At the end of the second season of The OA, the series' protagonist falls from a great height.
Then the lights go up. We see that she's in a film studio. Concerned crew members rush around the lead actress, calling her by her actual, real life name — Brit. She is pulled into an ambulance.
Just before this event, the protagonist — named Nina in this dimension, played by Brit Marling — tells a group of her friends, "Hold on. We're gonna jump. Together. It may take us to a place where I don't know myself, where we don't know each other. You come find me."
Those are her last words to her friends before she falls out of a window and crash-lands on the concrete.
Shortly after Season 2 aired, Netflix and the show's creators announced that The OA had been canceled. Creator and star Brit Marling confirmed this in an Instagram post.
The announcement sent fans into disarray. Many believed that the show's cancellation was an elaborate hoax, and since then, fans have been picking apart the show's every frame, looking for clues as to what might be coming next. The #SavetheOA movement launched everything from protests to hunger strikes.
For a long time, there was nothing. Some fans tried to distance themselves from the show. Others clung to its existence, clinging to hope like a sort of faith. Conspiracy theories flourished. Hundreds gathered to perform the show's seminal five movements, which allow characters to jump through worlds. (Just before her fall, Nina/Brit performed these movements).
And now, for the first time in years, we have hope that the show might not actually be over after all.
On May 23rd, show creator Zal Batmanglij posted four cryptic colored squares on his Instagram. The colors were yellow, cyan, white (with a tiny "f" in the center of the square), and magenta. Fans quickly cracked the code, taking it to mean "You Come Find Me."
Adding fuel to the fire: If you search the letters "YCFM" on Netflix, The OA is the first thing to come up.
May 23rd is already a significant date for eagle-eyed OA fans, who noticed that in one Season 2 episode the camera rests on a shot of a tape on May 23; in another episode, the numbers 5 and 23 are directly highlighted.
If The OA's cancellation was an elaborate ruse and part of the story the whole time, then certainly the show is quite literally taking storytelling to new heights. Looking back over the show's trajectory and release, the pieces start to come together.
The OA's release has always been unusual. It was released on Netflix with no marketing and no fanfare. When the show was canceled, a Netflix representative said, "We look forward to working with them again, in this and perhaps many other dimensions." Fans noted that Netflix had never officially announced that the show was canceled.
There are many other cryptic clues. A 2019 tweet from the OA's Twitter account reads, "The best place to hide something is in plain sight."
The best place to hide something is in plain sight.— The OA (@The OA)1555167601.0
So if the OA is actually returning, what might Season 3 look like? Most likely it will take place in our world, or in a world very similar to ours, where the show's actors go by their real names and believe they are part of a TV show called The OA.
Perhaps Season 3 will be a TV show, but some fans think the show will play out in real life. Others think that the creators have laid out a puzzle or game that will lead fans towards Season 3. This wouldn't be the first time The OA toyed with the idea of immersive, real-life puzzles: Season 2 largely revolves around a strange game that, when you reach a certain level, jumps off of the phone screen and becomes real-life and multidimensional.
If the show is actually pulling such a stunt on all of us, this would probably be one of the most ingenious storytelling endeavors ever committed. It would also make perfect sense. A lot of The OA, particularly the first season, is about the ordinary people who gather around Brit Marling (named Prairie in that first dimension) as she tells a story about the impossible and marvelous things that have happened to her. "I asked you to believe in impossible things," she tells them. Doubtful, unsure, and feeling crazy (like many OA fans), Prairie's followers ultimately never gave up on her, and wound up helping her jump dimensions.
Perhaps now, the show is asking OA fans all over the world to help their story jump dimensions and emerge into our reality.
Personally, I've had some very strange experiences with The OA. Shortly after rewatching the series for the second time, I randomly found a sticker that literally read "OA" on my dresser — and to this day I have no idea where it came from. This year, I moved to San Francisco...not because of The OA, but perhaps The OA was a factor, and it feels like a synchronicity that I'd move here (to the place where the second season takes place) just as the show seems about to jump into Season 3.
Obviously, the show has gotten into my head, and I know I'm not alone — there are legions of fans on the Internet having similar experiences, dancing between faith and realism and choosing to believe in impossible things.
All in all one thing is clear. However we get to Season 3, it's sure to be an absolutely wild ride.
me every time zal batmanglij posts https://t.co/Kt0MeA0PkG— incorrect #SaveTheOa (@incorrect #SaveTheOa)1621769528.0