The Handmaid’s Tale – Season 1, Episode 4: “Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum”

Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale
Season 1, Episode 4: “Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum”
Directed by Mike Barker
Written by Leila Gerstein

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Late” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Faithful” – click here
Pic 1After Ofglen (Alexis Bledel) being subjected to genital mutilation, and Offred (Elisabeth Moss) not yet pregnant, suffering the misogyny of fellow woman Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski), some might think Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale couldn’t get any worse. Right?
Wrong.
Offred’s been banished to her room, “thirteen days so far.” She is under lock and key, worse than usual. She likens herself to an explorer in the room, rather than getting too carried away with memories. She explores the closet where her uniform is, but then lays there on the floor. There she discovers NOLITE TE BASTARDES CARBORUNDORUM scratched in the door’s frame. Translation: Don’t let the bastards grind you down.
Flash to Offred and Moira (Samira Wiley). We get bits of their lives in the well-scribed dialogue, including that the handmaids aren’t allowed to write. Another piece of the patriarchy’s dirty puzzle.
Pic 1ACommander Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) and Serena don’t have much of a relationship, which isn’t exactly a surprise. “Weve got good men working on it” is his answer when she tries to give valuable input; albeit input into the patriarchal madness. Still, that divide between her place in that society and where she believes herself to be is always clear. More and more to herself, as well.
After fainting Offred is taken to the doctor by Serena, the first fresh air and sun she’s felt on her face in nearly two whole weeks. Even the rain is a delight to her after such isolation. She remembers Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) giving a lecture to the handmaids about possibly getting pregnant, moving in with their “new family” and such. They speak of “the ceremony” where the handmaids must have a rapey threesome on their fertile days. What we’re seeing is a lesson in complicity, in normalisation. Lydia and the patriarchy are conditioning these women to accept this hideous assault, justified with the Bible in perverted wisdom.
Aunt Lydia: “That is his word, dear. And we shall abide.”
At the doctor’s clinic Offred prepares herself for an exam by the doctor. It’s eerie, as he stands behind a sheet and her lower half is obscured. Far too clinical in an oddly puritanical manner. Doctors can’t even look at their patients, they must keep a sheet between them; not while peeking at the lady parts! Disgusting and weird. This adaptation of Atwood is chilling. Offred’s narration tells us that “sterile is a forbidden word” because their society of men has convinced themselves they are infallible. Even worse, the doc suggests he impregnate her because if the Commander’s sterile – many of them are apparently – then it’ll all be blamed on her, of course. Yuck.
Just viciously ugly. A stark look at the nation of Gilead. A place threatening not only the physical lives of women like Offred, it threatens their sanity even worse than today’s society (which is bad enough).


Today is breeding day. Offred’s been examined, cleared for what’s to follow. She goes back home and plays the part for Serena, asking to be let out from her room. No sympathy, though.
Flash to Moira and Offred. They trick Aunt Elizabeth (Edie Inksetter) into the bathroom where they take her hostage. They lead her through the building’s basement where they shock her, making her strip, so they can use her uniform. They tie her to a pipe then head off outside.
Back to the ceremony, breeding day. Except Commander Waterford breaks the rules a little. Things are supposed to proceed in a specific fashion. Instead he comes in to make another Scrabble date. Hmm.
Serena: “Blessed be the fruit
Offred: “May the Lord open
And so goes the ceremony, or at least it would if Commander Fred could stand at attention. He has… issues. Makes things twice as awkward having wife and rape mistress on his bed, so he walks out. Yeah, that’s no good for anybody. When Serena goes to help him out it’s like they’re no longer used to physical contact; sex has become no longer about pleasure, it is about power and breeding. He refuses a blowjob from her, too. Is Fred catching feelings? Ugh, gross. Either way, Offred doesn’t have to be assaulted for one night, at least.
Worse is how Offred internalises the misogyny, believing she is “not blameless” in that she could’ve shown him more affection, when he came to her before the ceremony. That is terrible. But what the writing does cleverly, in this not-so-hyperbole dystopian future, is outline how women internalise the hatred, many times totally unknowingly, and this happens TODAY. Not just in this terrifying Atwood adaptation. Remember that, men!
Flash to Moira in her Aunt costume taking Offred through the city. They see everything decimated, street signs removed and replaced, corpses brought through the square bloodied in a heap. In a subway station they look for a train to Boston. So militarised, every place they go. Then, as Offred talks to an armed Guardian, she lets Moira go off on the train by herself, as she’s taken back to the city. After her attempt to flee with Moira, Offred’s taken to Aunts Lydia and Elizabeth, who visit nasty tortures on her, whipping the bare soles of her feet like something straight out of the Old Testament.
Pic 3Pic 4Back to Offred, who uses Moira as inspiration to not let those bastards get her down. She goes to see Commander Waterford. They play Scrabble, he drinks and tells her of his trip to Mexico. THE MOST IRONY EVER: he complains a word she plays is archaic; such a perfect line for a man dominating an archaic society! On the shelf as she fetches a dictionary, she notices one for Latin, too (“knower of Latin, scratcher of words“). Once the game is finished they make a date again for after the next ceremony. And Offred does her best to try manipulating Waterford with that bittersweet element which at once gives her power and holds her down in Gilead: femininity.
Something that gradually comes out is the keeping of knowledge, how men and the patriarchy try keeping women down by filtering what they’re expose to and taught, or outright excluding them from knowledge (writing, language, et cetera). Of course that’s how authoritarian systems work.
We get a little montage of the power of women in the end. We see Offred recovering from her punishment having tried to escape. Other women bring her food at bedside, giving her strength and support. Through Waterford’s tale of the previous Offred, this Offred is given a renewed sense of life.
Offred: “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum, bitches.”
Pic 5Probably my favourite episode of the series so far! On top of that, Hulu renewed it for another season. How damn good can it get? Love so much about this episode, but as usual I’m excited for the next one. “Faithful” is next week; I wonder how much deeper we’ll go into the devastating patriarchal nightmare that is the reality for these poor handmaids.

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The Handmaid’s Tale – Season 1, Episode 3: “Late”

Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale
Season 1, Episode 3: “Late”
Directed by Reed Morano
Written by Bruce Miller

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Birth Day” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum” – click here
Pic 1Offred (Elisabeth Moss) hears about what happened to Ofglen (Alexis Bledel). She was taken in a black van. Whisked away. She was a “member of the Resistance” and those are CHOICE WORDS for 2017. “I didnt even know her name,” Offred a.k.a June laments. Now the girl is gone. Disappeared in some cell, in an unknown place.
When they slaughtered Congress, we didnt wake up. When they blamed terrorists and suspended the Constitution, we didnt wake up then, either. They said it would be temporary.”
Flashbacks to June and Moira (Samira Wiley), jogging together and listening to tunes. They have a nasty confrontation with a guy in a coffee shop. He drops the word SLUT on them and this gets Moira particularly pissed. Open misogyny already, long before the patriarchy clamped down. June has troubles with her bank account, and later she sees men with guns come to the office where she works. A troubling development. Their boss has to let them go, required by law; all the women are gone. Ominous, as an army arrives. Not the regular US army, though.
In the present, Offred is tended to by Rita (Amanda Brugel), who’s suddenly more a fan of her. This shows us what goes in the minds of the women bent under the state. She didn’t care about her before. Since she hasn’t had a period yet, Rita deems her more worthy. Because she may be pregnant. Suddenly Offred, even in the eyes of other women like Rita in servitude and Serena (Yvonne Strahovski) in lesser servitude but still shackled, is more than nothing. For now. Until she’s given birth, like poor Janine (Madeline Brewer).
What Margaret Atwood’s book did well, as does this adaptation, is present how difficult life can be between women when the patriarchy has trodden them into near dust. She shows, through characters such as Serena and Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd), that the ruling class of men oppressing women likewise leads to the oppression of women by other women. Devastating consequences in many forms.
Pic 1AOffred tries comforting Janine, who slips further into a bad mental state. She starts thinking she is free, that she can do what she wants because of her ability to conceive. Fine to think she can eat lots of ice cream. Not fine if she pushes it too far in that militarised zone. I hate to think what may happen to Janine. I truly worry, especially since she believes her Commander is in love.
Later we see Serena try justifying herself, in a way, to Offred. She says that she’s “blessed” to have her around. I can’t help thinking that’s a load of shit. Then there’s Nick (Max Minghella), I haven’t sussed out his purpose or what he’s up to, ultimately. Maybe he’s the reason Ofglen isn’t around anymore, maybe he isn’t. He has a properly nihilistic view of their new world, believing it’s useless to try acting hard: “Everybody breaks. Everybody.” And this time around, he’s taken her to a black van. He advises her to tell them whatever she knows. Uh oh.
Flashback to June and Moira, before the fall. Women cannot own property by law anymore; not money or a house, nothing. They’re starting to shut America down after the terrorist attack in Washington awhile back. Women are systematically being jailed, in every sense. Moira makes a good argument for why the #NotAllMen crowd need to shut up, because the heinousness of men is too terrible for us individual men to worry about being separated in name from the crowd. We do too much damage. In The Handmaid’s Tale, this is presented all too clear, in every bit of its rawness.
Luke: “Should I just go in the kitchen and cut my dick off?”
In the present, Offred is questioned by a man and zapped by Aunt Lydia. They want to know more of Ofglen, what they talked about, any mentions of unpatriotic activities, so on. Then up comes the subject of lesbianism. Touchy, especially when breeding stock and a known lesbian come into contact. According to their world Ofglen is a “gender traitor” and you’ve heard similar words before from rabid racists who use the term race traitor for white people empathetic/sympathetic to people of colour. In fact, this society expressly forbids the use of the word gay.


In the meantime, Ofglen spends her days with a mask covering her mouth, brought from one place to the next in shackles. She tries appealing to the baser needs of the guards, though they won’t bend. She is branded an “abomination” but sentenced to “redemption” because she is “fruitful.” Not a good omen, that’s absolutely positive. Ofglen’s lover is taken to a vacant lot where she’s lifted on a crane and hung by the neck. One of the slowest, most brutal death scenes without graphic violence that I’ve EVER SEEN! Ofglen is then carted away to her own, perhaps even slower punishment.
Nick goes to see Offred, bringing her ice for the stun stick wounds she suffered. There’s more to him, even if he’s complicit in the entire thing. He plays the whole nice guy card while alone with her, acting as if he could be the hero. But again, similar to what Moira spoke of in the earlier flashback, men are not the answer, they are the problem here; the nice ones, too. The women, eventually, are going to enact revolution. Whether it’s painful and bloody on the way is an entirely other situation. It will be women, though. They will not be saved by any men in this world, nor do they need it.
We flashback to a protest, before America fell to fascist, authoritarian government. A spooky rendition of “Heart of Glass” plays while the violence breaks out, the militarised police with their guns bearing down on the innocent protesters, male and female alike. Guns start firing, then Moira and June finally realise the serious depths of what is happening around them. A tragic, emotional sequence as the two women run for their lives and hide.
Pic 3Offred’s discovered she isn’t pregnant after all. Therefore, no more special treatment, and more of that skin crawling sex with Commander Waterford (Joseph Fiennes), held down by Serena as she watches on. Yuck. And once the infertile Mrs. Waterford hears the news, it’s not pleasant. At all. Fucking horrifying, actually. The woman is mad, driven mad by her complicity in the whole debacle. Then she tells Offred: “Things can get much worse for you.” Something that’s actually hard to imagine at this point.
Pic 4We see that Ofglen’s been brought to a stark white facility. She finds there’s been a procedure done on her while she was unconscious. Aunt Lydia reveals her real name: Emily. She says things will be easier for the girl now. “You wont want what you cannot have,” Lydia tells her. Oh, man. Harsh. Like an Atwood vision of body horror.
By the way, the song playing at the end is “Waiting for Something” by Jay Reatard. Great tune for a whopping moment.
Pic 4AThis was maybe my favourite episode. It gave us a window into before the fall, as well as other horrors in the new world of the authoritarian patriarchy. I can’t wait for the next episode. Very glad to have had the opportunity to preview these before the premiere!

The Handmaid’s Tale – Season 1, Episode 2: “Birth Day”

Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale
Season 1, Episode 2: “Birth Day”
Directed by Reed Morano
Written by Bruce Miller

* For a recap & review of the Season 1 premiere, “Offred” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Late” – click here
Pic 1Offred (Elisabeth Moss) tries to escape the breeding rape of Commander Waterford (Joseph Fiennes), held down by his wife Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski). The sex is not just a visceral sexual assault. It is symbolic of women like Serena who’ve been complicit with the patriarchy, holding other women down figuratively, literally, in every kind of way. A brilliantly disturbing metaphor.
Under his eye
Ofglen (Alexis Bledel) gets closer to Offred, they talk of who they were before they were trapped in that nation-state of misogyny. We find out that churches are being dismantled, everywhere. And so do they still worship God? They read scripture, they’re Conservative people. What exactly is the patriarchal nation-state up to? Regardless of that Ofglen tells Offred about a “network” of women. They’re ultra secretive, obviously.
Offred: “There has to be an us because now there is a them.”
Pic 1ANot entirely sure what Nick (Max Minghella) is doing, if he’s a force of good or another arm of the male authority. He seems to like Offred, but again it could be less than valiant. He’s not exactly a Commander, a higher-up. He is the proletariat, a worker. He relays to Offred that Commander Waterford has called to see her. She’s ushered into the birthmobile by Rita (Amanda Brugel); the thing is like a hearse, which is brutally ironic. At once, life and death touches. They are, in fact, living death.
Offred: “Theres a smell coming from that room. Something primal. Its the smell of dens, of inhabited caves. Its the smell of the plaid blanket on the bed where the cat gave birth once, before she was spade. Its the smell of genesis.”
Offred – or, June, as she was – flashes back to when she was pregnant, before everything changed. It’s a creepy atmosphere, as people chant outside the hospital, praying for the babies in the face of the fertility plague. But no time for daydreaming, June! Real life is too nasty now to let daydreams take over long. The atmosphere is creepier in the present, as the infertile wives pamper the handmaids getting ready to give birth, a ritualistic process from which the women almost derive pleasure. So odd. They’re all led into a room where Janine (Madeline Brewer) is in labour. Everybody tells her to breathe, calming her down. Although Offred does the most for her, in less creeper fashion.
Flashbacks to June in the hospital post-birth show us how bad the fertility plague became; her baby Hannah was the only one to have survived while she was there, others dying. A sad image shows rows of empty basins in the children’s ward where June walks aimlessly. Like rows of graves in a cemetery.


Offred does well priming herself to survive that brutal place. She does what she’s supposed to do with grim servitude. She keeps her June alive by smiling in the mirror, remembering who she is on the inside. As long as she doesn’t forget, June’s never lost to Offred.
In the room with Janine another woman is brought in and the two of them push, breath, going through the birthing process with the aid of Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd), Serena and the infertile wives. Turns out the other woman is one of the infertile wives; they go through the whole thing as if actually pregnant, an unsettling ritual. It’s scary to watch. As if a church service has gone wild, the chanting like a hymn. And when a “fine and healthy girl” is born they rejoice. In the midst of all the cruelty, the terror, is that miracle of birth; life in the fields of death.
Such raw subject matter in a dystopian setting. The baby is ripped from Janine, given to the infertile woman, and she lays in bed with it as if she’d just given birth herself. Whoa. Margaret Atwood’s source novel expertly scared already, disturbing and all too prescient. With visuals, the score, the expertly acted characters, it’s all so effective.
We flashback again to June and Luke (O-T Fagbenle) in the hospital, before the fall of America. A woman’s broken in and stolen Hannah. This is what the infertility plague did to people, the mania it caused. Luckily they get the child back. This illustrates the terrifying climate before the authoritarian iron fist crushed American women into submission; they were already suffering, now they suffer more.
Pic 3Janine is still seen as useful. She has to breastfeed the child before she’ll be torn away once more. She sings Bob Marley to her daughter. That intimate connection between mother and child is too strong a bond to simply break with one snap. There’ll be more trouble with this concept as the episodes progress.
Beyond the Commanders door” is somewhere nobody, not even Serena goes. Offred has been summoned to see him. She only assumes something bad, relating it to the typical horror trope of a young woman stupidly descending into a dark basement believing her boyfriend is there, only to meet a bloody end; maybe allegorically, she’s correct. In she goes, sitting with Waterford. They play Scrabble together, in expected awkwardness. Like a good citizen, she spells out NATION first on the board. After they finish she even tries out humour on him; he enjoys it. They plan on another date when he’s back from out of town. Creepy, yet you can see Offred working to figure out what she can do to keep herself alive in that tyrannical palace and city.
Most interesting is that Offred is finally rediscovering her power as a woman. Although she’s in this weakened state because of the ruling class, she starts figuring out that she still holds sway over men, because they are the weak ones. They’re the ones who’ve done this because they are afraid of the power of women, what they hold over them with their sexuality; it’s all they can think of, the wretched, oppressive patriarchy of that place. But a wrench is thrown in the mix, too. No longer is Offred paired with Ofglen, another woman comes in her place. Well, she’s Ofglen; just not the same one.
Things are… never as they seem.


