The OA Part 2 Episode 4: SYZYGY Recap

The OA P2Ep4 OA & Tentacles

In episode 4, SYZYGY, Karim and OA finally meet and the series finds a way to incorporate the telepathic octopus that the entire fandom has been clamoring for into the show. Or maybe that was just the tentacle fiction fans. 😘 At any rate, we get some almost naughty tentacle on OA action, an escape from Treasure Island in an orange car driven by a woman who can’t drive, a couple of bad dates, and references to Snow White and the Phantom of the Opera.

Only one of these things happens in a dream, and it’s not the octopus.

This is a pretty wild episode.

Plus, three wise, man.

Shall we get started?

Recap

The episode begins with OA dreaming that she’s chasing her (and Nina’s) child self through a deep forest. OA is wearing Homer’s wolf sweatshirt from their captivity in Hap’s basement, making her the Big Bad Wolf. Nina leads her to a floating, empty glass box the size of a coffin. In Russian, the little girl says, “You won’t find Homer without her.” OA asks, “Who?” Little Nina looks back at the glass coffin, which is just like the coffin Snow White was in after she ate the poisoned apple. Rachel is now inside, lying still, with her eyes closed. OA touches the glass, and there’s a whooshing sound. The wind blows in the trees. Rachel turns into adult Nina, whose eyes open. She pounds on the glass, wanting to be let out. The dream ends as the glass cracks.

Every instance of cracking glass in this show has been positive so far. It allows escape.

OA has been telling Dr Roberts about her dream. He asks if the child is OA or Nina. OA thinks they’re the same person at that point, until OA got on the bus and was in the accident, and Nina didn’t. Dr Roberts asks if their shared childhood means she and Nina are the same person now. OA explains that everything in their lives was different because of that one decision.

Dr Roberts wonders if she’s sublimating Nina.

OA: “I don’t know her. I don’t want to know her.”

Roberts: “Then aren’t you just like Hap? You said Hap was your captor.”

OA: “Is my captor.”

Roberts: “So he’s holding you hostage?

OA: “Us hostage. You think he’s Dr Percy. He’s not. He’s Hap inside. He’s a hunter.”

Roberts: Okay. so he’s a hunter. He captured you and he put you in a box. But you’ve put Nina in a box, too. Buried her somewhere deep in your mind. She wants to come out. She’s knocking at the door of your dreams.”

Since he’s got her cornered, OA changes the subject to Rachel. She wants to know if Roberts checked on what happened to her. He says she was transferred to another facility, closer to her family. OA doesn’t believe that’s the truth. Roberts asks what she thinks happened. She tells him she believes Hap murdered Rachel so that she couldn’t talk about his lab.

Homer asks what OA thinks Hap could be doing in his lab. OA asks if Roberts has been inside the lab. He has. OA guesses that there’s a locked room in the lab, that Roberts hasn’t seen. “Tell me there’s no room like that, and I’ll stop talking about it.”

Roberts can’t, of course, so he goes for the psychobabble cop out. “It’s natural for you to feel like the doctor is the killer. He wants to cut a piece out of you, your delusion.”

Hap’s taught him the fine art of medical gaslighting.

OA: “[Hap] knows you’ll never see me, the real me, as long as I’m your patient.”

It’s Hap’s turn for a long drive out into the country. He’s not on a spiritual journey. He’s hiding the evidence of a murder he committed. As he drags Rachel’s body out of his car so he can burn it, then bury it, he says, “This is Prairie’s fault.”

It always is, going all the way back to Adam and Eve.

Karim presents himself at the Treasure Island front desk, and intimidates the front desk receptionist into getting Prairie out of therapy. He waits for OA in the rec room, where a very passionate patient named Lionel is upset about Swedish fish. Due to the lack of said Swedish fish, he’s cutting off NASA and their thought crimes.

Stay strong, Lionel.

Karim feels like he’s met Nina before, but OA doesn’t feel the same way. The music tells us this is an important moment. Also, Swedish fish are red.

Karim properly introduces himself and tells OA about the house and the missing and damaged kids. He asks if she knows how to access the secret entrance to the house. OA thinks quick, and promises him if he helps her get out of Treasure Island, she’ll get him into the house. Right now, she’s so medicated the she can hardly think.

