Hulu’s The Path
Season 3, Episode 7: “The Gardens at Giverny”
Directed by Peter Sollett
Written by Jessica Goldberg
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Messiah” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Door” – click here
The title of this episode plays into Eddie Lane (Aaron Paul) going to France, where a new Meyerist centre is opening – Giverny is a French commune, well known because it was the location of Claude Monet’s home. I wonder if this place might tie into/become linked with the Garden in Meyerist prophesy? We’ll see.
Eddie, accompanied by Vera Stephens (Freida Pinto) – as well as Cal (Hugh Dancy) and Mary (Emma Greenwell), Felicia (Adriane Lenox), Sarah (Michelle Monaghan) and some others. They meet a man called Jean-Paul (Roby Schinasi) who owns the massive property that’ll be named as the “official home of European Meyerism.” They’ll also be appointing a Guardian of the Light for this new centre; could be Cal, or at least that’s what he and Mary are hoping.
Alone together, Sarah and Eddie briefly discuss the notebooks from the cave, her doubts concerning the mysterious Lilith (Sarita Choudhury). Mostly, the estranged wife has doubts, whereas the new leader’s come full circle from his own doubt and he’s more sure about his faith than ever. Such a strangely compelling twist on what we saw in those first two seasons.
Later, Eddie mentions the name Lilith to Vera, unaware he’s speaking to her daughter. Ah – now we’re beginning to see a few things starting to unravel. The Meyerist leader mentions the mysterious woman’s “obsession with punishment” and a general “darkness” about the way she wrote. Oh, man. With Vera knowing this I anticipate more deviousness on her part + her mother’s part, too. Could get very interesting; dangerous, even.
At a rock show Caleb’s (Titus Makin Jr.) band jam out onstage. Hawk (Kyle Allen) is there to watch, and he also gets a few nosy questions from a guy in the crowd about how he knows Caleb, the interfaith space, so on. Hmm. Either way, we see more of Hawk and Caleb getting to know one another. It’s getting a bit more steamy maybe when Hawk mentions he’s got the place to himself for a week. Not just that, the nosy guy’s clearly keeping an eye on Caleb. Worries me a little. Turns out, he and Caleb had a thing together, hooking up and the like.
In Paris, Sarah leads a workshop for people, as does Cal. Some people sit on the sidelines with that weird Meyerist contraption connected to their temples. Cal explains things about the “original wound” and finding out how to close it off inside; not unlike the Scientology rhetoric when they seek for trauma in past lives.
Elsewhere, Vera does a bit of marketing while explaining the juices for a crowd. But she soon gets a call from mom. The daughter’s starting to feel as if there’s a “vendetta” at play, though she gets no answers. She also mentions what Eddie spoke about, which makes Lilith more excited than it does worried. It’s clear this is about her vindication. Furthermore, Lilith tells her daughter Felicia and the others hurt her years ago. What did they do to her, exactly?
Sarah goes to Cal, wanting him to tell Eddie about the truth concerning Dr. Steve Meyer. Because Sarah knows things, she knows the truth. However, Cal’s more concerned with taking what he sees as his own, what he is owed for a lifetime of pain at the hands of the originator of Meyerism. He’d rather get a form of compensation than to further confront the deeper, darker truths. Essentially, he’d rather live amongst lies – a verifiably, wholly made up religion – than to face the pain of the truth.
That night at a ceremony, Eddie announces Felicia as the Guardian of the Light for European Meyerism. Felicia gladly accepts, while Cal is tormented by the decision, as is Mary who tells her man: “You should‘ve left him in the ground.”
Sarah goes for a walk on her own where she runs into an old man who senses her inner pains. He then says he can help relieve some suffering. His name is Marcel Stendhal, he is a mesmerist. More fringe beliefs. Although hypnotism is actually much more concrete than Meyerism, all things considered.
Eddie goes to look for Sarah, and this gives Cal the chance to step up when Jean-Paul’s a bit pissed he doesn’t get a private meet with the great leader. Jean-Paul tells Cal and Mary about his horrific father. And this is a subject Cal knows plenty about, even if he’s still as damaged as anyone else. What we see more of is that Mary’s continually interested in money. Cal’s totally obsessed with Meyerism, it’s all he has in his existence, but Mary is merely along for the ride to, hopefully, get rich.
Out amongst the gardens, Eddie finds Sarah. They end up at a little place for wine and food and a table in the open air. Once the music gets going, the two dance together like old times. Eddie tells her soon he wants to give their marriage “another shot.” Because there’s no points to “eternity” without her, he says.
Back at home, Hawk tries cooking for him and Caleb. The pair sit down for wine, they chat about their sexuality, they’re starting to figure their relationship out. Obviously Caleb comes from a super Christian family, so it’s been tough, especially seeing as how he does subscribe to Christianity.
We see Sarah go to Mr. Stendhal. She’d like him to help with discovering whatever it is she can’t pinpoint in those journals. He suggests trying out a “lucid dream” to dislodge whatever it is in her psyche, and those journals, that needs to come out.
When Vera talks to Felicia briefly she mentions Lilith, and the latter tells her the woman was an “early follower.” The woman was disturbed, supposedly, claiming that Steve stole Meyerism from her, which Felicia believes is not true because she was there when Dr. Meyer received the Light. Turns out, they kicked Lilith to the curb for burning her child – she’d sear the Light into people until Steve put a stop to it.
Question is, does Vera have a burn?
Sarah gets hypnotised. She sees a vision of a young Lilith (Salena Qureshi). The girl goes to visit Dr. Meyer in his office with her “visions.” Lilith tells Steve of the Ladder, the Light, and all sorts of other components of Meyerism. She even has burned hands. But it was surely the psychotic visions of a disturbed girl – these were what built the religion. In her dream, Sarah also finds the name of a patient named John Kordjak, which links the writings together from Lilith and Steve’s books.
Jean-Paul gets up in front of everybody with a surprise. He’s honouring “the god,” Eddie Lane. Seems he’s lighting a literal ladder on fire, and he wants the Meyerist leader to climb it in front of everybody. The crowd chants for him to CLIMB, CLIMB, CLIMB. Soon Cal rushes to shut it down.
The next morning Sarah leaves for home. Eddie’s not happy with Vera, either. He feels she dropped the ball letting Jean-Paul light that fire. We’re seeing a divide between the leader and his “secular liason,” and this could cause some serious repercussions going forward. Afterwards, Cal and JP get closer – this is something the former will use to build his own following, and eventually he’ll go on his own, standing up as his own faith. All manipulation, all the time for Mr. Roberts, and Mary, too.
Oh, and Vera’s got a burn. When Cal sees the mark on her back it’s something that takes him aback. Does he have a mark? Or does he know about the searing? Lord. So much to wonder.
This episode really busted things wide open, we’re going to see a different version of The Path closing out Season 3, from plot(s) to character development and motivations, the whole thing is changing. But it’s all in the best way. Really takes the series in a great new direction, one we’ve been working towards since the first episode of Season 3.
“The Door” is next. Cannot fucking wait!