Episode 8 brings us to the season finale for Part 2 of The OA and finally brings much of the cast to the same place, at the same time, albeit in two different dimensions. Karim makes it all the way through the puzzle house and finds Michelle’s soul in the process. As Nina, OA convinces Hap to show her what’s inside the super secret lab.
The missing are found, but they are transformed, and it’s not clear whether they can be brought back. Steve rejoins the Crestwood gang at D1 Treasure Island and Betty acts as an oracle. The gang follows OA through the clinic in D2, with Betty using her new ability to pinpoint OA’s movements. Buck helps Betty translate her experiences to the others, proving again that he’s also a psychic medium.
The episode opens with the wind blowing through the palm trees on Treasure Island and lightning flashing in the sky. The spirits are restless tonight.
Through the surveillances cameras, Hap sits in his office and watches Nina smoking in the front lobby while she waits to be sent up to his office. Hap and Roberts try to decide what to do about her. They’re confused that she broke out as OA but has returned as Nina. Hap is a little scared of Nina.
Roberts sees this event as evidence for a dissociative identity disorder diagnosis, since he assumes Nina and OA are 2 distinct personalities that her brain has created. Hap guesses the truth, but he doesn’t know what to expect from Nina, which leaves him at a disadvantage. He sends Roberts downstairs to get her, telling Roberts to figure out if she’s really Nina, or OA pretending to be Nina and hoping to be discharged early.
Betty, Angie, Buck and French open the front door of a very different Treasure Island clinic at the same time that Nina does. The D1 clinic is empty, abandoned and covered in graffiti. As soon as Betty touches the door, she can tell that OA is there.
The wind makes Karim’s boat rock in its moorings. He’s already having trouble sleeping, remembering the story about the tunnel, the stairs and the rose window, then the addition of his face to the list. He thinks about Pierre saying the house was calling him, and Mrs Vu telling him that Michelle’s body wasn’t the real her.
He pulls out an envelope and leaves something inside it, labelling the envelope “Mo”.
Roberts meets Nina in the lobby in order to escort her to Hap’s office. She thanks him for advising OA to integrate with Nina. It helped. He acknowledges that she seems more relaxed. She says he’s a good doctor and she should have taken his advice sooner.
While they are on the elevator, Nina tells Roberts what’s probably the dirtiest joke she knows. He bursts out laughing. They’re still laughing when they reach the room with the spiral stairway. OA leans forward as if to kiss Roberts before she leaves the elevator, but doesn’t quite let their mouths touch, as if there’s glass between them.
The joke loosened up Roberts’ mind, then the near kiss started bringing back memories. As OA leaves the elevator, she pauses to press her fingertips to the outside of the glass, waiting for Homer to remember his part. After a moment, he remembers more about the glass which used to separate them and presses his fingertips against hers.
Hap greets her as she approaches. Watching OA walk toward Hap and a spiral staircase (like the one in Hap’s basement) stirs up even more memories for Homer/Roberts. The clinic’s power goes out just as OA and Hap walk toward the stairs. He tells her not to be afraid, because there’s a backup generator. Nina, like OA, isn’t afraid of the dark.
Homer integrates with Roberts just as the lights go out. When the generators come on, they use red lights, the color of love and awakening. Homer’s awakening changes everything. Somehow, Hap recognizes the moment- He stops to stare at Homer before climbing the stairs with Nina, leaving Homer locked in the elevator on purpose.
The Crestwood gang find the rec room with the five-sided aquarium. They remember that this is the aquarium from Homer’s NDE that also matches the cells Hap kept the captives in. Angie feels terrible that they ignored Jesse when he was trying to help.
From the doorway, Steve says that they should’ve listened to him. “I should’ve listened.” No one heard him enter the building, so they’re all startled to see him, but BBA also recognizes the image of him standing there from the dream that’s been haunting her all season. The next thing he says is what the voice in the dream said each time: “I need your help.”
BBA tells him about her dream and that she thought it was Theo haunting her, but now she knows it’s him. They hug, then everyone joins in. The hug charges up her powers, or Steves presence does something, because now she can feel that OA is in the building and she’s much more confident about what she’s sensing.
When BBA says that OA is “here”, Steve gets excited, thinking they’ll find her in the next room. Buck acts as interpreter and explains that BBA “can feel across dimensions” now. BBA realizes that OA is in the clinic, but in a different room.
OA/Nina and Hap are sitting at a table in Hap’s office, chatting. Nina asks Hap, who clearly hasn’t integrated with Dr Percy, why he hasn’t gotten out the vodka she brought him from St Petersburg, since they always have a shot when they get together. He tries to pretend that he knows what she’s talking about, but she has to coach him through the whole conversation, including telling him where he hides the vodka (behind Anna Karenina).
Once he’s poured the drinks, Hap wants to sip them, but Nina throws hers back like she does it everyday. She probably does. OA also clearly loves having these memories of the things she’s missed out on in life and using them on Hap. Nina has a confidence and zest for life that Prairie never had the chance to develop.
Nina asks Hap if he remembers the day they met. Hap assumes that Pierre introduced them, because he doesn’t want Nina to have that much power in their trio. It’s doubtful that he bothered to learn about who Nina actually is, and how much influence she has in this world, since he has no use for the Nina persona.
Nina corrects him. She read his book, Quantum Psychotic, all in one night and went to his office to meet him the next day. During their first visit, she gave him the Russian nesting dolls that he showed OA earlier in the season.
She and Pierre were already working on the puzzle house, which she refers to as an eternal object that wanted to show them something. She moves outside to the deck overlooking the bay for this conversation, where her white suit is bathed in red light. OA has awakened Nina’s consciousness to a few things.
Nina: “Your book suggested an openness to liminal thinking. To certain metaphysical secrets that could be glimpsed inside the pain of madness. I thought you might be able to help us understand why the construction workers restoring the house were losing their minds. So, I hired you… I convinced Pierre we needed your expertise. And then, when my father was murdered by his old enemies, and I left to attend to his affairs, you betrayed me.”
Hap: “No. No, I would never betray you. Pierre devised the game. I had…”
Nina: “Access to his vulnerable unconscious in therapy. You planted the seed. All you had to do was remind Pierre of his love of crowdsourcing a problem, and then let him connect that idea to the house himself. Presto! You let his moral conscience off the hook. Dozens of teenagers, mostly young men, followed the game like the Pied Piper to the house.”
Hap: “To show us what the house is.”
Nina: “But we know what the house is. It’s a portal. To open the rose window is to see the truth. It’s just that most people can’t get to it, or can’t stand to see what’s on the other side.”
Hap gets a big, smug smile. Finally, he has Nina where he wants her again. In every reality, Hap has no morals and for some reason thinks, or maybe hopes, that Prairie/OA/Nina is the same. He’s then blindsided by her disapproval of his methods.
In this reality, she and her boyfriend came to him and have subsidized his work, so they’re complicit, but also in control. He has a good set up here and could be happy, just as he told Scott, but he could never allow OA/Nina to be the one in control of the relationship.
He’s thrilled that he has a suitably impressive discovery to share with her, hoping it will give him the upper hand again. He doesn’t realize that Rachel already told the other captives the basic idea of what he’s working on.
Hap: “No, no, no. No, the house is a lot more than that.”
Nina insists on being taken to see the results of his research, right now. He leads her out of the room.
