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Headscratchers / The OA

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  • Homer never once thought to take a swing at Hap, lock him into the chair, blast him with his own gas and start asking questions? It’s established in the show the gas only really makes the person compliant. Even if Hal couldn’t speak while under the influence, he could write. We’re talking 4 years of passively trying to fake being drowned, rather than just taking control of the situation.
  • 3(?) years of Hap re-gassing just Homer. He never once questioned it, or thought to review the security tapes he has of the containment chambers?
  • Why does Hap have cans of tomato sauce in the house when he's deathly allergic to them? He doesn't let anyone but Prairie eat food other than the pellets (other than the sandwich scene), and it's not like he's going to eat it. So why even have it there? And how did he not notice her putting it in the stew? Especially because he would have had to check every can anyway; Prairie was blind at this point so she had no idea what each can was. Hap would have not only had to order food that could kill him, but then also label it in braille as "tomato sauce", so he knew it was there and still let Prairie cook with it.
    • Hap ordered specific ingredients Prairie requested so she could make her father's soup. One of the cans listed as an ingredient tomato PASTE, not tomato sauce. When you have a food allergy that serious you should always check, but maybe he hasn't had a reaction in so long, and hasn't had someone cook in his kitchen, he didn't think of it this time. He keeps his Epipen in his medicine cabinet, not his backpack or briefcase, like someone who's constantly wary of a nut allergy.
      • Actually what she used in the stew that caused the allergic reaction was vegetable stock, which technically shouldn't have tomatoes in it since tomatoes are fruit. Hap, being a scientist, almost certainly associates tomatoes with fruit, not vegetables and didn't bat an eye at her using vegetable stock. Granted, someone with an allergy that deadly absolutely should be checking everything they eat, but he does seem rather single-mindedly obsessed with his work so I can see it not occuring to him.
      • So he mindlessly bought an ingredient that he knows can kill him just because it was on the list?!
      • No, he bought vegetable stock off of Prarie's list and either overlooked that it might contain tomatoes or assumed it wouldn't because tomatoes aren't technically a vegetable. Either way it's not very intelligent but it's well within the realm of believable human error even for a smart person.
      • Vegetable stock typically doesn't have tomato in it. He should have checked the ingredients anyway, but he could have just been unlucky.

  • How does Steven go right back to school after Betty bribes the guys taking him away to camp? His parents paid for him to be taken away, and he escaped before he even gets there. You'd think they would just come right back for him a second time with a different pair of men, or his parents would at least send him to a different camp.
    • It's not shown that he did return home. He could be hiding out in the abandoned house and attending school to talk to the others and see his girlfriend. In fact, I think we only see him at lunch, so he might not even be attending classes.
      • No, his parents were there later that night when the OA and the rest of the crew got busted. I just assumed that he used the opportunity to actually talk to his parents and convince them that reform school wasn't necessary. BBA may also have put in a good word for him, and the fact that she was willing to pay 50 grand to keep him around may have led them to reconsider.

  • Why the hell is the FBI grief councilor hiding in Prairie's home when Alfonso breaks in?
    • He might have been making a house call in light of the recent event at the abandoned house, unaware that the family was staying at a hotel, and entered the building after noticing that someone had sneaked in.
      • He might also have been the one to hide the books under her bed. You'll notice they all seem new and unread.
      • That is actually not true. If yotice when Alfonso flips through 'The Oligarchs' there is a page that's marked with a fold in the edge, as one would do to remember where they last stopped.
      • This is at least partially explained in Season 2 as the counselor claims to have been "sent to help her" (meaning OA) which may mean he was in the house because French was there. Additionally, Abel tells French in Season 2 that the counselor recommended they buy the books for Prarie after she had begun telling her story to the kids at the house, meaning that at least initially she couldn't have been making it up. All of this is rendered somewhat moot anyway since Season 2 explicitly confirms it was all real and she wasn't making it up.

  • Hap reminds both Homer and Prairie that killing him to escape won't solve anything because the others will still be locked in their cages and will starve to death. Good point, except for two things:
    • The enclosures are on an automated feeding machine that deposits animal feed in their trays every day. There's weeks of food available without any need for Hap.
    • It takes weeks to starve to death. If one were to escape and kill Hap, they would have at least two weeks to determine where the house is before anyone began to suffer potentially deadly health affects from starvation. This one makes sense when Homer is threatened in Cuba, because he'd not be able to find anything, but threatening Prairie with it is dumb.
      • The psychology of prolonged captivity is horrifying: remember Elizabeth Smart? She was taken out on errands by her captors, undisguised, and didn't instantly scream to the anyone who would listen, "they've kidnapped me, I'm Elizabeth Smart, get the police!" This happens pretty frequently, where the abductor's total power over a victim convinces the victim the abductor has an almost supernatural ability to make bad things happen and get away with it if the victim disobeys or tries to get help. The victim can plot an escape and hate the abductor, but when the abductor says things like, "the others will die if you try to contact anyone" or "I'll go back to your house and kill your family if you don't do everything I say", after a while the victim believes it, logical flaws be damned. The world has narrowed to just the captor(s) and captive(s), and this world is so unbelievably cruel, it can feel safer not to cause trouble and adapt to the circumstances than take a huge risk trying to murder or endanger the person keeping you alive. See how shattered Homer is in Cuba, how easily he lets himself be manipulated instead of knocking out Hap, tying him up, going through Hal's things to get proof of where the house is; it's because Homer's been in captivity even longer than Prairie, plus he wasn't give as much autonomy or as many privileges as she was that would let him feel like he had some control over his and the others' fates. Why Prairie believes it is because she's blind: if she killed Hap in the house she could walk for a long time to find a sighted person but she could die in the woods on the way, or find someone and try to describe where she was but it would probably take over two weeks for people to find it. However, a clearer explanation would have been if Hap said, "I load enough food for no more than a week at a time, that way if I'm on a trip and something happens to me you'll all starve to death".

