took its sometimes crazy subject material. And whether you accept Prairie’s story as true doesn’t matter, as a spiritual journey is accomplished by everyone in the story either way, which I thought was a brilliant aspect of the show.
Th OA seems largely to have gotten either highly positive or negative reactions. Mine was fairly positive. The ending seemed somewhat contrived, but while we don’t have all the answers, it did resolve the character arcs for both Prairie and her followers. While I would have liked something more soaring and definitive, it still worked for me understanding what the show’s creators were trying to do. Like I said, whether true or not, a spiritual journey was accomplished, with interesting lessons for the viewer.
Marling has promised the OA will provide many answers if it gets a second season. I, for one, hope it does.