I Wish I Knew What the Truth Is: What Is The OA, and What Happened at Survival Systems?

Remember in 1982’s An Officer and a Gentleman when Richard Gere’s Zack Mayo and David Keith’s Sid Worley had to go through “Dilbert Dunker” training — simulation of a plane going underwater — and escaping that pseudo-pilot seat? Even thinking about it is mildly terrifying, while at the same time, it seems if one doesn’t panic it’s pretty simple to just unbuckle and float to the surface. What’s any of this got to do with Netflix’s latest original series? Strap in and I’ll tell you.

According to Connecticut’s The Day, repeat collaborators and the co-writers, director and star of The OA, Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling (The East, The Sound Of My Voice) took about 120 actors and crew to Groton’s “Survival Systems“, a place where folks learn and train in underwater survival techniques. Though footage shot over a two day period was shrouded in mystery, an OA producer did leak that a crash was involved, and many people were in the water. Was it something related to this scene, perhaps?

Hmm … Inception-y. Of disappearances and after-death experiences, we can only guess at what’s actually going on in the 8-part series’ intriguing first teaser. Did someone rescue a blind little girl who disappeared and grew up to be Prairie Johnson (Marling), or was she — like Stranger Things‘ Eleven — taken by some governmental creeps, and subjected to secret experiments? Or … well, first check out the trailer:

Is it all just a young woman’s dream?


A photo posted by The OA (@the_oa) on

Governmental (alien?) experiments?

Are you really listening?

A video posted by The OA (@the_oa) on

Wait, alien kidnapping, followed by governmental experiments and testing? Did aliens cured her blindness?

You’re getting sleepy.

A video posted by The OA (@the_oa) on

Well, now I’m pretty sure Hannibal has something to do with it all.

Wait, lucid dreams; so some kind of experimental reversal of blindness achieved through the dreaming? The series’ Instagram is a wealth of information puzzle; all we have to do is put it together:

“Present for all 7 years, 3 months and 11 days”.

The Over After? The Other After (afterlife)? It could involve some kind of Flatliners experimentation … is Prairie reborn, or existing on a plane between life and death? Guess we’ll have to watch together to find out what the truth is.

The OA also stars Emory Cohen, Scott Wilson, Phyllis Smith,  Jason Isaacs, Alice Krige, Patrick Gibson, Brendan Meyer, Rosalind Chao and Victor Slezak; it streams on Netflix beginning December 16th. Meet you on the other side.

Cindy Davis

Cindy Davis has been writing about the entertainment industry for ​over ten years, and is the ​Editor-in-Chief at Oohlo, where she muses over television, movies, and pop culture. Previous Senior News Editor at Pajiba, and published at BUST.

You may also like...