#TheOA: Are we supposed to care about this chick?

Image result for The OA

Because I don’t.

The OA starts out interestingly enough. A blond chick in some cell phone footage jumps off a bridge then wakes up in a hospital. The nurse is like, hey sweetie, you seem real messy. What’s your name and stuff? Ol’ girl is all, “where am I? How long was I out? Did I flatline? No touching, I’m The OA.” I’m like, excuse me, the what? Strike one.

Her parents, the Borg Queen and Hershel from The Walking Dead, come to collect her from hospital. The social worker/hospital official (it’s unclear who she is) is telling them that she is not responding to the name they provided, she is in a fractured mental state, she has very unusual scarring on her back, she refuses to talk about what happened to her to the police or anyone else, and she keeps trying to get to the computers in the ICU. That seems like a weird detail to include with the others, don’t you think? Anyway, the parents don’t care, they’re just like can we see her or what?! They get to her room, and OA is like, “who are they?” BQ rolls up to her bed, sits down, grabs her hands and lets her feel the opposite of the latest in cheek implants when OA suddenly goes, “Mom!”. The nurse is tells Hershel that she doesn’t understand, so Hershel tells her, “She’s our daughter, Prairie (gross). She’s never seen us before. When she disappeared 7 years ago, she was blind.” At this point, I am thinking, since she has never seen her mom before, she must be have been shocked when she didn’t see this:

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Anyway, against the advice of everyone at hospital, they take Prairie home to their half-finished subdivision where she falls in with a group of neighborhood high school kids (and a teacher). I won’t tell you how that happens, I’ll let you enjoy that plot development on your own. Needless to say, they all start hanging out in an empty house for story time where Prairie is spinning a yarn about a little Russian girl. Wait, before I continue, if you have not seen all 8 episodes then you should stop reading and skip to the last paragraph, because I am going to spoil the shit out of this. So this little Russian girl, Nina, is the daughter of a rich oligarch, who lives in a neighborhood for rich oligarchs. She is on the bus one day heading to school when the bus goes off a bridge and plunges into the river below. She gets out, but before she reaches the surface, she is taken somewhere and meets up with a gross lady who takes her sight and sends her back to this mortal coil. She washes ashore and is sent to live with gross, whorish relatives who are baby factories. An American couple come to assimilate adopt a baby boy and end up taking the young  blind girl instead. They rename her Prairie.

Fast forward a little bit and she runs into Draco Malfoy’s father is very interested in NDE’s (near-death experiences), especially hers. They go to like a diner, and he pulls out some device that looks like it has a pocket pussy on one end but it’s really a fancy stethoscope that allows them to hear heartbeats at a distance. Blah blah, basically, Prairie who knows she is blind, becomes too trusting of this stranger who has mesmerized her with this super-hearing pocket pussy, allows herself to be kidnapped. So everything that happens to her from here, she brought on herself. Stranger danger, bitch, ever heard of it? Strike two.

Malfoy locks her dumbass up in a glass chamber in his basement with 4 other folks: Homer, Scott, Rachel, and eventually Renata. They also have had near-death experiences. There is also a little river than runs through all of their cells that they use for drinking water, and bathing. Occasionally, Malfoy (whose name in this is Dr. Hunter Hap) pumps a mysterious gas into their cells, after which they remember nothing. He eventually trusts Prairie enough to give her field trips upstairs so she can do chores for him! Yay for her! She makes a break for it at one point and almost finds out the hard way that this property sits on a prime strip mine front lot and she almost tumbles in, but in the process he hits in her the back of the head with such force that she regains her sight. We eventually find out what the purpose of the gas is. Turns out, Hap is playing a combination of Flatliners and Cosby games with these folks. The gas makes them obey all his commands and he takes them to another location (Cosby), puts them in a contraption that isolates their heads from the rest of their bodies and he fills that chamber with water and drowns them while recording their deaths (Flatliners). Except he is recording the sound of them dying. The he revives them, and takes them back to their cells and they don’t remember shit (back to Cosby!).

Remember, Prairie is still telling all of this to the a group of people in the empty house. Back to the basement, where Scooby and the gang are trying to figure out “movements” to help themselves escape. Apparently there are 5 movements and they have figured out 4 of them. Prairie and Homer can heal people with two of them. In order to not forget, they are scratching and branding symbols of the movements into their persons (hence the unusual scarring on her back). The local sheriff, who had been to Hap’s shanty before, now has creeped in unbeknownst to Hap while he is watching his prisoners on a monitor (I have skipped over alot) with headphones on. Sheriff has his gun drawn and you are ready for this fool to be fucking busted. His gun touches Hap’s head, and boom, that is the end of episode 7. Great cliffhanger.

Episode 8 begins with Hap trying to weasel his way out by telling the sheriff that he can heal his wife, who is suffering from ALS. They go downstairs, and the hostages think they are about to be freed. Nope. They grab Prairie and Homer, and take them upstairs to a bedroom where sheriff’s wife is laying on a bed. Hap is like, cure this woman, and he and the sheriff leave and are watching from the monitors. Cut back to the bedroom, where Homer and Prairie start this performance art piece that is so jarring and unnecessary that the old woman has this look on her face that seemed to say, “I’ll stick with Lou. Knock off this bullshit.” After an excruciating amount of time, some light starts happening to where you can only see them in silhouette, and she starts moving around and it turns out she has the 5th movement that they have been waiting for. By the way, the 5th movement is supposed to be the thing that Prairie needs to basically leave this plane of existence or go to another dimension, or something to that effect, but whatever it is, it can just take you “like an invisible current.” Turns out the elusive 5th movement came straight out of Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” video.

While all of this storytelling is going on, the high school kids she is telling this story to are also living their lives when not in the house. I can’t remember the impetus, but one of them goes into her house and starts looking around one night and finds a box of books under her bed. Books on the great Russian oligarchs, near-death experiences, Homer’s The Iliad, and stuff like that which gets the kids to thinking that maybe this bitch is Keyser Soze. They are all at school shortly thereafter at lunch, and someone rolls onto the campus ready to Columbine. OA rushes there, and all of the kids are in the cafeteria when the gunkid gets in there. They are all on the ground looking at each other, and they all know the movements. The teacher rushes to the cafeteria as well and they all decide that they are going to save the day by doing the performance art installation 5 movements. They stand up and start turning it, the gunkid is like THE FUCK? and is ready to mow them down, when someone from the kitchen tackles him right as he pulls the trigger. A stray bullet goes out the window and hits a voyeur square in the chest. It’s Prairie.

Prairie says that OA stands for “original angel”. When she told her mom that, BQ slapped her right across the face. I don’t think Prairie is the original angel. I think she is an emotional grifter with a blindness fetish and penchant for hot-bodied butter-faced gingers, androgynous teens, spicy Applebee’s employees, stoners, cat-ladies, school violence, and martyrdom. Like I said, this show started great, then it quickly took a dive. I also am unnerved by the fact that Prairie’s speaking voice never really goes much above a whisper. She stays pretty much at an even keel the entire show. She sounds like a simpleton on helium microdoses explaining how Jesus is right around the corner getting cigarettes and will be back any minute. I can’t imagine what a season 2 would even be about, unless Prairie moves to another town and does this to another group of kids. But to what end? She’s a fucking monster. Oh, and that “invisible current” that takes you away? It’s called an ambulance.

Grade: F

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