Review: The OA Season 1 Episode 7 “Empire of Light”

There is some incredibly well thought out character development within this episode, providing further insight into The OA, her family, Steven and Betty, while also making numerous points regarding PTSD, and the social media coverage of tragedy. However, ultimately, it does feel a little too late and this sort of episode that focussed solely on the present day group should have occurred earlier in the season as a lot of it did feel rushed or simply added to get it out of the way. It also did annoy me that not every character of the five was given development, backstory or some form of conflict. When the plot is driven by the movements of these people, where they are all necessary for it to work, it’s odd that not all are given the same significance in terms of narrative focus. But this episode did feature some brilliant performances, especially from Phyllis Smith and Alice Krige , as well as some well directed, tense sequences. It would have been nice to not just stall the ‘past’ storyline for the sake of waiting for the finale, and this episode’s exposition is clunky, but I do look forward to seeing whether the show can pull of its mystery with a satisfying resolution. 8.1/10

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