So, I watched The OA back around Christmas and I’ve read a lot of reactions to it and something I’ve noticed is that while complaining about the mystery of the finale, not a single other person concluded a self fulfilling scenario. Everyone talks about how the shooting was a surprise or how they didn’t understand where it came from/that there was no build up to it and it made me wonder, did I rationalize the story of it to myself? Because here’s the thing: I think that Steve was the lynchpin of it all.
Now, bear with me.
Steve gets arguably more screentime and world building than the rest of the characters Prairie interacts with. Everything starts when Prairie first sees him messing around on a roof, and she SENSES something about him. She pursues HIM when seeking wifi. He’s the one she goes to to find people she can use in her “fight”.
He’s also shown to have a rage issue. Specifically, he gets jealous af and butt hurt over the possibility that his fuck buddy may be into another guy. There’s no explanation for why he singles out the guy that he does as the likely target of her affection, other than that he was the most gifted singer in the room. A singer who probably saw showchoir as an escape, as the most important thing in his life. And then Steve silences his voice and take away the nationals from him.
When I saw the shooter walking towards the cafeteria, I felt it in my gut. I knew who the kid was. Because often the kids that do those sorts of things are the ones who see no other option, they’ve been bullied to a point where that seems like the only response they can give. (Not something I am romanticizing or forgiving in any way.) And there’s only one known bully at that school.
And that’s why the finale of The OA fucked ME up. Because whether or not Prairie really was The OA, whether or not she had fantasized her NDEs and what went down with her imprisonment, she had rehabbed a bully and given him the tools to stop a monster of his own making. And somehow she had known it was necessary just from looking at him on a roof, late at night.
And that’s why when I watched the last episode, I laid awake in bed wondering what the hell I had just watched, because I no longer knew what was the real story I was supposed to have been watching.