Note: This article contains major spoilers for The OA season one.
The OA was a bit of a surprise treat for binge-addicts when it suddenly appeared on Netflix in December 2016. It came without any pre-promotional fanfare, but immediately captivated an audience of Stranger Things fans and Twin Peaks geeks by setting up its own (very, very odd) supernatural mystery for people to lose themselves in.
The show followed Prairie (Brit Marling, who also created the series), who had gone missing years previously, before suddenly returning as the series started. Prairie was blind when she disappeared, but now she could see.
How? Don't ask us. It involves modern dance and resurrection. Look, it was a long, complicated and ambiguous story. People are still debating what the season (and its ending in particular) actually meant, but it looks like we'll get more clues soon – a follow-up was announced last year.
So, here's everything you need to know for when The OA spookily reappears.
The OA season 2 teaser
Yep, there's a teaser, which makes a nice change from the first season.
"The great thing about Netflix is that they can make big, bold creative decisions that no-one would ever make in any other sphere," OA star Jason Isaacs told us in December last year.
"Not just to commission something like this in the first place, which is ballsy, but to decide not to tell people about it. They're not putting trailers together. Most trailers you see tell you exactly what's going on. So much of the joy is having the story unfold to you but not knowing where it's going. They're just going to let people find it. You can't imagine that happening on the BBC or ITV."
Thankfully, Netflix has changed tactics slightly this time around, giving us a teaser trailer to deconstruct while we wait for The OA to come back. That said, it's definitely not your traditional trailer, and we actually feel even more confused after watching it.
The OA season 2 release date: when's it on?
As ever, Netflix will release its original property into all territories at the same time, so it'll hit the UK when the world gets it. But, as for when that'll happen, that's also a mystery – though we can make an educated guess.
Creator/star Brit Marling announced that filming would begin in January 2018, with Jason Isaacs announcing in May that he'd wrapped, and Marling saying the San Francisco part of shooting was done.
Excited and terrified by the road map of these 8 scripts, which took us all summer and fall to write. Shooting Part II of @The_OA starts Jan 2018. Here goes something... @z_al @BARFH pic.twitter.com/1xWKdrtXjQ- brit marling (@britmarling) December 16, 2017
Going by that timeframe, you might've expected new episodes by the end of the year, or early 2019 at the latest. But by November 2018, Netflix was yet to so much as announce a return date for the series.
Taking to Instagram, Marling explained why season two was taking so long in a statement that was pretty much peak-OA. "TV shows are created on a yearly cycle primarily because they function off a pattern narrative," she wrote.
"The show creator acts as a master tailor – she crafts the pattern for the original garment (pilot). Then other great tailors come in and create new garments out of this same pattern.
"This allows for creation with great speed and also familiarity, which is one of the things we all love about great TV," she added, noting that many shows were adaptations and so worked quicker with the source material in tow, while others "leap-frog their production cycle".
However, she explained that The OA "doesn't function this way", adding: "Our chapters vary in length, scope, and even genre. There is no pattern. As a result, at every step along the way nothing can be imitated, it has to be invented."
Marling said that they threw out "pattern budgets" that map out financial costs of a season, as each chapter needed different budgets rather than one episode costing the same as the next.
The star added that they see The OA as "neither film nor TV" but a "new kind of storytelling", and revealed that she couldn't say when it will be released just yet.
So that's that cleared up.
The OA season 2 cast: who's back?
Marling will be back (even if her character Prairie was shot right in the chest at the end of season one), while Jason Isaacs (evil doctor Hap) is also returning.
As for the rest of the gang, everything's up in the air with nothing officially confirmed – but we'd argue Patrick Gibson (misunderstood bully Steve) and Emory Cohen (fellow captive Homer) will probably be back too.
We're also hoping to see Riz Ahmed (sympathetic FBI guy Rahim) make a return, but he's a busy boy these days.
The OA season 2 theories: what's it all about?
After watching the season two teaser roughly one million times, we can confirm that we can hear Prairie saying 'Homer' over and over again (this is why we get paid the big bucks).
Okay, that's obvious. But what you might not know is that the Braille message which briefly appears translates as "survived".
So will the second season be an existential, eight-episode search for the is-he-real-or-isn't-he Homer?
One thing's for sure, we'll get further exploration of the "movements" – the interpretative dance moves that can bring people back from the dead. As Marling put it recently, "The OA is our attempt at writing and making a new human language through movement, this mythology we're inventing."
There's a ton of fan theories about what The OA means – is it a dream, an afterlife, or a different dimension? Is it the new Lost, or a Quantum Leap reboot?
We'll get answers (and more questions) when the show returns next year.
"Very few people have really picked up on all the clues," Batmanglij said. "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'."
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