What a great episode to follow-up on the first! I loved it. Can’t get enough already, I’m hooked. You’ll love it, too. Especially if you’re a fan of Atwood’s book.
Next episode is “Late” and it promises more terror, more dark comedy, more powerhouse acting and directing, as well.

The Handmaid’s Tale – Season 1, Episode 1: “Offred”

Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale
Season 1, Episode 1: “Offred”
Directed by Reed Morano
Written by Bruce Miller

* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Birth Day” – click here
Pic 1AThis adapted series from Margaret Atwood’s blistering novel begins with a car being chased down a road, police close behind. Offred (Elisabeth Moss) sits in the back with Hannah (Jordana Blake) next to her; Luke (O-T Fagbenle) drives, fast as he can. Soon they’re stuck in a ditch and they have to get out and run. They go quick in desperation, their destination supposedly not far off. Gunshots blast in the distance, so Offred picks her child up and runs. After some time they hide, but men with guns lurk too close for comfort. They eventually leave.
Although it’s clear this is a world full of dangers. It isn’t long until the men catch up with them and take the child from her mother. They’re taken out of the woods and back to the place from which Offred so badly hoped to escape.
She is a handmaid. She’s forbidden to be herself; a woman. Or rather, she is made to be only woman. As in, nothing other than her biological sex – determined by the ruling class: man.
She’s kept in line by Serena Joy (Yvonne Strahovski), who shovels the shit of Commander Waterford (Joseph Fiennes) and others like him. Offred is at her new posting, seeing as how the last one didn’t… work out. There is much woman-on-woman hate here. In the days of hyper nationalist women today, ushered in heartily by Trump and Co, it isn’t hard to see Strahovski channel people like Ann Coulter or Kellyanne Conway (among many) who seem to be women bent on destroying other women. And what all that can lead to, which is this authoritarian, patriarchal nation-state they live under.
Pic 2 Offred: “A handmaid wouldnt get far. Its those other escapes, the ones you can open in yourself given a cutting edge, or a twisted sheet and a chandelier.”
Poor Offred and other women go through the motions. They’re in permanent servitude. There’s definitely a hierarchy of men, too. But then again, that doesn’t matter because they’re the oppressing and ruling class, the dominant gender in this horrific world. Guys like Nick (Max Minghella) do the ‘lower’ work like labour as The Commander struts about his mansion. Meanwhile, Offred and Ofglen (Alexis Bledel) walk in pairs, they wear their uniforms.
Note: The headdress they wear is intriguing and in terms of costuming this series is off to a major start, such impressive work! They’re essentially a less-covered, Conservative version of a veil. Also, they’re blinders. Like horses would wear. Fucking grim, Margaret! Nice touch. Likewise the cinematography already is spectacular – so rich, at the same time it’s grim even in the light of day in the midst of a forest. Courtesy of Colin Watkinson (shot Tarsem Singh’s 200 visual feast The Fall).
Life in this nation-state is terrifying. Offred and Ofglen see three men hung on a wall as they walk through the otherwise beautiful city: a priest, a doctor, and a gay man. We see Offred in flashbacks to life outside in the real world, with a friend named Moira (Samira Wiley). Then they’re in a classroom, Aunt Lydia (Ann Dowd) talking of God and how he “whipped up a special plaguethe plague of infertility.” And we see Offred meet eyes with Moira, now both in the same, awful place. These women in the room are fertile. They’re intended to bear children; this is their purpose to men. Lydia is another self-hating woman whose purpose is to keep other women in line. A little worse, though. She has a stun stick she carries, zapping anyone who talks too much. Those aren’t the worst punishments. The breeding stock women are treated almost worse than others; one of them is punished by having her eyes plucked out. Don’t need eyes to have babies. Yikes!
Aunt Lydia: “This will become ordinary
Pic 2BCeremony Day is coming up, so this means Offred must be washed, cleaned to the utmost care. Like a “prized pig.” At the same time, it’s hard for her to forget life before the state and its tyranny. She longs for her daughter, hoping that she won’t be forgotten. It’s a brutally real emotion and Moss quietly portrays it with great nuance.
The breeding women sit in a circle, as one of them is made to confess supposed transgressions for leading on boys. Lydia makes them all chant “Her fault” in response. When Offred doesn’t say the right words, a woman steps in and slaps her face (that’s Margaret Atwood, by the way). Then she succumbs, falls in line; in her place.
There are many rules living with The Commander. One reason why Serena is so bitter towards Offred is, clearly, she is infertile, and hates her for somehow being able to bear children. Well, Ceremony Day isn’t the easiest especially. A bit of reading from the Bible, some mechanical sex as Offred is held by Serena who looks her husband in the eye, and he stares back. Holy fuck; pardon the double pun. Afterwards, it’s more than awkward. The environment of the house is straight out hostile. “Get out,” Serena tells Offred once the dirty deed is complete.
At night the girl with her eye plucked out, Janine (Madeline Brewer), is having troubles. She’s going a bit crazy, talking to herself. When Moira tries to stop her, we find out a bit of information. About the Colonies, where people clean up toxic waste, where they get radiation poisoning and their skin peels off and they die. One place is as bad as the other, just in different terms.
All the handmaids are brought to a field where a stage is setup. Offred hears that Moira was sent to the Colonies. Likely dead. No time to mourn, they have rituals to perform and everyone lines up to kneel on their pillows while Aunt Lydia speaks onstage. A man’s been convicted of a rape, and sentenced to death. We see the disconnect between state and individual, as the state sanctions widespread dehumanisation of women, lets the Commanders rape and impregnate women. Yet this lower man, still a rapist, is held to a different standard. These men are used to let the handmaids take out frustration. Capital punishment is carried out by their hand, as they beat him to death. All their hatred for the state is purged on this single individual. Such a strange, terrifying concept.


Another flashback to Offred and Moira outside, to when the former first believed she was pregnant. We see the original fears of women before the authoritarian state. Offred worried about a miscarriage, but she had Moira, her husband. She wasn’t kept under lock and key. Now, she’s in that tyrannical place without Moira.
Ofglen: “Was there ever a before?”
We see the further disconnect between the women, how they’re nurtured to distrust one another. Ofglen and Offred understand each other better as they talk more. We discover that Ofglen, in her real life, had a wife, a son named Oliver. They were able to flee to Canada while she was caught on the border without a passport. So many families divided, torn apart. So many women destroyed, abused, and much worse.
At the Commander’s home there’s a big meeting of men, all the while the women scuttle about preparing dinner and alcohol and everything else the patriarchy requires. And again there’s more disconnect. Offred can see how Serena, though more privileged, is just another woman to the men; though she has a seemingly better life than the rest, she is still excluded and set aside.
Furthermore, we now know Offred’s name was and is June. And she intends to survive this tyranny. Some way.
Pic 4What an episode! Wow. I’m more than impressed, and satisfied as a fan of the novel. I’m excited for the next episode. Been grateful to get to see the first few episodes before the premiere.
Next is “Birth Day” and you can be sure, it doesn’t mean what it used to mean.

The Path – Season 2, Episode 13: “Mercy”

Hulu’s The Path
Season 2, Episode 13: “Mercy”
Directed by Jessica Goldberg
Written by Jessica Goldberg

* For a recap & review of the penultimate Season 2 episode, “Spiritus Mundi” – click here
Pic 1Here we are: the final episode of The Path‘s Season 2! What a ride it’s been, I do hope that we’re getting another season. But first, let’s see where this one ends.
Last we saw, Richard (Clark Middleton) was about to set himself and the compound, specifically the archives room where all the unburdening tapes – the blackmail weapons – are kept.
Sarah (Michelle Monaghan) and Eddie (Aaron Paul) are together with their daughter. They’re living a different life, out in the real world, in a seaside Canadian town. “Are we safe now?” Summer (Aimee Laurence) asks.
Is this a vision of the future, a life beyond Meyerism and its cult for the Lanes? Or are we seeing a dream? It looks like reality. We then see Cal (Hugh Dancy) go back to his little room with Mary (Emma Greenwell) and their newborn baby. It looks as if the Lanes finally made it out, all of them – well, aside from Hawk (Kyle Allen) it seems.
Everyone else is moving on, three weeks after the birth of Emma’s child. The events of the previous episode set off a series of repercussions that everyone’s still learning how to deal with, still understanding. Sarah’s confused; her daughter wants her parents back together, but mom isn’t entirely sure. The entire web of relationships is fractured, possibly beyond repair. Sarah tries justifying what she did with the blackmail, yet also harbours deep guilt over Richard’s death.
Pic 1AThe Meyerists continue trying to move past Richard’s death, the fire. They all lay cacti and plants at the site, a sort of ceremony. Meanwhile, Hank and Gab (Peter Friedman/Deirdre O’Connell) wonder how things will continue, as Bill and a reluctant though present Felicia (Brian Stokes Mitchell/Adriane Lenox) assure them – Cal is “good for the movement.” Right. The fearless leader’s too busy licking his wounds over Sarah that it’s a wonder he can concentrate at all. Between that and having a lovechild with Mary, one everyone’s gossiping about behind their backs.
It’s nice to finally see Eddie, Sarah, and Summer living a normal life away from the compound; too bad Hawk’s brainwashed. The three walk on the beach, they spend time in the open air without having to do any creepy, weird shit. They’re an actual family again, bound by themselves instead of some cult nonsense. More than that it’s clear Sarah’s never actually fallen out of love with her estranged husband.
On the street, Eddie runs into Abe (Rockmond Dunbar). He’s not happy that his case essentially up and ran away. He came to see Eddie, to “bring him back” to his people. Whatever that means.
Pic 2At the centre, Hawk gets an envelope from his mother reading DO SOMETHING WITH IT – the results from the Clarkesville water tests. Hmm. There’s something bigger, more major coming with that whole plotline. I’m just curious to see where Hawk takes it, and whether it changes him.
Abe drops Eddie home. Following nearby is Russel (Patch Darragh), too. Inside are the former Deniers, all meeting to figure out what’s their next step. Eddie tells them about his visions, how it isn’t clear. It’s not about seeing the finish line; he’s on a journey, like the rest of them. “I dont know if Im the one,” he tells them. He’s unsure, even with the blessing of Steve Meyers (Keir Dullea). Nevertheless there are people who now count on him, who BELIEVE in him. Of course Russel brings information back to Cal – Sam Field isn’t who he said he is, he’s been in league with Eddie. And he tells Cal of the Deniers, their hope to reform Meyerism. That doesn’t sit well, either.
Cal’s fragile psychological state is scary. When he goes home to Mary she’s asking questions about Eddie. This further reveals that Cal believes “people don’t know what they want.” He has contempt for others. But Mary’s smarter than he understands. She tells him: “You are what we want.” And she suggests something must be… done… with Eddie. So the two have a chat when Cal shows up down at the Deniers HQ. He acts quite threatening, as well as too sure of himself, full of ego. None of his behaviour will drive Eddie away, though. Unless it comes down to Sarah.
Pic 3Speaking of her, she’s out experiencing the world, dinner at a friend’s place. Then comes the questions of where she came from. Why nobody can Google her. So on. Sarah gets paranoid, so she and her daughter sneak out the bathroom window and run. They head to their house, grab a few things, and they take off. An intense scene, with a pounding score.
Hawk walks in to find Eddie, Cal, and Libby Dukaan. Troubling, not to mention the fact his father appears not as enraged or defiant as normal. A little later Cal talks about Eddie, saying he’s willing to drop all he believes in to help Sarah; funny, as this shows that Cal cares most about the movement and himself. Sadly, Mary can’t see that, not yet. Although she’s full of spite enough to try and twist things up for the father of her child; the identity of whom she reveals to Hawk, in order to stir up some trouble.
Sarah heads for the border with Summer, determined on doing the “right thing” so that her daughter can be proud of her. Will she turn herself in? Is that actually her plan? Meanwhile, Hawk goes to see his dad. He discovers the truth of Eddie as Steve’s chosen one to lead the movement. He also finds out that his dad got Libby to pay back the people Sarah blackmailed. But this also means there’s nothing going ahead with the water tests. Eddie further believes he isn’t the one to lead. Through it all, Hawk, the one who was so brainwashed, falling away from his dad, may be the one to convince him.


A great sequence cuts parallel between Eddie preaching about mercy and Cal practising a speech about loss. What we see is how Cal has to rehearse his movements, whereas the compassion for others, the speech, it all comes easy to Eddie; like a natural extension of himself. This is THE GREATEST SEQUENCE OF THE SERIES! Hands down. And all the while as we visually comprehend the differences between the opposing leaders, Sarah wanders a rock maze, trying to rediscover her own way on the path. Just amazing filmmaking here in this scene, from writing to editing to score.
One good thing, I suppose, is that Cal comes into his own as the father of Mary’s child. They name him Forest Roberts, due to his being born in the wilderness.
Sarah confronts Eddie about his choice to reverse the blackmail. He assures her that her life “will be hell” and she won’t need to look for punishment, not from the law or anywhere else. For once, she’s now the one who wants to walk away and have a family, away from a cult. She doesn’t want him to “go back inside.” She worries it’ll wash away what’s good about him.


At the compound, Ascension Day is underway. Sarah walks into the midst of the celebration, as Cal preaches his rehearsed speech. Everyone eats it up, too. They love it and him. They sing songs of Meyerism, acting like a big, happy family. Then they’re distracted by a noise from out at the gate. The Deniers have come, Eddie leading the crowd. Hank even lets them in willingly.
What a stunning moment! Some greet Eddie, others leave. Perfectly Radiohead’s “Everything in its Right Place” plays in the background. Soon, people walk from out behind Cal, joining the rightful Guardian of the Light. A change is coming. Just a case of who, and what, is left standing when all is said and done.
Pic 6Pic 6AI LOVED THIS FINALE! Even better than the Season 1 finale, as well. Spectacular work, especially now as we sit on the edge, waiting to see how Cal moves forward – no doubt treachery and violence are on his path – and how Eddie handles the movement, plus I can’t wait to see what Sarah chooses as her own personal way forward.
Hulu: renew this, or feel my wrath.