Karim has stopped fighting his destiny and is going through the house as a puzzle, alone. He gets to the foyer with the floor puzzle and pauses to look at the portraits of the medium and the engineer. Should he try going up the medium’s side of the staircase this time? He finishes the puzzle and sticks with what he knows, the engineer’s staircase on the left. He’ll finish the path he’s taken twice before, rather than trying the more metaphysical route. Even though he accepts that the world is more complicated than he thought, he’s still Karim, a logical, linear thinker, and he stays true to himself.
Homer is still locked in the glass elevator, like a recreation of his cell in Hap’s basement. He screams for help and pounds on the glass, but no one hears him. Renata finds him and asks if he’s Homer or Dr Roberts. He tells her he’s both. She confirms that now he remembers how he betrayed her in Havana. Homer admits the truth with a simple, “Yes, I did.” Renata gasps in relief from finally getting that validation after months of being told she’s crazy.
Then she walks away from the elevator. Homer is sure she’s not going to help him, but she’s just gone to get the fire extinguisher from the wall. She tells him that even though he lured her into her cage, she’ll break him out of his.
Renata is a true hero.
And also, not crazy. Now that we understand how integration works, it seems obvious that Renata has had both sets of memories all along, which means that she integrated when she jumped. This would be confusing for a first time jumper and Hap used her confusion to make her think she was losing her mind, rather than remembering a past life. Instead, she was the most successful jumper, in some ways.
Scott was the only person who would verify Renata’s memories, and he tried to kill their doctor as soon as they arrived, so she didn’t want to be like him. But OA/Nina’s arrival brought up more memories and gave her someone else with the same story, someone both doctors respected. Her attitude and her ability to juggle both personas has been improving since OA arrived in this dimension.
When Roberts/Homer admits to having both sets of memories, he sets her free as well, because she’s come to see him as a respectable psychiatrist whose opinion matters, as well as the man she knew as a captive and has mixed feelings about. If Homer can finally accept both sets of memories, it’s okay for Renata to as well, and it means she’s not crazy.
Hap brings Nina into the more public part of the lab. Before he unlocks the super secret room, he explains that the house triggers something in the brain. He doesn’t know how it works, just that something dormant, perhaps a seed, blooms from inside their brains.
He asks her if she’s sure she’s ready to see what’s behind the crypt door and she nods yes, so he puts in the code for the lock. Inside, there is a lap pool with plants growing in it.
Hap: “Every human mind contains the multiverse. An actual garden of forking paths within us all, just waiting to be fertilized.”
He’s never looked more like the devil than he does when he says these words. If we are all a multiverse, then somewhere inside each of us is the version who’ll do what he wants.
With his new buddy Pierre, they can even get us to willingly do it for free, en masse. He doesn’t have to bother with the tedious process of finding subjects one at a time, kidnapping them and holding them hostage anymore. Pierre convinces potential experimental subjects to submit themselves for study and to continue with the experiment no matter what. They beg him to let them continue.
Karim makes it through the puzzle house to the point where he found Fola, at the end of the hall of mirrors, the furthest point he’s been in the house. He doesn’t have much trouble finding the exit door to the next step, just like before, but behind the door is a cement lined closet, which appears to be a dead end.
This time, Karim refuses to give up, so he steps inside the closet and closes the door. On the back of the door, it says: “We shall not cease from exploration. The end of all exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.- TS Eliot.”
This is a quote turned into a riddle. Karim has to go back to the beginning of the puzzle.
In D1, BBA leads the kids to Haps lab and the room with the pool, which is empty in their reality. She tells them that OA is in that room, then says that Steve and French are there, too.
While OA continues to stare at the pool, Hap explains that things are only impossible until someone does them, like running the 4 minute mile. For a long time, no one could do it, but now, high schoolers can.
He’s created a map of the multiverse. Each flower represents a different dimension. If you can imagine it, you can travel there. He was inspired by the way she followed them to this reality, by willing herself to Homer when she jumped.
OA bends down to get a closer look at the first cluster of plants. She spreads a few apart, and discovers that they’re growing from a person’s head, specifically Liam, the teenager who jumped out of the window the first time Karim went to the house. She gasps in shock, and looks down the length of the pool again. From this angle, she can see that there are people attached to each separate garden.
She doesn’t recognize Liam as anyone she knows, but soon she moves down the line to look at the other people who have been turned into vegetables in the name of Hap’s science. The next body is Scott. OA drops Nina’s Russian accent to exclaim over him. Hap tells her that Scott gave his life for Science, but it’s not sad, because there are other Scotts alive and well in other dimensions.
He’ll kidnap one for her for Christmas if she wants.
Thanks to Scott,
Hap no one will have to jump into the dark ever again. They just need to sample flowers until they find a suitable dimension, like choosing from a menu. Hap seems to think he’s solved one of the universal problems of the ages, like world peace or curing cancer.
OA ignores Hap and continues down the line. French and Jesse are also there. Jesse is the only one with his eyes open. He was the one who most clearly understood what was happening, probably in both dimensions. Liam and Scott have white flowers, while the others have red flowers. Hap senses that this isn’t going as well as he’d hoped, and backpedals, telling OA that the house did this to these boys, not him, he’s just using it as an opportunity to learn.
OA sees Steve at the far end of the pool, and becomes distraught. She sits on the edge and pulls him up into her lap, crying. Despite this, Hap still tries to convince her that eating the flowers would be a fun thing for them to do together. He’s completely mystified as to why she cares about these people, including Scott.
OA tells Hap that she does have some similarities to him, just like Roberts said. He nods his head in agreement. She continues, saying that she dominated Nina in order to get what she wanted and be in control, but she was also jealous and afraid of Nina.
She wonders if that’s what he’s felt about all of the people he’s killed and harmed- Rachel, Renata, Scott, Homer and the boys in the pool. OA says that in this dimension, she saw a version of her life where she was given everything, versus her own life, which was one hardship after another. “Nina saw the whole world, but I saw underneath it. I was pressed down like coal. I suffered. That’s what an angel is. Dust pressed into a diamond by the weight of this world. You crushed me, before I had the chance to become anything. You crushed me. But you didn’t destroy me. I died and came back to life with something you’ll never have. You have violence and terror and loneliness. (In Russian) I have Power. (The lights come back on and there’s a flash of her drawing of the Crestwood gang.) We have faith.”
While she’s speaking, OA stands up. She’s in front of windows that look like her angel’s wings.
Hap walks quickly out of the room. OA walks out slowly. Betty tells French and Steve that in another dimension, their bodies are in that room, but locked in a sleep. Then she notices that OA has left the room in the other dimension. They follow her.
Karim goes all the way back down to the basement of the house, to the well. He takes off his shoes and valuables, then dives in, swimming back down to the point where the tunnel made a sharp upward turn and became the well. There is a grate covering an open passage which Karim has ignored before. This time, he works out how the grate opens, swims through, discovers it’s another well, and swims to the surface. He’s at the bottom of a tower which is filled with red light. Time for Karim to fully awaken by climbing the ladder to the top for his overview.
BBA and the kids have followed OA into a grassy courtyard outside the clinic. BBA can tell that OA is in terrible danger. OA sees 5 large metal cubes, standing up on end, spread around the courtyard. As she watches, the cubes open, revealing industrial-sized robots who prepare to do the movements. They are made of dark brown metal and are 8 feet tall with the robots out. With the sound effects included, the are a frightening, aggressive sight, not the cute little aid to dimensional jumping that Elodie carries in her purse.
Was Hap planning to lead an army into the next dimension with these things?
