While some viewers have succumb to their anger and frustration over the season finale of The OA on Netflix, others have put their thinking caps on to try to make sense of the whole thing. The series has left us all in a state of disorientation that forces us to question what, if anything, was real about the OA’s (or Prairie’s… I don’t even know what to call her anymore) experiences in both the afterlife and captivity.
In the last episode of the season, Alonso breaks into the Johnson home, where the OA lives with her adoptive parents, and finds a set of books that could have very well been the background research for an elaborate performance of a lie. But in the grand finale, the choreography that the OA taught him, Betty, Jesse, Buck, and Steve seems to stop a school shooter from claiming the lives of any students. Sure, the OA gets shot in the chest — but what’s a little bullet to the Original Angel? At any rate, the major question seems to be: Is Prairie the interdimensional angel she claims to be or nah?
I think the books can be dismissed as evidence that the OA is lying. We can tell from her runaway note that Prairie reads and writes English at about a third-grade level, at best. Her first language was Russian and then she was blind, and then she was in captivity. So when would she have picked up the literacy skills to get through one of Homer’s texts if it wasn’t in braille? I barely got through The Odyssey in high school. And I seriously doubt that she was spending her time post-kidnapping reading up on oligarchs.
Luckily there are theories on theories on theories out there to unpack all of this and I've taken the liberty of rounding up a few of the best ones. Get ready to question everything and think really hard.