The Path – Season 2, Episode 12: “Spiritus Mundi”

Hulu’s The Path
Season 2, Episode 12: “Spiritus Mundi”
Directed by Sian Heder
Written by Coleman Herbert

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Defiance” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 2 finale, “Mercy” – click here
Pic 1In the woods, Mary Cox (Emma Greenwell) finds herself lost after fleeing the car with Sean (Paul James), his mother, and the cult deprogrammer. Now she can’t find her way through the darkness, calling for Cal (Hugh Dancy), for anyone to come get her. Then she gets pains in her stomach, her baby could possibly be in danger.
Meanwhile, Abe (Rockmond Dunbar) talks with Eddie (Aaron Paul) about Sarah (Michelle Monaghan) and her blackmail, facing a “4 years minimum sentence” for what she’s done to the Meyerists who once unburdened in the faith and hopes of privacy. So, how do these two men go about navigating the waters ahead? Eddie believes Abe needs to make his own choice, in regards to what he ought to do with the information he’s gathered.
At the compound in one of those little white rooms, Cal and Sarah interrogate Richard (Clark Middleton) about taking things to Eddie behind their backs. At the same time, Felicia (Adriane Lenox) is likewise interrogated. Whereas Richard gives them bullshit, Felicia doesn’t mess around and tells them the truth – Steve (Keir Dullea) and the Light intended on Eddie taking up the cause. Nevertheless, Sarah feels betrayed by Richard particularly, wanting to label him a denier. Later when Bill (Brian Stokes Mitchell) arrives, he’s not pleased with what Felicia’s been doing behind his back; he’s also more realistic, in a way, than his partner. He doesn’t believe in the Ladder burning her, calling it all a story, which seems to drive a deep wedge between them right away. She’s not ready to “atone” for anything Cal, Sarah, or Bill want her to, and this really looks like it eats them all up inside; Cal most.
Eddie: “Sleep the sleep of the just


Hank (Peter Friedman) goes to tell Eddie that “they know” and that everything is over. I get the feeling this is going to push Eddie into a dangerous space. Because he knows he’s right, in many respects. But it’s now a question of whether he wants to push things past the breaking point, and whether the Meyerist cult is going to retaliate in an unsettling way. How far is Sarah willing to go, now that she’s gone so far over the line? She wonders if Steve was right, though. About Eddie. After which Cal tells her: “Steves words mean nothing.” If so, for real, how can they go on believing what they believe?
Out on the town, Eddie tracks down another denier. A bartender who was kicked out for supposed subordination. All due to a run-in with Cal, because he was getting ahead and Cal wasn’t at the time; Steve was favouring someone else. The guy seemed to have loved Meyerism, for what it was, an enlightening experience of self, but it was Cal, those competitive, weird bits that were the destruction.
Cal and Sarah try reassuring everyone, after Richard’s betrayal, that things are going well, and that going forward they’ll be fine. Big, big talk. Hawk (Kyle Allen) and Noa (Britne Oldford) look on proudly. Russel (Patch Darragh) goes to Cal alone to tell him he wants to help “maintain law and order” however possible. Although Hank’s still not sold, even if he pretends to accept things as they lie. And Abe, he drops off his tests about the water in a car – Sarah’s car – in the parking lot. I wonder what this will set in motion.


Out finding more deniers, Eddie convinces others he wants to change the movement. To reform certain policies, to make Meyerism what it’s meant to be and not some insane cult. In the trees, Sarah lurks, watching. He confronts her and tells her the movement can be better. He also lets slip he knows of the blackmail, that the deniers could testify against her. Eddie speaks ominously when he says to his wife: “One way or another, you will be punished.” Whoooa, that was an intense moment courtesy of both Mr. Paul and Ms. Monaghan. When she’s on her way back home a vehicle stars chasing her, ramming the car from behind, before it pushes her into a guardrail and flips her car, crashing hard. What timing, after Eddie’s harsh yet plausible words.
Poor Richard wakes up in a homeless shelter, nowhere in the real world that will take him after many years under the veil of Meyerism. Life hasn’t exactly turned out how he expected. He goes to a law school, tracking down a man named Jeremiah (Brian Yang); someone he knew in another life, before the cult. Jeremiah’s married to a nice man, kids, the whole deal. Richard needs a couch to sleep on, but his old friend – a lover, most definitely – can’t oblige after two decades. Sad to see the ruin of a life like Richard’s after believing in a faith that ostracises and pushes people away, often in a violent emotional manner, now coming out the other end worse for wear.
Everyone’s worried about Sarah, she hasn’t come home, she hasn’t called. Cal and Hawk assume she’s with Eddie; the two of them and Hank try calling around to find out where she’s disappeared. And Mary, she’s still lost, too. Having complications when her water seems to burst.


In the hospital, Sarah wakes with luckily only a broken arm. At her bedside is Cal. She tells him she was run off the road. More paranoia for them and the movement. She also tells Cal that Eddie knows, of the money, the blackmail. Will this lead them to Abe working undercover? If that’s the case, I worry for him. I never stop worrying about Eddie, either. Only takes a suggestion for Cal to believe he had anything to do with Sarah’s accident. He then takes his suspicions to Hawk, which could make things get ugly. Cal knows what he’s doing by telling him. Rotten and manipulative.
Abe is busy building his case. People are brought in to videotape their statements, bringing out all about Sarah taking money from those who once unburdened themselves to Steve and the movement.
Back at his place Eddie discovers Hawk waiting, angry. This is disgusting to watch. Cal has manipulated the kid into hating his father, believing the worst of him. He is so far gone he’ll never come back. He wants Eddie to leave, won’t even call him dad anymore. And it breaks the well-meaning father’s heart to hear and see.
At the compound Mary is found on the roadside, bloody, unconscious. Her baby happy and healthy, it seems. For the first time Sarah looks at the child, then at Cal, and realises who the father is, truly.


Eddie: “Theres a fine line between a tool and a weapon
Going to see Eddie, Richard pleads for him not to leave. He wants them to help people, to actually do good instead of letting the bad overcome all the Meyerists worked for over the years. For his part Eddie isn’t willing to fight, not any harder than he has already. Will he come back?
Everything for Sarah and Cal has changed. Just in the way she looks at him, it’s evident. He apologises without her saying a word. “I was asleep,” she tells him re: his true self, his behaviour, the bodies and wreckage in Cal’s path. She already knew. However, what does she do now that she’s “wide fucking awake” after all this time? Things have really taken a turn, in all respects, during this episode.
While everyone in the movement has a ceremony for the baby, Richard shows up, declaring Eddie Lane as the true leader. He locks everyone inside their little church, calling Cal a “snake” and yelling for anyone nearby to hear. He heads to the records room. As Sarah and a guard try to get in, Richard produces a gas can; is he really going to light all those files, the tapes, himself, and the whole place on fire? An excellently edited sequence sees Richard pouring gas as Eddie fills his car with gas elsewhere; Eddie feels something happening. Haunting score, intense cuts, perfect acting.
Before Richard lights the place, he urges Sarah to run. And she obliges.
Pic 4BWhat an intense episode! WOW. Richard sacrificed himself to something greater, for real. No Ladder, no Light. He sacrificed himself, and now where does the movement go from here? Likewise, does this put a wrench into the works for Abe or does he already have enough information to bury Sarah, Cal, and the entire cult? We’ll see.
Only one episode left, titled “Mercy” – and then it’s Season 3, or bust. I hope they’ll give us another one, depending on how the season finishes. Excited to watch what’ll unfold.

The Path – Season 2, Episode 11: “Defiance”

Hulu’s The Path
Season 2, Episode 11: “Defiance”
Directed by Phil Abraham
Written by Vanessa Rojas & Andrea Ciannavei

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Restitution” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Spiritus Mundi” – click here
Pic 1Hawk (Kyle Allen) is in one of those same rooms where his father Eddie (Aaron Paul) sat, staring into the Meyerist eye, repenting for sins. Or whatever. A lot of pain in him. On the outside, Cal (Hugh Dancy) and Sarah (Michelle Monaghan) are basking in the success of their latest talk. Although she’s having a tough time, with family. But Cal says he’s “all in” for their new life, their relationship. Except Eddie’s there to confront him over what he discovered about them. He also shows off the charm Steve (Keir Dullea) gave him, making clear both their leader and Sarah chose him; not Cal. Whoa.
Note: Eddie’s cast in light as Cal, once more as I’ve noted time and again, gets cast in shadow, a great visual in this moment!
Mary Cox (Emma Greenwell) and Sean (Paul James) are talking with his mother and the cult deprogrammer. They’re asked about whether there’s a threat of violence, which neither of them can answer for certain. He wants to take the second chance. She’s still connected, particularly to Cal.
And then there’s Abe Gaines (Rockmond Dunbar), trying his best to blow the lid of the Meyerist cult. He says that “press alone” can take them down, though Sarah’s looking more likely headed to jail all the time. On top of that, there’s the issues with the water, and Abe gets troubling results back on the tests ordered.
Through Richard (Clark Middleton), Eddie wants to send a message for his son. That they need to meet. Although Hawk isn’t doing well. His mother’s going to see him, then gets a call from Cal; he’s surprised to find out that Eddie was in fact in Peru with Steve before he died. The stress sitting on Cal’s shoulders right now is so huge, you can see it about to break. Later, he holds a meeting about Eddie slipping past security, and he goes a bit wild. You can see people a bit scared now for the first time. They can see Cal’s instability raging below the surface.
Hawk’s having trouble seeing how the isolation is meant to help. He doesn’t feel it’s working, and he knows it didn’t work for his father, either. His mother, brainwashed as she is, pushes him to continue: “The Light radiates in you,” she tells him, feeding him the same shit her parents likely fed her. Speaking of Hank (Peter Friedman) and Gab (Deirdre O’Connell), they go to see their daughter Tessa (Alexia Landeau), defying the Denier Policy. Already, a change is coming in the movement altogether. One that Cal might not be capable of stopping.


Eddie, with help of Felicia (Adriane Lenox), continues on his climb to 8R. He does meditation. He threads a needle blindfolded. All while she narrates his journey. Simultaneously, Cal goes through all his things – his memories of Steve, pictures and letters and all sorts of things – wondering if what Eddie told him earlier is actually true. And despite the madness, the nonsense, there’s something to Eddie’s claim of being the “chosen son” because he has a power in him, somewhere deep down.
Returning to life again, Hawk runs into Noa (Britne Oldford). Things are awkward, yet he confesses to being with Ashley (Amy Forsyth). They try moving past it, and he lays on one her lips to prove nothing’s changed. But something has changed, absolutely. He’s only denying it. Then he finds out his father crashed the compound to get to Cal. Coupled with the fact Richard brought word to him in meditation, he’s a confused young man.
For his part, Cal is trying his best to hang on to everything. From Sarah to Mary. Of course when Sarah tells him about the latter wanting to possibly leave, things get tough. Cal tries to pretend like he cares, like he’s not putting pressure on Mary in any kind of way. Sarah’s doing her best to root out who’s exploiting and abusing her. Only a matter of time before she finds out more. And piled on top of everything, Noa contacts Cal to tell him Eddie’s trying to see his son. That’s not all, though. Eddie and his father-in-law Hank are still in league, too.
And Eddie gets beaten up by three men, brutally. Which starts to make him paranoid about who’s pulling those sort of strings. He tells Hank that he now has to “pick sides” and to go with his own truth, instead of that of his wife, his daughter. But Hank can’t, not yet.
Sean gets a bit scared after Mary tells him she let Sarah in on their possible plan to leave. Especially when Cal shows up at their place in the middle of the night. He acts willing to let them go. “You are loved here, the two of you,” he claims. Is this truth? Or merely an act, another mask in the long line of delusions that is Calvin Roberts? Honestly, I can’t tell at this point.
What Abe discovers is that he’s a pawn in a game involving Dekaan, the water wars. He feels more and more isolated, as well. Nobody on his side seems to care about what’s truly happening. When people are dying from poisoned water, and the cult goes on blackmailing and brainwashing and ruining lives in their own way.
Family dinner now includes Cal, something Hawk does not seem to enjoy. Also, Hank and Gab bring up how intense Cal was during their little security meeting earlier. This starts up a conversation about why Eddie showed up at the compound. Everything gets quite intense. Outside, Cal tells Hawk about him and his mother. Then retroactively admits to offering Ashley’s family a house as a bribe to leave Hawk alone. He likewise tries to make her out to be the horrible one. Not a good idea; shit.
That night Eddie’s waiting for his boy as he gets back in the city. Things don’t go well, Hawk wants to throw him away, he believes whatever Cal tells him. He won’t accept anything, and says that Eddie has to accept everything, that he must move on. Poor kid. He goes one step forward, three steps back. Into the muck and the mire of Meyerism.


Sarah goes to see Eddie, and they argue over their respective responsibility for their actions. She’s shocked, knowing that he knows what she tried to make restitution for, and this sends her away angry. Now she can likely guess Richard’s been meeting with her husband. She goes back to the compound rifling through his things, trying to find a clue.
Packing their things into a car in the middle of the night, Sean and Mary plan to leave. But she runs back, unwilling to let go. All he can do is turn around and leave on his own. This is not good.
At home, Eddie hears a noise. Wielding a bat, he finds Abe out poking around his place. He reveals that his child made it, just as Eddie prayed for “to the Light.” More than that he explains why he’s on Eddie’s side. “Everything else has been a charade,” Abe says. Then he reveals more: he’s with the FBI.
Finding keys to a hotel room, Sarah discovers Felicia there.
In the woods, Cal has a vision. He sees Steve “painting flowers on [his] walls of doom.” He attacks his mentor, mad for not receiving the pendant, the one he says he earned. He chokes Steve, but the man only smiles. A terrifying, waking nightmare. We have an idea of all the devious ways in which Cal had to… earn, the pendant. This is the trauma that lingers in Cal constantly, haunting him.


What an intense episode! One of the most emotional, eerie, powerful episodes of all.
Excited to see what happens in “Spiritus Mundi” next, as we get closer to the end of this psychedelic, strange, visceral Season 2.

The Path – Season 2, Episode 10: “Restitution”

Hulu’s The Path
Season 2, Episode 10: “Restitution”
Directed by Patrick Norris
Written by Jessica Goldberg

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Oz” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Defiance” – click here
Pic 1Sarah (Michelle Monaghan) wakes in her hotel room, alone. She and Cal (Hugh Dancy) spent a passionate night together. But what’s next in that regard? Do they empower one another to keep being awful? Well, she’s having a dream right now. She sees Marshall the farmer down at the buffet, where she starts pounding down bacon before almost choking.
She’s actually right next to Cal, in bed. A strange dream, though with those involved in Meyerism there’s often something true in all their dreams.
Abe Gaines (Rockmond Dunbar) brings all Sarah’s blackmail to his boss. They think it’s possible to bring down the movement, although many “morally reprehensible” people won’t get their just desserts, walking away for just a couple of the higher ups. Still, that’s the usual reality for many of these white collar crimes.
Meanwhile, Hawk (Kyle Allen) is meeting up with Ashley (Amy Forsyth) for the first time in so long. He also downplays his relationship with Noa (Britne Oldford), that they’re only friends. Very clear he hasn’t gotten over Ashley, still holding onto strong feelings under the surface, and barely.
Also there’s Eddie (Aaron Paul), still in contact with Sarah’s estranged sister Tessa (Alexia Landeau). They talk about the cult, as well as the Denier Policy. He wants a group of Deniers to walk onto the Meyerist compound and say: “We exist.” Yet Tessa doesn’t believe that it can happen, or she isn’t sure. The more Eddie talks, the more she’s convinced. But it still isn’t so easy.


Back with his mother and the cult deprogrammer, Sean (Paul James) is being pried out of the movement. All the same Mary (Emma Greenwell) isn’t there, and the deprogrammer casts further doubt on all the Meyerist bullshit. Sean is paranoid, worried, and who wouldn’t be? These people play hardball.
Ashley and Hawk talk about their former relationship. Why she broke it off, got away. He has to run off, they’ve got to be back to the compound by sundown. Before that he tells Ashley about watching his mother onstage, that she talked about “self love” and things that weren’t related to Meyerism. Is he finally seeing the real light? That of TRUTH outside their cult? He and Ashley embrace with a kiss. Perhaps it’s the first step.
Hypocrites Cal and Sarah speak about “transgression” that they’ve all experienced, meditating in a group for restitution. Helping others to find their own transgressive acts, to cast them out. What nonsense. Yet there they all are, meditating and thinking of their faults, all crying. And none of them will ever really face the truth, only the veiled truth in Meyerism. At the same time, Felicia (Adriane Lenox) guides Eddie through his own meditation.
Felicia: “Rest. Tomorrow, we act.”