The Crestwood gang spread out in a circle throughout the courtyard. BBA can tell that something is surrounding OA. Hap joins OA in the yard. He tells her that he’s sick of fighting with her. And now that he’s figured out Scott’s NDE, they don’t have to. He’s going to take them to that new dimension. He eats the petal which he clipped from one of Scott’s flowers.
In the new dimension, she doesn’t remember who she is, doesn’t hate him and everyone calls her OA, but she doesn’t call herself that. She’ll remember the story of her life, but she won’t believe it’s the truth. He uses a remote to turn on the robots. BBA feels the robots, and tells the gang they need to do the movements.
Karim reaches the top of the ladder and climbs into the attic with the rose window. A white dove sits under the window, on the sill, but it’s jumpy. Karim slowly moves toward the rose window.
OA tells Hap to go ahead and force her to jump. She’ll force them back to the dimension where they’re both dead. Hap is in the middle of telling her she wouldn’t dare, when Homer runs up and punches him in the face, twice. He stops once Hap is on the ground.
Homer turns to OA and says her name. Before he can get any further, Hap shoots him in the back. Homer falls into OA’s arms. He tells her he remembers their previous lives. She gently lowers him to the ground.
OA: “We’re gonna jump, together. It may take us to a place where I don’t know myself, where we don’t know each other. You come find me.”
Homer: “I’ll follow you.”
The wind picks up. The Crestwood gang do the movements intensely in their dimension while the tank-sized robots do them in Dimension 2. Hap brought his gun outside to fuel the jump by killing OA, but killed Homer instead. That will change the energy of the jump.
OA lays Homer back on the ground. She stands up tall and then arches backward, letting the building energy and her own power flow through her. Hap stands in awe, watching her.
Karim opens the rose window. At first, the light is too blinding to see anything. He falls to his knees when he sees OA glowing and rising in front of the blurred San Francisco Bay skyline as seen from the clinic. She looks back at him for a moment, then continues rising. Karim and Hap both watch her in awe. She’s rising out of this plane of existence into the next level.
The dove suddenly flies out of the rose window, breaking OA’s concentration. It’s as if her magical bubble bursts, and she falls. She had been rising from the 2nd dimension, at the clinic, into someplace heavenly where her angelic nature appeared to be manifesting. That journey was based on her will and what her soul is ready for. When the dove broke her concentration, Hap’s will pulled her away from where she was headed and down into a third earthly dimension, the one Hap chose based on Scott’s NDE.
As OA falls, the scene around her filters from night sky to indoors to a floor which is rapidly approaching. Then she hits the ground, and she’s on the set of The OA, the TV show. Hap/Jason Isaacs is there, with his ears ringing badly, meaning that he’s also successfully traveled to this dimension.
In D1, Steve drops to the ground, unconscious, moments after the dove interrupts OA’s fall. We don’t see if the others in D1 jump or where they go, or if Homer jumps.
I suspect the bird was Homer, who died a little early in the process and was waiting for OA to catch up and jump. He said he’d follow her, which is what the bird seemed to be doing. But Homer isn’t as evolved as OA yet, so he couldn’t follow where she was going. Homer’s soul helped draw her back into the world, but it was still Hap who recaptured her in a toxic situation.
Hap/Jason is inappropriately happy for a minute, then he notices that OA is unconscious on the floor, bleeding from a head wound. He goes to her and tries to get her to wake up. As he strokes her head, her long-haired wig comes off, leaving her with the short haircut she had in the NDE Old Night showed OA. A coworker calls OA Brit, so Hap does the same, and demands an ambulance.
Karim watches the scene from above. He’s in the rose window that’s part of the house set. He looks around and is confused to see a set for the interior of his boat, complete with the envelope for Mo; the scale model of the house from his trips through the puzzle; and then Buck/Michelle. He calls out to Michelle.
No one else notices Karim shouting Michelle’s name, and from the perspective of those on the ground, the rose window appears dark and empty, but Michelle/Buck/Ian Alexander can hear him and follows the sound of his voice. Karim calls for her to come to the window, so she runs over and climbs a ladder that’s leaning against the house. The top of the ladder is a little low, so Michelle has to stretch to touch Karim’s hand.
As Michelle reaches through the portal, the world turns inside out, we’re transported back to D2, and Michelle Vu pops awake in her own body at Pierre Ruskin’s house. Mrs Vu recognizes her and hugs her.
Karim looks out the window again, which is now a third view, of the San Francisco skyline made up of skyscrapers. This is the real world, 2nd dimension view from the window. Karim has completed his mission, so the house has returned to being just a house.
Still unconscious, in the 3rd dimension, Brit/OA is loaded into an ambulance by paramedics. Hap/Jason tries to follow, and has to explain that he’s her husband before they’ll let him ride with her. When the ambulance drives away, someone runs behind it, as is traditional on The OA.
It’s no surprise that it’s Steve. This time, he catches the ambulance and gets in, sitting down beside Brit/OA and taking her hand. In this world he’s also Patrick Gibson, the actor who plays Steve. Once he’s settled, he looks over at Brit’s “husband” and says, “Hello, Hap.”
Note: I’m continuing to refer to Dante and ideas from the Divine Comedy in my analysis of The OA because that framework is resonating with me, not because I think it’s the only way to analyze The OA. I’m using Dante as a universal mystical text rather than as a Christian one.
Did Steve just run a four minute mile?
Prairie, Part 1, Episode 4, Away: “Homer never gave up on his mission to die awake.”
Homer died awake, again, at the end of part 2.
OA began the season having just been shot in the chest. Homer ended it having just been shot in the chest. Nina felt like she was shot in the chest when OA get shot. After Homer was shot, OA had a spot of blood on her where the bullet entered her in D1 and would have entered her if Hap had shot her instead.
At the end of the season, OA jumps awake, but will not be awake after she arrives. Homer and Steve will have to wake her up. It sounds like nothing will work until she sees herself when Old Night’s NDE comes to pass.
OA began Part 1 with jumping off a bridge in St Louis to try to flatline and jump to find Homer. She ended Part 2 rising into the sky with a bridge in the background, which turned into a fake bridge, then she fell to the ground and was knocked out.
Steve ran after OA’s ambulance, but couldn’t catch it, and she died. He ran after Jesse’s ambulance, but couldn’t catch it, and Jesse died. He caught up to OA’s ambulance after jumping to join her. She’s expected to survive. 😉
We don’t find out what Karim leaves for Mo in the envelope, or how Mo’s labor and delivery go. This is unacceptable. We need to see that baby and mama are okay. Karim had better visit her in Episode 1 of Part 3. He should be able to be around new life, now that he’s saving souls.
Out There Theory: Liam is the school shooter from D1. This is based on nothing other than him being in the pool with the others, which should mean that he has a close connection to them, according to Elodie’s rules for living. He’s the only unknown in the pool. In Part 1, we never saw the shooter’s face- he ‘s also unknown and probably the only significant “character” we wouldn’t recognize. Neither would Hap or OA. Creating the opportunity for OA’s first jump is a significant, emotional event that might be enough to bind him to the others, at least in the short term. Also, when he looked through the portal, if one of the other selves he saw was shooting up a school cafeteria, that would explain his own suicide attempt.
If BBA perceives the guys in the pool as “locked in a sleep”, like 5 Sleeping Beauties, that suggests that there is a way to safely wake them up. I was afraid they’re brain dead. Maybe BBA is like the sister of the swan princes who needs to knit them sweaters out of nettles to make them human again. Or maybe she’s the Prince/Princess who needs to cut back all the thorns and fight the dragon before going into the castle and waking the Sleeping Beauties up.