It’s a complete reversal of Karim’s usual conversations with sources, where he smooth talks whatever he wants out of people. He’s met his match. He thinks for a moment, then agrees, as long as she doesn’t exhibit signs of serious mental illness. She has him list his criteria, so she can try to avoid them while he’s around: Delusions, mania, lapsed hygiene, sociopathic behavior, incessant repetitions, inability to follow a logical train of thought.

OA: “I’m not mentally ill, but I do think logic is overrated.”

She takes a flower out of the glass vase on the table they’re sitting at, and throws the vase at the wall near Lionel, shattering it. The nurse gets up and scolds Lionel. OA tells Karim to follow her and they make their escape.

The front receptionist sees them on the back stairs and sounds the alarm. Karim fights off orderlies, while Prairie runs to get the orange car (this is why it’s orange). Except, Prairie was blind, then trapped in a basement. She has no idea how to work a car. She gets it running and over to Karim, then away from the clinic. Dr Roberts runs out to the parking lot as they’re disappearing.

Hap has taken the afternoon off and gone swimming. Submerging his head in water helps his tinnitus, which has bothered him since the jump. While he’s floating underwater, he notices a woman doing the same thing at the other end of the pool. Later, she joins him in the sauna. She makes sure they’ll be alone by sharing the men’s sauna with him. The other men scurry away.

She doesn’t waste time, bringing up their shared hearing issues immediately, and telling him that she can hear the ringing in his ears, too. She knows that he’s a tourist in this dimension,too, just like her.

After the big breakout, OA and Karim go to Red’s Java House to talk. OA asks Karim to tell her about the mysterious house, supposedly because he might say something that will jog her memory. He says that the house was built in 1910 by an engineer, who got rich during the Gold Rush. His wife was a medium and was into séances and spiritualism, like the Victorians.

Karim shows OA plans for the house from the 60s and 70s, when it was split up into separate apartments. It was left that way until Nina and Pierre bought it two years ago. They relocated the tenants and restored the house to its original design, which is also on the plans.

So, Karim wants OA to point out the secret entrance on the plans. Poor thing, he’s new to this game and still expects things to be straightforward. While he’s talking, OA makes him an ice pack for his jaw. When he’s done, he can tell that she has no idea where the hidden entrance is. She promises she’ll get him in.

He moves on to showing her the “Three Wise, Man” clue and the other images on his phone. When she gets to the photo of Michelle, she’s disturbed because she recognizes Buck. She covers for the dimensional confusion by saying Michelle reminds her of a young man she knew in Michigan.

OA asks Karim what else he knows about Dr Percy. Karim tells her about Percy’s famous book, Quantum Psychotic, which is about unmitigated reality as madness. He was also Pierre’s therapist. OA realizes that Hap and Pierre conspired to have her sent to the clinic on the unnecessary psychiatric hold.

OA: “It’s all connected.”

Wait, that’s Manifest’s tag line. Are all of the shows connected into one universe now, too? Is this where Manifest’s plane went for 5 1/2 years?

OA figures out that all of her questions and Karim’s questions are connected. Finally. She sees his photo of the keypad at CURI and decides they need to see what’s inside the closet in her apartment that has the same keypad.

When Hap turns his phone back on after having it off all afternoon during his swimming and sauna adventure, he discovers multiple messages from Roberts, who’s trying to report OA’s escape. Hap calls Roberts back and tells him to impress upon the police just how dangerous Prairie is and to keep calling them back to check on their progress. While they’re on the phone, Hap has a flashback to burning Rachel’s body. Then his new friend, Elodie, comes out of the elevator, and he hangs up on Roberts.

Roberts supervises group therapy with Scott and Renata, but he’s distracted. Scott talks about OA and Homer talking him down from his suicidal thoughts in the other dimension, and how they helped him so much more than Roberts has. Roberts is having a tough day, and lets it show. Renata has come around to remembering her real self.

Renata: “She gets under you skin, doesn’t she? She gets under everyone’s skins. Just how she’s made.”

Roberts: “Well, she’s gone now, so maybe that will be a relief for you.”