Sarah finds out Marshall the farmer died weeks ago. This is one of those strings of guilt that keeps tugging at her heart. I wonder if she’ll manage to get herself past all the horrible things she’s done. Can she make ACTUAL restitution, instead of feigned restitution in the form of Meyerist meditation? Not sure. If so, she’ll be going to jail. Straight up. Even if she doesn’t do it herself, Abe is on the case.
And Cal, he’s got far more than just what we’ve seen in the series weighing on his shoulders. The fact Dr. Meyers molested him long ago is the bottom of the iceberg; what he’s done throughout the episodes of this series, what we’ve seen, is merely the tip.
At the park Eddie gets to hang with his daughter Summer (Aimee Laurence). And it’s sad to see her worry about their family, dragged into all the mess of cults and the madness of her mother’s side of the family. Tragic. At home she isn’t too happy with her family and doesn’t want to do take part in their latest celebration, or whatever they do.
Simultaneously, big brother Hawk is in bed with Ashley, suddenly falling farther from the movement yet hanging on at the same time; I’m interested most in seeing his arc, what’ll happen with this new development of Ashley showing back up in his life. Best of all is her influence, pointing out how Hawk’s only moved from the control of his mother to the control of Cal. She wants better for him, to make him see he can control his own life without needing others, even her. He can be his own man.
During dinner, Tessa arrives, out of nowhere. She confronts everybody – her brother Russel, sister Sarah, her mom, her dad, everyone else. She likewise reveals she and Eddie are in touch. Nobody reacts too well, Hank (Peter Friedman) is devastated. Then Tessa tells everybody Sarah wanted to leave, too. Had her bags packed and everything. Nice; another family divide. This throws everyone into a mixed up place, even Russel, particularly considering the fact Hank sees his daughter fairly regularly and keeps it secret from others.


Sean later tells Mary about who the deprogrammer is, that she’s trying to get him back home, away from the Meyerists. Mary doesn’t like that he lied. He says he’d like to go home, with her. To make a life together away from the movement. “The only thing thats keeping me here is you,” he tells her. Love this shot – as they talk, essentially discussing life in a cage with the cult, their faces are captured through the bars of the crib they’re painting. Beautiful visuals.
More revelations: Cal offered Ashley and her family a house to break up with Hawk. She says he is a bad man, that Eddie never would’ve done that to him. This confuses and frustrates Hawk, obviously. Never easy to see the world you know and love and bought into start crumbling around you. Regardless, Ashley’s only trying to help him. She has nothing to gain. It breaks her heart to see him entrapped by that insane cult.
Eddie gets a visit from Sarah, a pissed off visit. He tries to tell her it’s all about fixing things, mending bridges. She wants him to let go of their relationship, she doesn’t want to move outside of her safe little Meyerist world; especially not after all the crimes she’s committed in the name of Dr. Steven Meyers’ movement. Next day with Felicia and Richard, Eddie tells them he doesn’t want all the responsibility of leading the movement in the right direction. He says he can’t do it. But it’s all left up to the Light, Felicia says.
Pic 5Everybody’s painting tiny coffins. They put their sins inside, to “relinquish” them, or y’know, whatever the hell they believe. Hank relinquishes the Denier Policy. Nicole relinquishes Sam Field a.k.a Abe. So basically, it’s a type of confession, in aid of their own souls. To cleanse themselves. To lie to themselves about their guilt, their mistakes.
A couple good things: Mary agrees to talk with the deprogrammer for Sean, and Gab tells Hank she wants to see their daughter again.
Cal uses this time to relinquish his mother, her ashes into the waves. To let go of her, all that she represents. Yeah, right. It’ll take far more than a bit of water to cleanse ole Cal.
On the beach, Richard burns all the relinquishing coffins in the other half of their ritual. He remembers the one bearing Sarah’s sins. He brings it to Eddie, who opens and reads, discovering his estranged wife has been with Cal, though she’s willing to bear the burden of guilt for every other horrible thing she’s done all year. This is heartbreaking for Eddie to read. Necessary, to push him towards leadership.


What I love most about The Path is its resistance to tell a clean, happy story, where the families are likely to rejoice at the end and come together again. No, it isn’t like that. The Lanes are on the brink of all out destruction; hard to tell which of them will be left standing, or faithful, once all is said and done. Such a great show, excellently paced writing with plenty of drama and mystery to steer the ship. I don’t know what others are talking about when they trash the series. Spectacular show, that I hope will have another season despite however things wind up in the remaining episodes.

The Path – Season 2, Episode 9: “Oz”

Hulu’s The Path
Season 2, Episode 9: “Oz”
Directed by Patrick Norris
Written by Coleman Herbert

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Return” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Restitution” – click here
Pic 1The unburdening tapes are being used now with more force by Sarah Lane (Michelle Monaghan). She goes to one person, then the next, the next. Using the dirty little secrets of everybody against them. Such a creepy sequence. Reminds me of something you’d see from Scientologists, blackmailing people to stay, or else their “fragile house of lies” come toppling down. Clearly Sarah knows she’s doing awful things, yet she is so tied to Meyerism she has no identity otherwise. So, she’ll fight dirty to save what she loves.
Eddie (Aaron Paul) sits alone in a church thinking. A priest comes and sits with him. They talk about their life’s path, how they came to faith, their calling. He’s searching for his own answers about his calling with the Meyerist movement.
In other news, Abe Gaines (Rockmond Dunbar) is in shit with the higher ups. Because the movement’s paid off their back taxes. No more leverage for the feds. This puts Abe in a tough spot. Now he’s going to try harder to catch Cal (Hugh Dancy) and the movement red-handed. And that could lead to some trouble.
Pic 1AEddie meets with Richard (Clark Middleton) and Felicia (Adriane Lenox) in a hotel. To talk about what’s next for Meyerism. She doesn’t totally believe what’s happening, in regards to Eddie as Steve’s choice to lead them forward. The only way she’ll accept it? He must “continue the climb” to 8R.
Mary Cox (Emma Greenwell) is introduced to the cult deprogrammer Sean’s (Paul James) mother has brought in, though she isn’t interested. She can tell what’s going on, and there’ll be resistance.
Finally, Sarah reveals to Cal she’s paid off the back taxes to keep them afloat. This stresses him out. He’s not the saviour, he isn’t the leader. She is taking charge like never before. You can see how it bothers him. He’s not exactly great at hiding his inner feelings, despite what he may think of himself. Note: more instances in this scene of how Cal is cast in shadow often, behind the veil of darkness, and there are other times he’s half in the light, half in shadow to convey a split sense of who he is as a person.
Abe a.k.a Sam goes sniffing around the donors who helped with the tax bill. He figures out about the blackmail, something he already suspect, anyways. I only keep worrying about what’ll happen to Abe if he pokes in the wrong places.


Hawk (Kyle Allen), Hank (Peter Friedman), Russel (Patch Darragh), they all worship Sarah’s supposed good deed of saving their cult. The only one unsure, as usual, is Nicole (Ali Ahn). And more every episode I start feeling as if she’s going to play a part in Abe’s eventual plan to catch Cal and the movement in their ugliness. On top of everything, the guilt is flowing through Sarah as eager as the blood in her veins.
Like you didn’t see it coming, Cal still keeps in close contact with Mary. He goes to see her before the upcoming trip to Baltimore. She talks to him about The Wizard of Oz, which she was given by the deprogrammer. He’s there because a family is what he needs, only he’s far too dysfunctional and damaged in his own right to be with anyone properly. As for Mary I’m starting to think she’s seeing the truth about Meyerism. Or at least, I want her to see.
Cal: “Im a husk, Mary. I wanna be vapour. I wanna metamorphose. We can do it together. Swim in the sea. What do you say?”
On his way up the Ladder, Eddie’s guided by Felicia into his own mind. He’s at a bus stop, and when a bus arrives it’s filled with people who have no faces. Just a head covered in skin. What does it all mean? He believes it has to do with the cult’s Denier Policy. He wants it changed, as per his vision. The faceless were those outside the movement and this isn’t any way to treat the outside world, nor is it any way to treat those who’ve been shunned as deniers.


Physically, Abe and Nicole get closer. He also gets a bit of information: the unburdening tapes are in the movement’s archive room. In the meantime, they bang on the floor in a storage room. A little secret to keep between each other.
Out in the real world, Eddie goes to see Tessa Bishop (Alexia Landeau) – Sarah’s sister, who long ago broke away from the Meyerists and all their nonsense.
Cal and Sarah keep on having issues. He says he can’t get up and speak with her at the conference. He says he’s having problems with his conviction. Then she admits to her blackmail for the donations. Essentially, after the murder and the blackmail they’ve both got to keep going, for one another. If only for the sacrifices they’ve made to get to that point. This is an effective point in the series overall, is that anyone who gets lost in a religion, a cult, anything of that, eventually becomes so lost they don’t even know why they’re still walking further.
But Meyerists, they have a weird little ritual they do similar to the Catholics’ confession, to wash away their sins/convince themselves that their sins are washed away. Sarah and Cal find themselves on the same page again. For better or worse.
Sarah (to Cal): “Make me believe
What Eddie wants to do, underneath his new leader exterior, is change the movement. To show them the truth. When Tessa walks out on him because she can’t deal with any of that, he winds up running into Ashley (Amy Forsyth), Hawk’s old girlfriend. Hmm. I wonder if she’ll play a further role, maybe to help get Hawk away from all the madness. She actually turns up at the centre to see him later. One big surprise.


Back at the hotel after their conference, Cal and Sarah become one. Not only in their emotional headspace, their wants and needs. They fall in bed together. And this just feeds into their shared delusions of Meyerism, it won’t help anything. Not to mention it’ll take Sarah farther from Eddie than she already is. Above all, she’s fallen into a black hole, one crime after another with Cal.
Abe is snooping in the archives. He finds the tape of an unburdening with Don Hendren written on it.
Eddie receives a visit from Hank, about his meeting with Tessa. “Our families need to be mended,” he tells his estranged father-in-law. He says Steve chose him to lead, and that soon he will replace Cal; that they can make something better out of their movement.
We end on a strange moment, when Hank and Eddie embrace. Suddenly Eddie is bleeding from his side/back, almost like one of the wounds of Christ.


This second season is fantastic! I can’t believe that some critics have said there’s nothing overly enjoyable or worth fleshing out in these episodes.
Are they watching the same series? I don’t think so.

The Path – Season 2, Episode 8: “Return”

Hulu’s The Path
Season 2, Episode 8: “Return”
Directed by Michael Weaver
Written by Annie Weisman

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Providence” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Oz” – click here
Pic 1Last we saw Eddie (Aaron Paul), he was swept off violently by Richard (Clark Middleton) and Kodiak (James Remar), leaving Chloe’s (Leven Rambin) boy in the wind. The two men want answers from their captive, about what happened with Dr. Steven Meyers (Keir Dullea). They need to know, because of the implications in his death.
Cal (Hugh Dancy) goes to see Jacqueline Richards (Melanie Griffith) at a swanky pool. He claims it’s “fate” but surely he’s tracked her down. Her daughter bought into the Meyerist cult, though Jackie isn’t overly interested. She’s preoccupied with everything in her life. And this provides him with the perfect way inward. Another rich person to exploit.
Then there’s Sarah (Michelle Monaghan), who slips further down the rabbit hole each day. She listens to tapes of unburdening sessions, going through all the people and their lives ripe for blackmail. She gets a call about Brenda Roberts (Kathleen Turner), Cal’s mother. She is in hospice – liver failure – and ready to die, at any moment. Hmm, I wonder how that’ll affect Cal once he finds out. Sure to run another few cracks through his weary foundation.
Pic 2Things elsewhere are sketchy, as Chloe tries to deal with her son being left on his own, and Eddie’s sudden disappearance. Meanwhile, he’s struggling with the drugs he’s been given by Kodiak and Richard. He’s being taken back through his memories – seems he had a mean, violent father, on top of the memories of his brother Johnny, and more. The two Meyerists holding him captive try to lead him through to memories of Peru, up on the mountain with Steve. Until Eddie stops breathing.
Cal works his eerie charm on Jackie, helping with her current problems but also chipping away at her doubt in terms of the movement. He rattles on about the power of Meyerism, and it works. If he can solve Jackie’s problems it’s worth $50K to her. Once more, the snake slithers its way into another life.
At the hospice, Sarah goes to see Brenda. The old woman isn’t well, awaiting death to come take her away. She desperately wants to see her son before she goes. Is there something she needs to tell him? Or is it merely a mother wanting to see her boy one last time? What we see is that Brenda knows all about the Meyerists, definitely all about her son. Confirming what we all know, that Cal’s been in love with Sarah forever.
Between reality and coma, Eddie wanders. He finds his way back to the Meyerist commune, walking through an otherworldly space. There, he sees Doc Meyers greeting him. Is this death? A place between life and the afterlife? He goes further and sees his dead brother Johnny in a garden, tending to plants.


Seeing Cal amongst regular people is kind of like watching an alien walking through human beings. Weird watching him at a poolside party. “Im in someones idea of oblivion,” he tells Sarah when she calls. She bears the bad news about his mother, also that there’s something holding his mother back from death. Definitely a secret, a hope for closure, anything similar. But Cal won’t assuage his mother’s guilt before she dies leaving Sarah to take the brunt. In the meantime, he meets Jackie’s friend Luna, the one he supposedly needs help. Then in one of his relapse moments, he sniffs coke with them. Off the deep end. This has the potential to get very messy.
At the centre in the city, Hawk (Kyle Allen) is dealing with a pay shortage, not knowing the dire straits in which the Meyerist cult has fallen financially. With people threatening to leave and stop working he goes looking through Cal’s office. Only to find all the Past Due notices from the IRS, so on. Finally, the Impending Seizure notice. Here he was, thinking Cal had everything under control. Hard to watch your idol crumble into nothing. Also, his faith in his mother only worsens.
Brenda: “Fuck all of you
On her death bed Brenda reveals to Sarah the true nature of Calvin Roberts and Dr. Steven Meyers. She says that Steve loved her son, a bit too much. In the wrong ways. WHOA! I didn’t see that coming, at all. I expected many things. Not that. And like myself, Sarah is rocked by the revelation. If true, it’s beyond devastating. In all the obvious ways, and also on a deeper level of faith, trust, it’s somehow even more sick.
Eddie and Johnny talk in that limbo or afterlife space. He tells his dead brother about trying to save someone, obviously Steve. He couldn’t, that’s when the storm came in and when he was struck by lightning. Eddie’s overcome. Then he’s back in that old shack with Kodiak and Richard, they were able to give him a shot to wake him up.


On a beach Cal spins a speech on freedom for pop star Luna. He offers a “chance to feel unlimited fulfilment.” All that cult shit. And then he gets offended when Jackie calls Meyerism a cult, too. No surprise. But he’s further put off when she doesn’t immediately buy into his “pitch” about their movement. “Youre not even convincing yourself,” Jackie tells him plainly.
At home, Sarah’s confronted by Hawk about the money trouble the cult is in. He is definitely betrayed. She spouts off more nonsense about the movement being stronger, the “path to the Light” and all the greatest hits. Now with the revelations concerning Steve on Brenda’s end, there’s even more danger to anyone young near Meyerism.
Eddie tries to make Kodiak and Richard see Steve was only a man. He didn’t ascend to any Light. He got cancer, he was ready to die before they were on that mountain. But Eddie’s also at peace, with himself, with everything. After his visit to the garden with his brother. He goes back to tell Chloe about what happened and she’s rightfully freaked out. She wants him to call the cops; he doesn’t want anything to happen to his kids at the commune.
Cal relates to Luna about not having a childhood. Being told he was “special” and separated from the rest, in more ways than one. She’s got a lot of pain inside. Fucked up on drugs, gun in hand. He offers her help, though it’s only a means to an end for the cash. Another mind for him to manipulate. If only she’d buy into his cult hypnotism.
Later on the phone Cal asks Sarah about his mother, and she lies, telling him she was proud, blah, blah, blah. Hiding that she knows the truth. Does Cal even remember the abuse? Hard to know for sure. He winds up falling into the arms of Jackie, anyways.
Pic 8So, in lieu of other money, Sarah’s already out putting more blackmail into motion. Becoming a worse person all the time, in order to save their dying movement.
Richard gives Eddie a necklace belonging to Steve, the first one made after “the Ladder was revealed.” He believes that Eddie was marked by the Light. That he will build the Garden, “and we will follow you there.” Shit.
Pic 9I didn’t really expect the stuff between Eddie and Richard at the end of the episode. Neither did I see the Steve revelation concerning Cal coming, whatsoever. Truly rocked me.
Cannot wait to see the next episode “Oz” coming up.

