Hulu’s The Path
Season 3, Episode 8: “The Door”
Directed by Peter Sollett
Written by Annie Weisman
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “The Gardens at Giverny” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “To Lift the Veil” – click here
Eddie (Aaron Paul) talks about the “growth that really matters; the growth within.” He worries there’s too much focus on expansion, between opening the new centres and everything else. He tells all his followers they’re going to “extract something harmful” from their lives to sacrifice to the Light. Everyone will get rid of something in their life which is holding them back, but in a positive way, unlike the shunning of non-believer family members as it was once for Meyerism.
We see that Cal (Hugh Dancy) is keeping himself at the leader’s right-hand side, awaiting the proper time to emerge and steal away with whoever will follow him. He and Eddie talk a bit about Sarah (Michelle Monaghan), who’s off at an inn someplace doing her own thing. Of course Cal does a fine job of acting like he’s not acting, too. Still, Mary (Emma Greenwell) is pushing him towards the fame and money angle more than he seems dedicated to that course of action. There’s a danger in their relationship, which has always been there, and it’s only getting worse.
At the same time, Vera Stephens (Freida Pinto) is packing up after being canned. Eddie tries to leave things on a good note by thanking her for all the work she’s done. In a way, she seems fine with the whole situation, considering the things she’s started to find out about her mother Lilith (Sarita Choudhury).
And on her little personal journey who does Sarah find? John; well, we know him as Kodiak (James Remar). Oh, wow. We haven’t seen him since before the fire at the compound. He’s doing therapy with wounded military veterans. Wasn’t hard for Sarah to find him – he’s just going by his original name, before he “joined the many” in Meyerism. She wants to know more about Lilith, though he’s partly healing himself in this new place; he isn’t willing to dive back into the darkness of his earlier life.
We see Vera doing some diving of her own, looking into her past and her mother’s madness. She meets up with her ex-husband Remy (Frederick Weller) to talk about her burn; mom said it was from a car accident when she was a child. Seems Remy and Vera’s marriage crumbled because of her co-dependency with mom. The two women obviously have an unhealthy relationship, as too many parents and their children often do.
I want more of Hawk (Kyle Allen) exploring his sexuality. It’s a great little story of growing up to watch. Hard as it is being in a cult, must be harder to be gay and in a cult. I guess, at least Hawk knows he’s got gay feelings, whereas he’s much less aware of being in a cult. At family dinner, Eddie has Cal and Mary over. At the table Russel (Patch Darragh) makes a bit of a fuss over how the new leader’s doing things, but obviously Eddie is becoming more and more proactive, even if that means getting stern, as well.
Out at a club, Hawk and Caleb (Titus Makin Jr.) take in a show. They run into Arnie (Matt Harrington), who Caleb fooled around with; the guy who was ashamed of being with him. Through it all, Hawk basically tells the guy to fuck off, announcing him and Caleb as a couple.
Note: The awesome drag queen performing in the club scene is Acid Betty! A RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni.
Doesn’t bode well that Jean-Paul (Roby Schinasi) is pumping up Cal’s confidence. Particularly seeing as how it’s being pumped up by money and fancy cars. Mary sees it all as a payday. She’s also driving a wedge between her man and the Meyerist leader.
Jackson (Raúl Esparza) is getting fed up with Sarah and her “blind faith” after seeing that she’s just being sucked back in all over again. She won’t give up trying to find the truth, though. No matter what relationship she must give up.
At the compound, Eddie receives a visit from Reverend William Matthews – yes, father of Caleb. The holy man is there to tell Eddie about an “inappropriate” friendship between their sons. Naturally, Mr. Lane says he doesn’t care about his son being gay, while Rev. Matthews is a bible-thumping bigot. Funny in a way to see these two men from vastly different religions butt heads.
Then there’s Lilith, along with Dr. Costa (Philip Hernandez), who’s hosting some people at her home. They’re all Meyerist, happy to hear Lilith’s predictions about the “cleansing of the Earth” commencing. What we’re watching is a suicide cult, led by the originator of Meyerism; because it’s all one big, mental sham. Meanwhile, Vera is busy sleeping with her ex-husband, and finding herself lost in the real world after briefly feeling at home with the Meyerists.
Eddie feels bad his son hasn’t talked to him about being gay. He talks to Hawk about it, and the young man doesn’t exactly react how he’d hoped. Hawk’s got his own questions about mom and dad, where mom is, what the hell’s going on in their family. As father and Meyerist leader, Eddie doesn’t know it all, either.
Together, Cal and Eddie do weird ritual shit. In a hot room, the leader holds buckets of water outstretched in his arms. Cal grills him with questions, as he pours more water into the buckets. Eddie speaks of his son and worrying he’s lost his trust; he also scours his brain for whatever’s distracting him. Finally, he reveals his estranged wife is his distraction – he feels failure because he can’t bring her back to belief. What’s most important is that these techniques are more of the BDSM weirdness Dr. Steve Meyer was pushing into his made-up religion in an effort to transgress his own fucked up, disgusting sins.
Kodiak eventually goes to see Sarah, so he can explain some things about the birth of Meyerism. He tells Sarah about how Steve “assimilated” Lilith’s ideas into his own system of beliefs. After that, Dr. Meyer threw her out like garbage. More to disillusion Sarah from the faith in which she grew up all her life.
All the Meyerists are giving things up and reflecting on their faith. Except for Cal and Mary, they’re trying to hide that slick ride. Eddie talks to his people about sacrifice, just as Mr. Roberts shows up in that nice car. Cal’s brought the vehicle there to beat to pieces in front of everybody. Looks like he’s deciding to rid himself of distraction, too. All to play his part next to the leader. Hard to gauge his intent, which is ever shifting. No telling what his ultimate endgame’s becoming, day by day.
At home, Vera’s had enough of her mother. She can’t even stand Lilith, yet she sticks by her because of their shared DNA. She confronts mom with the burn on her back, and Lilith says the cult made her sick. And all this leads up to the daughter leaving; will she truly walk out of her mother’s life for good?
When Sarah gets back after her time at the inn Eddie asks for her to leave the group. He sees it as best for them all. She’s half in, half out, anyway. Mostly, he’s looking to refine himself, and sees her as a detriment to that. But this is just going to solidify her determination to keep uncovering the truth behind Meyerism, I know it.
What about the new complication? Vera wants to “become a Meyerist.” She’s at Eddie’s door, right as Sarah has arrived at Lilith’s door.
Fantastic episode, as I so often write. It’s true, for me. The way Season 3 is going is where I’d hoped, sooner than later, The Path was heading. So, I’m finding it all a great pay off, even if I really enjoyed the first two seasons regardless.
Can’t wait for more. “To Lift the Veil” is next. Anticipate more big truths and revelations to get jostled loose.