We are Netflix and Chillin' with part four of my look at 'The OA' with this episode titled 'Away'... yeah I realized the joke of the title too.
THE GIRL WITH THREE NAMES
We finally learn flat out what HAP is up to, he is obsessed with proving that ‘death’ is not the end, and sure, various religions have their various forms of afterlife, but it’s a leap of faith because you don’t really know if there is something after death. And HAP’s obsession proves two things for me, one he’s afraid of dying (And who isn’t) and two he’s doing it for fame & recognition, because if he has proof that there is something ‘beyond’, the methods he used to get those results will be ignored and he’ll be declared a hero, a genius in the realm of medical science. When I think about it, HAP’s goal as revealed in this episode strikes me as the ground work for what I saw in the ‘Black Mirror’ episode San Junipero, where the ‘after life’ was built by man as a comfort for those to know there is ‘something’ there for them when they die.
Because lets face it, HAP’s methods are immoral as hell, kidnapping, gassing, and repeatedly KILLING his test subjects, though because the NED factor, he can bring them back, or Homer back, as he has come up with plans to slowly but surely learn about HAP’s plans. Basically it comes down to Prairie and Rachel sucking the gas (nicknamed Devil’s Breath,) out of the vents and allow HAP to be totally aware of what’s going on so he can ‘remember’, because the gas effects the short term memory. I’m sure the dying part doesn’t help.
Oh yeah, let’s talk about that… turns out it was HAP that drilled Prairie in the back of the head at the end of the last episode and she had a NED, where she got a choice to either stay with her father in the other world or go back… because of the unfair choice she is given a bird to eat whole, and wakes up with her sight back. So we got that explained… though the Voi, Khatun, seems to be bit of a dick about it, preferring if Prairie didn’t go back… at least that’s the vibe I got. Other than that, Prairie doesn’t do much, she speaks to the FBI counselor, who basically tells her the ‘natural thing to do is heal’ but she can’t do that.
On the subject of learning things, we learn something about Jesse, he comes from a broken home, smokes bongs with his sister, his mother committed suicide, his dad left at one point and time… and he realizes that not everyone with a family knows how to make use of it, which he uses to comfort Ms. Broderick-Allen when he and Steve go to help her pick up her brothers things from the rehab facility where he was killed. Yeah you read / heard that right, Steve being helpful. Speaking of Ms. BA, it’s quite clear Prairie’s story is helping her, as she settled down to sort out her brother’s affairs, turns out she turned him into the police, didn’t go to his funeral, but still he left everything to her after expenses, a lump sum of about $50,000. So the broke pieces forming a family theory is holding together so far.
So we’re close things out with the stand out performances… and first goes to Phyllis Smith as Ms Broderick-Allen, who we get to see more of a personality of in this episode, and she’s clearly a sweet nice lady who made some choices that didn’t quite work out, and that comes through with Ms. Smith’s performance. The scene with her with Jesse & Steve in Theo’s room is really sweet and you see the character underneath. Don’t have a second nod to give someone else, the other performances were all solid but nothing ‘lept’ out to grab my attention.
And on that note, we’ll close up shop here and we’ll back tomorrow to go over episode 5 of THE OA