The Path – Season 2, Episode 7: “Providence”

Hulu’s The Path
Season 2, Episode 7: “Providence”
Directed by Michael Weaver
Written by Vanessa Rojas

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “For Our Safety” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Return” – click here
pic-1Eddie (Aaron Paul) drives with his daughter Summer (Aimee Laurence) singing, laughing. Everything is lovely. Until she isn’t in the car anymore. She’s outside, on a nearby bank. He pulls over, yelling out to her. When he goes towards his daughter she runs, then she’s gone. An old house looms in the distance. At the fore is a ragged-looking tree. He approaches the house, opens its door.
Then he wakes up. Chloe (Leven Rambin) argues on the phone with her ex, as he comes to in bed. He offers to watch her kid while she has to run off to work, which impresses her more than she’s been already.
Over at the compound, Sarah (Michelle Monaghan) finds a foreclosure notice on the gate. She worries that others have already seen it, and of course when her mother Gab (Deirdre O’Connell) sees her face she doesn’t even need to see the notice itself. Sarah and Cal (Hugh Dancy) have words, as you’d expect. They decide selling the centre is the only way forward. Although he has a strange complacency about him that doesn’t bode well for anybody.
pic-2Kodiak (James Remar) watches Eddie. He chants a mantra to himself: “Give me your patience, your strength, righteous and good.” Then as Eddie heads out with Chloe’s boy, he’s followed not far behind by the close friend of Dr. Steve Meyers.
In other news Abe (Rockmond Dunbar) is finding trouble on the side of his boss, who wants results. Abe doesn’t get the test on the water he wanted, pissing him off. I hope he doesn’t go off the rails at some point; he is a good guy at heart, I’d rather he not get lost in Meyerism, or in the pursuit of taking down Cal and the Meyerist cult. Speaking of Cal, he’s going through an intense bit of turmoil. He takes a moment to himself, punching the walls in at the thought of losing the centre. And what is it that bothers him most: the fact they’re in such dire straits financially, or the fact he can’t solve it all himself?
At a military museum, Eddie and the boy check out all the neat stuff. Trailing them is Kodiak. I’m worried about what happens next. Then there’s Richard (Clark Middleton) – he’s picking out a room, some shack, for a specific purpose. This also concerns me.
Fixing and licking his wounds, Cal receives a visit from Mary (Emma Greenwell). For all her trying she falls into his arms so often, unable to wholly give herself over to the relationship with Sean (Paul James). She helps his wounds, in terms of his ego.
Out in the street, Hawk (Kyle Allen) and Noa (Britne Oldford) and others help the homeless. Washing their feet, showing that everyone is equal. When Sarah shows up to see her son she offers to help, and for the first time in a while Hawk and his mother actually feel close again. But the wedge there, more and more, is Cal, as always. He goes to the kid and pours the Kool-Aid in his ear whenever possible.


In the meantime Sarah and his family are struggling with the news of the impending foreclosure. Hank (Peter Friedman) continually feels the group are losing sight of Steve’s original intentions, which is probably true. While Nicole (Ali Ahn) and Russel (Patch Darragh) fret that they’ll lose their homes, included in the compound. A few nonsense prayers, then they’re all on the same page. Tenuously.
At the museum, we see a side of Kodiak not yet seen. He looks around at the images of war, the sounds of explosions and gunfire. He’s having a PTSD-like attack. So, did he spend time in Vietnam perhaps? Did his experiences over there lead him to the Light? Either way he misses his chance for action when Eddie and the boy head off, left bewildered by all the army noise around him. Over at the shack with Richard, he tells him he couldn’t take Eddie: “Its taken me years to feel clean. To accept the Lights forgiveness. I nearly forfeited that for this.” He did experience flashbacks to the atrocities, making him see the error of his ways. However, he reluctantly agrees they’ll try again soon enough.
On a walk somewhere Sean winds up at a store, where he calls his mother. He tells her about the baby, about his worries over what might happen in the future. She wants to come see him, though he refuses. It’s clear he wants to get away from the Meyerist movement. Just not sure if that’ll happen.


Eventually Eddie finds out from the kid someone was following them. Now, the paranoia becomes worse. No telling how Eddie will react. Everyone he sees is suspect now, from a man walking his dog to the mailman to people driving the street in their cars. His own PTSD-type symptoms flare up. Especially bad seeing as how he’s with his girlfriend’s kid.
Together, Sarah and Cal try finding out a way to keep the centre while also chipping away at their debt. She wants to keep the place because of Hawk’s progress, his good work. So she offers to sell a property she owned with Eddie.
But whoopsy – need Eddie to sign off, too. How’s that going to work? Plus, they have no steady cash coming in, except from donations of their members. Oh, the bubble’s been burst this time. Cal looks positively rotted to his core. Although Sarah pushes him forward, asking him to “be exceptional” again. I’m sceptical about how he’ll interpret that, how he’ll go about doing exceptional things. Because he’s really good at murder, and covering things up, and dirty secrets. He’s already asked Hawk to pry Noa for money. And this is already corrupting the young man, beyond repair.
Sarah: “We are really fucking this up
Meanwhile, young Hawk falls deeper into the Light and the Meyerist movement. He’s at the point of preaching to others, particularly Noa about the relationship she has with her mother; hoping to siphon out a bit of money for the cause. Not gonna happen, and not good for their budding relationship.
pic-8Sean walks along a lonely road where his parents pull up. They’ve found him, and want to take him away. They’ve got a cult de-programmer wanting to help. Also to help Mary, so they can have a normal life, and so his parents can see their grandchild sensibly. He’s clearly distraught. Still, they take him off from his current existence.
At the Armstrong family table, Cal apologises to everyone for putting them in debt. He promises they will “not suffer” due to his mistakes. Afterwards, he’s invited for supper, as well. Not everybody is happy. Not Nicole. Not Hank, really. That mask of Cal’s, it isn’t exactly holding firm. You can see it slip every now and then.
In the car we find Eddie. Just like in his dream. This time, he’s with Chloe’s boy. At the roadside he sees the crooked tree. Nearby is a van. He gets out to see if somebody needs help, finding Richard inside. Then Kodiak knocks him out. Shit, this is getting scary.
Sarah looks through all the piles of unburdening tapes. The voices of guilt filter back through her mind. Nasty things. Unforgivable. Through these, we see how awful the Meyerist cult is underneath, how they’re not good people. Rather they’re blackmail artists.
pic-10In that shack – we realise now the one Eddie saw in his dream – Richard and Kodiak start to enact the next step of their plan, as Chloe’s boy is left at the roadside all alone. Spooky end to this episode.
pic-11What a troubling finish! Lord. I can’t wait for the next one. Interested to see what Richard and Kodiak are going to do, as well as what revelations will come from their methods. Seems to me Eddie definitely has deep, deep secrets.

The Path – Season 2, Episode 6: “For Our Safety”

Hulu’s The Path
Season 2, Episode 6: “For Our Safety”
Directed by Norberto Barba
Written by Justin Doble

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Why We Source” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Providence” – click here
pic-1We begin with Sarah Lane (Michelle Monaghan) taking part in a purifying ritual, of sorts. She sits by a fire, smokes from a Native American-style pipe. Her guilt. The face of a dead and rotting Silas. That poisoned cow. Images flash through her mind. She and Eddie (Aaron Paul) making love; the strange scar on his back. Everything passes like flipping through photographs.
Speaking of Eddie, he’s with Chloe Jones (Leven Rambin) and they’re out socialising, with un-cult people. Something he’s not used to anymore. But bless him, he’s trying hard to reintegrate back into the real world.
Hawk (Kyle Allen) has made a decision: he’s moving into the city. “Theres so much need and injustice in this world and Im just, sitting here in this big, warm, comfortable house.” He doesn’t want to be all talk. He wants to do actual work. The time inside jail changed him. For the better? Impossible to tell yet.
pic-2Oh, poor Cal Roberts (Hugh Dancy). Always something to plague him. Whether it’s a past due notice from the IRS, a murder he committed, a secret baby – there’s forever a burden on his shoulders; self-inflicted or otherwise. Soon enough Hawk arrives and finds that Cal’s trying to play dad, hampering his need to get into the city.
Meanwhile, Eddie runs off from his barbecue with Chloe to meet with his wife, both in their glee. Oh, my. I foresee a snap of tension in this little plot sooner than later. Because already she’s missing from a meeting Cal has called. Alas, they go on. Abe Gaines (Rockmond Dunbar), a.k.a Sam Field, tells the crowd of their new security measures: ID badges for everyone coming in and out of the compound. This puts worry into many, including Kodiak (James Remar) and Richard (Clark Middleton), though the former a lot more. And then there’s Nicole (Ali Ahn), who angles for her husband Russel (Patch Darragh) to be the Guardian of the Light with Cal instead of her sister-in-law. Again, all the pressure lands on the shoulders of Mr. Roberts, taking everything and anything personally.
Kodiak: “The snakes poison is finally hitting our bloodstream.”
In the city, Noa (Britne Oldford) questions Hawk and his motivations, acting as if he knows the racial struggle of black people after spending a few nights in prison, reading a slice of James Baldwin. However, Hawk refuses to apologise for caring about the “disparity” between treatment of white people and people of colour, in all walks of life. Maybe he’ll be a freedom fighter yet.
Now Cal’s followed Sarah, he has found her embracing lovingly with Eddie. Is her lie about feeling anything for her estranged husband going to push Cal over an edge? Well, in a moment of vindictive anger he decides on playing dad to Hawk further. He also now wants the young man to climb to 2R, with him alongside as a guide. Of course the kid’s thrilled. Can’t be sure that isn’t all a way for Cal to try breaking up the Lanes past what they’ve already broken so far.
Simultaneously, Eddie tells his support group about his guilt over still loving his wife and spending time with Chloe. He’s stuck in the “hive mind” of Meyerism, the horrid cult. With everything going on, between him and Sarah, Hawk’s falling away from him, he feels stuck between two worlds.
There are other nasty things brewing. Such as when Mary Cox (Emma Greenwell) seems to cast a bit of judgement onto Sarah. And now this stirs up things in Sarah, wondering about who knows what, what Cal’s intentions are, so on. Note: another bunch of good examples in this episode of how Cal gets physically cast in shadow during many scenes, all working towards the idea of a duality and a darkness in him.
Stranger things come to a head when Richard doesn’t like what Kodiak is planning, talking about a boy being held over Steve’s head, all kinds of wild things, and then decides on locking him away in a little room. Shit.


On and on the Meyerist nonsense goes, as Cal starts Hawk’s climb with monotonous chores, repetition of mantras. When Sarah shows up the kid bolts, too righteous even for his own mother. So, she and Cal head out for tea together, and surely some passive-aggressiveness on both parts. And definitely on his side, without fucking doubt. He’s a danger because that passive-aggressive nature eventually, for him, boils over into vicious, real anger. Extremely dangerous, as we’ve seen already.
His attitude only drives Sarah back into Eddie’s arms, which leaves the couple both wondering what happens next. “Why are you here?” Eddie asks his wife. He wants to get to the bottom of their shared anguish. It isn’t hard to understand why Sarah is mixed up, after Steve going, then Eddie, now Hawk’s slipping from her grasp. Then out of nowhere, Eddie tells her about his time in Peru, when he got hit by lightning. His vision of Steve sent him there: “He wasnt some magic, immortal light. He was a god damn man.” What he now realises is that Sarah has been under a spell, so many years, one that will not break. She doesn’t care that Steve withered away, he’s gone to the Light, no matter what. Ugly psychological state. Yuck.
But what about ole honest Abe? He’s got his eye trained on the whole place, watching, waiting for something big. I wonder how long until Cal slips up hard, trusting ‘Sam’ too much.


Kodiak remembers a time with Steve, unburdening himself. He killed a man once. Then as they conduct a session, young Cal walks in. How much did he hear, exactly? Hmm.
Off on his own, Hank (Peter Friedman) goes to see somebody – his other daughter. He’s been doing this awhile. They chat, smoke cigarettes. What’s clearer every episode is that Hank feels left behind, that the commune he built long ago has become something else, unrecognisable.
During a session, Sarah tells Richard about sleeping with Eddie. He says that love is stronger than faith, though weakens them. He guides her through memories, of she and Eddie. Then she must mentally turn him away, turn away from him. And in the session, she reveals Eddie was struck by lightning. This startles Richard, deeply.
He’s sure now: Eddie killed Steve.
Eddie, he’s out with Chloe at a wedding. Trying to be normal, whatever that is, really. There’s something awakening in him, but that’s constantly held back by his former life. No matter how hard he starts falling for Chloe, some piece of the old cult still hauls him backward.
pic-8What will happen next? This was an excellent episode, once more. Some say this second season isn’t holding up, and I have no idea what they’re talking about! Crazy, man. This is a great follow-up to the first season. Many mysteries left unsolved.

The Path – Season 2, Episode 5: “Why We Source”

Hulu’s The Path
Season 2, Episode 5: “Why We Source”
Directed by Norberto Barba
Written by Jessica Goldberg

* For a review of the previous episode, “The Red Wall” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “For Our Safety” – click here
screen-shot-2017-02-15-at-10-42-34-pmCal Roberts (Hugh Dancy) gives a speech to a crowd, more of the Meyerism Kool-Aid. Next to him stands Sarah Lane (Michelle Monaghan), playing her role. Then in the wings are Richard (Clark Middleton) and Kodiak (James Remar) still try getting to the bottom of Dr. Steve Meyers’ (Keir Dullea) death.
Simultaneous is the trajectory of Eddie Lane (Aaron Paul), on his second meeting at the support group for people who’ve left cults. He talks fondly of his children, of course. “I really thought that I was freer than Id ever been,” he laments, knowing that’s not true at all.
At their latest meeting Cal and Sarah, uncovering the damage of others, are actually looking for the mole in their midst. Nothing on that front yet. The rooms are checked by Russel (Patch Darragh) under the pretence: “This is why we source.” They claim to be helping when they’re only digging for answers they hope to find. Abe Gains (Rockmond Dunbar) sweats through one of the sourcing sessions opposite Cal, and for the time being is safe from being rooted out.
screen-shot-2017-02-15-at-10-42-59-pmLife outside the cult is wildly different for Eddie. He’s back to eating all the things he did once. Living away from a commune. Taking pills to help his mind rather than burrowing himself into a useless ideology. But things are much worse for Sarah, as she’s called to a house where Hawk (Kyle Allen) is being hauled away by the police on a warrant for his arrest. Hmm. I smell Libby Dekaan (Molly Price) behind this one. Did the scientist testing the water give something up? Either way, young Hawk is in the clink.
Everything really gets heated once Eddie and Sarah meet down there. He’s pissed because it’s clearly out of his hands. But Hawk doesn’t even want him there, and Sarah gets hot under the collar about her estranged husband calling Meyerism a cult. Compounded by the fact a domestic terrorism charge is on the books. The Meyerist lawyer is all about “the Light” and that’s terrifying, both to the viewer and definitely to Eddie.
Back at the compound, Cal talks to Abe about the death of his child; or, what he believes was the death of Abe’s child. We know that Cal is digging, we know that Abe is undercover. It’s one of the best types of Hitchcock schemes where you show the audience the bomb under the table, then let them sweat until it explodes. Whenever that may be. As it stands, Abe – aka Sam – is recruited by Cal to help them suss out the rat. Oh, really? Could mean ramifications for Meyerism if Abe’s privy to anything sensitive. Maybe just a way for Cal to reel him in closer.
Later on Sarah’s letting the kids see Eddie comes out, upsetting her mother Gab (Deirdre O’Connell) and father Hank (Peter Friedman) a bit. Although grandma reassures young Summer (Aimee Laurence) that Hawk’s predicament has nothing to do with them seeing their “denier” father. This further brings out tension between Gab and Hank, about the presence of Kodiak, why he left many years ago.
All the pressure comes down on Eddie, too. He returns to his prayers, to his Meyerist roots. I hope it doesn’t suck him back in permanently.


