Hulu’s The Path
Season 1, Episode 9: “A Room With a View”
Directed by Michael Weaver
Written by Julia Brownell
* For a review of the previous episode, “The Shore” – click here
* For a review of the finale, “The Miracle” – click here
Cal Roberts (Hugh Dancy) sits at the bedside of Dr. Steven Meyers (Keir Dullea). He talks about the dying of their movement, and what happens next. Furthermore, Cal reveals how deeply he cares about Steve, the entire Meyerist cult (though he’d never use that word). “I‘m sorry for everything I have done is wrong and everything wrong I do next,” Cal says tearfully to his father figure-mentor.
In a bar, Sarah Lane (Michelle Monaghan) meets with Alison Kemp (Sarah Jones) about all the calls between her and Eddie (Aaron Paul). We also discover there was a diary left behind by Alison’s husband Jason before his death, in Peru where he’d been staying. Now more of the “doubts” Eddie has are coming out, not from his own mouth but from that of Alison this time, like Cal spilled at the end of last episode, too. Alison makes clear it doesn’t matter if Eddie has faith, he is willing to “drink the fucking juice” all for his wife, and that ought to matter most.
Finishing their walk together, Eddie and his son Hawk (Kyle Allen) have clearly connected more than ever in their time on the road. Meanwhile, Mary (Emma Greenwell) and Sean (Paul James) are connecting more, as well. She asks him to help her get off the drugs that are hooking her in. For now he helps. I’m just not so sure he isn’t brainwashed already. Perhaps he’ll end up ratting her out.
Then finally, the Lane boys get back to the commune. Sarah and Cal are each on edge certainly. Everyone else is glad to see them once again. Eddie’s wife quickly tells him she knows all about Alison, now we’re faced with whatever fallout’s to come. At home Eddie faces the music. The truth is out in the open. Not only is Sarah feeling betrayed, she feels stupid for trusting in Eddie after all they’ve been through as of late. Love the “pod person” reference by Eddie, bringing us back to Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Sarah finds her husband admitting that the faith is bullshit, except for the good work they actually do: “The rest is just fucking fairy tales,” he tells her sternly. He compares it to the people that eat communion in the Catholic church, how most sane people don’t ACTUALLY believe they’re eating the legitimate body of Christ, they just do it as a ritual. Regardless, Sarah walks away from her husband. She doesn’t even bother letting him in on the fact that she’s now cheated on him with Cal briefly.
On the other side of things, Detective Abe Gaines (Rockmund Dunbar) is finding himself coming up against the higher ups. He is genuinely worried about the new “charismatic” Roberts at the helm. At the same time, they’re forcing him into time off. Will this drive him undercover on his own? He doesn’t strike me as the type to take things lying face down that way. He’s going to take charge of this situation. But maybe that’s a bad thing. Maybe he’ll find himself in a terrible situation that way.
Sarah isn’t happy with Cal, either. She chastises him for not telling her about the truth re: Miranda Frank. Then Cal drops a bomb on her about Steve supposedly finishing the rungs, and also preparing to leave. Whatever that means. You can guess there’s a Jim Jones-esque/Heaven’s Gate-type shit going on. Apparently, Steve also wants Cal and Sarah, together, to be “Guardians of the Light“, which I’m sure we’ll find out the meaning of soon enough. Does this mean they’d actually have to be… together? And what does that mean for Eddie, especially since his crisis of faith is becoming more known by the second.
At school, Hawk and Ashley (Amy Forsyth) come back together. She is more than happy to have him. They embrace and then head off to be alone together. This warms my heart to a puddle because I hope Hawk someday shrugs off the damn cult and gets free. Ashley may be the key. Time being, she’s living in a car with her family, but Hawk finally reveals: “I‘m leaving the movement.” He will do anything possible to help her. A strong, deep love.
In front of the congregation, Eddie tells everyone about his experience on his walk. He says there is no truth, for him. Rather, he just wants to be home. No matter where he ends up. Not everyone is exactly impressed with his talk, though it’s from the heart. Buried deep beneath all the Meyerism, culty bullshit.
And underneath it all, he and Sarah do love one another. She loves him, he loves her. The doubts in his belief are an issue. However, their passion and care and lust and love for one another is more than obvious.
