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Netflix’s The OA returns with a mind-melting season 2 trailer

Far out, man

Matt Patches is an executive editor at Polygon. He has over 15 years of experience reporting on movies and TV, and reviewing pop culture.

If you live for the ambiguity, existential heft, and seismic science-fiction theories of a movie like Upstream Color, you probably gobbled up every second of Netflix’s 2016 series The OA — or should, now that you’re out of the introspective death spiral of Russian Doll.

The OA had it all: Brit Marling as a once-disappeared-but-now-returned young woman who dubs herself “The OA,” spacetime-bending, underground experimentation, near-death experiences, a murky Russian backstory, cosmological mysticism, whispered confessions, ripped-from-the-headlines acts of violence, and of course, interpretive dance.

Though Marling and co-creator/director Zal Batmanglij were certain that their series — which broke the mold by staging episodes that ranged from 30 minutes to an hour — would return, there was never a clear premiere date in sight. Until now. The OA: Part 2 will hit Netflix in late March.

Here’s how Netflix describes the new season:

The “mind-bending” story returns with The OA Part II, which follows OA as she navigates a new dimension, one in which she had a completely different life as a Russian heiress, and one in which she once again finds herself as Hap’s captive. Part II introduces Karim Washington, a private detective tasked with finding a missing teen, Michelle Vu. His path crosses with OA, as they try to solve the mystery of Michelle’s whereabouts and a house on Nob Hill connected to the disappearance of several teenagers. Meanwhile, back in the first dimension, BBA, Angie and the boys find themselves on a journey to understand the truth behind OA’s story and the incredible realities she described.

The new season once again stars Marling as OA, with Jason Isaacs, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Emory Cohen, Patrick Gibson, Phyllis Smith, Sharon Van Etten, Will Brill, Brendan Meyer, Ian Alexander, Brandon Perea, and Chloë Levine rounding out the cast.

Even hardcore fan-theorists of the original run would be smart to go back and rewatch The OA before the premiere. As Marling and Batmanglij both said in the aftermath of season 1’s ambiguous cliffhanger, The OA was a show with deep references and hidden connections to what’s to come.

“Brit and I figured out the whole thing,” told Variety in 2016. “The whole thing’s a riddle. There are a lot of clues. Very few people have really picked up on all the clues. Our sound engineer picked up on a major one that kind of blew my mind. I was like, ‘That is designed for only the closest, creepiest viewer to find.’”

The OA: Part 2 poster
The official (creeeeepy) poster for The OA: Part 2

The trailer for season 2 looks like a major departure, with grander sci-fi themes and imagery, and a more overt mystery on the surface — but how does it all tie in to what we saw previously? How will The Five Movements factor in? We may only know by the end of Part 2 ... but even then...

“We spent a good three years just cobbling the mathematics of the labyrinth of a mind-bender that could go for many, many hours,” Marling said of the original season. “We wanted to solve the riddle. We wanted to know what was at the center of the labyrinth within the very first chapter. I would think that’s one of the exciting things about where we leave the ending, is that in some ways, it resolves in a satisfying sense, especially with the boys, but it also leaves something open. It’s exciting to leave that gap between one season and another and see how people feel about it and what they’re thinking, and then to get to continue, to actually answer the questions.”

Two years in the making, The OA: Part 2 arrives on March 22. See the first photos from the season below.

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