In Part 1, Homer describes the garden he and Prairie will grow once they’re free. Prairie isn’t cheered up, because they don’t know how to garden. Homer agrees, saying that’s true, so the first year, there will be a drought and they’ll plant the plants too close together, so everything will die. The second year, the rain will come and they’ll get the spacing right, but mites will infest the garden. The third year, they’ll plant a nettle bush that the mites won’t like in the garden. That year, they’ll have a great harvest.
Calling everyone and everything who plagued them this season “mites” is pretty funny. I assume he really meant the dreamers and the gamers, who clogged up the metaphysical space with little to no purpose other than to get paid.
Will Homer’s prediction for Part 3 be correct? It sounds like it will be from Hap’s point of view. He and Brit will be a happily domestic couple.
Based on the story of The Medium and The Engineer, we know that a body with no soul will stay comatose forever. Michelle’s case shows us that the soul can return to a living body when it’s been gone for an extended time period. We still don’t know what happens to the body and soul of a person who’s visited by a traveler who then leaves the body, and presumably the soul, behind. After certain amount of time in a coma to recover, will Nina, Dr Roberts and Dr Percy all wake up as themselves again?
Homer’s NDE suggests that a soul can inhabit a body that’s not its own or a counterpart’s. That makes it possible for the dead to come back in other bodies, too.
Who Is the Brother?
There are very good cases for Steve or Karim being THE brother, but I think there’s a better one for it being Scott. Scott has spent more time with OA in D1 and D2 than any of the other potential brothers. He’s the only one who’s been with her in both dimensions and who we already know will be with her in some capacity D3. He’s preceded her in each dimension, like a big brother waiting to be there for his little sister. And he has provided substantial help to OA (and Homer) in both dimensions, while fighting Hap.
He’s grown more selfless over time and in D2 became the voice of the captives. He’s sacrificed himself for the greater good in both dimensions- in D1, he died in order to bring the captives the 3rd movement and to help OA forgive Homer after he assisted Hap in capturing Renata. His death and rebirth showed the captives that the movements work.
In D2, he brought OA up to speed on her new dimension when she arrived. He helped OA find a way for Rachel to communicate, which Rachel then used to communicate with Betty and the kids in D1. He accepted Hap’s offer to go through the puzzle house in order to free Renata.
Because Scott let himself be used, Hap was able to take OA and Homer to a different dimension rather than resorting to more torture and murder in D2. Renata is free now, in body and mind. I feel certain that Betty, Angie and/or Karim will find her in Part 3.
We’ve seen that helping or hurting anyone in the tribe ultimately affects OA and the others as well. They are all connected, even if they haven’t met.
Hap was successful in taking OA to his intended D3 destination. The sounds and voices around them were very much like the sounds he heard from Scott’s flower petals. Both Hap and Old Night said that OA wouldn’t know herself in this dimension, because she thinks it’s just dreams and a story she’s written, similar to the things we saw Renata believe this season.
Scott heard a version of OA’s accident in his NDE, which means the past version of him is there when she arrives, just as he was already in the other 2 dimensions when she arrived. It appeared that Homer temporarily took over someone else’s body during his NDE at Treasure Island. Who will Scott be in? Is there more to the NDE than he revealed? How much will he understand, since it was his cynical, unenlightened self who had this NDE?
Quantum Psychotic, Mining NDEs and Treasure Island
In D1, Hap chose to go into hiding and work on his NDE research instead of writing Quantum Psychotic and opening the Treasure Island clinic, so the clinic building is empty and derelict in this dimension.
I wish Dr Percy would publish Quantum Psychotic in our dimension. It sounds fascinating, and apparently it’s so mesmerizing that no one can put it down until they’ve finished it.
The term quantum psychotic could be interpreted to describe dimension jumpers- people who lose touch with reality on a quantum level. Dr Percy might have been unwittingly studying subjects who had somehow interacted with another dimension. There could be many more people like Betty and Buck, who are picking up signals from other dimensions all the time, but they don’t understand what’s happening, so, like Renata, they’re diagnosed as psychotic.
In The OA ‘verse, maybe hallucinations and delusions are just echoes from another dimension, or memories of other selves, who’ve perhaps visited this dimension, filtering through to the surface of the primary persona. It’s already been revealed that NDEs are time displaced visits to other dimensions, while dreams are the subconscious connecting to the cosmic consciousness.
F–k, Marry, Kill- Hap and His Choices
The three parts/seasons of The OA are Hap’s version of the game “F–k, Marry, Kill”, with OA as the target. Part 1 and Prairie is the version he chooses to kill. Khatoun tells Prairie in P1Ep4 that without her intervention, the captives would all die in Hap’s basement. He does kill Prairie many times in the course of his experiments. He senses Prairie’s potential, but she’s uneducated, damaged and they have too much history for her to trust him.
Part 2 and Nina the party girl is the version Hap would like to f–k. She is with his D2 mirror self, Pierre Ruskin, but not married to him. Nina retains her independence, intelligence and inquisitive mind. He’s intrigued by her, but she’s too much for him to handle.
Part 3 and Brit the actress is Hap’s wife. We know very little about her, other than what Scott learned in his NDE, where she seemed to care about and trust Hap. He chose this reality after looking over other realities using the his garden and flowers, so this must be the version of OA who is most positive toward him while still living a good life.
The first two versions of OA rejected Hap, even before OA came along. Prairie didn’t want him, once she saw his true nature, even before Khatun helped her and she became The OA. Nina also rejected both Hap and Pierre once she found out about the game and the house. We saw her on the phone telling Pierre that she wanted nothing to do with the experiments, just before OA entered her body.
Will Brit do the same when she recognizes that her husband has changed? Old Night told us that OA would have amnesia, but he didn’t say whether she would still be OA, but with amnesia caused by the head injury sustained in her fall, or Brit Marling suppressing OA, or a combination of the 2-3 personas, with or without amnesia from the head injury also in play.
So far, OA has chosen Homer in both dimensions and in the metaphysical world, and he has done the same. Hap chose Homer over Prairie in D1 and OA over Homer in D2, though he had to realize that Homer would jump, too, once he shot him.
It’s somewhat fascinating that Hap never gets rid of Homer, his rival for OA. Instead, he chooses Scott to take out of commission and turn him into the catalyst/savior figure in each dimension. It appears accidental, but on a metaphysical level, I don’t think it is. Scott may or may not be THE brother figure that Old Night spoke of, but he is the brother who’s been with OA in every dimension and we already know he’ll be in D3.
I think that Homer is his spiritual son, who represents the best parts of himself, and Hap sees them as father-son rivals for the OA/queen/goddess in a twisted version of Oedipus.
The Devil’s Garden of Forking Paths and the Forbidden Fruit of the Dreamers’ Dreams
The parallels to cannibalism slowly grow throughout the season, with Hap’s garden/experiments on the survivors of the house. By the time he explains his garden to Nina/OA, they are undeniable, especially when combined with the callbacks to Karim’s conversation with Pierre Ruskin. Both Pierre and Hap are using the products of human bodies and minds in their research.
Hap literally eats the flower of the human mind and has to hold the human captive, in a subdued state, to do it, as if they are a cow to milked or a tree in an orchard.