A situation develops between Mary and Sean after the redhead she was with for a short time causes a huge scene. Her drug use is revealed to everybody. Then Mary snaps and attacks her. This is going to create a big mess now. Something is on the horizon for poor Ms. Cox.
Speaking of mess, Dt. Gaines gets a call from Eddie. The detective is not doing well between trouble at work and the emotional trauma of his daughter going under the knife. Abe rails against Eddie and the entire Meyerist movement. The most ironic part is that Eddie knows all that. He even agrees not to call again, and this is the inkling Gaines hangs onto: “Fuck the Light, just do not give up on your kid,” Eddie says. Wow. Are those calls recorded? That’d be some god damn wildness.
The Mary Cox situation has found its way to Cal’s office. Sean, of course, feels betrayed. For his part, Cal seems to understand sometimes things happen when “people with deep wounds” come together. Plus, for all his faults Cal’s doing his best not to be hypocritical. He isn’t exactly the guy who suppresses his urges.
The divide between Hawk and his cult family has started widening. At dinner, the littlest Lane reveals “Uncle Cal” slept over while the men were on their walk. Yikes. Then Hawk drops the bomb he’s leaving the commune, the cult, all of it. Sarah has this brutal look on her face, one of malice. She plans to exile and shun her son. The impressive turn of Michelle Monaghan only gets better with each episode; here, she wows with a range that is hard to find. The way she changes expressions here is almost chilling.
At the very same time, Alison holds her husband’s diary walking out onto a frozen lake, weeping. Oh my, that is crazy sad. I hope it isn’t what I think.
Well Hawk is packed and ready to leave already. Mom says fuck him, basically, which does not sit right with Eddie. The extent of their cult beliefs is now surpassing any line Eddie can handle. This is it now. Sadder still, their daughter is caught up in the mix. The parents-in-law are no less crazy than Sarah, they’re the ones who bred it into her and made her part of the whole cult. This penultimate episode of Season 1 is where we watch Eddie finally have the breakdown that’s been coming. The ultimate collapse of his faith in Meyerism.
Eddie: “There‘s gotta be some fuckin‘ room for doubt”
Cal heads inside a club where scantily clad women are dancing, serving drinks. He takes of his outer wear, under it all wearing a suit and tie. There he meets John Ridge (Michael Countryman), the one who had him beaten awhile back. Seems his son Freddie turned around big time. Now their friendship is back on track. Cal wants to expand the mission of the Meyerist movement. “We‘re still in the Dark Ages,” he tells John hoping that he’ll help with investing, real estate, et cetera. Now the cult is starting to grow. This is becoming a scary thing. Even worse, Cal wants only him involved, to keep things close to the chest.
In the office, Sarah calls Silas for help. He could’ve used some himself. Too late now. A short time later she meets Cal at his office. They kiss again, their longing more than evident. She tells him about her son leaving, which Cal says is “unacceptable“, so now I’m officially worried. Both for Hawk and Eddie alike.
The next day Cal picks Ashley up from school. This is getting more frightening. He takes her to a house where she could stay, instead of the car with her family. He even semi-quotes Virginia Woolf. Cal tries convincing her to help Hawk, to not let him walk from the cult, or else he loses everything.
A coroner’s report on Jason Kemp comes back. Ends up in the hands of Abe due to a friend. Seems Kemp had serious burns on his hands, though his apparent suicide was from jumping off a mountain. Strange, no? This may well be what prompts Gaines to keep moving despite being almost fired.
Hawk goes back home when Ashley doesn’t meet him. She actually broke it off with him. But will Hawk let it go that easily? Surely someone’s got to realize there are strings being pulled behind the scenes. Eddie tries comforting him, then feels the touch of Cal on the situation because of Ashley’s words to his son. With that, Eddie rushes off.
Is this the final break of his faith?
Eddie confronts everyone, specifically Sarah and Cal. “You broke your son‘s heart,” he yells at her before eventually punching Cal out. Now the entire group is aware of his faith slipping. This is the event that starts a downfall. What will the finale bring after this revelation?
And outside, Alison arrives. Back to the commune, back to Meyerism. Really? This was an intense finish.
Very excited for the finale. Glad to know they’ve already got a renewal. The final episode of Season 1, “The Miracle”, is bound to bring out a whopper of an end. Stay with me, fellow fans and fanatics and friends.