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<  TV  ~  THE OA

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:17 pm Reply with quote
Site Admin Joined: 08 Nov 2006 Posts: 41023 Location: Bronx 1990

Season: 1
Episodes: 8 in total
Director: Zal Batmanglij
Writers: Brit Marling & Zal Batmanglij
Starring: Brit Marling, Emory Cohen, Scott Wilson, Phyllis Smith, Alice Krige, Patrick Gibson & Brendan Meyer

THE OA stars Brit Marling as Prairie Johnson, a woman who’s been missing for seven years but has much more than an ordinary abduction story to speak of. From grappling with the tortures of a mad scientist to coasting through the very planes of human existence, her story is fascinating… but she’ll only tell it to a few.

WARNING: If you have not seen this television series, don’t read the rest.

The series starts with a perfectly written and very powerful first episode. All of the elements are in place (or so we think). And with that, we’re left with far more questions than answers, which at this point is just fine and makes the whole thing even more interesting.

As the series continues, things gets more “spiritual” and at times highly reminiscent in themes of the amazing french horror film MARTYRS.

Sadly in the end, what we are left with is a rather disappointing ending, to say the least. It is as if the writers questioned themselves if they should keep the story believable, like it is in the first few episodes, or keep the more spiritual tone of the last episodes. The ending just doesn’t make any sense. It feels cheap and a poor excuse to “end” the series. What we are dealing with here is much like that infamous ending of the Dallas TV series.

In that sequence, a young man with an assault rifle, his face deliberately obscured (which itself was another bad idea - more about it later) suddenly appears on the school campus, fires off a few rounds, then enters the cafeteria. It feels as if this was glued there as a moving climax but it actually almost ends up being a comical assertion that evil can be defeated with interpretive aerobics.

The main problem with that ending is that the way it is delivered doesn’t make any sense. Especially considering how the story was built through the eight episodes. It poorly erase the trauma of Prairie’s captivity and replace it, at the eleventh hour, with another menace entirely. Why was that? Simple! When the twist is presented that all of the story told from Prairie was made up, the writers did such a poor job at it that they probably decided to try to create something new and shocking. And nothing is more shocking than an attempted mass shooting at a suburban American high school.

Back to the shooter. If the introducing of this character would have been handled better it would have made more “sense” in the world of THE OA. Here what we have is someone coming out of the blue. Turning in for simple shock and somewhat of an illogical element of story telling to the whole series. While he should have never been the main focus, to have him in the background but without bringing too much importance to him, would have made the whole series even creepier. Remember the Sandy Hook Promise video supposedly about Evan (check out the video: https://youtu.be/A8syQeFtBKc). Now this is how you write good story telling with an extremely well written twist.

But there might be more to it…

Our interpretation of the ending depends entirely on whether or not you believe that Prairie's experience was real. If you do believe her, then it means her premonitions she has had since returning home were about the school shooting and she was inadvertently preparing the group of five for facing their own "evil."

It's also probably not a coincidence that the two times we saw the fifth movement completely, someone was shot and killed immediately afterwards (the first time being the sheriff's wife). Prairie's death was probably an essential part of moving through the tunnel of time space to find Homer again — is that why Steve said "it's happening." Their efforts had worked, and she found Homer again in the end.

But what if you don’t believe her so-called experience? Prairie probably “just” has some kind of mental disorder. Perhaps that final scene was really her waking up inside a psychiatric ward of a hospital, not some alternate dimension.

Or perhaps as I mentioned above, this series ended with a terribly written ending, which is sadly the case most of the times these days.

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