Hulu’s The Path
Season 1, Episode 4: “The Future”
Directed by Michael Weaver
Written by Julia Brownell
* For a review of the previous episode, “A Homecoming” – click here
* For a review of the next episode “The Hole” – click here
After Eddie (Aaron Paul) found Miranda Frank (Minka Kelly) laying unconscious, likely dead, on the floor o that room, The Path continues on, darker than ever.
At home, Eddie and Sarah (Michelle Monaghan) wait for news. Apparently Miranda’s been taken to the hospital, and trusty Cal Roberts (Hugh Dancy) will call when there’s anything to report. Yes, I’m sure the cult leader will keep everything on the level and not dust it all under the rug.
Well Sarah wants to “unburden” to her husband. She reveals: “I did this.” But the problem is that Eddie’s lied. He lied about even having an affair, all to cover up a crisis of faith in Meyerism. Then they get word that a Bill and Felicia are coming. What does it mean? Are these higher ups? Elders?
Detective Abe Gaines (Rockmond Dunbar) is sure there’s something “dark going on” in the Meyerism community. He doesn’t even know the half. It’ll be interesting to see him become further mixed up with their craziness.
In hospital, Cal talks with Miranda. She’s bewildered as to why this is all happening. But whereas she doesn’t think anything even remotely close to an affair has happened, Cal uses Meyerism to convince her to talk with him. She reveals Eddie’s demeanour in Peru after taking the medicine, hallucinating, et cetera. Though, no affair. Only a hug to comfort him. But now Cal knows of Eddie’s crisis, his claim that “there is no light” and all his doubts. We’ll see exactly how Cal goes on to use this, you know he will exploit it at some point, for some reason.
Out in the forest, Sarah gives a weird Meyerist-type talk, as everybody sits around with electrode-like suction cups on their heads holding their little readers, talking about finding the “damage” back beyond in our minds. Absolutely mental. But at least the junkie Freddie Ridge’s (Max Ehrich) parents Cal is raking in donations from are happy with his progress.
Cal’s got other issues, though. He wants to know more about Eddie, calling Silas (Steve Mones) who took the drugs/medicine in Peru with him. Most of all, Cal worries about why Bill and Felicia are at the commune. He believes there’s doubt about his leadership. What sort of chaos will this bring? Because it will bring some, in some sense. There’s a storm brewing inside him that could burst at any moment from behind the dam he puts up against it.
Trying to convince the Ridges of the Meyerist way to wean people off drugs, using Ayahuasca, Sarah hopes the parents will keep their son there to be treated. But the father won’t have any of their hippie bullshit.
Meanwhile, Eddie finds Cal to figure out where Miranda is, after she’s been moved from the hospital. The magnetic Cal wants Eddie to do 7R, to climb the next rung of the ladder. There’s that old saying, right? Keep your friends close, your enemies closer. Cal wants to push Eddie further to see if that crisis of faith will become anything more. Simultaneously, Cal chews Sarah out for her treatment of the Ridges; he doesn’t want the medicine used, apparently. Likely Cal is afraid of losing their donations. Greedy, greedy, Mr. Roberts.
And Hawk (Kyle Allen) is still semi-dating his lady friend Ashley (Amy Forsyth). He resists certain things, though, she ends up giving him headphones and some music, saying it can “change the way you see the world” – very true. Only another member of the Meyerist community spies Hawk with Ashley. There’ll be some fallout, no doubt.
The relationship between Eddie and Sarah is starting to mend. He talks of moving up to 7R, one rung below his wife. “That‘s because I‘m coming after you,” he says sly and sweet. I’m glad they’ve started coming around to a better marriage again. Because he never cheated. Now he’s just got to try tackling that crisis of faith, or else tell his wife about it, so they can figure out a way forward. Problem is Cal is in their midst, and even with Sarah’s steady faith to Meyerism her old flame will end up becoming a problem if there’s dissent from the Lane family, in any way.
More of Cal and Mary Cox (Emma Greenwell). He wants her to speak during “Ascension Day“, some kind of Meyerist day of nonsense. Does this have anything to do with Felicia coming to see him, saying her and Bill will take over duties for the big day? Of course it does. Nothing in their world happens without reason. For now, Cal talks suggestively with Mary, he undoes his belt listening to her describe being with her boyfriend, kissing; a very disturbing moment. We can see that there’s another person inside Cal, one which he represses constantly, one that wants to come out but he wills to stay hidden. And that’s always going to create a problem. Soon, it will escape. We just have to wait and see how long he can tame it.
So the big thing about Felicia is that she apparently tried to climb The Ladder after Steve Meyers (Keir Dullea). Only it was burning hot, singing her hands. She even holds them up for all to see. Oh really, Felicia? Well everyone there buys into the propaganda. Cal doesn’t like it because he wants to be the man, the one and only behind Steve. I’d like to know the real story behind those burned hands. Perhaps we’ll see some of that eventually.
The dangerous part about Meyerism and young people is the repression of sexual desire. Hawk is confronted by the girl who saw him with Ashley, she pleads that they all feel horny now and then. Yet those feelings are just lies, they corrupt. That is a terrible thing to convince young people of, a bad way of life to lead them on. At the same time, the adults are all so deluded, and for so long, that they’ve convinced themselves completely of their hoax and it will never let go.
Eddie talks briefly with Felicia. They want someone close to Cal, so it seems. She also mentions Sarah doesn’t necessarily see Cal in an unbiased light. So we’re beginning to understand Bill and Felicia are definitely there to exert some sort of control over the commune. Because of Cal. The suspicious look on Eddie’s face says it all.
Mrs. Ridge calls Sarah to go find Freddie in an extremely sketchy-looking drug house. The place is disgusting, though, she pushes on in to find the kid. He’s there, stuck full of needles and strung out. He definitely needs help. I’m not convinced Meyerism is the answer to that call.
Across the fire, Bill and Felicia bring their concerns to Cal. They don’t like his way of doing things. He makes it clear that the cult needs a leader. He also says he’s going to write the last few rungs of the ladder because now he has seen the light, just as Steve did all those years ago. They bring up Alison (Sarah Jones), now Miranda, they don’t like his mishandling of those who’ve lost faith, and so on.
But he’s got a lid on Miranda, he’s brainwashed her once more, essentially. She’s off in a little trailer, “grateful” to the movement for all they’ve done. A marked change since her time in that bare, white room. It all looks like Cal’s got things under control now. It also gives him too much confidence, believing himself to be the “chosen son“, but Bill and Felicia still aren’t happy.
Cal: “I can go out on the fucking street and make people believe”
The cult may be starting to get to Detective Gaines, even slightly. After infiltrating them so far, only just a bit, he’s already starting to see his own life differently. And speaking of different lives, Hawk ends up going to a big party to meet Ashley. His life is changing drastically. He lays a big kiss on her and things start moving quick for them.
Before leaving, Bill and Felicia head to see Eddie. They bring Miranda to see him. She keeps apologizing, and now it turns out she’s back in the movement. “Keep the faith, honey,” says Felicia. They ask him to watch Cal. And it all clearly worries Eddie, knowing Miranda did nothing yet there she is, unburdening herself all over the place.
Later out in the woods at night, Eddie meets Cal in private. “Dig until you find something,” he tells Eddie handing over a shovel for him. What’s the meaning? What will he find down there?
Suspenseful little finale for this episode. Loved it all. The whole series gets better as the episodes wear on. Next up is titled “The Hole”, so naturally, we’ll figure out to where Eddie is digging.