Scott: “She ain’t gone, Doc. She’s got a plan. OA’s always got a plan. She’ll be back.”

Roberts: “What makes you say that?”

Scott; “Well, somehow, on one of those 2500 some odd nights underground, Homer, that aw-shucks football quarterback, got under her skin. And in my experience, she ain’t the kind of person to give up.”

Karim and OA are stuck on finding the correct PIN for the closet’s keypad. OA asks him to tell her a story, to distract her from thinking about it for a minute.

Karim: “You know, my brother, he’s the kind of guy who never let a woman keep a toothbrush at his place. You know? Just never wanted to go down that road. Until one night at a noise show, he meets this punk woman with a shaved head.”

OA: “What’s a noise show?”

Karim: “You listening or you asking questions? The point is, they liked a lot of the same stuff, and they didn’t BS each other. He tells her on the very first date, before they even order dinner, he don’t believe in bringing kids into this world. She agrees with him, says the world is in need of a lot of things right now, but another human isn’t one of them. My brother and this woman, they fall in love. They’ve been together for seven years. He’s so happy it hurts his chest when he sees her toothbrush in the cup thing next to his. Then one day out of the blue, she comes home from work and she says she wants a baby. What’s the number?”

OA: “10-15-87.”

OA’s birthday?

The closet is full of dated tapes. They are all Nina talking, probably describing dreams. The first one is sexual. In the second one, Pierre has cut out her tongue. Karim looks through the closet and finds a post-it that says SYZYGY. He realizes that he’s looking at 3 Ys, man, the clue from the game. They check Nina’s phone to see if they can figure out what SYZYGY is.

Roberts makes a date on Tinder, texting with his date while he’s talking to the police sergeant on the phone. He tells the police that OA can’t be trusted and promises his date he’ll be in red vinyl.

SYZYGY is in Nina’s phone, so they dial the number and OA fakes her way through the call. The person who answers recognizes her and asks when she wants to come in. She says tonight. He says he’ll see her at 9, and she should come dressed for the occasion.

Hap and Elodie go out to dinner, but it’s a working date for him. He pumps her for information about traveling. She says that she recognized him as a fellow traveler because you can just tell when you travel a lot. Hap asks if you can control your destination, but Elodie isn’t interested in doing that. She says you can influence and plan, but that’s not enough for Hap.

Elodie tells Hap a story about visiting one of her alternates who was an actress, and watching all of the films the woman had made. She saw herself go through many deaths and other experiences, encountering almost everything you could live through. She realized that she and the actress weren’t that different. Something about this speech leads Hap to a revelation, which he doesn’t speak aloud right now.

They get sidetracked when Hap brings up gathering people together to do the movements. Elodie is surprised he’d use such a primitive method. He’s surprised there’s more than one. She’s tells him, “there are many methods, but they all require fuel. Fuel allows you to get where you want to go.” She can’t explain how the fuel works, but she can show him.

That sounds a bit sketchy.

The OA P2Ep4 Yossi & Roberts at Dinner

Roberts’ date, Yossi, thinks he’s more attractive in person. At dinner, she tells him about her work, which is to culturally redesign death. Or at least how people approach it. She wants to get people “dealing with their mortality, rather than running from it.” Roberts is comfortable with death, but Yossi says most people don’t even want to think about it, even though it’s a universal underlying motivation.

Roberts mentions that he has a new patient who’s obsessed with death. Yossi insists that he tell her about it. The first thing he says is that his patient claims he’s her soulmate and they lived together underground for 7 years in another dimension. Yossi makes some very good guesses about their situation, and has some interesting insights. She says that their story is “very Pyramus and Thisbe.”

Roberts finishes the story by telling Yossi about his NDE, then choking on his food when he suavely reenacts eating the sea creature. This is not the soulmate you’re looking for, Homer. He did sound comfortable relating the story, like it could have happened to him.

OA gets dolled up for an evening out while practicing Nina’s Russian accent. When Karim sees the police cars circling, they decide it’s time to go. She’s wearing a floor length, deep red dress with a thigh high slit. Karim looks at it and remembers seeing her in the dream that began the season, but that dress was sequined, whereas this looks plush.