Sean (Paul James) has a sourcing session with Cal and Richard. Essentially, the younger man tells his leader exactly how things are going to go. Such as they need a new fridge, he and Mary (Emma Greenwell). None of this seems normal to Richard, certainly, and you can see the strain on Cal. Without many words Sean made clear he won’t be sitting by silently, not forever.
In prison, Hawk comes up against other ideologies. A black inmate (Hubert Point-Du Jour) from his cell challenges his Meyerist shit. He tries to show Hawk that things aren’t as simple and as loving and equal as his book The Ladder makes the world look.
Over at Dekaan, Eddie lays out his plan when he and Sarah confront Libby. Turns out she has a son who won’t talk with her anymore. Even has him on the phone. This doesn’t exactly appease her, though it made a difference. “Youre sadistic,” she tells Eddie as she leaves. Not long after, Sarah and her husband connect again, if only for a moment.
Mary receives a visit from Cal, looking mighty angry. He doesn’t like blackmail. She has him wrapped around her finger. But how long will it last? And it’s a dangerous game for her to play. Given what we know about Cal’s impulse control.


Together again, Richard and Cal sit. Only  now the sourcer is being sourced. Cal’s asked questions, then he comes clean about a mole in their legions. However, Richard wonders why the FBI is even poking around in the first place. He can so clearly see the lies in Cal, anybody can. He all but runs away after they’re finished. Leaving behind his old friend to wonder exactly what the leader is up to, and how bad things are going to get sooner than later.
Sarah and Eddie, after making love, lie together and talk about life, calm, open. He talks about being struck by lightning when she comes across the tree-like scar on his back. More and more, Eddie’s secrets are revealed.
That night in prison one of Hawk’s cellmates tries to touch his hair all creepy in the dark, which prompts him to freak out. This starts a fight and now things are likely looking worse for Hawk. Aside from that he gets further into the speech of his black cellmate, who preaches to his friends in the prison yard. I wonder if this whole experience will alter Hawk’s worldview.
Abe goes on leading his search effort for the Meyerist mole. In the doctor’s office they find a burner cellphone taped under the patient’s bed. Shelby (Allison Layman) denies it being hers, yet Cal and Russel believe otherwise.


Hawk gets released from the Juvenile Hall to find his father waiting. But Eddie only wants to make things better, right between them. And the ever ungrateful, foolishly idealistic Hawk turns his back on his father, wishing they’d left him in jail. Lots of people are turning their backs. For instance, Shelby is now cast out, and I sort of worry for Abe’s ethis at this point. He knows he’s the one undercover. Shelby is sent away, crying, with him left to do more work. Might’ve been the best thing for the woman, I don’t know. Just brings other elements into the picture when considering Abe as a character.
Sarah has to go down and see farmer Marshall Small (Tracy Howe). He is outright disgusted with her, particularly with his latest sick cow. She tries softening the blow, but it doesn’t do much. Because Marshall opens up his poor cow, spewing black, tar-like liquid into Sarah’s face: “I dont need to have the water tested. I know whats in the fuckinwater.” The animal’s veins are nearly entirely filled with poison.
screen-shot-2017-02-15-at-11-31-41-pmWow. That’s one of the more intense episodes and final moments of any yet on The Path. Very interested to see where all the threads lead from here. Many possibilities, none of them anything other than grim.

The Path – Season 2, Episode 4: “The Red Wall”

Hulu’s The Path
Season 2, Episode 4: “The Red Wall”
Directed by Michael Slovis
Written by John O’Connor

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “The Father and The Son” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Why We Source” – click here
screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-3-13-15-pmLast we saw Eddie Lane (Aaron Paul) he got punched out poolside while drinking with old friend and possible new flame Chloe Jones (Leven Rambin). He was then carted into the ER having a bad reaction to the booze. Will he be okay? Is it a physical reaction, or a more emotional one?
We start with Sarah Lane (Michelle Monaghan), listening to a tape of Lisa Jackson (Megan Byrne) when she came to Cal Roberts (Hugh Dancy) and Meyerism. She was helped, now Cal wants his return on that investment. Because these are exactly the types of things he does, he puts in a good deed to make up for the bad he’ll do, and so the vicious cycle goes. Now Sarah wants the tax exempt status in order to quell her guilt knowing what Cal’s done. At this point she’s no better than him, either.
Back to Eddie, he’s awake and in the hospital. Doctor Sally Hollins (Gretchen Hall) talks with him about why he’s there, why he lost it at the pool, the fight, all that. Chloe told Dr. Hollins about him spending “the last two decades in a cult” and now the doctor wants to help. Although this is nothing but opening a wound for Eddie. Especially when his brother’s suicide comes up.
screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-3-17-44-pmThings get trickier for Lisa, too. She’s been summoned to the compound, and this frightens her. So she goes to Abe Gaines (Rockmond Dunbar) and the authorities. But none of it’s easy, not for Lisa, not for Abe and the law. The higher-ups want the Meyerists taken care of, soon. Yet Gaines worries Cal will manipulate Lisa. Still no telling how Abe’s undercover work is going to go in the end, we might see something nasty happen. Right now they’ve got Lisa with a recording device, heading into the meeting willingly. Uh oh. Even Abe doesn’t look too sure about any of it.
Everyone sees Cal differently. Hawk (Kyle Allen) buys into his bullshit, as do many of the others, Noa (Britne Oldford) and certainly Mary (Emma Greenwell). However, we can see, more and more, how Sean (Paul James) looks at him with contempt. There’s an inevitable confrontation. At the same time we see the sadness of one of Cal’s lectures, as they each take turns changing the colour of the wall. All visualisation. Seeing everybody excited like they’re literally watching it change is soul crushing. And now Sean can see through Cal. It hurts for many reasons, not only because that baby’s likely not his, but rather most of all because he actually let Cal hypnotise him into that way of life.
Richard (Clark Middleton) and Kodiak (James Remar) aren’t stopping in their quest. They don’t know who hurt Steve (Keir Dullea). Kodiak is intent on finding who did, Cal or not, by any means necessary. While Richard’s worried big accusations will “harm the movement” and, rightfully, wants proof. They’ll eventually discover one kill Cal has under his belt, sooner or later I’m sure. But was it him who killed Steve? Could it have been Eddie?


At the hospital Sarah arrives to see Eddie, who isn’t impressed he’s being followed. Is he? I believe it, though I also believe she had nothing to do with that. Probably Cal, knowing his devious nature. Sarah keeps talking about knowing “your damage” and using all the Meyerist buzzwords. Simultaneously, Eddie rejects the movement and loves his wife deeply. One of the saddest parts of any of the plots in The Path.
Over in the new building Cal runs into a man who’s now homeless because of the building the Meyerists bought. He also gets a bottle tossed at him in the dark. Oh, the joys of being in a cult!
Dr. Hollins diagnoses Eddie with PTSD, giving him medication to soothe the anxiety, et cetera. She refers him to a support group, as well. “Youre free now, Mr. Lane, and you can have a wonderful, productive life.” To which he has no real response. He knows it’s true, and all the same, isn’t it tough to admit you’ve spent a huge portion of your life working towards a fraudulent goal? I think so. Eddie is caught between so many things. On top of that could be the guilt of killing Steve. At least he’s got Chloe around, she does care for him and wants to see him escape the cult, sheltered life he was living behind for good.
Hawk has a charged moment with Noa, as she rejects him for being a “boy” when they’re at a private concert together. What we do see is that Hawk’s not totally lost in the movement. Not yet, anyways. That is coming quickly. In other news, Sarah flips at Cal for having her husband followed. Then they get into their shared darkness. We see in this scene, as we do others, how the people in a cult – even the leaders – start at a point where they want to do good, they even are good people, and somewhere along the line that disappears, fading into obscurity as the individual good winds up above the good of the whole.
Cal: “You cant win. Someone always suffers.”
screen-shot-2017-02-09-at-3-34-53-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-09-at-3-39-21-pmThe day of Lisa’s visit to the commune comes. Before Cal can go meet her, Kodiak hauls him aside; he’s found a rabbit eating his strawberries. He asks Cal about the “weight of leadership” on his shoulders. Or does he see the weight of something else, and this is his way to get under the new leader’s skin? Oh, I think he’s a tricky one, that Kodiak.
Once Lisa gets to her meeting, she finds out she’s meeting Sarah. Hmm. Now Sarah brings up everything about when Lisa was there, how they helped her. This is a wildly tense scene. Then Lisa reveals she’s recording them, silently, and the meeting is over. The law thwarted. A situation getting more crazy by the minute.
Speaking of crazy, Sean goes to see Eddie. About his doubts. They sit and talk together, Sean worries about his child – that’s not his – with Mary, and everything else bearing down on him. Eddie says he wishes he could be with his family: “But, I cant have that,” he says solemnly. He tries to tell Sean that it’s all about his life with Mary, their marriage, nothing else.
Eddie: “No one can change the colour of a white wall


Later, we find out Noa’s mother is a music mogul, of some sort. Sarah then tells Cal about giving Lisa the tape of her ‘unburdening’ back, after she revealed the recording device on her. We hear more of her tape, too. She hit a kid on a scooter, a street kid she says. And then she lived with the guilt. So finally, Cal figures out there’s somebody undercover in their ranks. This visibly has him shaken; Sarah’s equally disturbed.
And Eddie, he’s decided to start taking his medication. He sees further how the damage of the cult spreads. First him, now Sean, and countless more will come eventually. He even takes off his ring, heads out to a support group and introduces himself.
Can he turn the page on Meyerism? Or will events now out of his control pull him back into the void?


Fuck, what a great series! This second season is stellar, no matter what others say. Plenty of material to keep going, plus there’s a couple extra episodes this time around.

The Path – Season 2, Episode 3: “The Father and The Son”

Hulu’s The Path
Season 2, Episode 3: “The Father and The Son”
Directed by Michael Slovis
Written by Julia Brownell

* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Dead Moon” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Red Wall” – click here
screen-shot-2017-02-01-at-10-24-17-pmWe begin with Cal Roberts (Hugh Dancy) giving us a talk on Meyerism, saying it must not “remain static” – these are actually the words of Dr. Steven Meyer (Keir Dullea), as he talks of Cal and Sarah (Michelle Monaghan) being Guardians of the Light. Meanwhile, we flashback with Richard (Clark Middleton) to his first time taking the drugs the Meyerists do. He trips hard then Dr. Meyer comes out to comfort him. And imparts that it isn’t for him to decide who’ll lead them after he’s gone isn’t up to him: “Thats up to the Light, man.” Ah. Now, he’s got doubts about Cal and the supposed words of the doctor coming from his lips.
screen-shot-2017-02-01-at-10-24-47-pmIn other news, Mary Cox (Emma Greenwell) is worried about first time motherhood, so the cult prays for her; Abe Gaines (Rockmond Dunbar), undercover, included. Then out of nowhere, police arrive. You can see just from the look on Cal’s face this worries him. Their mere presence enough to disturb that quiet underneath the surface. Likewise, Sarah’s worried, and she isn’t as good as Cal at hiding it; not that he’s great. Well the cops were there about Hawk (Kyle Allen) and Noa (Britne Oldford) throwing a rock through a window on their previous night walk. Nothing too serious right now.
Speaking of Hawk, he and his father Eddie (Aaron Paul) talk about the retreat he went on, that he “floated” and that he received a sign. When his dad brings the sceptical real world into the picture Hawk does not respond well. The kid doesn’t want anything to do with his denier father anymore. These are the first steps of Hawk’s indoctrination, fully he’s being submerged in the dangerous side of this so-called faith; the side convincing him, in his youthful idealism, that there’s something real about “the ladder” and all the other Meyerist nonsense. And he’s stuck between one parent who’s come to their senses, as well as another that’s also stuck between a rock and a hard place with her own faith. Later, Sarah takes Hawk to see the woman whose window he smashed, Libby Ducaan (Molly Price). She makes an offer: she’ll not worry about the window at all, if they “stop their campaign of false propaganda” involving the people of Clarksville. Libby even provides result of the tests on the water, to show she’s on the level. Is she? Or are we seeing another aspect of a cult where they can’t even see how their philanthropic ideals, in a rush to ‘be good’ in the eyes of the outer world, are being misused?
screen-shot-2017-02-01-at-10-29-53-pmThen we’ve got Abe and his wife Jocelyn (Jasmin Walker). Things aren’t going well. She knows that he’s doing important work undercover, she’s understanding. But it’s all Abe talks about, and simultaneously she has had to bear all his training, all his work, all this undercover stuff taking up his time. She feels as if the family’s being alienated. And y’know, we already see Abe getting too close to Nicole (Ali Ahn), so it’s not hard to imagine he might be slipping into Meyerism a little.
Kodiak (James Remar) is feeling terrible about what happened to Steve, believing he let the man down. All the same, Sarah’s mother Gab (Deirdre O’Connell) comforts him; they have a history, these two. I wonder will Kodiak being around cause friction? Seems like there’s an unresolved love there, or at the very least a passion.
In a not unexpected development, Hawk starts opening up to Cal, who begins playing the father figure role. Yeah, that’s going to turn out well. Nevertheless, they bond and Cal willingly steps in to try giving him direction. And across the street Eddie watches, as his son slips away, from him, and further into the cult. So he makes a split decision to confront them. Eddie tries appealing to his boy, he tries to be understanding. He’s desperate. Hawk runs off while Cal puts up a tough front, and Eddie makes clear: “I will fucking murder you before I let you take him from me.”
Together, Richard and Kodiak look over the final few Rungs, the former believing Steve didn’t write the last three Rungs. And Kodiak’s inclined to believe he didn’t. They wonder now if the man drawn on the cave in Peru, involved in Steve’s death, was in fact Cal.

screen-shot-2017-02-01-at-10-50-10-pmMary goes for a talk with Sarah. She reveals that her baby may or may not belong to Sean (Paul James). She’s concerned that he’ll be devastated finding out the child isn’t his (no telling what Cal will do if he knew for sure). However, Sarah has other things on her mind. Eddie contacts his estranged wife. They met and he’s clearly angry about Hawk, what Cal and possibly Sarah are putting in his head. No telling where all this is headed, but I know it ain’t good.
Note: Truly fantastic score from Will Bates (Imperium). In the next scene, this pounding rhythm takes over and drives the tension you feel mounting. This goes on for a stretch of time, as paranoia begins setting in.
On the road Eddie notices someone following him. Does he? Soon the car vanishes, and he’s relieved. Then at a gas station the car pulls up, a young guy gets out. Quickly, Eddie pumps his gas and takes off. He meets Chloe Jones (Leven Rambin) for a drink at a casino, telling her about all the madness of his life as of late. When Eddie sees the guy from the gas station this sets his paranoid mind off, big time: “Im not letting them control me, okay?” he all but yells at Chloe.
When Sarah talks to Hawk, he says he’s filled with rage. And therefore Cal will help him “channel” all that. Like an unknowingly oxymoronic statement. He further rejects his father, and his mother worries for what she can’t say: Cal is a god damned murderer, one who’s killed his own friend. Super choice of a role model. Somehow Sarah continues falling for him and she’s, essentially, asking him to offer up money in exchange for her silence re: his sins.
screen-shot-2017-02-01-at-10-59-22-pmFinally, Mary suggests to Sean the baby may not be his, and without words confirms she may be carrying Cal’s child. Uh oh. I wonder, will Sean let his old self through and take out his frustrations on the cult leader?
Sarah finds out Ducaan’s testing isn’t complete. Hundreds of thousands of dollars are needed to do the rest, which is, of course, why nobody has found anything major yet as proof. But she knows there’s something wrong. She’s trying to reassure a Clarksville farmer they’re doing their best to help. “I will take on your burden,” Sarah tells him before taking a drink of the contaminated water herself. Stupid faith, and now poison, runs through her veins.
In a car park Cal confronts Lisa about their tax exempt status. He wants their application pushed through, though she says exemptions are being pushed back for a while. Cal wants to be repaid for Meyerism helping her in a time of need. He’s being unbearably creepy, physically threatening without ever uttering a threat or raising a hand.
And while everyone else goes on with their lives, Richard and Kodiak summon the spirit of Dr. Steven Meyer. They beat drums, hoping to speak with him. Kodiak reveals Steve is “not in the light.”
Worst of all, Eddie starts having a bad reaction to the alcohol he drank with Chloe. He’s rushed to a hospital, his breathing staggered, his face going deep red. Will he make it through?


