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‘The OA’ recap: Episode 1×01, “Chapter 1: Homecoming”

Prairie returns home after seven years, no longer blind.

“We all died more times than I can count.”

Welcome home

When a video goes viral of a woman jumping off a bridge in St. Louis, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson rush to the hospital, thinking it’s their missing daughter, who’s been gone for seven years. It is, but she’s very different.

While they named her Prairie, she won’t respond to it, and tells the nurse, “I am The OA.” She also has extreme scarring on her back.

Image: Netflix

Even stranger, she can see. The Prairie they knew was blind. The Johnsons go home, and Prairie (who I’m just going to call OA from now on), is not adjusting well. She’s desperate to use the internet, but her mother says the hospital advised them not to let her.

I help you, you help me.

OA goes to the abandoned house in her neighborhood where a local kid, Steve, sells drugs. She asks for to use someone’s wifi from the neighborhood, but Steve gets angry, taking her camera and letting his dog attack her. The dog bites her, but then she bites the dog, and it backs down.

Image: Netflix

After an incident at school that is probably getting him expelled, Steve comes to OA with a deal. He gives her a wifi router and promises to help her with whatever, if she helps him in return. She agrees, dressing up and going into school as his fake stepmother, meeting Betty Broderick-Allen, or BBA, who she convinces to let Steve stay.

Dear Homer…

OA has been using the camera to record herself talking to someone named Homer. When she finally gets on the internet she looks him up, watching a video where he talks about having a NDE, or Near Death Experience. She clearly loves Homer and is desperate to get back to him.

Image: Netflix

OA and Steve’s trick is quickly discovered, and Steve’s parents come over to the Johnsons’ house and recommend they hospitalize OA. Her parents defend her, saying she needs to be at home. After, they remove the doorway to her room so they can always monitor her.

Prairie’s story

OA still needs help from Steve, telling him to find five strong and flexible people. When she realizes he won’t be any help, OA uploads a video she filmed on Youtube, explaining her plight. She goes to the abandoned house that night for the first meeting.

Image: Netflix

Five people show up: Steve, Jesse, Buck, French, and BBA. She tells them the story of how she became blind. Born in Russia, her father was a newly rich man, and therefore a target to a powerful organization she calls “The Voi.”

When she was very young, she consistently had this nightmare about drowning in an aquarium, with crayons floating around her in the water. Her father helps her overcome her fears, and everything seems fine.

To protect them, all the newly rich oligarchs send their children to school on a special bus. But one day, the bus is driven off a bridge, and OA, or as she was called then, Nina, sees her nightmare become reality. They’re all drowning, but Nina is able to get out of the bus and starts swimming towards the surface.

Image: Netflix

Despite all her efforts, Nina dies, and she experiences something very strange. It’s like some afterlife dimension, and a otherworldly woman there warns her of a harsh future ahead of her.

Nina still chooses to go back, so the woman says, “I will take your eyes, because I cannot bear for you to see what lies ahead.” The real world rushes back, and Nina’s father is there, but she can’t see anything.

Season one of The OA is on Netflix right now, and season two arrives on March 22nd!

(Featured Image: Netflix)

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Devon Forward

Devon is an artist, writer, and current student of film/television development. She loves anything science fiction or fantasy, and her favorite show is Charmed, which kick-started her obsession with powerful yet imperfect female characters. You can usually find her somewhere analyzing a tv show or reading a good book. On Twitter @dev4wrd

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