Hap and Pierre both prey on the disenfranchised, whatever category someone might fall into, whether it’s disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, poverty or drug addiction. For some reason, maybe to make a point about how far things have gone in reality or about Hap’s own prejudices, only males make it into his perverted Garden of Eden, most of them white. The token non-white male, French, was held up in Part 1 as an exemplary example of of young maleness, practically perfect in every way. The white male authority figures at the scholarship dinner (P1Ep5) were drooling over his eventual prospects as a political candidate. Of, course, they didn’t know he’s gay.
Pierre, as the representative of Capitalism and Oligarchy, and Hap, as the representative of Science and Progress, both clearly have the attitude that, “It doesn’t matter how many people we have to sacrificially consume in order to get what we perceive as essential, as long as we, the supposed enlightened and entitled, get what we want. The ignorant are there to be consumed, like livestock and the rest of the earth.”
We’re already paying the price for letting this attitude reign for the last 200+ years. We don’t need to expand it into new realms.
The dreamers were all female. They were exploited most directly by Pierre, the devil’s minion, and two women, Marlow and Nina. When Marlow and Nina realized what they’d done, they both tried to get out. Pierre wouldn’t let either leave. The dreamers also had to sign over their dreams to CURI, meaning Pierre now literally owns those women’s dreams. He can sue them for making their own dreams come true, but can’t be held liable for what happens as a result of his own actions.
As is typical, there was a lot of fuss about what happened to a few boys, even without the gardens, but no one talked about the dozens of women whose dreams were stolen. Pierre was creating multi-billion dollar corporations based on the dreams. He took the business and artistic ideas that were coming to other people via their dreams and used them himself.
Ultimately, CURI is another way to colonize and oppress lower socioeconomic classes. They are happy for the job, but the means by which they might have raised themselves out of poverty or the working class, through starting their own businesses, has been taken away. Pierre Ruskin, going where Amazon and Walmart haven’t dared to go yet.
Alternate Methods of Dimensional Travel
I said this at the end of Part 1:
Are Prairie and others constantly switching dimensions? Is she already in a very different dimension at the start of the story, and that’s why fact checking her story doesn’t prove much? Is that why Buck sees the remains of Rachel’s accident? Is there something about OA that creates shifting dimensions around her? Something that came from swallowing the canary?
The dimensions are forks in the path, branching timelines that form from every decision that’s made. If you watch closely, you can catch many moments of blurred, wavy or distorted focus in all or part of the screen just as something is happening or being said that will ultimately be important. When Prairie tells Steve that the girl he likes probably thinks he doesn’t have an invisible self, the camera pans through something semi-sheer on top of the clothing racks, distorting the view. He listens to what she says, and starts thinking about his invisible self, shifting to a different dimension/timeline from the one he’d been in/on. The movements are needed to intentionally jump through multiple timelines at once, like a shortcut, or to jump to a timeline you normally wouldn’t have access to. Prairie may actually be unconsciously shifting dimensions all the time. She’s surrounded by windows and doors, frequently shot through them or in front of them, filming them with her camera, asking for them to be open or closed. Her parents remove her door in an attempt to take away her freedom of travel, then drug her and put the ankle bracelet on. Her mind is her true vehicle though, so they can’t contain her.
The end of Part 2 shows us, definitively, that there are other ways to travel between dimensions, without doing the movements. In fact, the movements appear to be a primitive way to travel, almost like using training wheels. I suspect that they create a pathway in the brain which opens the mind up to the invisible dimensional river and allows the mind to jump in. The more the person has practiced the movements, and the greater the individual’s natural sensitivity as a dimensional traveler, the more likely it is that they will eventually be able to leave the movements behind, because the pathway has become a permanent part of their brain that they can access at any time. Elodie would have told Hap that, but then she realized there was something twisted about him, and changed directions.
Hap’s captives practiced the movements incessantly, since they had nothing else to do and it helped them keep their sanity. Some of the boys also practiced on their own, Buck and Steve in particular. I believe that’s why Rachel came to Buck (in addition to his open door), and why Steve felt so calm after he’d done the movements all day, even though it didn’t seem to help Jesse. He could feel that he’d reached a new level. He may also have been able to feel that even though Jesse’s body couldn’t be saved in this dimension, he helped his spirit move on to another dimension, where they’ll meet again someday.
There was ample evidence that OA was shifting dimensions in Part 1, such as the fact that she told her parents one story about her captivity and the gang a different story. Hap’s visit with his mentor, Leon, is a third version of captivity and experimentation. All of those versions could have been true and could have been floating through her head, as she accidentally drifted through very similar dimensions while stressed, drugged and disoriented.
This season, it’s Karim who’s experienced the anomalies. His nightly dreams have foretold reality; the interior of the house shifts when he’s not in it; what’s logical to a large group of people, the kids playing the game, makes no sense to him. The anomalies began before the season, with Mo changing her mind about having kids, then getting pregnant.
That alone probably makes Karim feel like he’s in an alternate dimension. Then he finds a house that drives people crazy; a billionaire who designs his products based on expert interpretation of dreams; a wealthy amnesiac who convinces him to break her out of an asylum so that she can telepathically communicate with a giant octopus, and he discovers he’s searching for a missing soul, not a body. Karim’s reactions to these events suggest that none of this is normal for his home dimension.
Yes, he’s coming into his powers as a psychopomp (soul guide through death, rebirth, near death), but he was also shown standing in doorways and windows many times, even round windows and doors other than the frame for the rose window. Doors and windows are liminal places where the veil between dimensions is most likely to be thin. There’s a chance that he was traveling between very similar universes all season and didn’t know it.
Karim and the Portal
Karim does seem to be the person who the medium was waiting for. He was in no danger of being sucked into the portal himself, even when he reached out to help Michelle or concentrated on watching OA rise up into the sky. And he was able to concentrate hard on OA without being drawn toward her. He saw three different scenarios through the portal and wasn’t affected when each reality snapped into another one.
Unlike the others who reached the rose window, the portal didn’t show Karim alternate versions of himself. It showed him souls in transition who need his help. With practice, he could probably bring up whichever reality he wanted and help others pass through the portal in either direction.
While it was a portal, the window showed us two other destinations, so it can show the viewer where they’ll be going or where they need to see. As the medium predicted, Karim was able to look into other dimensions, but not be affected by them. He’s the guide and guardian of the house, who may or may not be able to travel.
Liam and the others who came out of the puzzle house rambling about how many of their other selves they’ve seen must have been shown dozens of alternate dimensions and versions of themselves by the portal, but never stepped through to one. Somehow, parts of those alternates are interfering with their brains. As far as we know, Karim was unaffected by this phenomenon, since he didn’t see an alternate and he wasn’t rambling the last time we saw him, after Michelle re-entered her body.
It’s possible that Karim could bring back some or all of the comatose, who traveled to another dimension. First he needs to learn how to find them. He and OA were also the only two people we saw who were able to start the puzzle and leave voluntarily without finishing it. Karim can wander freely through the house, now that it recognizes him, whether he’s come in through the tunnel or not, and rescue the kids who’ve failed at the puzzle.
Karim spent this season figuring out that he’s the guardian and protector of the house and those who enter it. The house was waiting for him to fulfill that purpose. But does it want more than that from him? I can’t help but think that D2 will become the travel hub now, with Karim making sure the tribe members all get to the right place.