I loved this episode. The personal tensions between characters are coming to a head, and the family of Lanes is coming apart at the seams. Like a juggling act, seeing who’ll be able to carry the biggest emotional load, and who’ll succumb to defeat.

The Path – Season 2, Episode 2: “Dead Moon”

Hulu’s The Path
Season 2, Episode 2: “Dead Moon”
Directed by Michael Weaver
Written by Annie Weisman

* For a recap & review of Season 2 opener, “Liminal Twilight” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Father and The Son” – click here
screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-12-42-35-amSarah (Michelle Monaghan) has seen the skeletal remains of Silas in the ground, unearthed by Cal (Hugh Dancy) at her request. She’s trying to work through the emotional baggage, as Richard (Clark Middleton) guides her in their Scientology-like therapy. He thinks that Eddie (Aaron Paul) is a constant source of disruption and pain in her life. He brings up Eddie’s trip to Peru, after the pair separated. But Sarah refutes his playing a part in her damage right now.
Meanwhile, Eddie’s off with Hawk (Kyle Allen) and Summer. The older child is still unhappy about his father’s leaving the commune, leaving them, essentially. Dad continually tries to do his best and to make them happy.
At the same time Abe Gaines (Rockmond Dunbar) is catching Mark Penetti (Matt Bailey) up on his undercover investigation into Cal Roberts and the Meyerist movement. Things are going smooth, and Penetti seems invested. Career is looking up for ole Abe. Unless something bad happens along the way.


When passing over the kids, Sarah talks to Eddie for a minute. She’s upset, though. She hates being apart and at once won’t let go of Meyerism, she’s trapped in her delusion that it’s all worth what they’re giving up (i.e. their intelligence, their lives, and much, much more).
And other things crop up at the ranch. The movement isn’t going to get their tax-exempt status like planned, a snag’s come into play. Just another bit of stress for Cal. More faith lost on the part of everyone else, especially Sarah. He’s not listening to Steve, who told them never get “involved with the government.” Needless to say the pair of Cal and Sarah are growing further apart, and they’re struggling to stay united as one; all a farce for their followers.
At home, Eddie meditates. Then in juxtaposition he’s out in front of a ton of big screen television sets, everything so loud and so modern and it’s as if the world is right inside his head. The real world is too loud. Almost like he was in prison. And in a way, he was in a cell. Only one constructed from the mind.
Mary Cox (Emma Greenwell) continues to get further into the fold. She and Nicole (Ali Ahn) bond over babies, motherhood, breastfeeding, and such. They talk about mixed race children, considering that Mary and Sean (Paul James) are expecting. But that’s all a cover: Mary’s worried the baby won’t have any trace of her man, and that it’ll be clear Cal fathered him or her. Should be a tense pregnancy.


Eddie goes to check on Sarah, but things devolve into an argument over Peru before he takes off again. He knows there’s something going on. Now it’s worse, as he sees Sarah ready for a big cocktail party of some sort. This makes Eddie worry about what’s going on between Cal and his estranged wife.
Out in the woods, Russell (Patch Darragh) leads a retreat for the 1Rs, such as Hawk, who are getting more and more indoctrinated into the Meyerist movement. It’s a journey in darkness: “Tonight, youll have to find the Light inside of you.”
Cal and Sarah are out at a party, showing off Mary after her battle with drugs. They talk about their focus on social justice, and plenty of other issues. One interesting note: Sarah decides to have a drink, shocking Cal in front of their friends. Hmm, that’s not a good sign. However, she’s just fine. It’s Cal that isn’t doing well, watching others around him indulge while he can’t even face his own demons. Things between him and Mary are getting stranger, plus the fact Sean can tell there’s something not quite right in the way Cal treats his wife.
And then Eddie, he’s out having a guilt-free date with Chloe Jones (Leven Rambin), after assuming his wife is out doing the same thing. They’re having a chat, some drinks over a meal. Will anything more come of it? They’re both obviously interested in one another. Still, Eddie does love his wife despite the few feelings stirring for Chloe in his newfound freedom. Things start breaking down after she talks about the cult, asking questions, making him uncomfortable. It’s all mixed in with the fact Chloe used to be with his brother Johnny before he died. She’s lost and believes he found “answers” in the Meyerist movement. Or at least she doesn’t judge him for fleeing into the arms of a cult after what happened. Through it all they actually do fall into each others arms.
In the midst of the party, Cal calls everybody out for their rich bullshit. For a killer he is awfully high and mighty. This is one large portion of what Cal is all about, thematically. He represents, quite literally (and very well), the hypocrisy of those who sit in power of some movement, whether an organised church or something lesser like Meyerism; they do their nastiness out of the public eye, then preach on the pulpit within the same breath.
screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-1-10-54-amscreen-shot-2017-01-26-at-1-15-59-amSimultaneously, Sarah and Eddie get intimate with other people. This is an intense scene, both for the viewer and the characters. You can see Eddie’s initial reluctance, before he goes headlong into making love to Chloe. For her part, Sarah refuses her would-be lover and walks out. All the while Cal is being taken to town by the Ridges for making the guests look ridiculous. When the would-be lover emerges, he taunts Cal, and the whimsically hypocritical Cal lays a punch into him, for everyone to see. Ah, the monster emerges, further each day.
Those aren’t the only relationship troubles. Sean’s getting less happy with the way Cal brought them out like trophies. Whereas Mary liked having someone show her off after a lifetime of abuse. Her husband hates how Cal touches her – “Like he owns you” – and rightfully so, as it’s weird, and creepy, and symptomatic of a larger, more unsettling problem of which Sean is still sadly unaware.
NOTE: Watch how many times Cal is cast in shadows. Whether he’s fully submerged, or just a part of his face obscured, there’s often a shadowy light over him when onscreen. I’ve noticed it more this season, but I know they’ve done this in Season 1 at least a few times, too. Great technique. In this episode, as he and Sarah talk about his “living, waking hell” of guilt, Cal is literally divided by shadow: one side of his face is visible, the other darkened totally. Such a slight thing that some might cast off, but in this scene we see that hypocritical side of his character given to us totally through imagery, you don’t even have to pay attention to his dialogue (though you should). Testament to some of the well executed techniques of this series and those who make it.

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-1-24-20-amSarah knows Cal is devious, that he is a murderer. And yet she continues on, for the sake of her own soul, for the sake of others. With every bad deed comes a few good ones, he redeems himself then undoes it, like clockwork. It sucks her back in every time. And waking up in bed with another woman, Eddie remembers the better times he had within the movement, with his wife. Everybody’s stuck in some way.
Now Hawk is stuck. Because he’s having a vision, of lifting off the ground. Some of that gorgeous magic realism in The Path. Except it’s bittersweet, as Hawk finds himself mired in the movement further. I feel a tragic end to his story, and it’s going to devastate me, if so.
screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-1-29-14-amAnother great episode. I love this series, unabashed. Can’t wait for the next episode, these first two got me back in the spirit! The actors are all pulling their weight, times ten. The writing’s getting better. Don’t listen to those who complain: judge for yourself. And let me know what you think in the comments.

The Path – Season 2, Episode 1: “Liminal Twilight”

Hulu’s The Path
Season 2, Episode 1: “Liminal Twilight”
Directed by Michael Weaver
Written by Jessica Goldberg

* For a recap & review of Season 1’s finale “The Miracle” – click here
* For  a recap & review of the next episode, “Dead Moon” – click here
screen-shot-2017-01-25-at-11-50-29-pmWhat’s next for Meyerism? For Eddie and Sarah Lane (Aaron Paul & Michelle Monaghan)? And what about Cal Roberts (Hugh Dancy), whose Golden Boy status has all but plummeted to the depths? And what about everyone caught in between?
We start Season 2 in Peru. Eddie wanders in search of answers, as Dr. Steven Meyer (Keir Dullea) appears to come alive once more. He all but springs from bed, almost in a frenzy. He goes to the balcony while Eddie walks in to find the bed empty, seeing Steven on his feet. The doctor doesn’t understand about Eddie’s “visions” and insists they must leave right away. Eddie asks him to reveal that he’s sick to the followers, so that they understand: “There is no fucking Light.” But the doc isn’t interested, and a whole new dimension of The Path has opened up.
screen-shot-2017-01-25-at-11-53-15-pmCal and Sarah have a ceremony started, on the site of where Dr. Meyer experienced his “transformation” from the Light. Everyone stands round to watch, as the two take their oath to be Guardians together. Problem is Sarah’s become quite suspicious, worried about where Silas went; of course, we know. In the meantime, Kodiak (James Remar) – another 10R – is brought in by Sarah to be a part of things, although Cal and Felicia (Adriane Lenox) don’t necessarily like it. Excited to watch the tension between Cal and Sarah play out through this season, as well as witness what that’ll bring in the long run.
Everyone is experiencing new things. Eddie works and lives outside the commune, without his family. Sarah takes on new responsibilities, new anguish, and debates with herself/her family whether or not to let Eddie see their kids on his birthday. And Cal, he tries to dull the pain of having killed Silas by diving deeper into Meyerism, as usual. How long until the memories of his old friend dying before his eyes will break Cal, or break someone else for its weight? Well, right now Mary Cox (Emma Greenwell) is again in the eye of Cal’s storm, which she may always be, but here’s news: she’s five months pregnant, she and Sean (Paul James) expecting a child together. Is it Sean’s baby? Might belong to Cal. Uh oh.
Sarah does let her children see their father. She sneaks them off to spend time with him, reluctantly letting Hawk (Kyle Allen) and Summer (Aimee Laurence) go on but still feeling a tiny bit guilty. Back at the ranch, Cal preaches and Sarah does her part next to him. When he talks of Silas, though, it visibly stings her. On their excursion, Eddie chats with the kids and it’s clear Hawk is bitter, although Summer loves her father; she insists he has to have a cake for his birthday, so it’ll keep him “sweet for the rest of the year.” Then Eddie runs into an old friend, Chloe Jones (Leven Rambin). They hang out, talk, catch up on the ruin of their lives. At one point Eddie goes to get in the water with his daughter, and Hawk notices a strange mark on his arm; dad passes it off as a workplace accident. I’m inclined to believe it has something more to do with Peru.
The Meyerism Council are trying to make fiscal decisions, and so on. But everything isn’t smooth, and the rest of the council can see the divide between Sarah and Cal. She won’t take his bullshit, not much longer. And that, coupled with the guilt, is going to crush him.

screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-12-05-47-amAt family supper, Sarah’s brother Russell makes a big deal over her wanting him to keep an eye on Cal. This starts a big conversation, which reveals Sarah’s mother doesn’t exactly trust Cal anymore, not after Kodiak speaking in mysterious ways. Speaking of, Kodiak is on a hike with Richard (Clark Middleton), who has found the body of Dr. Steve Meyer, fallen from a cliff and decomposing brutally on the side of some rocks. This doesn’t help Kodiak’s feeling of unease towards Cal and whatever’s been happening in the movement.
What actually happened to Steve?
Also, Abe Gaines (Rockmond Dunbar) is still among the Meyerism movement, out with some of the others doing their duties. Moreover, Joy – wife of Russell – gets close to Abe, so close they embrace a moment. Yikes! Now that is some trouble brewing.
Across town Russell and Cal are at an auction, the latter going over the Meyerist budget to a price of $5-million on a piece of property. This is the beginning of his missteps, which will surely put the entire commune into crisis, sooner or later. And then there’s Hawk, feeling guilty about going to see his “heathen” father. Inside, Sarah won’t allow her true self to abandon Eddie, no matter their religion. This is another divide that will definitely widen.
Eddie dives deeper into normal life again, going out for a beer with his work buddies; they rib him at first, but genuinely like having him around and are more than happy to have him out for drinks. A couple beers deep, he makes a call to Sarah.
Things get worse when Sarah discovers Cal dropped $5-million of their cash on new property. She heads out into the night by car, listening to the message Eddie left for her. On the road she hits in animal. She stops her beaten up car and rushes to it: a small deer, bleeding. She weeps over its corpse, then in the trees sees another deer, possibly the mother; it runs away after a second locking eyes with Sarah. A weirdly emotional moment. Cal comes to her aide, and she starts expounding upon her doubts. Her belief is slipping. He does his best to bring her back towards the Light: “As long as the work is real,” he tries to tell her. But she’s not happy, she only wants truth.


The truth comes out. Cal admits to what happened with Silas. He breaks down, he acts like he’s remorseful – “I dont want to live like this anymore, I dont want to live with the way you look at me” – yet so much of it rings false. Then Sarah wants Silas dug up, to prove the truth.
At the same time, Kodiak and Richard explore the actual truth of other things in the movement. They’re getting closer to the truth: someone pushed Steve from that cliff, he never jumped, didn’t fall.
However, I’m still very interested in Abe and his particular story. He sneaks over a fence and heads to the backdoor of a house. He goes further, inside. To where his family’s waiting. And that story he’s telling the movement, about the death of his child, it’s lies; the baby is just fine, healthy and happy. He’s doing a big undercover operation, and that’s taking a toll at home. He’s a good man, though. That much is clear. “I promise you,” Abe tells her wife, “Ill be home soon.” Oh, I hope so. I hope Cal doesn’t do something drastic if he finds out what’s going on.
In Peru again, before, we see Eddie receive more prophecy from Dr. Meyer. The doc says Eddie is the “chosen son” for whatever comes next, when the Light takes him, or whatever the hell. Memories of that moment play in Eddie’s mind and plague him. Not to mention that strange marking on him which Hawk briefly spotted; looks like a fleshy tree.
Is there something binding Eddie further to Meyerism than he wishes to admit?
screen-shot-2017-01-26-at-12-37-33-amI felt this was a great start to Season 2. So many strange things, lots of intrigue. Who knows how it’ll all come out in the wash. Next episode is titled “Dead Moon” and I’m looking forward to more development on the Silas and Steve fronts. Kodiak is a great new character, as well; fuck yeah, Remar!

The Path – Season 1, Episode 10: “The Miracle”

Hulu’s The Path
Season 1, Episode 10: “The Miracle”
Directed by Michael Weaver
Written by Jessica Goldberg

* For a review of the penultimate episode, “A Room with a View” – click here
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Our season finale commences with Sarah Lane (Michelle Monaghan) taking a walk in the forest on her own. Obviously lots to contemplate. She sees a white owl land nearby, captivating her. Meanwhile, Christmas is here. Eddie (Aaron Paul), Hawk (Kyle Allen), and the littlest Lane drive together. We see how the youngest is a little affected by the other kids in school having gifts and experiencing Christmas. Furthermore, we can tell how Eddie hates what happens to his children because of the cult.
Back in one of those creepy little rooms, Richard is trying to get Eddie to sign a form proclaiming him a “denier” but the latter won’t have any part of it. Sarah pulls rank. Later, Richard goes to see Alison Kemp (Sarah Jones). She’s in distress over the things her husband supposedly wrote in a journal. But can we trust that? Could it not be a plant? Seems too good to be true, and highly likely Sarah doesn’t know.
At the same time, Cal Roberts (Hugh Dancy) is only preparing to go bigger, go wider with Meyerism.


