My winter media viewing was leaving much to be desired. Rogue One felt more disappointing than realizing that moon was actually a space station about to blow up your home planet. Westworld, despite its budget, beauty, and skilled thespians, ended up being nothing more than a derivative, turd tumbleweed blowing around the old west. All the while, I had a yearning - a yearning for something new, refreshing, challenging, and unexpected. I yearned no more once The OA entered my life.
The Netflix series is wholly original and captivating from the opening scene that depicts cell phone footage of a young woman taking a leap of faith from the side of a bridge to the water below. Even my usually-disinterested significant other was engaged enough to put her phone down throughout the duration of the 8-episode season. What follows that opening scene is a long and winding road of a story that spans time, continents, and dimensions (possibly).
The nonlinear, sometimes abstract storytelling lends itself to a variety of interpretations and theories. Below, you will find my views and perspectives. Some will make complete sense and some will seem so foolish, you'll believe only a moron would come up with them. Needless to say, if you read on, you will be more spoiled than macaroni salad on the Fourth of July.
Hap was the hero.
I know what you're thinking: The mad scientist that manipulates, kidnaps, kills, tortures, and experiments with other humans like they are rats in a cage is not typically a hero. You would be correct here. Throughout the series, Hap did what ever it took to see his research through to the end. He knew that he was on to something, and he knew that the mild sacrifice required (ya know, the freedom of others) was a small price to pay. In the end, his work minimized the potential harm and loss of life while creating a way to heal the sick and revive the dead. Plus, he let the OA go when she had other work to do. Sounds like a hero in my book.
Hap was the OA's dad.
There are only two people that became totally captivated by the OA's violin playing: her dad and Hap. What if they are the same people? Her dad's demise is ambiguous and highly questionable during the series, so what if he lived long enough to escape Russia, change his appearance, set up a lab, get his pilots license, kidnap some folks, and get to work on near-death experiences (NDEs)? Well, he'd be Hap. Prairie (the OA) set out to New York on her 21st birthday in search of her dad, and I'd say she found him. By the way, before she got clocked on the head with the butt of that rifle, she found herself at the edge of a huge strip mine. Who knows a lot about mines? Her father. The man that made his new money fortune in mining.
Rachel was a huge waste of space, a spy, or the center of the entire series.
So, what exactly did you do Rachel? You had a nice moment with a lovely song. You sucked out some gas and bumped your head. It think there was some pounding on the glass to warn others or distract Hap. Who could tell really. You didn't get a movement, and we never saw your NDEs. As far as we know, you were an android left over from Westworld meant to entertain and distract the others. Or maybe she was the crux of the show, maybe a FBI agent (Rahim's partner), or maybe Rahim's girlfriend. If you have been poking around the interweb, you already know there was an illusion to "Rachel" in Rahim's office.
The Movements can heal but not help people move through time and space.
I'll admit it, the movements are impressive. They remind me of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers calling their dinosaurs (or whatever they were) in to battle. Furthermore, the balance of aerobic and anaerobic movements make for the perfect exercise. We know the movements have power. They can heal those with serious afflictions like ALS and resuscitate the dead, but dimensional travel is questionable. But what about the school shooter? Well, if you were a troubled teen fully locked and loaded with your legally purchased assault rifle and a odd pairing of peers and Phyllis from The Office started doing a supercharged Tai Chi, you would be distracted, too. No inter-dimensional travel needed. Just some weirdos jumping around and breathing heavy to make your scratch your head until the janitor shows up.
Hap is Agent Rahim and probably the school shooter, too.
Okay. So, let's imagine that Hap has mastered the five movements. He is now the master of time and space. This means that he can be anyone, anywhere, at anytime. There can probably be many of him in one place at one time - Think Agent Smith from The Matrix. The school shooter and Agent Rahim are commonly found in and around glass structures like the school cafeteria and that huge room in the FBI building. Hap was always creeping around the basement cages. He is checking on the OA to see what she remembers and is willing to tell as Rahim. As the shooter, he is testing her ability to teach the movements to others.
The captured have an outside analog.
- Prairie is Steve - brave, kind and misunderstood.
- Rachel is Buck - the singer than falls into the background.
- Scott is Jesse - the drug user.
- Reneta is BBA - older than the rest and the last to arrive.
- Homer is French - the high school overachiever.
This point is illustrated pretty clearly when French gets a flash of Homer in the mirror at the OA's house in the finale. These analogs show that the movements work and shift people in and out of dimensions.
What do you think? I am completely right or just totally right?