The OA: Forking Paths
December 18, 2016 4:31 PM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

As the group continues its search for the final movement, a startling turn of events gives Hap's work a new urgency.

In the present:
*Buck hears his parents arguing about him; father doesn't want mother to call Buck a he. Buck practices the movements in the mirror then goes to the meeting of the 5 late. At the end of the episode, Buck's father notices the open front door, and after calling out for Michelle then Buck, shuts the door.

In the flashback:
*2 more years pass in captivity. Renata receives the 4th movement, and they make up a symbol language for the movements - Homer carves the 2nd and 4th movement symbols into his skin, and OA carries the 1st and 3rd. (How and why she put them on her back is anyone's guess.) They continue to search for the 5th movement, as Hap monitors and learns the 4 movements along with them.
*Hap goes to talk to fellow mad-scientist, Leon, who works out of an abandoned morgue wing in a hospital. They compare progress in their search, but when Leon realizes that Hap is ahead of him, there is a violent confrontation, and after a struggle for Leon's gun, Hap kills Leon.
*Hap takes OA to the experiment room, makes an offer that the two of them go away together and make money using the 2 healing movements on rich people while they search for the 5th together, but she turns him down and defiantly undergoes the experiment.
*In death, OA finds herself alone in the stars, with no answer to her calls to Khatun to be given the 5th movement. When she returns, Hap tells her he heard a noise when she went, plays her several sounds, the last of which OA recognizes, which turns out to be the sound of Saturn's rings.
*Later, Hap falls asleep monitoring the captives while listening to the sound, and Sheriff Stan enters the house, is shocked by what he sees and puts a gun to Hap's head.
posted by oh yeah! (11 comments total)

The scene of OA strapping herself into the chair as Hap pleads with her was an interesting reversal in power dynamics.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:32 PM on December 21, 2016

If...if their memory could be erased from inter-dimensional travel, and they might forget the dance steps. Wouldn't they just..forget what the symbols mean??

There's so many plot holes in this show it's absurd. But I adore the relationships between the current 5, and so I'll keep watching.

The dance looks cooler when buck does it.
posted by FirstMateKate at 8:33 AM on December 22, 2016

Also, I'm delighting in imagining that Betty (the teacher) is a reincarnated Barb from Stranger Things.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:43 AM on December 22, 2016 [3 favorites]

I'd been wondering if Hap worked alone. I mean he's doing an awful lot on his own; maintaining a full house, flying in and out to Cuba, 100 lbs of kibble a week. Doesn't he need a support team? I guess there's a secret network of post-death researchers keeping human captives. Maybe they have a subreddit.
posted by Nelson at 9:47 PM on December 30, 2016 [4 favorites]

so this was odd that they have an episode of 30 minutes compared to the other ones. although they vary significantly too, between 40 to 60 minutes. I don't know of any other shows that varies episode lengths like that.
posted by numaner at 8:30 AM on January 25, 2017

Theoretically I like the idea of varying the show length to fit the story to be told. And I suppose they didn't force themselves to tack on another 15 minutes to meet a run-time quota. But in practice, I was really surprised when the episode ended.

It was really interesting to see the other Hap, Leon. I really hoped we were going to see his captives. A show about Leon and his people wouldn't be anywhere near as interesting.

I don't understand the bit about Saturn's Rings.
posted by mountmccabe at 7:04 PM on February 2, 2017

In this stage I am just surviving the episodes so that I can read the discussion on the last one.
So many loopholes!
So many questions!
And the framework/structure of the "narrative" seems to be a bit all over - magical movements are all coming from one being, or does everyone get their special being? As in, it is one place people go to or multiples?

I think the Rings of Saturn - was him guessing at which sounds she heard from outer space?
posted by olya at 8:35 AM on March 25, 2017

"You mean Many Worlds Theory?"
"Not exactly, it's [explanation of Many Worlds Theory with no deviations]."

Yeah, okay show. I am not a hater like many of you but that failed to be covered by my (enormous) suspension of disbelief, and I laughed
posted by vibratory manner of working at 8:31 AM on March 7, 2019 [3 favorites]

Ok I’m super late to the party here, just started hate/binge-watching it now.
Yes I noticed suddenly she knows Hap’s pov without any explanation... like at the end maybe she is a crazy and the Nighttime Club will realize this is her delusion.

So basically this show is sci-fi outsider art. It’s like Brit Marling has never read one word of mythology, Hinduism or Buddhism, chakra systems or even stepped foot in a crystals n shit type store. She’s not read one drop of sci fi cannon, or the latest research in consciousness studies. It’s like it’s written by a teenage girl. It’s SO BAD. Yoga poses that open up a world to another dimension YOU HAVE GOT TO BE FUCKING KIDDING ME. and yet I can’t stop watching. It’s so out there that I love it. Like at least it’s original.

So yeah. It’s outsider art. Imma let it happen. See you suckers on the rings of Saturn!
posted by St. Peepsburg at 4:01 PM on April 15, 2019 [2 favorites]

I can't find it now, but somebody characterized Brit Marling's oeuvre perfectly as straight out of OMNI Magazine. It's woo-laden fantasy wearing a thin robe of science fiction. Like the music of Rush, that phase is long behind me but the imprinting remains, so yeah I'm in to the end of the season at least.
posted by whuppy at 8:58 AM on January 13, 2020

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