Karim tells OA that in his dream, after he saw her in the dress, he fell from a great height.

Roberts splits the restaurant bill down to the penny. Yossi didn’t realize that dating a doctor who’s still a resident, instead of someone in tech, finance or tech-finance, meant she was dating someone who has to worry about money. Though Roberts probably doesn’t need to be this obsessive about it. Will he want to split the cost of the condom, too?

At er suggestion, they split the bill half and half, then the date is over.

OA and Karim have the doorman show them out the back way. Once they’re in her car, with her driver, who knows the way to SYZYGY, she asks if the story he told about his brother was really about him. It was. “You don’t believe in bringing children into this world?” “No, I don’t.”

That explains why he refused to touch Mo’s belly to feel the baby kick. It also makes that an incredibly sad moment, because she’s clearly the woman he was talking about. They were together for 7 years, while Hap had the captives in his basement.

They arrive at SYZYGY, which is an underground club, in the sense of hidden. There is a sign out front, with only the word SYZYGY. Visitors must enter through a tailoring shop, walking past the rows of seamstresses at work. The club itself has novelties such as dancers, acrobats and a choir of blind children. The bartender makes Nina’s regular drink, which looks like a white Russian that’s mostly vodka. The choir and the visual of waves behind them triggers Nina’s memory of the moment before OA jumped to her body.

Karim leaves to search the building. He thinks they’re half a mile or less from the green puzzle house. He’s not back when Victor, the manager, comes to escort OA down for her performance, but Victor says they’ll find him. OA has no idea what she’s expected to do.

Hap calls Roberts and tells him to question Scott in detail about his NDE. Hap says something occurred to him tonight which could be a major breakthrough, if Roberts doesn’t let him down. Roberts is just grateful to be given a chance.

As they inexplicably walk through a tunnel of neon blue lights, OA tells Victor that she doesn’t know what she’s supposed to do. He tells her she says that every time, and every time, it comes to her once she gets started. She’s shown to a sturdy chair, on a stage, and sits down. A tech guy asks her if she wants to be restrained, and reminds her that she said it helped, last time. She agrees and her arms and legs are strapped to the chair. Victor tells her to say the safe word if she needs to.

Karim finds his way to the lighting booth. The tech in the booth sets up a tape to record the session. The curtains open on the crowd in front of OA, and a giant, live, octopus in a tank behind her. The octopus throws its arms out and holds onto OA’s arms. This is where her odd rows of bruises are from.

Suddenly, the octopus is in OA’s head. He tells her to greet the audience and tell them not to be afraid. She’ll translate for him to the audience.

Octopus: “I am Azrael, but Nina calls me Old Night.”

OA: “His brothers and sisters in the sea think… communicating with our kind is a waste of time… But he holds hope for our species.”

Old Night: “Nina has been my medium to connect to you… But tonight, we cannot have the performance as usual… Tonight I have the rare opportunity to converse with the OA.”

OA doesn’t want to blow her cover in public, but Old Night insists she repeat his words. After a moment, she does. Then he pressures her to “tell them who you really are.” Old Night’s tentacles wrap further around her torso, appearing naughty, but actually a threat.

Old Night: “I have something to show you. Something that will help you solve your mystery and rescue the others. But I can only be honest with you, if you are honest with them. Tell them you are an angel.”

OA tells the crowd that she’s an inter-dimensional traveler. Old Night asks if that feels better. Up in the booth, one of the surveillance feeds shows a door in the wine cellar that looks like the door image from the game. Karim sees it. Is this what Old Night promised to show OA?

Old Night: “Lying ages you and time is already not on your side, in every dimension.”

He tells her to continue translating, so that this appears to be a performance. OA goes back to repeating out loud what old Night tells her.

Old Night: “In the future, you don’t know who you are. You forget your true nature. I want to send you there. To the moment you can show yourself your true face, your pure being. and reawaken to your mission. To do this, I must kill you for 37 seconds.”

Old Night wraps a tentacle around OA’s throat and says that he needs her consent to proceed. She asks if she’ll survive. Old Night says, “That’s up to him.” OA doesn’t know who he means. Old Night says, “Your brother.” Except, she doesn’t have a brother.

