Warning: Spoilers for The OA are ahead.
If you’re a traveler moving from one dimension to the next, there’s got to be something you hold onto throughout your journey, and for Prairie it’s Homer. While Homer certainly played a huge role in the first season, for Season 2 of The OA, Homer's has now been magnified, and not just because he’s got some new facial hair. At times during Season 2, Homer is the thing that Prairie keeps working for and towards, and honestly that only makes her travel through this dimension so much more heartbreaking. She sees Homer, and she can talk to Homer, but he’s not exactly the Homer she fell in love with locked up in Hap’s basement. This new bearded Homer doesn’t remember anything.
Season 1 ends with Prairie supposedly seeing Homer at the end of the episode — or at least that’s what we’re leg to believe with her simple, “Homer?” before everything cuts away. It takes us a little bit of time to actually be reunited with Homer at the start of The OA Season 2, but don’t worry, he’s in this dimension as well. However, he’s not exactly the same Homer we already know. As we quickly learn, in this new dimension Homer is a doctor — Dr. Homer Roberts, to be exact — and sadly, he doesn’t hold the same memories and knowledge that Prairie (and Hap, Scott, and Rachel) does. Well, at least not at first. Through no fault of his own (because he honestly doesn’t know), Homer can’t remember his time in the other dimension, and it takes a lot of work for him to get it back.
What happened to Homer?
As Hap explains to us, when the group was ready to travel to another dimension, at first Homer resisted the idea. He eventually came around to it, and the five of them traveled to this new dimension together. Hap, Scott, and Rachel remembered everything; Renata sorta did, but instead chose to ignore it as insane stories and put it out of her mind. Homer also fell into this last group, too. He’s heard the stories that the others are telling about “the other dimension,” but he doesn’t believe it. Even after he starts meeting with Prairie during her psych evaluations, he dismisses everything as unbelievable.
Why does Homer choose not to remember?
For those who are inexperienced travelers (like everyone jumping to this second dimension), it’s hard to access the memories of your current body. While Prairie eventually figures out how to access Nina, it appears as if Hap never does. Nina quizzes him on things he should know, and he gets every question wrong.
It’s not so much that Homer consciously chooses not to remember his past dimension, it’s just that he’s too stubborn when it comes to believing it that he puts up this mental wall. He dismisses Prairie’s warnings about Hap multiple times and it’s not because he’s intentional doing this. He just doesn’t know any better.
We’re also seeing Homer’s NDE
If Hap’s clinic on Treasure Island looks awfully familiar, there’s a reason for that. During Homer’s long NDE during Season 1, we saw him run through a hospital and eat a sea anemone from a five-sided fish tank. Also, shortly before this NDE experience, Homer sneaks into Hap’s office and listens to a recording. Two snippets of audio he hears are: “Your name is not Homer” and, “Do you know Dr. Roberts?” Well, the second one definitely comes true in Season 2, because Homer is a doctor.
How Homer Remembers
Prairie (as Nina) spends the better half of the season trying to get Homer to remember something, anything, about their past dimension together. It’s oftentimes fruitless as he simply can’t remember, and also chooses not to remember because — as we learn about dimensions — you can suppress the memories of your new host body (that’s what Prairie does with Nina for most of the season).
While Prairie has to relive trauma to bring Nina’s memories to life, Homer doesn’t have to for his memories to come flooding back.
Midway through the season, Homer starts to get suspicious of Hap, and after a long talk with Scott, starts to believe a little bit that something is amiss. It isn’t until Prairie — as full blown Nina — comes back to the Treasure Island clinic in the final episode that Homer completely remembers.
In the elevator with her, she leans in to kiss him and they touch. We see flashes of Homer’s last dimension and his time with Prairie, and he suddenly remembers everything. However, he’s trapped in the elevator because the power has cut out, so Renata comes to save him. She asks if he’s Homer or Dr. Roberts, and he says “both,” which makes sense. He’s now integrated both of their memories — he’s just so late at doing it. But hey, better late than never. Let’s hope it doesn’t take him a full eight episodes to remember for Season 3.