Episode 7, “Nina Azarova” is not the best penultimate episode to a series, but it does provide a defining twist to lead on to the finale.
This recap of The OA Season 2 Episode 7, “Nina Azarova”, contains spoilers. You can read the recap of the previous episode by clicking these words.
The episode title gives it away. In Chapter 7, Prairie Johnson (Brit Marling) is trying to tap into the consciousness held in her body, Nina Azarova. Throughout the series, plenty of hints have been dropped that Nina holds the key to Prairie’s answers. Struggling to find out how to extract Nina is answered in the nightclub SYZYGY. There the woman who calls herself the Messenger and has had dealings with Dr Hap (Jason Isaacs) tells Prairie that she needs him in her life.
As you can imagine, this is hard for Prairie to follow. Dr. Hap abused her for several years, but the Messenger explains that Prairie, Homer and Dr. Hap are inter-dimensionally entwined, and to break the cycle would be dangerous. There is a sole purpose that all three of them are involved in each other lives, which has accelerated each timeline they have witnessed. The Messenger ends the conversation stating that Prairie needs to tap into Nina Azarova’s consciousness and integrate. And the only way she can do that is by giving her the same near-death experience she had when she was younger.
Meanwhile, Dr. Hap seems to have a change of attitude since his recent experiences. He tells Steve Winchell (Patrick Gibson) that he will be discharged while Renata (Paz Vega) has to give her time to adjust. Steve tries to call his bullshit, but Dr. Hap is adamant, and also wants Steve to do one last mission for him. Steve agrees on the basis that Renata is discharged as well.
Dr. Hap sends Steve to the underground of the house, helping him get through the puzzles. “Nina Azarova” demonstrates the heights of Dr. Hap’s manipulation as he knows full well that Steve will not get through the house; he collapses, and Dr. Hap brings him to the laboratory and extracts that green lace organism again like he did at the start of Season 2. This time, he eats it, and it looks like his world has been widened.
Karim Washington (Kingsley Ben-Adir) and Prairie argue about their objectives. Karim at this stage is still in denial about what he has witnessed up until this point and does not buy the story that Prairie has come from another dimension. Prairie gives him a USB stick that holds a video of Michelle up at the glass window in the house and visits his data analyst friend regarding the information, who was also going through labor and was about to deliver a baby.
Karim, at this point, is confident that he is going to close out the investigation and visits Pierre Ruskin (Vincent Kartheiser). Karim questions his morality over the game, but Pierre is unphased, giving the perspective that many people died getting the first man on the moon, but once they saw Earth it enlightened people to how much of a miracle it was – an overview he calls it. He takes Karim upstairs in his classy manor to show Michelle in bed. The mother claims it is not Michelle, but Karim is impatient and walks away.
Pierre catches him and gives the most critical reveal in Episode 7. He explains that there was a fourth vision from the dreams experiments, not three. It was a man. To find out what this man looked like, they got expert artists to draw what they describe. Pierre shows the drawings, and all of them look like Karim. It seems that Nina’s house wants Karim. It’s almost like Prairie has become secondary to the story.
As “Nina Azarova” closes out, Prairie attempts to drown herself in the bath, hoping it brings out Nina. It does, and the chapter ends with her confidently walking, and talking with a Russian accent.
You can read the recap of the eighth episode by clicking these words.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.