Old Night: “In every dimension, she sent him to protect you.”

Who is “she”? Khatoun?

Karim is watching from above, and watching the surveillance camera flip through its vantage points, which include the stage. the door and OA on the stage appear one right after the other.

OA consents to being killed for 37 seconds. Karim is really not okay with this, and heads for the stage.

In her vision, OA is crawling through the cargo space underneath a plane. She opens a hatch and climbs into the bathroom. The lights are on in the bathroom, but it’s dark in the rest of the plane when she opens the door. The pilot announces that he’s turned on the seat belt sign, since they’re entering an area known for turbulence. OA walks through the plane until she sees a woman with short, blonde hair, sitting with her back to the camera. As the woman turns and her face begins to appear, the vision ends.

Karim has killed Old Night and revived OA. He used a large chef’s knife to cut off Old Night’s tentacles, but there’s no explanation of where the knife came from.

I’m not okay with the gratuitous murder of rare sea creatures, and I don’t understand why they’d put that in this show. It was bad enough to show Old Night being kept in such a tiny space, apparently as a telepathic slave.

Hap and Elodie are at the opera. She explains how traveling works by comparing the difference between an opera as written on paper and as performed. All of the magic comes from the will of the people who put on the production, who decide to create something.

Hap finally understands that Prairie willed herself to Homer, which means he didn’t die in the field in the other dimension. He’s in this dimension with the rest of them. He’s just hiding. This is what Prairie’s been telling him and Dr Homer Roberts from the start. D1 Homer is inside Dr Roberts. She just needs to find a way to bring him out. Now Hap knows he needs to find a way to stop her.

The OA P2Ep4 OA:Nina on the Octopus ThroneThe OA P2Ep4 Hap & Elodie at the OperaThe OA P2Ep4 Scoot & Homer the Lost Moth

The police raid SYZYGY, so Karim drags OA out before she’s fully recovered and tells her he’s found the secret entrance. She’s angry with him for killing Old Night. Karim says, “He killed you first.”

Roberts takes Scott outside as a peace offering and asks him to tell the story of his NDE. First, Scott wants to know how he met Dr Percy. Roberts is happy to tell the story. He was injured in his sophomore year of college and couldn’t play football after that, so he got more serious about school. He read Percy’s best seller Quantum Psychotic and it blew his mind. He decided to go into clinical psychology. Then, Percy randomly showed up in one of his classes one day, working on a study and Roberts became his student.

Scott tells Roberts that he’s like a moth being distracted by artificial light when it’s supposed to be guided by the stars. Roberts is lost, and he needs to find the real light again, while he still can.

Don’t go toward the light, go toward the stars.

Roberts is recording their conversation for Hap. This version of Homer has been insidiously corrupted. He asks Scott again to tell him about his NDE.

Karim and OA find the wine cellar and the door from the game. Before they open the magic door, Karim checks in with OA.

Karim: “You sure you’re okay to do this?”

OA: “Yes.”

Karim: “You’re tougher than you look.”

OA: “You’re kinder than you seem.”

They smile at each other, clasp hands, and go through the door together.

The OA P2Ep4 Karim & OA Step Into the Tunnel


Commentary

Phantoms and Fairy Tales

This whole episode feels like a reworking of Phantom of the Opera, with Hap as the Phantom who’s come out of the shadows in this new dimension. We have his muse, OA, the original angel instead of the angel of music, being coerced onto a stage and restrained in a chair, then pulled into a basement. She and Raoul Karim, her brother? potential boyfriend? fellow angel? take the secret passageway to escape the Phantom’s power. The octopus and the tank replace the boat ride.

Phantom Hap gets to go to the opera properly, with Elodie as Madame Giry, the one person who recognizes his genius and is sympathetic to him. But he doesn’t really see her, because of his obsession with Christine Prairie and what he thinks she can do for him.

The house, theater and club work together as the opera house, a beautiful, mysterious structure with public and private spaces, plus magical, secret spaces that can only be reached by a select few. The secrets of both the opera and the house promise transformation, but at great cost, possibly even one’s life.

