Eddie plans to reveal the truth about Dr. Steve Meyer to the movement. Cal prepares to do something dangerous and drastic.
When Cal challenges Eddie trying to convince him he isn't ready to lead, the latter responds in an audacious way. At the same time, Sarah struggles with who she really wants Eddie to be.
Sarah & Cal's relationship is revealed to most everyone, as Hawk returns from his meditation. At the same time, Eddie storms the compound to confront Cal.
When Hawk goes out on his retreat, ascending to 1R, he finds more than he bargained for, as his Eddie struggles with himself.
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
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 didn‘t believe”
Eddie: “Can‘t hurt”
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. “I‘ll 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.
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 it‘s 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?
And in Peru, Eddie comes face to face with Steve, still alive.
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!
Hulu’s The Path
Season 1, Episode 4: “The Future”
Directed by Michael Weaver
Written by Julia Brownell
* For a review of the previous episode, “A Homecoming” – click here
* For a review of the next episode “The Hole” – click here
After Eddie (Aaron Paul) found Miranda Frank (Minka Kelly) laying unconscious, likely dead, on the floor o that room, The Path continues on, darker than ever.
At home, Eddie and Sarah (Michelle Monaghan) wait for news. Apparently Miranda’s been taken to the hospital, and trusty Cal Roberts (Hugh Dancy) will call when there’s anything to report. Yes, I’m sure the cult leader will keep everything on the level and not dust it all under the rug.
Well Sarah wants to “unburden” to her husband. She reveals: “I did this.” But the problem is that Eddie’s lied. He lied about even having an affair, all to cover up a crisis of faith in Meyerism. Then they get word that a Bill and Felicia are coming. What does it mean? Are these higher ups? Elders?
Detective Abe Gaines (Rockmond Dunbar) is sure there’s something “dark going on” in the Meyerism community. He doesn’t even know the half. It’ll be interesting to see him become further mixed up with their craziness.
In hospital, Cal talks with Miranda. She’s bewildered as to why this is all happening. But whereas she doesn’t think anything even remotely close to an affair has happened, Cal uses Meyerism to convince her to talk with him. She reveals Eddie’s demeanour in Peru after taking the medicine, hallucinating, et cetera. Though, no affair. Only a hug to comfort him. But now Cal knows of Eddie’s crisis, his claim that “there is no light” and all his doubts. We’ll see exactly how Cal goes on to use this, you know he will exploit it at some point, for some reason.
Out in the forest, Sarah gives a weird Meyerist-type talk, as everybody sits around with electrode-like suction cups on their heads holding their little readers, talking about finding the “damage” back beyond in our minds. Absolutely mental. But at least the junkie Freddie Ridge’s (Max Ehrich) parents Cal is raking in donations from are happy with his progress.
Cal’s got other issues, though. He wants to know more about Eddie, calling Silas (Steve Mones) who took the drugs/medicine in Peru with him. Most of all, Cal worries about why Bill and Felicia are at the commune. He believes there’s doubt about his leadership. What sort of chaos will this bring? Because it will bring some, in some sense. There’s a storm brewing inside him that could burst at any moment from behind the dam he puts up against it.
Trying to convince the Ridges of the Meyerist way to wean people off drugs, using Ayahuasca, Sarah hopes the parents will keep their son there to be treated. But the father won’t have any of their hippie bullshit.
Meanwhile, Eddie finds Cal to figure out where Miranda is, after she’s been moved from the hospital. The magnetic Cal wants Eddie to do 7R, to climb the next rung of the ladder. There’s that old saying, right? Keep your friends close, your enemies closer. Cal wants to push Eddie further to see if that crisis of faith will become anything more. Simultaneously, Cal chews Sarah out for her treatment of the Ridges; he doesn’t want the medicine used, apparently. Likely Cal is afraid of losing their donations. Greedy, greedy, Mr. Roberts.
And Hawk (Kyle Allen) is still semi-dating his lady friend Ashley (Amy Forsyth). He resists certain things, though, she ends up giving him headphones and some music, saying it can “change the way you see the world” – very true. Only another member of the Meyerist community spies Hawk with Ashley. There’ll be some fallout, no doubt.
