‘The OA’ Season 2, Episode 5 Recap: “The Medium & The Engineer”

By Daniel Hart
Published: March 22, 2019 (Last updated: December 2, 2023)
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The OA Season 2 Episode 5 Recap The Medium & The Engineer


Episode 5, “The Medium & The Engineer”, expands the story in ways it hasn’t before, with Karim and Prairie exploring a house full of puzzles and wonders.

This recap of The OA Season 2 Episode 5, “The Medium & The Engineer”, contains spoilers. You can read the recap of the previous episode by clicking these words.

Episode 5, “The Medium & The Engineer”, turns itself into a Tomb Raider type adventure for Prairie Johnson (Brit Marling) and Karim Washington (Kingsley Ben-Adir) as they venture through the house, owned by the Russian Trust headed by Nina Azarova. It feels like they have got themselves trapped in an obstacle, but also a side story that we didn’t expect from The OA. 

As they venture through the house, they see two opposing portraits, and in synchronization, they say, “the medium and the engineer”. As the pair make progress in this psychedelic experience that the house is throwing at them, they both try and take ownership of the mission, declaring how dangerous it is. “The Medium & The Engineer” shows how both characters have equal respect for each other, bonding very quickly since the break out from the mental facility.

Meanwhile, “The Medium & The Engineer” sees Homer (Emory Cohen) in a personal crisis, as he realizes Rachel has been missing from her cell for an extended period. She asks one of the nurses where her location is, and she is unaware that she is missing. Dr. Hap (Jason Isaacs) convincingly explains to Homer that Rachel has been transferred to another hospital. The problem is, when Homer rings that hospital, they deny every record of her.

At the start of the chapter, Homer has a strange dream, where he was based in what looked like medieval times. He was looking for someone, and he enters a stone house where the backs of humans are encased in a wooden block. The old lady residing in the house declares that he is looking for love, and he may be able to sniff which one is his. He ends up strangely smelling the back of one individual, before licking her sweat. Homer then wakes up.

The OA Season 2 Episode 5 Recap The Medium & The Engineer

It will be interesting to see what breaks Homer’s belief system, and he starts buying into the fact that he does have an alternative reality. Or maybe he doesn’t, and the Homer that we knew is dead. Meanwhile, Dr. Hap is spending a lot of time with the woman that claims to have found a way to cross dimensions with a different method, but he has his sinister intentions.

At the house that is consumed by puzzles, and a variety of different rooms and settings, Prairie and Karim end up separated. Prairie ends up further underground, wrapped by tree roots. Her body connects to nature, who gives her a prophecy that Nina Azarova holds the key to be able to talk to them, and that she must gather a tribe to stop the person who will use her to gain further power. She demands that she can do it alone, but the trees insist it has to be a joint effort.

Karim ends up in some barren land within the house and I presume he finds Michelle (though I am not sure on this one until I watch the next episode). The girl looks old and asks him what took him so long to find him. Karim manages to break his way out of the house aggressively.

Episode 5, “The Medium & The Engineer”, ends with Dr. Hap missing an opportunity; as he starts having sex with the woman he’s become acquainted with, she randomly leaves the bed and sets up four boxes that turn into mini robots. The robots all start moving in synchronization with each other, playing out the moves that Prairie and the prisoners figured out in season one to move dimensions. The woman drops to the floor, and the boxes close. As he picks up one of the boxes, he hears sirens in the background.

You can read the recap of the sixth episode by clicking these words.

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