The house, the game, and Dante all describe spiritual growth/self-actualization as ascending through a series of levels, with tasks to achieve/knowledge to integrate at each level. Before they can use the portal, Karim and Michelle each have to climb a literal ladder, or series of levels, to reach the highest height. The Bible verse Genesis 28:12 describes Jacob’s dream of the path to heaven, a vision sent to him by God. The path is in the form of levels, Jacob’s Ladder:
And he dreamed that there was a ladder[a] set up on the earth, the top of it reaching to heaven; and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
This has also been called the “Ladder of Contemplation”, which leads to the Empyrean, the ultimate heaven and home of angels and blessed souls. Red and white roses and bright, pure light are both associated with the Empyrean, which is where the tradition of creating stained glass rose windows is derived from.
I suspect that the game and CURI are pushing the players and dreamers through levels of awareness faster than they can cope with it, which breaks them. It’s also leading to fractures in D2, which Marlow Rhodes alluded to when she said that things which occur in dreams shouldn’t enter the real world. It could have something to do with the number of people they’re pushing through at a fast rate or opening of the portal too wide and not traveling through it.
Karim and Michelle/Buck ultimately made it through the levels at the increased pace because they have special talents which protected them.
I suspect that the round machine in the center of the dreamers room is also doing something to stimulate prophetic dreams. The invisible world has no choice but to let information slip through the openings Pierre Ruskin has created, but the cracks are some sort of dangerous fissure that shouldn’t be there. The metaphysical world sent Karim’s image as a cry for help, and next season he’ll have to dig deeper into what’s really going on and how Ruskin’s technologies and the house work.
Angels in the Heavenly Sky
When Hap forces her to jump at the end of Ep8, Overview, OA manifests her angelic power and rises into the heavens, with a city skyline behind her that looks like a starfield. A dove flies through the portal and straight at her, which interrupts her rise. The setting becomes false, the skyline just a photo, the stars simply bright lights. OA is being lifted by a harness rather than her own power. Did she have a real overview for a moment or was she confused by the city lights and her own emotions?
It’s hard to tell, with what little information we have now. but in P2Ep4, SYZYGY, Scott tells Homer this:
“See them moths up there? They use stars to guide them, but they get distracted by the artificial light. It’s too much for them. They get lost in it. You gotta open your eyes, man. Find that real light again, before it’s too late.”
OA is distracted by a white dove which comes through the rose window portal. But she’s also distracted by having Nina inside her, a seeker who doesn’t have the same kind of commitment to a mission or tribe that OA does. She’s rising because she’s forgotten that she needs to stay in this realm, that she made a deal with Khatun.
A white dove can symbolize the Goddess, peace, the Holy Spirit, an individual soul, or Noah’s Ark. (Wiki ) If the dove isn’t Homer, it could also have been sent by Khatun to stop OA from ascending too early, before the rest of the tribe is ready. Or maybe she can’t rise to the heavens before she’s completed her mission with Hap, either to eliminate him as a great evil or to help him redeem his soul.
OA has been to the heavens before, specifically in the NDE she had after her escape attempt in P1Ep4. She enters a little red house, where Khatun waits for her, surrounded by a starfield, with a deep puddle of water in front of her. OA complains that it’s too early for her to die. Khatun points out the bright side of death.
Khatun: “If you stay, there is no more suffering. All the pain of life, gone. Soon you won’t remember any of it.”
OA doesn’t want to leave the others behind. Khatun understands, but tells OA that as it stands now, the captives will never escape. All of her effort will be wasted. She notices OA is (spiritually) hungry and fishes for her, catching a small bird in the puddle.
“This will show you a way to another place, a form of travel unknown to humans. Without it, you will stay a prisoner forever. It takes a lot of practice, but with this, you may one day fly free. If I give it to you, there’s a price. A fair trade.”
Khatun nods toward the window. OA sees her father outside, walking away. If she chooses to go back to her life, she has to give up spending eternity with her father.
“You can go with your father and be in painless peace together, or you can take the bird and find out who you really are.”
OA doesn’t think it’s a fair trade, but Khatun says, “To exist is to survive unfair choices.”
OA takes the deal and asks how she gets back to her life. Khatun pulls back her outer robe, revealing that she has angel wings.
Khatun: “Now you know sacrifice. Now you are ready for what comes with this gift. [She holds out the bird.] Swallow it. It’s the seed of light. If you grow it, all you need to know will be inside you. All five of you most work together as one to avoid a great evil.
OA: “There’s only four of us.”
Khatun: “You will see.”
OA: “Khatun, am I like you?”
Khatoun: “No, You are the original. Be quick. Eat it.”
She tosses the bird and Prairie catches it. It turns into light as Prairie stuffs it into her mouth.
The dove in P2Ep8 could have been thrown by Khatun to remind OA that it’s not time yet for her to fly free. Sometimes, she must sacrifice her own progress for the others, just as they’ve done for her.
In this scene, Khatun also told us about the “seed” that Hap grows into his garden of forking paths. The seed is actually the bright light of enlightenment and the Empyrean. A bit of exposure to it, such as through the light seen in an NDE, the bright light Karim and the others saw when they opened the rose window, through a prophetic dream or other mystical experience, is enough to plant the seed in the brain. This activates spiritual and psychic abilities and opens the seeker to the world beyond the world.
The seed and plant metaphor is used more often when the seeker has been grounded and the light metaphor is used when the seeker is advanced and/or open to the experience. The plant metaphor shows the necessary connection to nature, but those are levels that are meant to be passed through on the way to ascension into the heavenly realms.
It’s the mundane, earthly levels where souls can get stuck and distracted, fooled, like the moths, into thinking they’re looking at the divine, when it’s just a plain streetlight or a flower instead of the pure light of heaven or the roses representing divinity. The house takes the player into the earth then up to the sky a few times, before allowing them to reach the portal, to make sure they won’t lose focus in one of the rooms, which would show they aren’t ready yet.
In Part 1, Episode 6, Forking Paths, Hap forces another NDE on OA. This time, she goes to a starfield full of galaxies, entering through a round portal filled with water. She is completely alone there, without any other living being, as far as we can tell. When she comes back, Hap excitedly plays sound files for her, because he was able to record some low background noise from her NDE.
OA doesn’t intend to help him, but accidentally reacts when he plays the file containing sounds made by the rings of Saturn. The rings of Saturn sing with the harmony of the spheres. That’s where she went on her NDE. She’s able to ascend into the heavens while in the pure spirit state associated with death, but not while she’s jumping dimensions.
In Dante’s Paradiso, all of the celestial levels hum with the harmony of the spheres, but the singing is turned down on Saturn because it would overwhelm an earthly visitor. The theme of Saturn is learning to avoid corruption, decadence and materialism, in favor of living a simple, balanced life with spirituality/contemplation/the search for enltghtenment at the center.
The soul who welcomes Dante into Saturn, 11th century monk Peter Damian, has a message that seems tailor-made for Hap:
Peter forcefully instructs Dante (to instruct others) that God’s ways are ultimately cut off from human understanding (and even from that of angels) and should therefore not be probed without measure [without restriction] (21.91-9). (DanteWorlds)
OA’s trip to Saturn, when Hap has just visited, then murdered, his more ruthless mentor, is a warning that the spirit world can’t be fully understood, and enlightenment can’t be found, using science. Hap’s way of life won’t get him what he wants, and more or different science isn’t the answer.
Since, on the surface, his methods appear to be working, Hap continues on the way he has been. He doesn’t pay close enough attention to understand the true changes happening in the basement below him, then he has no idea of the things OA accomplishes during their time apart.
