Hulu’s The Path
Season 1, Episode 6: “Breaking & Entering”
Directed by Roxann Dawson
Written by Annie Weisman
* For a review of the previous episode, “The Hole” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Refugees” – click here
Cal (Hugh Dancy) is lying in the hospital, beaten and bloody from the end of last episode. He’s visited by Sarah (Michelle Monaghan), and their relationship, at least on his part, is something more than just friends. When will we see, or hear, more on them? I’d like to know exactly what more of their history is, but for now we get bits and little pieces.
Back on the commune, Cal’s face looking better, Eddie (Aaron Paul) knows something is not quite right with Mr. Roberts. Just a matter of how long the mask takes to crack.
Meanwhile, Hawk (Kyle Allen) is with Ashley (Amy Forsyth) when her family is being evicted from their home. You’d think a nice altruistic group like the Meyerist movement would be inclined to help those like Ashley and her family, even if they’re Ignorant Systemites.
Off goes Eddie with Cal, as the unlikely pair take a trip out to a motel together. At the same time, Sarah’s punishing herself mentally for what Cal went through. All because of what she did for the Ridges. Finally, Hawk shows up asking his mother to help Ashley’s family. This is now a real test of their faith. She agrees to help them, at least for now.
Cal takes Eddie to a rundown room. They’re trying to track down someone who supposedly stole money from one of their chapters in San Diego. Outside on the balcony, hiding, is Alison (Sarah Jones). Narrowly she evades the eyes of Cal, as Eddie’s put in a tough spot. Yikes. I can only imagine what Cal might do to Alison. There’s no telling of what he’s capable, especially after his literal bruises and his bruised ego.
Detective Abe Gaines (Rockmund Dunbar) is still struggling with a sick little baby. He does his best to get by. Only his wife is starting to worry about him. Particularly that he’s using their child to get in with the cult.
Over at the Lane place, Sarah is welcoming Ashley’s family. The odd clash of their respective live, their beliefs is incredibly evident. On the table sits a child’s book written by Dr. Steven Meyer. The kids want to use the strange device on their heads, but mom isn’t so keen. Such an awkward, unbelievably odd scene that works well.
Cal is regrouping, trying to “alter our approach” when it comes to Alison. It is so increasingly clear that he is an unstable man. Not just that, he is completely drawn to Sarah. This will only make for further problems. Sarah’s got her own problems because she and Eddie are more at odds now than before. It all piles up. And Cal is getting dangerously close to complete inappropriateness, to stalker-like behaviour with Mary Cox (Emma Greenwell). He’s sending her new beau off to Delaware. Obvious, no? You can see in her eyes Mary knows nothing good is coming of that.
Constantly, Eddie is wondering exactly what Cal is up to, and rightfully so. He questions, to Sarah privately, about Cal intended to do if he found who they’d been looking for earlier. “Maybe that‘s what we do,” says Eddie: “Hurt people. Now that Cal‘s in charge.” His wife is adamant they don’t, yet it’s more clear than ever Eddie’s faith in Meyerism is shaking. Steadily, it declines. There’s only a matter of when that will happen, how it will break.
Sarah finds out from Cal about his and Eddie’s little trip, breaking and entering, as the episode’s title suggests. He of course feigns a bit of leadership, nobility, like it’s some type of heroic gesture. But Sarah says “screw the money” because Alison’s husband is dead, he committed suicide. Ah, even Sarah knows not the truth. So what I’m truly waiting for is her revelation. When she figures out it’s all a lie. Right now, she takes the file of Tessa Armstrong – her estranged sister – while looking for Alison’s file, and makes off without anyone any the wiser.
At a bar, Eddie and Alison meet again. He wants to figure out what’s happening with the $40,000 she stole. It was in her husband’s account when he died, so she took it. Fine. Understood. But Eddie wants more. He wants to get to the bottom of Meyerism, if it’s a good thing for the world, as it’s meant to be perceived by the outside world. Alison says her husband was “good“, and that he did the things they were meant to do. For his part, Eddie urges her to just try and get away. Only she’s bound by duty – she introduced him to the cult in the beginning.
Alison: “Once you see the first crack you begin to realize it‘s cracked all over”
Dt. Gaines is speaking with Jason Kemp’s parents, who do not have a nice impression of Alison. They blame her, of course, as she brought him into the whole mess. Sad to see such a prominent type of person fall into a preying cult like the Meyerist, and leaving behind a family that loved him. He didn’t come from some broken home. He was lured into his death, essentially.
All the while, Sarah is out sneaking around after her sister. She finds the door open at her apartment and dares to go inside. Funny how she’d earlier been chastising Cal for breaking and entering. Although, the door was open. She moves through the house, looking at photos, looking through the drawers, checking out her sister’s lipstick, perfume, everything. You can tell there’s a part of her that longs for contact, even if she looks down on her sister for not staying with Meyerism. Then the judgemental side of Sarah comes out, seeing her sister’s medicine cabinet filled with prescriptions. A real Tom Cruise type look on Sarah’s face.
Awkward times at the Lane house, as grandpa’s smoking “sacred herb“, and Ashley’s family tries hard to keep their mouths shut. So now Sarah’s major concern is that Hawk is going to go off and have to take medication for depression and anxiety, or something similar. She’s really getting psycho about her son.
Sean (Paul James) is pretty suspicious about Mary and Cal. He brings it up, which does not go well, as she admits Cal told her to be with Sean. “I saw you when I looked into the light,” she tells him. But Sean walks out, off to Delaware.
Abe gets a call back from a doctor with whom Jason had been in contact. Apparently Jason needed some drugs, serious ones. Will this lead Abe to the truth about the cult, or is he about to slip in deeper? I worry because of his sick baby. Could easily have him falling headlong into their nonsense.
With Ashley’s grieving mother at the table, Sarah and the others all but attack her. They make clear because she has no faith, that’s why bad things happen. Yikes.
The specter of Dr. Meyers looms over Cal, literally, as he has a big picture of the man on his wall. Off in the night goes Cal after peering into his eyes. Where’s he going? Might be more danger. For somebody.
In the morning, Hawk’s clearly not pleased with his family. And up at the pulpit is Cal, preaching down to everybody else, after doing who knows what the night previous. Alongside the Lane family are Ashley and hers. They look on with incredible doubt, as one would. Ashley can’t take it and leaves, followed by Hawk, to the dismay of Sarah. She really can see through their bullshit. Even if Hawk can’t, sucked into the chaos already. But he at least admits: “I don‘t even know what‘s real anymore.” He loves her and he doesn’t fully buy into the cult. I hope he’ll break free, and if he tries that they don’t do something terrible to him for trying.
Cal: “I don‘t want want to live for this moment. I want to live forever, in the garden that we are creating, here, together.”
Up onstage in front of everybody, Cal welcomes some refugee families that the local parish couldn’t accommodate. Everyone is pretty surprised. As am I. So what does this mean? Is it all a front? Because Cal is all a front. He talks and walks a good game, but it’s all a front for something more egotistical, and ultimately something more sinister.
At a little picnic afterwards, Abe tries to get some more information out of Eddie. But poor Eddie can only look around with a cynical eye. Everything is tainted. Because he’s seen that first crack, as Alison mentioned. Now the whole thing is filled with cracks and broken edges and pieces about to crumble apart.
This episode was incredible. It moved along nicely, introduced some new tension, as well as the fact the editing is phenomenal here. The score is, as always, wonderful, too. Stay with me for the next episode, “Refugees”, which is bound to bring further revelations on our path towards the light.