The OA Season 2: Release date, trailer, cast and Season 1 recap

14 March 2019, 08:23

Brit Marling The OA
Brit Marling as The OA. Picture: Netflix/Screenshot
Nicky Idika

By Nicky Idika

Part II of The OA premieres March 22 on Netflix. What happened in The OA Part I and what do you need to remember before watching Part 2? Here is your Part I recap of The OA and all those important Part II details.

When is The OA season 2 release date? The OA returns to Netflix on Friday March 22 and you'll be forgiven if you completely forgot everything that went down in season 1. Part 1 of The OA originally premiered all the way back in December 2016 and fans are finally getting 8 more episodes from the talented minds of Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij.

So, what happened at the end of The OA season 1 and what can fans expect from season 2? Here's your OA season 1 recap and season 2 primer.

The OA season 1 recap: 5 things you need to remember before season 2

Co-creator Brit Marling plays The OA, aka Prairie, a once-blind young blind woman who reunites with her adoptive mother and father after waking up in the hospital 7 years after she disappeared from home. After moving back into their house and assembling a group of 5 individuals to help her on her quest, Prairie tells her story. Here's what you need to remember for season 2 of The OA.

1) When Prairie returns to Crestwood with her adoptive parents, she recruits a group of 5 people (4 high school students and 1 teacher)

She brings the five together. Steven, Buck, BBA, Alfonso, and Jesse listen to Prairie's story over the course of multiple nights. Eventually, she teaches them the five moments she learned while she was in captivity.

The OA Steve BBA, Jesse, Steve
The OA Steve BBA, Jesse, Steve. Picture: Netflix/The OA Screenshot

2) Prairie was adopted from Russia after a bus crash killed her schoolmates

Prairie was born in Russia to a wealthy owner of a mining company. As a child she had nightmares (which were really premonitions), which often gave her nosebleeds. One day on the way to school, Prairie's bus crashes and she dies. A mystical being named Khatun asks her if she would like to return to earth and she says yes. In return Khatun takes her eyesight.

Prairie is sent to America and adopted by an older couple named Nancy and Abel Johnson. She lives with them for 13 years before running away from home to find her father.

3) Prairie is kidnapped by Dr. Hunter Aloysius Percy (HAP) and imprisoned along with Homer, Rachel, Scott and, eventually Renata.

While in New York, Prairie meets Dr. Hunter Aloysius Percy, who seems nice at first, but kidnaps her so that he can study her near death experiences.

For years she is trapped in his secret underground lab along with 4 others who also have had near death experiences in their lives–Homer, Rachel, Scott and Renata. They are tortured, deprived of food, and experimented on by HAP. They are continuously killed and brought back to life by HAP who records the sound frequencies of these experiences.

4) After dying and being brought back by HAP, the five discover a series of movements that are the key to their freedom.

When HAP kills Scott and Homer and Prairie bring him back to life, he seemingly triggers their understanding. "You need five people, at least," Scott says. "The movements, they do things we cannot imagine. 5 movements open a tunnel to another dimension. Our freedom."

As they are killed and brought back to life in HAP's experiments, they receive more movements, presumably from Khatun.

The OA
The OA season one movements . Picture: Netflix/Screenshot

5) In the final episode of The OA season one, there is a school shooting and Prairie is hit in the chest.

The OA and the five are caught meeting up in the attic and that has huge consequences for everyone. BBA loses her job and the community turns on Prairie's parents. The group is driven apart but, at the last minute, Prairie realises the meaning of her premonitions and rushes to the school where BBA and The Boys are.

At the school there is an active shooter and BBA, Steve, Alfonso, Buck, and Jesse perform the five moments. The OA arrives just as the shooter's gun goes off and she is hit in the chest. Because of their movements, a portal to another dimension has opened up and The OA is whisked away in the back of an ambulance.

The OA season 1 finale
The OA season 1 finale. Picture: Netflix/Screenshot
The OA season one finale
The OA season one finale. Picture: Netflix/Screenshot

Now that we're all caught up, it's time to talk season 2. When does The OA return, are there trailers, and what can fans expect? Here's everything you need to know.

The OA season 2 release date - When does it premiere?

The OA is back on Netflix on Friday March 22, 2019. The series first premiered in December 2016. Netflix renewed The OA soon after in 2017. Since then Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij have been working on season 2.

The OA season 2 trailer

In the trailer for The OA season 2, Prairie wakes up in the hospital following on her gunshot wound at the end of last season. The story picks up in an alternate dimension where she was not shot and is seemingly wealthy. In this alternate reality Barack Obama was never the President of The United States.

Elsewhere in the trailer, we see that HAP has figured out how to travel to other dimensions as well by doing the movements with Scott, Renata, Homer, and Rachel.

At the heart of season 2 appears to be a new mystery that sees Prairie reunite with her friends from the lab as well as BBA and The Boys.

The OA season 2 cast

The majority of the main cast will return for season 2. Brit Marling and Jason Isaacs are, of course, back as Prairie and HAP, respectively.

Emory Cohen (Homer), Patrick Gibson (Steve), Ian Alexander (Buck), Phyllis Smith (BBA), Brendan Meyer (Jesse), Brandon Perea (Alfonso), Will Brill (Scott), and Sharon Van Etten (Rachel) all return.

Kingsley Ben-Adir joins the cast as Karim Washington, a private investigator in season 2.

Kingsley Ben-Adir in The OA season 2
Kingsley Ben-Adir in The OA season 2. Picture: Netflix/Screenshot

Why did The OA season 2 take so long?

As Netflix fans, we're pretty used to one year production cycles. While they vary from time to time, Netflix are able to churn out new seasons of our favourite shows pretty regularly.

In a 2018 Instagram post Brit Marling explained why that couldn't be the case for The OA. Marling revealed that the nature of telling a story like The OA meant everything had to be imagined (there is no source material as it is not based on a previous work) and handcrafted.

Marling also said that all eight episodes of Part II had to be written before the first episode was shot. This is not usually the case with many shows who might have 4 or 5 episodes filmed while writing and producing the episodes that come after.

"Some people thought of Part I of The OA as a long film. If you look at it from that perspective Zal and I write and create an 8-hour film every 2 years. That's pretty fast considering most 2-hour films can take 2 years to make!"