The OA episode seven: LOVE/HATE

8:49:00 AM

My favorite episode so far. The most moving. Not much machinations, plot, just human interactions preparing us for the finale.

WHAT I LOVED:


-There was still this set up. Prairie hearing a gunshot in het dream. And Herschel rushing to her side, grabbing a gun. Why? Is Abel scared of her? Where and when will the gun go off?

-A gorgeous match cut ( again very 2001 Space's Odyssee) over Abel's face bring us to the FBI aula. we see five desks, and slowly zoom in on Rahim and Prairie talking.

-Rahim saying: " See you tomorrow OA." Maybe he is only indulging her, but I love it every time somebody calls her that.

-Another very beautiful high angle going over their neighborhood finding the five walking up to the house.

-Seeing Steve all giddy about his kiss with. Angie All of them laughing, goofing around. Steve calling Betty Broderick-Allen BBA. Nicknames are the best.

-"Sometimes you have to tell yourself something is easy, until it is easy." Steve practicing his personal trainer's mantras while they are doing the movements.

-Their faces when they listen to OA. Full of belief. In real life I would cautious when people are gullible and belief strange ultra dimensional, intergalactic, resurrection stories, (scientology by example) here, in this moment,  it is uplifting. Their joy and connections shines through.  But OA could be a cult leader.

-Broderick-Allen saying:" I don't think I am ready to go to another dimension." Adorable, funny and a bit scary, because I don't want anything bad to happen to those five and I am afraid it will.

-Betty following the van, when Steve gets kidnapped.

-Betty telling Ellis (, it is so strange when elements from OA's stories creep back in this time frame, Ellis Island being this one.): " I'm going to go, I'm eating a sandwich."

-Abel at dinner at Olive garden. " You should friend Byron on Facebook. See what he looks like now."

-Steve and Betty making escape plans in the convenience store like a regular Phyllis and Walter in Double Indemnity.

The OA episode 7 recap


-Betty offering his kidnappers ( think about this for a sec.) the 50.000 cashiers cheque.

-French Alfonso whisking OA away, at the Olive Garden, after her begin hit by Nancy.

-The OA embracing Steve, even when he doesn't want it, even when he stabs her with a pencil. I have to say, the relationship with OA and Steve slays me.

-Her silver anorak glowing when she says: " Tonight I will finish telling my story. Are you ready?'


The similarities between Steve and Prairie are obvious now, also why she choose him. Both encounter a parental miscalculation, a lack of faith from their parents ( not Heschel, not him, but he could have protested to Prairie being medicated her whole life.) On a personal note this gets me. I had similar experiences when I was young, my rebellion, and strong will being seen by people that were not my parents as something inherently wrong with me, not as something to be understood or that would pass, or even something positive.

PS after writing this I recap I read two very sour reviews of this episode, and the whole show on Vulture and Uproxx. Now Vulture is often disappointing me with their reviews, but one of the commentators on Uproxx asked it the negativity was because the reviewer was  a man. I don't want to make those assumptions, but this is certainly a show that requires some level of emphaty, otherwise it is just a bunch of nonsense. So...

WHAT I HATED

I really dislike it when reviewers position themselves to be intellectually superior to the work they are critiquing. Of course you have to be critical, see that somebody is not just pushing out awful stuff, let's say be vigil of the Adam Sandlers of this world., or asking yourself if the 10 writers on one action movie really did improve a shabby script. Be critical of laziness. Or incompetence. Of delusion.
  As David Bordwell wrote in his excellent On Meaning, you should position yourself in the viewpoint of the maker. Not push your own ideology and try to make the work fit in it. Also not compare one work with the merits of another. You should simply ask yourself what did the maker intend to make. Did he or she or them, in this case, succeed? That's it.  Then you can add if it is up your alley, or not. But to dismiss something simply because it is not, is so arrogant and not very intelligent.
I could go on and on, about this subject, the intellectual dishonesty, the dismissing of something just to make yourself feel better, make yourself feel smart, but that is the time we are living in, everybody thinks their opinion is important and forgets to open themselves up to the opinion of others. It's exactly what I like about this show, it begs for openness, not only towards all the magical aspects...It is about believing, and trusting others.
Here lies also the link with Stranger Things, the trust that Hopper had in Joyce, when she clamoring, like a crazy person, that her son was talking to her through the lights, the trust that 13 and her three new friends eventually build in each other.
It is a good message. There are villains in this world, but the rest us us, we should start trusting each other.





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