  • Did I miss something or did the Empty House Crew forget to just google Hap's full name + doctor + near death experiences to find out anything about him? Or "doctor found dead in morgue, connected to discovery of missing people found caged for medical experiments" to give them a clue about tracking down this doctor's former colleagues?
    • It doesn't matter what they search, because Hap almost certainly doesn't exist. The fact that after all their searching they never find anything is one of the biggest clues the show gives as a hint towards it all being made up.
    • If Hap does exist, it's not clear whether Prairie knew his full, real name. It's probable that he's living under an alias. He says he plans on destroying all evidence of how he really made his discoveries before publishing, so he doesn't want his professional name possibly getting connected to disappearances or his mine bunker.
    • Given that Season 2 confirms Hap is real and that the events of Prarie's story did occur, it's possible they did Google his name, but just because an anesthesiologist with the same name exists doesn't mean he is keeping people hidden in a mine in (what he says in Season 2 was) the wilds of North Dakota. Other elements of her story were provable (they found a video of her playing the violin in the New York subway) but they didn't have evidence to support what they really cared about proving, which was the supernatural part.
    • Prairie narrates the murder of the colleague in the morgue, starting the scene by saying 'Hap had one person he could confide in'. Scenes later, she sees the cut he got while murdering his colleague (before his colleague murders him) and he refuses to tell her what happened. She's narrating events she couldn't possibly have known about. This doesn't prove her story is made up, but we've stumbled upon a part of the story that's definitely impossible (suspending judgement on the whole pan-dimensional thingy).

  • Homer and Prairie debate whether to cure the ALS patient, since refusing to cure her would set them free. Neither of them bring up the option of failing to cure her to gain their freedom, then curing her for real. If the sheriff was so desperate that he's willing to make a deal with a kidnapper, he might give them a second chance.
    • Or even more simply, just say, "We don't need him (HAP) in order to cure your wife. Arrest him, free the others, and we'll help your wife."

  • When the five start to doubt OA's veracity, they could find out for sure one way or another by Googling Renata, who was taken after OA, and who was apparently well known enough to attract Hap's attention from outside of her native Cuba. while it wouldn't confirm the supernatural stuff, it would establish that at least some of the characters in the story were real people
    • There's no reason to think that Renata was well-known outside of Cuba or even that well-known inside Cuba beyond the area where she performed. Hap states earlier in the series that with the exception of Prairie whom he stumbled upon by chance that he put a great deal of time and effort into finding and capturing the other subjects. He found Renata because he is actively searching the world for people like her, (i.e., people who've been resuscitated and gained extraordinary abilities) not because she herself was famous.

  • All things considered, even if some of the details of OA's story were misleading, why would everyone assume she made everything up given that she literally stopped being blind? Judging from the sensation, it sounded like it was meant to be a permanent condition, and it did last a good few years that they know of, so regaining her eyesight ought to be convincing evidence in favour of something supernatural going on.
    • At least one character brings up the possibility that Prairie getting hit in the head could have reversed the blindness. It was caused by trauma in the first place, after all. Whether that's at all scientifically possible could be a matter of Artistic License.

  • Why didn't the other captives immediately yell at and warn Prairie when she's being led to her enclosure the first time? Even if they were asleep, they would probably wake up in time to scare her off in some way. And even if it was quite impossible for a blind woman to overpower Hap and go out into the wilderness to escape, little pieces of hope have never deterred the others before. Scott and Rachel still scream for help well into their captivity. They couldn't even have been gassed, given that Scott and Homer are right on time to calm Prairie down when it dawns on her what Hap has done to her.
    • To be fair, she was consenting in the beginning and appeared to know what was going on. Granted, she's blind so they should have yelled anyway on the off chance that she hadn't been informed of everything (and on principal).
    • It's possible they just didn't hear her come in with him. It's seen later that the glass muffles outside sounds and they appear to be just waking up after she's locked in.

  • Why did French see Homer reflected back at him in the mirror at The OA's bathroom? Was it real, imagined, or just Faux Symbolism?
    • It was dawning on him that the OA might be making everything up and him starting to think that she based her "Homer" character off of himself. (Similar build, appearance, scar on the forehead, both athletes who have children/younger siblings to care for, etc.)

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