Everything You Need To Know About Karim, The OA's Newest Character

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Season 2 of Netflix’s original series The OA features many returning faces now playing completely new characters. This is a brand new dimension, after all. While we might be familiar with just about everyone, there is one actually brand new face and character who gets through into the mix, at first very much against his will, and then later because he’s supposed to be here. Season 2 introduces us to OA newbie Karim Washington, played by Kingsley Ben-Adir.
Even though we’re just meeting him now, it’s clear that he’s incredibly important to the show’s greater story and mystery. Karim is first introduced at the very beginning of the season because he’s been tasked with finding a missing girl, Michelle. He takes on the case because he knows no one else will take on the case, and suddenly finds himself in the middle of all the mysteries this season. Karim is reluctant to believe a lot of things he hears — because, honestly, most of them do sound crazy. especially when we’re talking about the house on Nob Hill — but eventually, he comes around to them. Karim realizes that no matter how hard he tries he can’t escape what’s happening and he’s meant to be a part of it.
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Here’s what else you need to know about Karim and Kingsley Ben-Adir.

He’s predominately a stage actor from London

Ben-Adir has had a handful of roles in movies like King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and The Commuter, and and appeared in BBC’s cult fave Peaky Blinders and ITV’s Vera for four seasons. But, he spends most of his time on the stage. He’s appeared in almost a dozen plays across London, including A Midsummer's Night Dream at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre. And if you’re looking to really dig deep into Ben-Adir’s life story, you’re out of luck. He’s an incredibly private person, and has no social media accounts at this time.

Karim’s backstory is a little more intense

During a talk with Dr. Marlow Rhodes, Karim explains that he used to be deep undercover in Muslim communities looking for potential terrorist threats. It’s unclearly when he left that life behind and became a private investigator, but he’s probably been out for a few years by now. And we know that, because he tells Nina (who’s actually Prairie at the time), a story about his “brother” that turns out to be about him. Karim explains that he never wanted to be tied down and start a family, but that all changed when he met a woman and fell in love. Things were going fine between then, until the woman admitted that she wanted a child and it sounds like he left her.

What does Karim have to do with the house on Nob Hill?

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Karim tracks the missing girl, Michelle, to a house on Nob Hill in San Francisco. Slowly throughout the season, we learn that the house has some sort of “power” and that Michelle somehow trapped herself in the house. The house is a giant puzzle and those who can solve it will see some sort of “truth” on the other side of a rose, stained-glass window in the attic. Karim tries to solve the puzzle of the house, but instead breaks himself out of it before finishing.
It’s then that Karim learns that those who were initially dreaming about the house in a CURI study were also dreaming about his face. The house wants him to return, so he does and actually manages to reach the attic this time. On the other side of the rose window, he sees into another dimension (the third dimension), and finds Michelle. Karim is able to bring Michelle back to this dimension, and the two are sucked into some sort of dimensional vortex. On the other side of it, Michelle wakes up from the coma she’s been in all season, and Karim finds himself still in the Nob House attic, this time with a view of San Francisco out the window.

Will Karim be in Season 3 of The OA?

If the show is renewed for Season 3, it’s likely that Karim will return in some capacity. Yes, we might be in a brand new dimension with Prairie and Hap, but there are still unresolved issues back in the second dimension. The mystery of Nob Hill is still far from over, and it’ll be interesting to see if Karim sprouts one of the seeds that’s now been activated in his brain after spending time in the house.
Karim also played such a huge role in Season 2, it’d be a shame for him not to return again. But even if he doesn’t, there’s the possibility that Ben-Adir could return as someone else, just like Buck/Michelle this season.
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