Explaining The OA's Original Angel May Take All Five Seasons

Photo: courtesy of NEtflix.
Considering how long its been since The OA first made its Netflix debut back in December 2016, it would be completely understandable if you can't quite remember what the heck this series is even about. It's okay if you can't quite recall what The OA even means because in a way, we still don't know. But thankfully, part of the question did manage to get answered by the end of Season 1 — well, sort of, at least.
For those in need of a refresher, The OA’s first season centered around Prairie Johnson, a young woman who went missing from her family for seven years, only to return out of the blue, no longer blind and insisting that her name is now The OA. As details about her past and mysterious disappearance start to emerge, so do the origins of her new name. Prairie refers to herself as “the Original Angel” in Episode 7, which seems to be what the “OA” initials stand for, however, it still remains unclear what exactly an Original Angel is and what that means for this character moving forward.
Above all else, the show prided itself on making its viewers question what was real and what wasn’t. Were all these flashbacks just stories Prairie had made up in her head or was she telling the truth this whole time? She claimed that a scientist named Hap had held her and several others prisoner in an underground bunker. Hap was obsessed with learning as much as he could about near death experiences (NDEs)— something that all of his captives had faced at some point in their lives. Does being the Original Angel make Prairie an extra special NDE survivor? Are the two things even connected at all? One would think given the religious undertones felt throughout the season (“angels,” cheating death itself, etc.) that Prairie is only just beginning to scratch the surface of what she can do.
Then there are also the Five Movements to consider, which when done correctly, are supposed to open up a portal to another dimension. Prairie’s friends performed the movements in the final episode of Season 1 when a gunman opened fire at their school. And from the looks of The OA Season 2, it appears the movements actually worked. Prairie is shown waking up in a President Obama-less dimension (nooooo!!!) where she’s now a Russian heiress (yesssss!). This still doesn’t answer any questions having to do with Prairie being an Original Angel, but hopefully as she explores this new world of hers, she’ll be able to get some more information on that front.
We may now know what The OA stands for, but as for what being an Original Angel entails, well — it may take all five planned seasons of the series to get that clarity.

More from TV

R29 Original Series