The OA: Champion – Learning (Review)

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The OA “Champion” gives more backstory to Prairie’s time in captivity.  We learn that Dr. Hunter, despite his degree, is not the sharpest tool in the shed. There is also some question as to whether or not he actually catches Prairie after her short abortive bid for freedom.

In fact the entire episode seems to indicate that Prairie’s fellow captives are not the sharpest tools in the collective shed either. Homer, who is paranoid that his “son” will believe he has deserted him is far too fixated on his unborn child to make any real sense.

The chap with the beard “Why the hell did you ruin it with mustard,” is obnoxious and also not a real clever clogs. At least the other female is not as aggressive or as single minded as the other two members of Hap’s “zoo.”

It is interesting to note that Dr. Hunter becomes conditioned quite easily by the blind Prairie, aka The OA. Like a case of Stockholm syndrome in reverse. He clearly believes that she poses no threat and allows her to act as “chief cook and bottle washer” while the other three captives stay in their humid little glass cells.

He gets so carried away with having her upstairs that he forgets to mention that he is allergic to tomatoes. When she attempts to poison him, with a load of crushed up sleeping pills, the effort goes awry when he has a reaction to the “stew” she made him.

Hap sends her to retrieve his backup epipen. She discovers the dead body of her predecessor laying in a bathtub filled with pinkish/lavender fluid. The not-so-good doctor explains that her death is not his fault after injecting himself with the epipen.

Later, Prairie shoves Hap backwards down the stairs to his holding cells. She then uses the cast iron skillet to break the kitchen window and climb outside the house.

As she stands on a precipice overlooking an odd landscape, she is knocked unconscious.  This may well be what “cures” her blindness. The hands holding the rifle must not belong to Hap as he could not have recovered from falling down those stairs that quickly.

In terms of “learning” Steve, still the most unpleasant of Prairie’s witnesses, finds that the kid he could beat up when they were younger is now tough enough to choke the meanness right out of him.

We also learn that the teacher has recommended the school bully and drug dealer for an alternative method of schooling.

In this episode much is revealed about the day-to-day existence in those glass cubicles. However, the almost reverential memories that Prairie has of Homer seem terribly misplaced.  So too are her earlier recollections where all the captives seem to be banded together.

As the story of The OA continues to unfold, it is becoming clear that some things here do not add up. Have the “supernatural” elements that interceded in Prairie’s earlier life in Russia stepped in once more? Or has Prairie “self-edited” her recent experiences?

The OA is streaming on Netflix and can be downloaded for viewing offline. All eight episodes are available for viewing.


Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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