The relationship between Eddie and Sarah is starting to mend. He talks of moving up to 7R, one rung below his wife. “That‘s because I‘m coming after you,” he says sly and sweet. I’m glad they’ve started coming around to a better marriage again. Because he never cheated. Now he’s just got to try tackling that crisis of faith, or else tell his wife about it, so they can figure out a way forward. Problem is Cal is in their midst, and even with Sarah’s steady faith to Meyerism her old flame will end up becoming a problem if there’s dissent from the Lane family, in any way.
More of Cal and Mary Cox (Emma Greenwell). He wants her to speak during “Ascension Day“, some kind of Meyerist day of nonsense. Does this have anything to do with Felicia coming to see him, saying her and Bill will take over duties for the big day? Of course it does. Nothing in their world happens without reason. For now, Cal talks suggestively with Mary, he undoes his belt listening to her describe being with her boyfriend, kissing; a very disturbing moment. We can see that there’s another person inside Cal, one which he represses constantly, one that wants to come out but he wills to stay hidden. And that’s always going to create a problem. Soon, it will escape. We just have to wait and see how long he can tame it.
So the big thing about Felicia is that she apparently tried to climb The Ladder after Steve Meyers (Keir Dullea). Only it was burning hot, singing her hands. She even holds them up for all to see. Oh really, Felicia? Well everyone there buys into the propaganda. Cal doesn’t like it because he wants to be the man, the one and only behind Steve. I’d like to know the real story behind those burned hands. Perhaps we’ll see some of that eventually.
The dangerous part about Meyerism and young people is the repression of sexual desire. Hawk is confronted by the girl who saw him with Ashley, she pleads that they all feel horny now and then. Yet those feelings are just lies, they corrupt. That is a terrible thing to convince young people of, a bad way of life to lead them on. At the same time, the adults are all so deluded, and for so long, that they’ve convinced themselves completely of their hoax and it will never let go.
Eddie talks briefly with Felicia. They want someone close to Cal, so it seems. She also mentions Sarah doesn’t necessarily see Cal in an unbiased light. So we’re beginning to understand Bill and Felicia are definitely there to exert some sort of control over the commune. Because of Cal. The suspicious look on Eddie’s face says it all.
Mrs. Ridge calls Sarah to go find Freddie in an extremely sketchy-looking drug house. The place is disgusting, though, she pushes on in to find the kid. He’s there, stuck full of needles and strung out. He definitely needs help. I’m not convinced Meyerism is the answer to that call.
Across the fire, Bill and Felicia bring their concerns to Cal. They don’t like his way of doing things. He makes it clear that the cult needs a leader. He also says he’s going to write the last few rungs of the ladder because now he has seen the light, just as Steve did all those years ago. They bring up Alison (Sarah Jones), now Miranda, they don’t like his mishandling of those who’ve lost faith, and so on.
But he’s got a lid on Miranda, he’s brainwashed her once more, essentially. She’s off in a little trailer, “grateful” to the movement for all they’ve done. A marked change since her time in that bare, white room. It all looks like Cal’s got things under control now. It also gives him too much confidence, believing himself to be the “chosen son“, but Bill and Felicia still aren’t happy.
Cal: “I can go out on the fucking street and make people believe”
The cult may be starting to get to Detective Gaines, even slightly. After infiltrating them so far, only just a bit, he’s already starting to see his own life differently. And speaking of different lives, Hawk ends up going to a big party to meet Ashley. His life is changing drastically. He lays a big kiss on her and things start moving quick for them.
Before leaving, Bill and Felicia head to see Eddie. They bring Miranda to see him. She keeps apologizing, and now it turns out she’s back in the movement. “Keep the faith, honey,” says Felicia. They ask him to watch Cal. And it all clearly worries Eddie, knowing Miranda did nothing yet there she is, unburdening herself all over the place.
Later out in the woods at night, Eddie meets Cal in private. “Dig until you find something,” he tells Eddie handing over a shovel for him. What’s the meaning? What will he find down there?
Suspenseful little finale for this episode. Loved it all. The whole series gets better as the episodes wear on. Next up is titled “The Hole”, so naturally, we’ll figure out to where Eddie is digging.
Hulu’s The Path
Season 1, Episode 3: “A Homecoming”
Directed by Michael Weaver
Written by Annie Weisman
* For a review of the previous episode, “The Era of the Ladder” – click here
* For a review o the next episode, “The Future” – click here
Further down the spiral we go, alongside Eddie Lane (Aaron Paul) as he wavers on the precipice of losing his faith in Meyersim, in Doc, in the far too enigmatic Cal Roberts (Hugh Dancy).
