Hulu’s The Path
Season 1, Episode 3: “A Homecoming”
Directed by Michael Weaver
Written by Annie Weisman
* For a review of the previous episode, “The Era of the Ladder” – click here
* For a review o the next episode, “The Future” – click here
Further down the spiral we go, alongside Eddie Lane (Aaron Paul) as he wavers on the precipice of losing his faith in Meyersim, in Doc, in the far too enigmatic Cal Roberts (Hugh Dancy).
After last episode when Eddie went in for his fourteen days, leaving behind son Hawk (Kyle Allen) and wife Sarah (Michelle Monaghan), we pick up in Peru.
In his bed lies Steven Meyers (Keir Dullea), net to him Cal. The Doc is not well, as we’ve already inferred. It’s becoming more and more Cal isn’t so much in it for their religion. He’s in it for the power.
Back into the world, Eddie shares his experiences. Everything is renewed, everything is fine again. Then there’s Cal, pumping everyone up saying there was “light dancing” in Steven’s eyes when he was told about all their work. Capable of seeing both sides we’re able to stay wary of Cal and his wiles. How long can he keep the wool over everyone’s eyes?
Meanwhile, the whole Miranda Frank (Minka Kelly) situation is devolving. She apparently would not “unburden“, and therefore creates an entirely new pocket of troubles. Because how can Eddie explain himself if Miranda will not confess (to something she did not do)?
Most interesting so far is Cal going to see his previously briefly mentioned mother – Brenda Roberts (Kathleen Turner). One thing I have to mention, as I’ve said before: the score from Will Bates is phenomenal. As Cal goes into the apartment building to see his dear ole mom there is such a great piece of music that builds and builds, it has an unasy, warped feeling, and almost puts you directly into the mind and headspace of Cal.
Detective Abe Gaines (Rockmond Dunbar) is still pursuing the cult. He’s out at their camp talking with Richard (Clark Middleton), pretending to be someone else of course. Naturally, he’s trying to get a lead on what these people are all about.
Still meeting with Alison (Sarah Jones), Eddie tries to cut himself off from their previous incognito investigation. He’s drinking their “juice“, but believes he’s “living the truth“; something she will not buy.
In one of the locked rooms, Sarah goes to talk with Miranda, whose confusion only grows more by the second. Except Sarah is convinced of their affair. The layers only twist around one another, wrapping up in a pit of snakes that’s only bound to make things worse for everyone involved.
Back at his mother’s place, Cal tries to clean up. She’s more interested in trying to draw him back into her life. For a seemingly narcissistic man Cal appears concerned for his mother, her safety, her health and sanity, too.
Home in bed, the Lanes “connect” and try to get their energies flowing together. All of their Scientology-like teachings and beliefs make it right into the bedroom. So, like all other major religions, this cult is just like any other operation. They want to control life, they want to lock down personality, to crush individuality. And it’s obvious: Eddie and Sarah have a big Meyerist Eye hanging in their bedroom, right there in the place where they make love.
The sour relationship between Cal and his mother comes out further. She clearly has never had time for any of that cult religion bullshit, though, Cal’s dad entrenched his son in the workings of Meyerism. What’s interesting about their relationship is that there are guaranteed many people Cal’s age, in real life, whose families were torn apart by quasi-hippy nonsense like Meyerism during the 1960s and 1970s. A guy like Mr. Roberts took his son under his wing and immersed him into the cult, which had lasting repercussions on Cal, as well as the family overall. Yet, it’s still clear also that Cal cares deeply for his mother. He even has a drink for her.
Hawk is still trying to live a normal life. He explains the ways of his religion to his new sort-of girlfriend, Ashley (Amy Forsyth). Part of him comes off very abrasive, likely a result of his being raised in the cult of Meyerism. While Ashley doesn’t exactly understand, or dig, the whole religion thing, she does like Hawk a lot.
Cal’s trying hard to get his mother into a care home. But she pushes and pushes and pushes, until he snaps on her in front of the people there. The rage in him is clear, even though she is on ragged, rough bitch. There’s a hatred in him which runs deep. It’s scary, actually.
At the same time, Eddie is dealing with being pushed, too. The stress of having to admit something he did not do grows around his shoulders. Everybody knows, everybody thinks that he’s “transgressed“, and it is a burden. No matter if he wants to make things right again. Likewise, Cal’s secret life with his mother, his drinking, it puts him in touch with Sarah. Funny, how Eddie never actually cheated, and yet Sarah and Cal have a strange, semi-emotional relationship with one another, very personal, private. I wonder if there are any other secrets of theirs we don’t know about yet. Because she’s already lying about why Cal called.
Further than that, Eddie finds Alison lurking around outside their house. He actually threatens to kill her if she comes around again: “You do not know where I come from,” he warns. It’s like a massive whirlwind of trouble brewing around their lives, ready to encompass everything nearby, everybody has something threatening the integrity of their cult, something about to crash down on top of their systematically structured universe.
Later when Eddie finds out that Miranda is at the compound, unwilling to admit to their non-existent affair, he is rocked. Now what will he do? Somehow this has to go away.
Over at his girlfriend’s house, Hawk does what he can to help Ashley and their family in harsh times. It’s intriguing to watch Hawk go against the wishes of his community because he knows what’s right, he knows to help someone is the ultimate goal, and yet the others around him, his own family, they’re falling way of the path in their own various ways. So to watch the kid be the one whose intentions are lining up true is sort of ironic, when the adults act as if they’ve got it all figured out.
And Cal, he knows exactly where he came from, unfortunately. His mother warns of trying to outrun his identity. That never ever goes the way it’s planned.
Brenda: “Wanting to be someone else never works. Just brings you right back here.”
A fire is lit under Gaines by the father of Mary Cox (Emma Greenwell). The detective is definitely going to start causing some issues for the Meyerists and their community. Coming up against the wrath of Cal, I wonder exactly how out of control things are about to get.
Once Cal gets back to the camp he meets with Sarah. He tells her about something “in Peru” about Doc Meyers. He claims the “next rungs” deal with “succession of leadership” and so on. Of course. No surprise there, right? Cal wants to install himself as the next leader of the Meyerist movement. “It‘s always been you,” Sarah even assures.
In the end, Eddie goes to see Miranda. And she’s unconscious, likely dead, having drank the juice she was brought earlier by Sarah, or at least that’s what it looks like. Whoa. Is it really the case?
Let’s find out together. Next episode is titled “The Future” and more revelations are bound to expose themselves.