The OA: Paradise
December 18, 2016 3:04 PM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

While Hap zeroes in on a new test subject in Cuba, Homer and OA work to perfect their escape plan. Scott reaches his breaking point.

In the flashback:
*Hap listens to a guitarist, Renata, in Cuba. Says he knows that her musical skills improved miraculously after her NDE 3 years earlier, tries to convince her to let him fly her to the US if she'll participate in his study but she turns him down.
*Homer and OA continue their strange movement exercises, to Scott's frustration, and Hap's curiosity.
*Sheriff Stan visits, but Hap plays loud metal music to drown out the yells of the captives. Stan only came over to ask if Hap knows anything that could help cure his wife's ALS, which now has her so locked in she can only communicate by blinking.
*After seeing Homer and OA touching hands against the glass, Hap takes Homer away in their sleep. Hap flies him to Cuba to help in kidnapping Renata. Homer cooperates in getting Renata into the hotel room, tries to resist, but gives in to temptation and has sex with her when she initiates. Hap plays the audio of their lovemaking back into the glass prisons, to break the rebellion.
*Scott tries to stop Hap from testing him by telling him secrets about the other captives, when he reveals that OA regained her sight and has been fooling Hap for all this time, Hap is so distracted he accidentally pierces Scott's eardrums and kills him entirely.
*Hap dumps Scott's body back in the cell, causing OA to stop faking her blindness, and tells her it's her fault.
*OA starts making the movements again, Homer joins in and they continue through the night. In the morning, Renata and Rachel witness the blood flowing back into Scott's body; his wounds heal and he is resurrected. He tells OA she's been right all along - there are five movements that together will open a portal to another dimension and that he has just learned the third.

In the present:
*Betty looks at herself in the mirror sadly, but then makes part of the arm movement and smiles at a porcelain angel
*The 5 talk in the cafeteria, French's teacher remarks on the odd assortment of friends he's made.
*OA talks to FYI counselor again, while playing the marble labyrinth game.
*Buck sings with the chorus at an awards dinner where French has been given a medal. Later, French argues with his mother in the parking lot where she has been smoking and drinking. He takes her home and puts her to bed, which Buck sees before they go back to the storytelling house.
*OA tells them she wants to teach them the 5 movements, so that they can open the portal for her to go through and rescue the captives.
posted by oh yeah! (14 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Pretty sure they were in the Hotel Nacional in Havana for the lobby and exterior scene. Having been there a couple of times myself, I got kind of a giggle at how none of the lobby extras looked like foreign tourists -- when I first went to Cuba in 2002, Cuban nationals were not allowed to stay at the hotels. When I was there in 2010 that rule had been abolished, but you'd still have to be an enormously wealthy Cuban to afford to stay at the tourist hotels, so, that lobby should have been full of Europeans, Canadians, the odd American, etc., not wall-to-wall Cubans. (Same goes for the concert, probably.)

Was not expecting Scott's resurrection (though I did have the thought that he looked kind of Jesus-y on the floor, kind of a crown-of-thorns thing going with the blood and the highlights in his dreadlocks). But I guess I can forgive how bonkers the drowning deaths & revivals were now.
posted by oh yeah! at 3:31 PM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

The left turn to interpretive-dance-as-magic made my jaw drop and question finishing the series. In the intervening hours I have decided that I will finish it out, if only so I can read all of the WTF season recaps and nod my head knowingly.
posted by grumpybear69 at 12:26 PM on December 19, 2016

Yeah, I'm still watching, but this is starting to feel like an M. Night Shamalayan joint.
posted by condour75 at 5:38 PM on December 19, 2016 [8 favorites]

Yeah, I really loved the first ep, but now I'm kinda verging on hate watching.
posted by miss-lapin at 8:50 AM on December 20, 2016

Just finished this episode and I'm smiling as the wife and I wrap presents. There's so much WOO here and plenty of WTFfuckery, but the driving theme of hope is welcomed as this shit year winds down to the rise of Trump in the coming year. So yeah, bring on the miracles.

Though the number of years they're spending down there without going crazy. There's so much the series is just skipping over in terms of phycology, of the captives, of Hap, but the show is compelling enough to mostly ignore that. Usually.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:48 PM on December 21, 2016 [4 favorites]

OMG the interpretive resurrection dance made me snicker, especially when they added in the B-movie vampire hissing...I was trying hard to watch without prejudice but that scene just about did me in.

I do agree that I like the theme of hope. But where do they poop? Why don't they all have terrible skin and hair living in that humid, dark environment? Because plot, I guess...
posted by biscotti at 6:21 AM on December 24, 2016

I'm also unsure if I'm hate watching or hooked. I find myself skimming and fast forwarding through a lot of what seems to be filler. Yet I'm intrigued to see where it goes next.
posted by humanfont at 7:06 PM on December 24, 2016

I'm late to watching and bravely soldiering on. But the world's worst interpretive dance was awfully hard to swallow. Also just not liking the show as a whole, the characters, etc. There's no real hook here. I'm only sticking with it because I've only got 3 hours to go.
posted by Nelson at 11:34 AM on December 30, 2016

Also have decided this is hatewatching now, but on the plus side, when I wave goodbye to my husband in the morning now, we do dumb interpretive dances too.
posted by rmless at 1:08 PM on January 11, 2017 [3 favorites]

The left turn to interpretive-dance-as-magic made my jaw drop

Same, except my response was to swear allegiance. It's going somewhere, and I'm really excited to follow. I want to watch the remaining episodes right now, but alas.

Maybe magic realism works best against a perfectly naturalistic backdrop, but the fact that the mine prison (just this moment got the mine-mind pun, btw) seems to have some flaws doesn't bother me. And they do look, bad, kinda, at least for TV.
posted by mountmccabe at 10:32 PM on January 26, 2017 [1 favorite]

Fantastic and insane. This such awesome craziness I kind of can't believe I'm watching this - that they actually got it made is astonishing.
I totally applaud this fucking madness.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:26 AM on February 18, 2017 [5 favorites]

I'm cracking up that it's the dance that is too much for people. C'mon, this show was always gonna be like this.

I'm just glad that it's something I can binge watch instead of waiting each week for a show that might not even end on the writers' terms. It's like a Rothko, you know? I may not 100% get it, but at least I know it's a bunch of rectangles* because that's what he wanted, not because he ran out of paint.

*I joke because I love Rothkos. They're creative and they just make people so mad.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 2:28 PM on March 12, 2017

Harsh audience, I genuinely loved the movements as magic and bonding a and created culture and meditation and healing. L8rs h8rs!
posted by Iteki at 3:09 PM on November 5, 2017

"The left turn to interpretive-dance-as-magic made my jaw drop and question finishing the series."

I'm only now binging this, because why not, and I'm with the latter commenters that I thought it was great because it's so bananas.

I enjoy fantastical stuff, but I don't believe in anything metaphysical whatsoever. If it's reasonably internally consistent, I'm okay with it. Thus, I sort of enjoy it when something challenges the conventional ways in which we tolerate fantastical narratives. Vampires? Okay. Resurrective interpretative dance? That's a bridge too far.

This wasn't very credible from the beginning. Many mundane details also make little sense. In fact, I won't be surprised if she's making this all up. Notice that we've begun seeing things from Hap's perspective without explanation.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:28 AM on April 6, 2019

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