Distraction by worldly interference is a major theme for the characters in Part 2. In Part 1, the captives were in a basement with enforced isolation. The Crestwood gang were outcasts, meeting in secret, at night, upstairs in an abandoned house. The secrecy, dark and abandoned house all served to isolate them and form a bond.
In Part 2, the Crestwood gang is out in the world, on a road trip, on the run from the police and their parents. They are literally being hunted by the mundane, trying to keep them tied to their earthly concerns. They are angels, on Jacob’s ladder, but the world wants to pull them back down.
The captives are out of the basement and in an institution, so still separate from the world, but less isolated than before. Their angelic natures are more solified, as evidenced by all of the white/faith which surrounds them. Their temptations are more psychological and internal than the external threats toward the Crestwood gang. Even Jesse chose his time of death based on external events.
This dimension is about the lower levels of H–l, which covers Violence, Fraud and Treachery; blending toward Purgatory, the more evolved characters are also wrestling with the Deadly Sins of Pride, Wrath, and Envy. Their struggles are counteracted by the virtues of hope, faith, love and spiritual awakening.
Homer, OA and Hap are out in the world, struggling with complicated lives that threaten to swallow their resolve to continue with their D1 lives. All three are threatened with the corruption and materialism which the Saturn level warns of. Hap is already steeped in corruption, though he can’t see it. Both Homer and Roberts remain the least materialistic and least corrupt. When Homer asked his date if she wanted to go to the park and look at the constellations, it was a sign that he hadn’t given up his path or his true self, despite the pressure to make money the center of his life. (tech-finance).
Some General Summary/Analysis of Part 2 and Speculation on Part 3
If anything, Hap got worse as a person this season, rather than evolving toward enlightenment and away from self-interest. Dr Percy’s wealth and fame gave him the influence to expand his reach and ideas much further, which led to him partnering up with another wealthy psychopath, Pierre Ruskin. Together, they created the game and set up the conditions for the house. Nina was involved in the early stages of the project, but purposely wasn’t told about certain aspects of the later stages. Hap/Percy and Pierre knew she’d disapprove, and she did.
Hap’s actions should keep him in Dante’s H–l, especially the 7th Circle of H-ll, since he’s guilty of so much violence against others, and has been so creative with it. He’s probably guilty of all of the deadly sins on some level, though he’s so cerebral and such a psychopath that the Upper H-ll sins of over or under indulgence (lust, gluttony, greed, anger) aren’t as much of an issue as the Lower Hell sins of violence, fraud and treachery.
Because he took poison in order to fuel his jump to D2, Hap is another of the suicides, which I talked about in my episode 5 analysis. He’s guilty of all three types of violence- against others, himself and God/Nature. Holding angels hostage in order to steal their secrets and threatening their lives in order to use them for his own gain has to count as violence against Nature or God or whatever you want to call the divine energy of the universe. Hap broke the natural order repeatedly, for years, by forcing NDEs on other people.
The captive angels earned their way out of Upper Hell/D1 in P1 through their actions while in captivity. The Crestwood gang earned their way out on the P2 Epic Road Trip Through H-ll. If D2 corresponds to the 2nd level of H-ll, then it shouldn’t be hard for OA’s tribe to move on from that dimension, or skip it altogether, as Steve seems to have done.
Steve had issues with violence in P1, but he may have atoned for them during his vigil for Jesse that day on the beach. He was changed after that day. If he’s already made his peace with the universe for his past mistakes, then he’d be ready to move on to D3/Purgatorio with Hap and OA. OA’s celestial guardians might have encouraged this, since she clearly needs a strong protector in D3, now that she’s married to Hap.
The colors for this season were red, white and green, symbolizing the theological virtues of red- love/charity (also awakening), white- faith and green- hope, with Homer associated most with red/love, OA with white/faith and Hap with green/hope in D2. In D1, Buck is the one I associate with red and love/charity, Steve with green/hope and Betty with white/faith.
I didn’t notice the individual color associations with characters in the D1 the way I did in D2, just the similarity in emotions and the three colors showing up, especially red and white. When I eventually rewatch, that’ll be one of the things I look for. Part 1 was full of natural green/hope, with all of the houseplants, gardens and trees. This season, the characters almost lost hope. Jesse did.
Fun fact: We all remember how much purple there was in Part 1. In addition to the other meanings for the color, purple is associated with the 4 Cardinal Virtues of Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Fortitude, which correspond to the Deadly Sins of Upper H-ll, Sloth, Lust, Greed and Gluttony. Betty, in particular, was surrounded by purple and by wings/birds. They were trying to tell us that she already had worked through these sins and toward these virtues. She was there to act as a guide for the others, since OA was on a mission and wouldn’t be able to finish what she started with them. When the boys were ready to leave D1, Elias appeared to send Betty on the next part of their journey.
I believe that Rachel and Jesse’s deaths had meaning in the grand scheme of the show. I don’t know if we’ll meet them again in new bodies, or meet alternates of them. But I do believe that each death served an essential purpose in the overall story arc that moved the characters forward.
I think that we’ll see some version of them again. But I think it was also important to establish that Hap didn’t need the captives alive anymore, and his ego had grown in D2, making him even more dangerous. And I think the Crestwood gang needed it driven home that their first loyalty has to be to keeping each other safe, in all ways, not just from outside predators.
Somewhere deep inside, Jesse and Rachel accepted that they were the ones who needed to sacrifice to help teach these lessons.
The mission doesn’t come first. The team does. This is something OA still needs to learn. She wants to save her boyfriend and stop Hap, and makes that her priority without thinking through the implications. In the moment, she tends to forget about her tribe, just like the trees said. This is what we saw at the end, when she was rising to a new level alone, leaving everyone else behind. The white dove could have been another of Khatun’s birds, sent to stop OA from making a mistake she’d ultimately regret.
Now she’ll have to use her wits to survive Hap and whatever he throws at her. But, she’ll have Steve and probably others with her to help. The energy produced for the jump, between the Crestwood gang and the giant robots, had to be massive. OA was glowing with angelic energy, which could fuel jumpers, along with Homer’s death. I wouldn’t be surprised if Renata and the entire Crestwood gang were able to jump, if they wanted to. Renata might have decided to stay behind, to escape from Hap for a while.
Of the Crestwood gang, all we know for sure is that Steve jumped to D3 to be with OA. I think Buck also went to D3, to save Ian from a fall off the ladder and to help OA. I’m not sure if French would travel, mostly because I’m not clear on whether the police wanted to arrest him and anyone else who’s of age, or just BBA. If he traveled, he’d also go to D3, because Rachel told them D2 wasn’t safe. So they’d all will themselves to go wherever OA was going.
Betty and Angie would go to D2 to save that version of the boys before moving on to D3. Hopefully, they still know each other in Michigan, and can figure out what’s been going on quickly, since their google searches will work in that dimension and they know where the boys are.
We’ll have to see if OA’s angelic nature saved Nina from going into a coma, and if they can get to the lab before someone moves the boys. I like the idea of Renata staying behind in D2 to help. She has a natural talent at integrating the alternates, which might be just what the pool boys need. Nina, Renata, Betty and Angie can all work together, with Mo as their girl at the computer and Karim providing assistance as necessary.
So, back around to Hap and D3/Purgatory. While he cheated his way into this level, it’s accepted him for the time being. In the Divine Comedy, Purgatorio’s levels ascend through the Deadly Sins again, but this time they are looked at as they relate to love, rather than as crimes to be punished.