The other fairy tale, dream-like qualities of the season also continued in this episode, from OA’s dream in the beginning of herself and Rachel in a deep forest inside Snow White’s glass coffin to the ending, with OA and Karim setting off like Hansel and Gretel into the dark and dangerous unknown. In between we had a literal giant octopus, the dream-like qualities of the opera, the bar and the underwater scene at pool and the adventure of the escape from Treasure Island. Now we have OA running around in her princess dress. And there were multiple prophetic visions and dreams, some of which have already come true.

Somewhere inside, OA knows that Rachel is dead but not dead, even though the patients have been told she’s transferred to another facility. Snow White was kept in stasis in the glass coffin by the 7 dwarves, after she’d taken a bite of the poisoned apple, when she was in a coma. The prince eventually kissed her awake. For Rachel to be in a glass coffin suggests she could still enter another body and come back to life.

Nina was also in the glass coffin, but she was trying to get out. OA has Nina trapped in her own mind. Dr Roberts’ insights were correct on this issue. OA is inadvertantly holding her alternate hostage, and needs to find a way to share their mind.

The blind children singing in front of an image of water seem like they must have been taken from a connection between Nina’s subconscious and OA’s. Maybe when Nina was in the house, she saw OA’s path, or maybe she felt it when their paths diverged as children.


Connections

SYZYGY= An alignment of three celestial objects, as the sun, the earth, and either the moon or a planet (Dictionary.com)

There is an inevitability to Homer, OA and Hap. None of them want to be bound to both of the other two, but they are. They’ve been out of alignment/syzygy since Hap left OA on the side of the road near the end of Part 1. The events of this episode bring new understanding to each of them, which puts them on the path to realignment.

(Being aligned and bound to each other has nothing to do with their feelings toward each other. It probably has more to do with the complementary nature of the spiritual journey each is on. You can learn a lot from someone you loathe. As Hap mentions, they can challenge you to be your best self.)

Did Dr Percy and Dr Roberts “randomly” meet in this dimension when Hap kidnapped Homer in D1 and their fates became entwined? Homer wasn’t clear about where he was in his education when he met Percy, but we know he’s at least done 4 years of medical school and three years of his residency since he read Quantum Psychotic. That would be the 7 years that Homer spent in captivity. Nina and Pierre came into their lives at some point as well, but I haven’t picked up the timeline clues, if they gave them to us.

When OA sees the picture of Michelle, Karim tells her she looks like she’s seen a ghost, which is ironic, given what Buck’s been up to, and the connections that are appearing between what happens to the spirits of the dead and living souls jumping dimensions. Is there any real difference between the soul of a living person or a dead person, once it’s freed from the original body?

Rachel stayed disembodied in D1, but she was dead in that world, so she didn’t have a home body to jump into. OA, Hap and the rest of the captives died in D1, but jumped into living bodies in D2, so they are considered alive. Can a soul that knows what it’s doing travel in and out of bodies and dimensions at will, a ghost in some, inside a body in others?

I think Rachel’s spirit is inside of Yossi, directing her actions during the date. Yossi is wearing a black top with red spots that looks similar to the red sparks in Rachel’s eye when she moved from one dimension to the other. She looks similar to Rachel, talks about death, and encourages Roberts to talk about his soulmate, OA, which is a strange thing to do on a date.

Then she decides she just wants to be friends, leaving him free to unite with OA, after she’s gotten him to talk about her. Rachel could be acting as a guardian angel for the tribe, jumping between dimensions and doing whatever she can to keep everyone on track. That could include having the power to briefly possess other bodies.


Random Thoughts

Quantum Psychotic= unmitigated reality as madness. Unmitigated reality would mean no break from reality for REM sleep, daydreams, or fantasy of any kind. It would be an exploration of the opposite of this season of The OA, which is exploring dreams, their connection to reality, and their necessity to mental health. Dr Percy’s theory is that being denied any kind of fantasy or dream would eventually cause madness, a state of continuous departure from reality into fantasy and delusions.

Everyone Yossi dates is in tech, finance or tech-finance. Probably some of them work for Netflix, given her Upside Down (Stranger Things) reference.

Pyramus and Thisbe were star-crossed lovers in ancient myth, from Ovid’s Metamorphosis. They were the inspiration for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. OA and Homer did end up separated, then dead in D1.

