Tonight I sat down and watched episode two of Netflix's Original Series 'The OA', and I'm going over the details of Prairie's story, what we learn about French and Buck, and the performances of a couple of the actors in this pokey little review!
THE GIRL WITH THREE NAMES
We are in night two of my watch and review of the Netflix original series ‘The OA’ and obviously, the second episode ‘New Colossus’ is the topic of the evening
In this episode we actually learn how Prairie / The OA / Nina ended up with the Johnsons, her father smuggled her out of Russia to a boarding school for the blind in America, with her aunt (his sister-in-law) being her guardian. When he died, and there was no money to keep her in the school she went to live with her aunt who from what I saw ran ‘black market baby’ operation, and one day the Johnsons came to ‘buy’ a baby, Nancy saw Nina, saw that she was special and she and Able ‘bought’ her instead. Damn that feels wrong to type. Prairie’s dreams / premonitions lead to sleep walking activities, as she knows / felt they were messages from her father and she ended up being medicated for 13 years.
On her 21st birthday she went to the one place in America where she knew she would find her father because of her dreams, a ‘colossus surrounded by water’… the Statue of Liberty… and while she didn’t find him… she did meet the man that would change her life… Dr. Hap, who heard her play her violin in a crowded Subway, drawn to her… realizing that she had a near-death experience, and has been working to study it, because one day while in the ER as an anesthesiologist he ‘heard’ a ‘swosh’ from the patient as if something was leaving and returning… he sweet talks Prairie into letting him study her… he takes her to his lab somewhere in the middle of no where and locks her in a cage… and this is where she meets Homer.
Now it’s hard to judge Prairie for her actions, as her NED has effected and responding to her dreams / premonitions makes sense, and obviously something ‘bad’ had to happen, so getting these details of the how, the who and the why just makes sense. She’s hopeful and has her beliefs, so it may make her look ‘idiotic’ for the sake of the story she’s relaying to Steven, Buck, French, Jesse and Ms Broderick-Allen, its her being totally honest about what happened.
Now we don’t get much out Steve this time out, but it’s clear Buck, French and Jesse are in need of some help that Prairie saw that he and Broderick-Allen needed. French is time-bomb ready to go off, he’s pushing hard to get a scholarship, having to be perfect due to situations as home, he’s getting a supply of something from Steven (possible cocaine) and he has to do everything on his own, so he’s in the group because of possibly to rely / trust in others. Buck is rather interesting, his / her actor Ian Alexander (according to IMDB) is a transgender male, so that relays to the character who is getting ‘testosteron’ from Steven. Both character seem to have the caught between ‘two worlds’ dynamic, of what they want to be and what they are.
Now lets talk about performances, and what stood out to me was Zoey Todorovsky who played young Nina, and I feel like an idiot about not talking about her yesterday. Considering the range of emotions and scenes she has, much like Brit Marling who plays the older-counterpart, little Zoey makes you brings forth emotion of her situation, with her dialog delivery and her body language. This is a credit to her natural ability, the director and those who helped guide her through her scenes, and right now I can’t think of another actor who of the same age that could do that.
Jason Isaacs (know for his roles in the Harry Potter films, the show Brotherhood) as Dr. Hap certainly got across that his character is way off center, clearly obsessed with his work and even though we are told that he’s not a good dude, he comes across as likeable when he encounters Prairie in the subway, and I was certainly lured into a false sense of security with how charming the character was presented.