After last episode when Eddie went in for his fourteen days, leaving behind son Hawk (Kyle Allen) and wife Sarah (Michelle Monaghan), we pick up in Peru.
In his bed lies Steven Meyers (Keir Dullea), net to him Cal. The Doc is not well, as we’ve already inferred. It’s becoming more and more Cal isn’t so much in it for their religion. He’s in it for the power.
Back into the world, Eddie shares his experiences. Everything is renewed, everything is fine again. Then there’s Cal, pumping everyone up saying there was “light dancing” in Steven’s eyes when he was told about all their work. Capable of seeing both sides we’re able to stay wary of Cal and his wiles. How long can he keep the wool over everyone’s eyes?
Meanwhile, the whole Miranda Frank (Minka Kelly) situation is devolving. She apparently would not “unburden“, and therefore creates an entirely new pocket of troubles. Because how can Eddie explain himself if Miranda will not confess (to something she did not do)?
Most interesting so far is Cal going to see his previously briefly mentioned mother – Brenda Roberts (Kathleen Turner). One thing I have to mention, as I’ve said before: the score from Will Bates is phenomenal. As Cal goes into the apartment building to see his dear ole mom there is such a great piece of music that builds and builds, it has an unasy, warped feeling, and almost puts you directly into the mind and headspace of Cal.
Detective Abe Gaines (Rockmond Dunbar) is still pursuing the cult. He’s out at their camp talking with Richard (Clark Middleton), pretending to be someone else of course. Naturally, he’s trying to get a lead on what these people are all about.
Still meeting with Alison (Sarah Jones), Eddie tries to cut himself off from their previous incognito investigation. He’s drinking their “juice“, but believes he’s “living the truth“; something she will not buy.
In one of the locked rooms, Sarah goes to talk with Miranda, whose confusion only grows more by the second. Except Sarah is convinced of their affair. The layers only twist around one another, wrapping up in a pit of snakes that’s only bound to make things worse for everyone involved.
Back at his mother’s place, Cal tries to clean up. She’s more interested in trying to draw him back into her life. For a seemingly narcissistic man Cal appears concerned for his mother, her safety, her health and sanity, too.
Home in bed, the Lanes “connect” and try to get their energies flowing together. All of their Scientology-like teachings and beliefs make it right into the bedroom. So, like all other major religions, this cult is just like any other operation. They want to control life, they want to lock down personality, to crush individuality. And it’s obvious: Eddie and Sarah have a big Meyerist Eye hanging in their bedroom, right there in the place where they make love.
The sour relationship between Cal and his mother comes out further. She clearly has never had time for any of that cult religion bullshit, though, Cal’s dad entrenched his son in the workings of Meyerism. What’s interesting about their relationship is that there are guaranteed many people Cal’s age, in real life, whose families were torn apart by quasi-hippy nonsense like Meyerism during the 1960s and 1970s. A guy like Mr. Roberts took his son under his wing and immersed him into the cult, which had lasting repercussions on Cal, as well as the family overall. Yet, it’s still clear also that Cal cares deeply for his mother. He even has a drink for her.
Hawk is still trying to live a normal life. He explains the ways of his religion to his new sort-of girlfriend, Ashley (Amy Forsyth). Part of him comes off very abrasive, likely a result of his being raised in the cult of Meyerism. While Ashley doesn’t exactly understand, or dig, the whole religion thing, she does like Hawk a lot.
Cal’s trying hard to get his mother into a care home. But she pushes and pushes and pushes, until he snaps on her in front of the people there. The rage in him is clear, even though she is on ragged, rough bitch. There’s a hatred in him which runs deep. It’s scary, actually.
At the same time, Eddie is dealing with being pushed, too. The stress of having to admit something he did not do grows around his shoulders. Everybody knows, everybody thinks that he’s “transgressed“, and it is a burden. No matter if he wants to make things right again. Likewise, Cal’s secret life with his mother, his drinking, it puts him in touch with Sarah. Funny, how Eddie never actually cheated, and yet Sarah and Cal have a strange, semi-emotional relationship with one another, very personal, private. I wonder if there are any other secrets of theirs we don’t know about yet. Because she’s already lying about why Cal called.