My current theory is that green represent a spiritual threshold. Whatever it is that happens in the green house, it definitely involves change. And it stimulates green plants to grow out of the ears of people who reach some point in the puzzle, far enough in that they’ve also been exposed to dozens of their alternate selves. Maybe they reach a crossroads and can see multiple dimensions at once. Homer was wearing his green vest in this episode, and it feels like he’s on the threshold of discovering the truth. It’s not a very firm theory at this point, but green definitely means something.

Swedish fish are traditionally red, the color of spiritual growth, and besides Lionel’s reference to NASA, Scott specifically told Homer to follow the stars, not the lights. Lionel may be onto something. Those thought crimes may be voices from other dimensions, maybe dimensions where we live in space.  In Part 1, Hap was obsessed with the Rings of Saturn, and there were many other space/star references. Just sayin’.

The OA P2Ep1 Michelle's Octopus Text

And don’t forget, a giant octopus felt up OA while sending her a vision of the future. Multiple arms symbolizing multiple realities? Remember Michelle’s text to Mrs Vu? She’d been to SYZYGY. She might have foreseen what happened in this episode.

This really was the most wild episode the show has ever done. But after this recap, we shall never speak of what Karim did to Azrael again, or I won’t be able to like Karim at all. That text could be saying that Azrael is the key to everything, but now we’ll never know.


Follow the Stars

I think the message of the episode was Scott’s comparison of Homer to the moths.

“See them moths up there. They use stars to guide them, but they get distracted by the artificial light. It’s too much for ’em. They get lost in it. You gotta open your eyes, man. Find that real light again. Before it’s too late.”

Last season, the characters had one clear goal, and they were focused on it. They had major conflicts, but were able to put them aside to work toward their goal. This season, they have multiple agendas and distractions and the goals aren’t clear. They are all moths fluttering around a flame, trying to figure out what their next step should be. Homer is just the most confused and off track.

None of them are sure where they should go or what they should do next, except for Hap and Steve. Steve wants to will himself to OA and Hap wants to go to a dimension where she doesn’t remember how awful he is. Losing Homer would be a bonus. Steve and OA had an immediate connection when they met. His drive to find her seems like it’s about more than his own desires. He has a need to protect her and join her spiritual journey that gives his life meaning and purpose. Hap, on the other hand, is made of nothing but his own selfish desires, which he convinces himself are justified because of his grandiose scientific discoveries of how the universe works.


Azrael the Archangel

Azrael, which was Old Night’s real name, is an Islamic Archangel who’s one of the angels of death. He said that OA’s brother would save her, and that “she” sends OA’s brother to her in each dimension. That suggests that Karim is the brother in D2, but does the brother always take the same form in every dimension? Then where was Karim in D1? Did Karim inherit the title of Angel of Death from Azrael? Is he an archangel now?

One of the translations for the Greek word that we get archangel from is “angel of origin”– original angel. Maybe OA isn’t just an angel- Maybe she’s the original archangel, and the brothers who are sent to each dimension are also archangels. If my theory is correct I don’t think that everyone in her tribe has reached the status of archangel. Reaching the level of archangel would require an unusual level of suffering and growth. All of Hap’s captives would be archangels, with the possible exception of Renata, who’s still learning to let things go. Among the Michigan tribe, I think Betty and Buck are archangels.

Their are as many ideas about archangels as there are people writing about angels. A few sources:

The Pagan’s Path- List of Attributes for Each Archangel

Wiki Article on Archangels

Beliefnet- The 7 Archangels and Their Meanings

 

Images courtesy of Netflix.

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3 thoughts on “The OA Part 2 Episode 4: SYZYGY Recap

    1. Sorry! I came up with a theory for The OA that’s sort of overwhelmed me, and I’ve been trying to figure out how to incorporate my new theories into what i’ve already written and not spoil the end, plus researching my ideas. If I could stop time, rewatch the whole show, read about 50 books, then rewrite my recaps from the start, I would. Obviously, that’s not happening. I have a lot written for episode 5, so I’ll bump it back up to the top of the list and try not to explode my brain while working out the mysteries of the universe. 😜😍

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