The OA season 2: What does SYZYGY mean? What are the marks on Nina’s arms?

Season two of The OA hit Netflix on March 22 and continued with the story of multi-dimensions and travelling between different worlds. If fans found The OA season one confusing, then the new episodes are even more complex. Episode four of the Netflix series is particularly mind-bending with more questions posed than answered. Here’s everything you need to know about the instalment entitled SYZYGY.

What does SYZYGY mean?

WARNING: This article contains spoilers from The OA season 2

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term means: “A conjunction or opposition, especially of the moon with the sun. ‘the planets were aligned in syzygy’.”

Another definition is: “A pair of connected or corresponding things.”

The word syzygy first came about in the early 17th Century and is derived from late Latin and the Greek word which meant pairing together.

In the context of The OA season two, syzygy is the answer to the Symphony Q clue “Three wise man” that private investigator Karim Washington (played by Kingsley Ben-Adir) is trying to crack in his hunt for missing girl Michelle Vu (Ian Alexander).


Syzygy is also the name of the club where OA (Brit Marling) goes to find answers about her alter-ego in the second dimension called Nina Azarova – which is also her birth name.

OA realises Nina has been coming here and putting on a performance of sorts where she communes with a giant octopus called Old Night or Azrael (Eijiro Ozaki), which is the angel of death.

She has been doing a number of these shows and the audience loves it as she appears to speak on behalf of Old Night.

There is also a deeper level to syzygy in The OA because of all the connections within the dimensions.

Elodie (Irène Jacob) tells OA that she must integrate with Nina if she is to learn more about her alter-ego, which is a paring of sorts.


She also talks about echoes between dimensions and Hap (Jason Isaacs) being her “shadow”, as well as mentioning that OA, Hap and Homer (Emory Cohen) are interconnected between several different dimensions.

Another thing to consider is BBA (Phyllis Smith) is starting to sense the other dimensions and can see or at least feel people from different worlds – once more this pairing comes into play.

There is a theme of alignment throughout the season. If the first one introduced us to the world then the second run is taking us much deeper into it and bringing new concepts into play.


What are the marks on Nina’s arms? 

The marks on Nina’s arms were caused by her encounters with Old Night. He would wrap his tentacles around her wrists when she would communicate with him.

Old Night gripped onto her so tightly during their frequent exchanges at the Syzygy club that she was left with these bruised that looked akin to a drug addict.

The marks reveal Nina was regularly conversing with Old Night but also the creature’s immense strength.

Old Night died in the exchange with the OA, giving her the chance to visit yet another dimension before he was killed.

There are still lots of questions lingering about the origin of Old Night and how he ended up at the Syzygy club and started communicating with Nina in the first place.

The OA season 2 is available to watch on Netflix now

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