Further than that, Eddie finds Alison lurking around outside their house. He actually threatens to kill her if she comes around again: “You do not know where I come from,” he warns. It’s like a massive whirlwind of trouble brewing around their lives, ready to encompass everything nearby, everybody has something threatening the integrity of their cult, something about to crash down on top of their systematically structured universe.
Later when Eddie finds out that Miranda is at the compound, unwilling to admit to their non-existent affair, he is rocked. Now what will he do? Somehow this has to go away.
Over at his girlfriend’s house, Hawk does what he can to help Ashley and their family in harsh times. It’s intriguing to watch Hawk go against the wishes of his community because he knows what’s right, he knows to help someone is the ultimate goal, and yet the others around him, his own family, they’re falling way of the path in their own various ways. So to watch the kid be the one whose intentions are lining up true is sort of ironic, when the adults act as if they’ve got it all figured out.
And Cal, he knows exactly where he came from, unfortunately. His mother warns of trying to outrun his identity. That never ever goes the way it’s planned.
Brenda: “Wanting to be someone else never works. Just brings you right back here.”
A fire is lit under Gaines by the father of Mary Cox (Emma Greenwell). The detective is definitely going to start causing some issues for the Meyerists and their community. Coming up against the wrath of Cal, I wonder exactly how out of control things are about to get.
Once Cal gets back to the camp he meets with Sarah. He tells her about something “in Peru” about Doc Meyers. He claims the “next rungs” deal with “succession of leadership” and so on. Of course. No surprise there, right? Cal wants to install himself as the next leader of the Meyerist movement. “It‘s always been you,” Sarah even assures.
In the end, Eddie goes to see Miranda. And she’s unconscious, likely dead, having drank the juice she was brought earlier by Sarah, or at least that’s what it looks like. Whoa. Is it really the case?
Let’s find out together. Next episode is titled “The Future” and more revelations are bound to expose themselves.
Hulu’s The Path
Season 1, Episode 2: “The Era of the Ladder”
Directed by Mike Cahill
Written by Jessica Goldberg
* For a review of the previous episode, “What The Fire Throws” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “A Homecoming” – click here
After the first episode, Hulu’s The Path continues on its ominous journey.
We open on Eddie and Sarah Lane (Aaron Paul/Michelle Monaghan) going through some type of couples therapy. They go, together, back in time to a different place in their lives. Turns out Eddie’s taking the rap for infidelity, instead of admitting the truth – he is doubting, his faith is crumbling, and he was in that motel meeting a woman named Alison (Sarah Jones). Although, he only goes so far. He adamantly refuses the “14 days“, which seems to be some type of reflective punishment.
Meanwhile, Cal Roberts (Hugh Dancy) is off meeting with a possible wealthy donor to the cause. The family has an addict son who requires a last ditch effort to be turned around. Speaking of young people, Hawk Lane (Kyle Allen) is coming up against the religion of his family. He’s not supposed to spend time with young women outside of school, alone, things like that. Eddie sort of bands with Hawk against the rest of the family, which is obvious. He’s trying to slip out of the whole debacle as it is.
In the aftermath of the tornado also lies the aftermath of Cal supposedly protecting Mary Cox (Emma Greenwell). So then there’s Cal, pushing forward into his own agenda. He talks with Sarah, wondering how the couple therapy – branded with yet another Scientology-like name, IRP (Infidelity Rehab Program) – is actually going. Also, Cal continually presses into the life of Mary, as now they’ve got a bond over what happened in the previous episode. And she definitely, clearly, has a lust for Cal.
We’re finally introduced to Detective Abe Gaines (Rockmond Dunbar). He’s discovered the reach of the Meyerist cult, how they swooped in on the latest disaster area. This will provide an excellent, fun thriller element to the series.
Outside the community, in the real world, Cal and his minions help spread their word. Subtly, sly, they infiltrate the minds of others and casually rope them in.
Deeper down the rabbit hole goes Eddie. He and Alison have another meeting. “Maybe it doesn‘t matter if it‘s real or not,” says Eddie. Now he’s doubting his doubt. “Because it fucking matters,” Alison replies. She reveals her husband was killed after they tried to leave the cult, and though Eddie doesn’t believe it, there is an obvious fear in him. The elderly people she was going to meet were her grandparents. She’s on the run, “like a fugitive“, and all because of the madness within the cult of Meyerism. For now Eddie decides to halt on going any further with their clandestine activities.
