Episode 8, “Overview”, pulls it out of the hat in the last chapter, weaving all the story strands together without making things convoluted.
This recap of The OA Season 2 Episode 8 – The Finale, “Overview”, contains spoilers. You can read the recap of the previous episode by clicking these words.
I was genuinely worried that The OA Season 2 was not going to pull it off. There were a couple of episodes that failed to ignite that belief that they could carry on this story for another season, but Episode 8, “Overview”, pieced together all the story arcs for a blockbuster, trippy finale.
As we established in the last episode, Prairie Johnson (Brit Marling) has activated Nina Azarova; essentially she’s both women, able to understand both histories, decisions, and emotions. Now that she has insight into Nina’s life, she goes to visit Dr. Hap (Jason Isaacs), realizing that her partner’s investments have been ignored, and hidden. She confronted the fact that Dr. Hap had used Pierre Ruskin (Vincent Kartheiser) and not shared any of his discoveries.
Dr. Hap reveals what he has been working on; it looks like a pond growing flowers, but he has used the dead bodies of his victims who have visited the house to create an inter-dimensional ecosystem. All the branches and petals represent a dimension, and it will prevent tragedy in the future – they can use the pond. Prairie Johnson is devastated at the dead in the pool, and she goes on a monologue to how she felt similar to Dr. Hap, that she squashed Nina Azarova’s consciousness for so long for selfish reasons, and she does not wish to become violent for her objectives.
Running in parallel to these events taking place, “Overview” follows Betty Broderick-Allen (Phyllis Smith) and the group in the original dimension. She is following Prairie’s, but the difference is, in her reality, Treasure Island is a broken down facility. As Prairie goes outside, Dr. Hap activates a group of robots, ready to make the movements to transfer them into another dimension. In the original dimension, Betty and the gang are making the same moves, in the hope that they can help Prairie’s path.
Also running parallel in “Overview” is Karim Washington’s (Kingsley Ben-Adir) perceived destiny to go to the glass window at the top of the house. He struggles at first but finally makes it to the top.
As Dr. Hap chooses a dimension from the pool, he activates the robot’s movements; Homer (Emory Cohen) punches Dr. Hap almost out of nowhere, turns around and tells Prairie that he remembers. Dr. Hap shoots him, spurring on events that will create Season 3. As everyone performs the movements from both dimensions, Prairie rises like a glowing angel in the sky. Karim can see this event from the glass window of the house, and tears run down his face. Unfortunately, a bird breaks her elevation and she falls, and as she lands, she arrives in a new dimension where her surroundings are a film set.
Karim can see the film set from the window, and the background they’ve put up to show the same city. Dr. Hap follows her to the ambulance, and when they try and stop her, “Overview” provides an unbelievable laugh-out-loud moment as he says, “she’s my girlfriend, I am Jason Isaacs”, bringing the audience’s dimension into the show. It appears they are in London.
Karim looks down at the set and sees Michelle, and encourages her to come back to his dimension so she can be reunited with her mother. As “Overview” ends, Steve Winchell (Patrick Gibson), with his leather jacket and Grease appearance, manages to clamber on to the ambulance. He looks at Dr. Hap almost innocently and says, “Hello Dr. Hap”.
Roll on season 3.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.