This is the therapy portion of Dante’s system. Simple cause and effect punishment was never going to work for Hap the way it would for most people, even if The OA’s system includes a way for the sinner to atone and grow within the Circles of H-ll. Hap has already gamed that type of system as much as it can possibly be gamed, and justified mass murder to himself, and to Pierre’s lawyers. Dimension 2 gave him the opportunity to convince the legal system to allow him to cause brain death in or outright murder dozens of kids, all in the name of Science, and he took it.
Once you’ve accomplished that, you’re on par with the Devil, since you’ve beaten the Gods at their own game. Hap managed it in both levels of H-ll, given the way he also corrupted the wonderful small town sheriff in P1, who should have been incorruptible, thus escaping consequences there.
But the sheriff’s wife, Evelyn, had been told in her NDE what would happen, so the Gods appear to be prepared for Hap, and biding their time until he reaches a certain point in their plan. Purgatory would be the best time to help him voluntarily change, since he showed his one weakness, his feelings for Prairie, again before the jump.
Hap tells Elodie that he’s not in love with Prairie so much as she’s his true partner. His soulmate, in a sense, who makes him see things he’d never see otherwise, and who inspires him do his best work. She’s his muse. Because of this, he can’t let her go.
Unfortunately, as Elodie said, OA has been too stubborn and prideful to see that Hap’s love for her is a weakness she can use in ways other than to try to a quick escape. It never occurs to her to try something more subtle, even though Hap literally asks for that, multiple times. He’s come up with multiple scenarios in which they would work together as equals. She could have tried to use the other captives as a bargaining chip in those negotiations, slowly negotiating for more freedom for all of them, until they found a way to escape.
In D2, he had to accept Nina and Pierre as equals. As soon as OA dropped the Nina persona, Hap treated her like his captive again. In D3, as Brit, Jason/Hap’s wife, OA has another chance to establish equal footing with Hap. If Jason really loves Brit, Hap might be swayed by that, especially if he integrates with Jason this time. He might decide to integrate, since Jason’s life experiences are so different from his own. There’s some evidence that he did immediately after jumping.
Once Hap feels Jason’s love for OA, he might understand those feelings in himself, and be appalled at the things he’s done to her. If they each feel genuine love for the other, Part 3 could be filled with conflicted feelings.
In this way, OA would be Hap’s guide through Purgatory, the one to make him stop and think harder about how he’s lived his life up until now. And, as Brit, OA could develop compassion for Hap, since she’ll be able to see the other side of his soul, the parts that hopefully Jason shares with his wife, but Hap has kept locked away.
The goal at the end of Purgatory, before one begins the journey through the heavenly realms, is the Garden of Eden. The 2nd trip through the Deadly Sins, this time explained as rooted in misdirected, twisted or insufficient love, is supposed to purge the soul of the wrongdoing and negative energy it accrued in life, leaving the soul as pure as it was before birth. The first three levels of Purgatory are Pride, Envy and Wrath, which correspond to the virtues of Part 2, Faith, Hope and Love.
I’m excited to see where they go with Hap. Will he maintain control as Hap and continue to manipulate everything in his favor while avoiding any real work or growth? Will Jason turn out to be just as strong as Hap, force Hap to truly integrate, and then force Hap to treat Brit/OA and the others right? Will he make spiritual growth unavoidable for Hap? Will Hap eventually lose the battle to Jason? And what will the tribe make of this?
Is Jason really Lucius Malfoy in disguise, the great evil that Khatun warned Prairie about, so there’s no way to redeem him or Hap?
Or will Hap get caught in his own trap, and end up loving OA/Brit so much that he can no longer bring himself to harm her and he’ll decide to punish himself?
In the Garden of Eden, Dante hangs around with a mysterious woman named Matilda. When he’s done with the Garden, his long lost love Beatrice comes to guide him through the levels of heaven. First he swims through the River Lethe, which erases his memories of past sin. Then he drinks water from the River Eunoë, which restores his good memories and prepares him to pass through heaven. Now Dante says, he’s pure and “prepared to climb unto the stars.”
Hap/Jason could feel confident enough to take on the role of Dante the seeker in this dimension. He could also have amnesia after one of the jumps and be unable to regain all of his memories, leaving him theoretically “pure”. I don’t think erasing Hap’s memories wipes the murders off his permanent record.
The Crestwood boys, especially Buck, who never has a bad word for anyone, might get through to him somehow and convince him to do more than just go through the motions of jumping. The Matilda substitute could be Betty, Homer, Angie or Elodie.
It sounds like the Garden of Eden could correlate to atonement for previous sins combined with full integration of all personas with the host personality. I assume Brit=Beatrice, but we had Karim added as another co-lead this season. We could have a third major addition next season.
What’s not clear is what Hap plans to do in this dimension, beyond own OA. “Jason Isaacs” is an actor, not a scientist, in D3, as far as we know. He could continue to experiment under the radar, as he has for years, funding his research with Jason Isaacs’ wealth. He seems to have moved past NDEs, and he won’t have the house to stimulate the growth of the multiverse map. Maybe his first round of evil experiments will be to grab the Crestwood boys and try to grow gardens out of their ears in his bathtub.
D3 seems to be almost outside of the echo circle comfort zone that Elodie spoke of to OA. She warned that it could be dangerous to go into a life too different from your own, because you might not be able to integrate the two and you might not know your loved ones anymore. She suggested the stress of the situation could shatter a personality.
Hap chose this dimension because he and OA are closer in D3 than in their own reality, but she’s less close to everyone else. The main characters will all know each other and be connected, but under much more superficial circumstances. As OA/Brit’s husband, he will have legal control over her, should she show signs of “mental illness”.
It’s possible, maybe even probable, that the overall quest of the series is for Prairie and Homer (and Rachel, Renata and Scott) to unbind themselves from Hap, with the help of BBA, Steve, Buck, Jesse and French. They are the tribe, the Fellowship of the Ring. OA is Frodo and Homer is Sam Gamgee. Others will join along the way, some might be lost. I’m not giving up on them finding Jesse and Rachel waiting for them in another dimension until I have to, which will be when the series ends.
It’s Hap’s intense will and need that binds them all to him and to Prairie, just as much as they’re bound by the affection and major events between them. Just as there’s only one way to destroy the One Ring for good (in the fire where it was made), killing Hap in one dimension might not be enough. Every version of him might be able to find them and bind them to him. Learning to go through complicated processes and follow clues, as with the movements and the puzzle house, may be what’s necessary to eventually find the way to unbind themselves from Hap and to be spiritually prepared to undergo the process of ridding themselves of him permanently.
Hap has become part of them, so untangling him from their lives may cost them something, just as Frodo lost a finger and the Shire, and Sam ultimately lost Frodo. In fact, we’ve already seen a version of that scenario play out. In Part 1, Prairie was free of Hap, left behind in the original dimension, but she had to give up Homer and the other captives to be free, a price she wasn’t willing to pay. Khatun and Elodie both emphasized the importance of balance and fair trades. It makes sense that getting rid of Hap would actually be a trade with a steep cost.
OA is the Original Angel of Life. Hap is associated with Death and Evil. She won’t leave her people for long in order to play house with Hap.
The positions of the people/robots surrounding OA, Hap, and Homer in each dimension echo each other.
The Angel Boatman of Purgatorio or The OA with her wings spread and her power on display, ready to take on Hap?
Images courtesy of Netflix.