Sarah’s worried about Silas. She connects the snow owl out on the trail to some kind of omen. She calls Felicia and they chat about what may have happened. Felicia gives a sideways accusation leaning towards Cal, which Sarah refutes. Right as Cal walks in the door. He still wants Sarah in on the next “phase of the movement” alongside him. They’re on different levels, as far their relationship goes. And Cal appears taken aback by the idea that Sarah doesn’t want their relationship anything more than professional. Even more than that Sarah questions Cal about where he was when they voted about the refugees. He stutter steps and then tells her he relapsed, had some drinks. Sort of true. I mean, he got drunk after killing Silas, of course. Yet Sarah knows him, and now she begins to suspect there’s something else going on behind the mask of Cal Roberts.
At home, the Lanes discuss Eddie leaving, living somewhere else. “Without the light,” as they say. More of the confusion of youth here. Their little girl is so deluded, so brainwashed, she believes now they’re separated for eternity. No Garden together. Daddy’s not going to be in the Future. Yikes. Still, it’s an emotional scene, as Sarah is so evidently hurt even if believing, for now, it’s the right and only thing to be done.
In his new hotel room, Eddie freaks out believing he sees a long snake slithering over the carpet. Except nothing’s there. At all. He then gets a call from Detective Abe Gaines (Rockmund Dunbar), a.k.a Sam, apologizing for being a jerk on the phone last time. He’s simply worried for his little daughter, being readied to undergo surgery in the morning.
What’s more is that we now see genuine paranoia in Eddie. He’s actually worried for the first time. About what, ultimately, I’m not sure. Though he suspects some darker business underneath the Light.


Everyone’s talking about the last Three Rungs of the Ladder. Then Cal brings Alison, a denier, into their communal space. He claims with those last Three Rungs, things are starting to change. With these changes, though, is everyone willing to see their system and structure change? Some, yes. Not all. Perhaps because seeing things change is the beginning sign that Meyerism is complete bullshit. Once a system of belief starts to shift, as the Catholic Church has done how many times now I can’t be bothered to count, then certain true believers start questioning the motives of the change.
Sarah knows some change in Cal has begun to emerge. The darkness of his actions, the death of Silas, it’s making him more susceptible to the mistakes of others, or else be relegated to the land of hypocrisy. Tracking down the security guard on duty the night Silas disappeared, unbeknownst to anyone aside from Cal, Sarah starts finding out there’s more to the underbelly of Mr. Roberts than anyone understands.
Mary Cox (Emma Greenwell) has met prospective husband Sean Egan’s parents. They aren’t exactly impressed with the whole movement, except Cal and his semi-Jesus speech. The mother goes to Mary and lets her know she approves of her. This almost gives Mary a ray of hope in all the encroaching darkness. I worry she may come up against those darker elements of Meyerism. She’s teetering on the edge of chaos.
Up in the hospital, Eddie goes to see Abe – well, Sam – and then a nurse almost gives up the cover, calling his wife Mrs. Gaines. Maiden name, she says. Eddie tells Abe he’s leaving the Meyerist movement. Without his family. He admits the crisis of faith and all that. Will this evolve into a better case somewhere down the line for Abe? At the very same time, Hawk is going in deeper, saying goodbye to Ashley (Amy Forsyth) and preparing to take his vows to the movement. A sad turn of events in this parallel between father and son.


Abe (following a prayer by Eddie: “I thought you didnt believe
Eddie: “Cant hurt
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In the city, Eddie has another hallucination. He sees a dead bird on the floor of a toy store. What’s going on with him? Are these omens, or merely a psychological break because of his divided brain, stuck somewhere between belief and doubt, trust and paranoia, guilt and repression?
All sorts of things are happening. Cal gets word from the security guard he only told Sarah what he was instructed to tell. Simultaneously, Eddie arrives back at the commune where he’s greeted by Richard. He says it feels like he’s “on the medicine“, while clearly not. He’s worried about going crazy. Although Richard says the Light is trying to communicate with him, or some other nonsense.
Mary runs to Cal saying she’s “not a good person” and claims they’re both alike. Two broken, unfixable souls. She’s not so sure about marrying Sean, as she believes in the end he’ll only be hurt. “Ill always want something dark near me, inside me,” Mary confesses to Cal. The dangerous, violence in Cal knows it’s a good thing she is marrying Sean, so that the dark forces are kept at bay. However, Mary wants somebody to know every inch of her; the bad, the good, the ugly. Only Cal can do that for her. In a twisted way, they’re perfect for each other. More twisted is that she wears the veil Sean’s mother gave her while she and Cal start getting busy.

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Eddie drops by his old place to give his daughter a gift. He’s confronted by Sarah’s family telling him to go. So he does without incident. It’s just sad to see these cults reject family members for doubt. Tragic, stupid, unfortunate. Inside, Sarah’s parents try telling her things will be fine and it’ll actually feel good after things pass. Only Sarah isn’t so happy any more. She doesn’t seem to be sold on the entire concept, even if going along with it: “Fuck you its gonna feel good, fuck all of you,” she rages. She might just discover the truth yet. Open her eyes to the actual light, which she literally does in the next scene through her bedroom window. Almost like she sees the sun for the first time.
Amazingly, the Gaines family discovers their daughter won’t require surgery after all. A blessing from out of nowhere. It rocks them, in the best sense. Only now, Abe may start wondering if there’s really something to faith and belief like in the Meyerist movement. Or maybe this just helps him and Eddie get closer.
That light Sarah saw, it wasn’t anything truthful. She wants to be next to Cal in order to usher in the Meyerist movement’s next steps. Is this Sarah diving in head first to try quelling her own doubts? Or genuine? No telling with her. Also, Cal is stuck between two women – Mary and Sarah, unsure of which one gives him what he needs.


In his hotel room, Eddie dreams of the snake again. It craws up to his neck, hissing, ready to bite. Another dream. Poor guy is plagued by nightmares, living, waking dreams crawling out of his subconscious. The snake, which he saw originally in Peru wrapped around Dr. Steve Meyer (Keir Dullea), could possibly mean there is death, fatality, murder behind the movement. Could mean all sorts of things.
So that’s where Eddie goes: Peru. At home, Cal and Sarah perform rituals -a wedding, a re-commitment of a denier, a taking of vows. Cutting between Peru and home, we watch the celebration juxtaposed with Eddie gradually tracking down what those nightmares may mean. Cal says Steve is there, ready to transform into pure light, heading off to wherever the hell they think they’re heading.
Eddie got his daughter one of the invisible ink pens she wanted for Christmas. A beautiful little gift. This speaks to Hawk, as he finds his sister drawing all types of things in the kitchen. At the community gate, Sarah finds Mr. Cox looking for Mary; he wants payment, or else there’ll be trouble. Then Mr. Cox lets slip a detail that interests Sarah, about being there during the full moon, that night Cal drove off on his own. Hmm.
Best of all, Eddie finds an empty bed in Peru where Steve once lay. Nobody to be found.
Sarah’s discovered secrets, finally. She knows that Cal wrote the last Three Rungs, that Steve is dying. She also found his little liquor stash. Everything about him is starting to unravel. Now there’s lots of tension between the two. There are incredibly dark, deep things about to spew forth. “To the truth,” Sarah toasts him over a glass of booze. Despite his love for her, using her name as a password and all, does this now put her in danger of Cal doing something to her, to keep his secrets buried?
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And in Peru, Eddie comes face to face with Steve, still alive.
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This was a perfect way to end the first season. Keeps the intrigue, sets up lots more action and suspense for Season 2, which I’ll be awaiting with bated breath. A fantastic opening season. Great acting, writing, and the music all around is solid. Very excited for more, so let’s hang in there together, fellow fans!

The Path – Season 1, Episode 9: “A Room With a View”

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
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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). “Im 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.
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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: “Im 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.
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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: “Theres gotta be some fuckinroom for doubt
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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. “Were 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 sons 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.
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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.

The Path – Season 1, Episode 7: “Refugees”

Hulu’s The Path
Season 1, Episode 7: “Refugees”
Directed by Roxann Dawson
Written by Jason Katims

* For a review of the previous episode, “Breaking & Entering” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “The Shore” – click here
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This episode starts with the Lane family – Eddie (Aaron Paul), Sarah (Michelle Monaghan), Hawk (Kyle Allen), & the littlest one, too. They’re with Richard (Clark Middleton) at a hole, talking about how they “offset” and other nonsense cult terms. Seems digging a hole and planting a tree is all about transgression, moving forward, and such. All a load of bullshit. Especially through Hawk’s eyes. He’s a teenager who simply wants to be normal, only his family and their Meyerism madness won’t let him.
Overheard flies a helicopter. Turns out the immigrants Cal brought in are illegal. Uh oh. Lots of cult talk from the news reporters. Sarah is confronted by journalists on the way in, adamantly repeating the same old phrase they all know: “This is not a cult.” Ashley (Amy Forsyth) and her mother are trying to adjust to life at the commune. Meanwhile, the immigrants are all worried about the increased news presence outside. Everything is a mess.


Eddie heads over with some supplies for Alison (Sarah Jones) at the cottage. He’s keeping an eye out for her. Over at the commune, he meets with Cal (Hugh Dancy) and the rest of the up-and-ups. Nobody’s happy with what Cal has done, particularly seeing as how he’s done it without consulting anybody else. Even Eddie won’t back Cal up, claiming it’s a “shitshow“, and Sarah agrees with her husband, as well. All alone, Cal must take what’s being served to him. Only he is worried about the immigrants being sent back to violence, poverty, the whole terror they wanted to escape.
Poor Mary Cox (Emma Greenwell) is left without Sean. Her time there is more and more threatened now. Because Cal wants her, for whatever reason we don’t fully know, and with everything crumbling around him his mental processes aren’t exactly on the rails. It’s a dangerous situation. On the other end, Detective Abe Gaines (Rockmund Dunbar) is researching Meyerism, Cal, Dr. Meyers himself, all of it. He’s being put on the case full-time, given more power. And this excites Abe. While I thought he’d been falling into their trap, I’m feeling further that he’s got a grip on himself, and he knows there’s something rotten at the core of the Meyerist movement. Let’s hope Abe can do some good before some terrifying bad can happen.
And behind his parents back, Hawk is still sleeping over with Ashley. Finally he tells her: “Youre the only thing that makes sense to me.”


Using a girl with clear interest in her, Mary cons her way into their little commune hospital and manages to get her hands on some drugs. Oh no. I can see this heading into bad territory. As for the others on the commune, Cal heads to see the immigrants. He tries explaining what the situation is for them now. Then he gets caught up talking about “the light” and how it guides them, not politics or world leaders or anything else. He wants to fight to keep them. He will not back down: “Your fate is my fate.” Closer, closer, Cal pushes to the edge. I’m sensing something big is going to happen on his end, which might spell a lot of chaos.
More marital troubles. Sarah doesn’t know why Eddie was late to the compound in the morning, after he went off to take care of Alison. Mostly, Sarah worries them not being on the same page damages the overall help they can offer the movement. Ugh. Always something.
Gaines finds himself inducted as a “receptive” and gets more information on possibly becoming further indoctrinated into their movement. Nicole (Ali Ahn) is given a bit of a show, too. Abe takes off his shirt and throws on the Meyerist clothing right away, showing off some abs and muscles. Yowzahs.


Now Cal is taking the place over. He’s gone outside the Upper Rungs. He brought in “a circle” of all the youngest members, et cetera. Strange to see Cal challenging authority so defiantly and openly. Cal wants more of a democracy, to open a vote that includes anyone on any rung. Naturally, the big wigs Bill and Felicia aren’t pleased. Nor is Sarah, who takes Cal aside to chastise his actions. She isn’t happy that he did something so major without telling her or finding any support from him.
But even worse, someone’s gotten wind of a blonde woman up at the cottage. Obviously the sweat is rolling off Eddie now, and he heads off to likely take care of things up there. Even though Cal notices out of the corner of his eye. The chase is on to get Alison out of harm’s way.
Eddie arrives, just not quick enough. Quickly, Cal shows up. He wants her to unburden, set things straight. And in the tense situation in which they find themselves, Alison tries attacking him. She gets herself away, as Eddie wrestles Cal to the ground. WOW. Just WOW! This is going to bring about some serious consequences. Cal knows the affair with Miranda Frank was bullshit, he knows there was “something else” that happened to Eddie over in Peru. Eddie claims he had a vision of Steve Meyers dying and confesses his faltering faith, which visibly puts Cal off-balance. He denies all of it trying to keep Eddie close. Then tells Eddie: “I want you to take the walk.” He wants proof of Eddie’s faith, or else he has to leave and not come back. And if Eddie doesn’t walk 250 miles? Sarah will find out about his lack of belief in Meyerism, sure to ruin their marriage irreparably.
In other news, Ashley’s mother gets a job at a dental clinic because of Sarah. But the shitty news? They can find the light whenever need be. Nice little room with a picture of Dr. Meyers, the big eye on the wall. Creepy stuff.


When Eddie tells his wife about possibly doing the walk, Sarah doesn’t react well. She knows there’s more to it. He tries explaining things, but soon Hawk shows up, not wanting to talk to his parents about being with his Ignorant Systemite girlfriend. “Maybe your path isnt my path,” Hawk tells his father when they get on him. I really want to see Hawk break away. Because that would really wake Sarah up. If Cal, or whoever, were to start going after their boy then there’s a chance maybe she could see how backwards and twisted the Meyerist movement really is after all. For the time being, seems the Fields family has taken off, and that does not sit well with young Hawk.
Mary confronts Cal about sending her boyfriend away to Delaware. She pleads to know what his deal is, re: her. He says he cares about her “deeply“, though isn’t allowed to be with her… in that way. He’s really twisted Mary up pushing her towards Sean then taking him away from her. And then she decides it’s time to leave the commune.
From out of nowhere, Silas (Steve Mones) comes to see his old buddy Cal. He has things they need to talk about. Cal’s suspicious, naturally. However, it turns out Dr. Meyers sent Silas – he isn’t happy with Mr. Roberts and his way of doing things. Silas brings news that the “movement is dead” and that the party’s ready to shut down. Well it’s clear Cal isn’t ready to give up his leadership role, he thinks people are waiting to accept him as their saviour, or some other crazy shit. But Silas straight up tells him: “Youre a fraud. You can go out there and smile, but youre an alcoholic salesman. Just like your father.”
What proceeds is a vicious, spontaneous moment of violence that will reverberate through everything – Cal’s life, the movement, all of it.


Silas: “Its over. It was over when Steve couldnt accept his own mortality.”
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While Bill preaches to the congregation of Meyerist faithfuls, the editing is brilliant, as it puts right there with him then immediately right next to Cal, who dries up all the blood with towels trying to figure out what his next move will be, what to do with Silas. This is some of the most intense stuff yet. The directing, the writing, all the technical aspects, they merge together and create an impressive sequence.
Then Sarah gets up to do some preaching of her own. She seems to have had a change of heart. Her compassion is growing, the grip of Meyerism is not as tight on her as certain others. She actually talks about her husband, how Steve took him into the fold and it allowed her to have a great family, to find the love of her life. A truly great speech. Although, nobody knows the danger being brought to the cult now, as Silas is dead, and one of their prominent members is now a full-fledged murderer.
Now with Mary heading back out into the real world, she finds her abusive father waiting, and it drives her right back inside. Will she eventually make it out? And will that bring more negative attention to the movement? We’ll see.


Ashley’s mother has discovered Meyerism is most definitely a cult. And so that’s why they fled. Hawk finds them and tries to get to the bottom of things, and he doesn’t want to let her go. But she knows they’re partly in danger by staying there, or staying involved with any of them from the movement. Shitty for the emotional devastation Hawk feels, good for the Fields’ because they do not need any of that cult-ish craziness. Certainly not now when everything is so fucked up.
Simultaneously, Eddie prepares to leave on his walk. He and Sarah come a little closer again, for now. Then Hawk comes in – he wants in on the walk with his dad. He almost begs: “Im lost. Im so lost.” I feel terrible for him and it hurts me to see him pain. I want Hawk to break free, but it’s as if he’s only growing further indoctrinated.
And at home, Cal sits with the dead body of Silas. Everyone is in shambles, not just Cal. Yet he is absolutely the most worse off. Even worse, he starts to get back on the booze, too. Yeah, that’ll help. But what do you do when you’ve resorted to murder?


What a GREAT episode. One of the best yet. Next one is titled “The Shore”, and I’m looking forward to more revelations and madness and culty weirdness. Stay tuned with me folks. Hulu is really doing well with this series and I hope they’ll renew it for a second season. These characters and plots deserve another round.