Hawk’s trying hard to fit in with the little family of his maybe-girlfriend, Ashley (Amy Forsyth). He even eats meat. The whole situation is sort of odd, especially in modern times. He asks personal questions of the girl, the mother, he doesn’t like to have the door closed in the room alone with the girl. Such a noble, honourable kind of belief system, though, under it all there lurks darkness.
That darkness is defined in Cal. He appears so candy coated on the outside. But inside, there is chaos. He has huge ideas, wants to help humanity. Yet is he any kind of leader? He manages to keep the anger inside him at bay, at least when required. Then it rips out of him at times. A very Hubbard-esque characterization in contemporary times. One little thread slips out – Cal’s mother. He avoids talk of her completely when asked point blank if they see one another. Mommy issues, Cal?
Eddie and Sarah still struggle. There are tons of underlying bits and pieces to their relationship. He was a sort of outsider, one who found his way into the inner circle with the likes of Sarah and Cal, those who’ve spent their life in the cult. So there’s an aspect to Eddie that’s on the fringes to begin with, and now this bit of doubt pulsing in him only serves to put him further on the edge. But he and Sarah can’t talk too long before they tear one another’s clothes off for a steamy romp. Hawk comes home in the midst of their lovemaking and has a bit of an existential mini-crisis, throwing up the meat he’d ingested earlier.
One way or the other, the Cleary family tries to keep on keepin’ on.
The media are being courted as a new possible avenue for the cult. Cal claims Doc told him the message is ready to spread. It’s obvious there are chains, a hierarchy, one that’s as rung-like as The Ladder they tout – whomever is higher has more authority, more knowledge, supposedly. And Cal exploits that to a certain degree in order to further his personal agenda, where he wants things to head. I love that they’ve used Scientology as a basis for the cult, but steer clear from copying everything too readily.
At school, Hawk gets called “Jim Jones” and warned of bringing the “Kool Aid” too close to Ashley, by her boyfriend. I knew repercussions for this were coming. A fight ensues, no doubt bringing more drama to the Lane clan. Needed at the school, Eddie’s drawn away from investigation the claims of Alison, re: her husband Jason. Mostly here we get an examination of how these cults, these communities affect families, the children in them, their social relationships, and much more.
Closer and closer, Cal and Mary come together. And no longer can he control his urges. Well, sort of, sort of not.
After everything, Eddie wants to go through with the rest of therapy. He wants to normalize their relationship, to “get back” to the old way. It’s the whole fourteen days thing. And into the room he goes, a veritable jail cell, self-imposed. A place of introspection, of clarity. Two weeks in there? Very similar to a practice in Scientology, though, again – not lifted entirely.
The media’s eye is now finally coming down on the cult of Meyerism. On a set, Cal is interviewed by a reporter. He tries to delineate their cult from the very world itself. The power of persuasion is on Cal’s side, as he is charismatic, charming, intriguing. His skills of oration are impeccable, he can almost melt people into the palm of his hand.
With Detective Gaines watching on, Eddie straddling the fence and Alison on the outside fighting, when will the cult find themselves at direct odds with the outside world? Soon enough. I’d bet on it.
The finale of this episode sees Cal moving on helping the would-be-donors with their junkie son. Not just that, he’s making sure the donor professes his love and admiration for their religion. He wants true, faithful followers, and is doing whatever necessary to ensure that. “Cause I don‘t give a shit about your million dollars, Mr. Ridge,” says Cal: “I want your faith.”
At the same time, Eddie goes through the beginning of his fourteen days. It is a head trip. A one way ticket to absolute insanity. All billed as therapy, somehow. This whole sequence is almost terrifying, watching Eddie pace around the room, answering questions, painting, throwing paint, all kinds of things. Then, we get another glimpse at his revelation from Peru, behind the door, as Stephen Meyer (Keir Dullea) lays in a hospital bed, draped with a large snake. Back in the stark white room, Eddie loses his mind. Apparently he admits to an affair with Miranda Frank (Minka Kelly), and everything is fine afterwards. A few men go to pick her up in a cult van. What will be her fate?
Cal relays the new happenings to Doc in his bed, pronouncing their new era, “The era of the Ladder“, and now we know for sure what Eddie knew to be true really is true after all.
Where does The Path head from here? Let’s stay tuned together and find out.