GABBLER RECOMMENDS: ‘We live in a multiverse of multiverses, but what does that say about us?’ by Cassandra Landry

The multiverse as an internal salve is perhaps a new function. Where before the concept reflected new horizons brought by advances in technology, or warnings about the fragility of victory or political recklessness, one comfort of these contemporary narratives is confirmation that none of this is fixed. All we’d have to do is act, and we’d have, in essence, heralded a “new” dimension.

“How else do you notice the detail of your own life? I think that’s what great fiction does,” Day says. “Books or shows that engage with this question can really sharpen your eye to things that you might not have noticed — and those things are the best things about being a human being, I think.”


In August 2017, a video was uploaded to YouTube of a small flash mob assembled before Trump International Hotel in New York City. It’s during winter, or maybe spring; the trees are bare and the dancers are in coats. The group begins to perform the Five Movements featured in Netflix’s “The OA” — movements (choreographed by this dimension’s Ryan Heffington) that have the power to open a portal into another dimension.

“Would the power of the Five Movements work to protect us all from the darker forces at work in our country and the world?” the description wondered. We want to believe it could be that simple.

The research phase of “The OA” had a similar effect, as Marling and Batmanglij met and interviewed those who have survived brushes with death. “They have gone through something that the rest of us are just asking big questions about, living with a constant, unacknowledged terror at the fragility of our bodies,” she says. “They don’t seem to have that preoccupation, or the quiet fear that comes with it.”

Does great art have the power to replicate that crossing of the proverbial River Styx?

“What I have felt in my life from really great fiction is the sense that my vulnerability is not unique. That somebody else from the void is extending me a hand in solidarity. You don’t feel alone,” Marling says.

In the multiverse, we can die, in a broader, less weighted sense, leaving our known selves behind, so that we can really live. “Whether you’re using metaphor, or you’re using math, you’re just trying to articulate some sense of things,” she says.



“It’s not surprising that The OA: Part II ends by making another new beginning. What is shocking is that it does so by referencing its own existence as a work of art. It’s a move that seems a little cynical and earthbound within the context of The OA’s earnest sensibility and fantastical yet sincere world-building. But if, as Eliot’s poem suggests, the end of The OA: Part II is meant to “arrive where we started and know the place for the first time,” I have to think the series, which Marling and Batmanglij say they’ve mapped out for five seasons, may eventually take us back to an altered version of the dimension where things began in season one.

That meta twist seems like an important step on that circular path. Based on what little we see of the TV show at the end of the finale — the fictional TV show in the third universe, that is — it’s completely unclear what story is being told, how it syncs with the actual series we’re watching, how many other characters will appear in this metafictional dimension.”

[Via Vulture ]


The show was released with little promotion, adding to its mystery. The ending might not excite you as much as the buildup, but it is not a let down. It is just as mysterious as the story–open to interpretation.

I also haven’t seen such an organically interesting cast of characters in a long, long time.

Have you seen it? Tell me what you think.