THE PATH works best when it’s subtle and contemplative. It’s typically a slow, deliberate show, but this episode was very heavy-handed, with shades of melodrama. Kodiak has been an unwelcome addition this season, as his character is so over-the-top it at times feels like he’s in a different show altogether, and this week featured him prominently. After Richard’s revelation last week that Eddie was on the cliff with Steve when he died, Kodiak has taken to stalking him, laying in wait to kidnap him so they can demand answers.
In a show that already featured murder, kidnapping might not seem so dramatic, but the way the show handled the two situations is very different. Cal killing Silas was shocking and raised the stakes considerably. Cal is a complex man and it’s been interesting to watch the effects his horrible act and keeping the secret have had on him. Richard and Kodiak are two of the least complex characters on the show. They’re fanatical true believers and Eddie being kidnapped by two crazies just seems exhausting to watch.
Kodiak follows Eddie around this episode while Richard prepares a cabin to hold him in. Eddie doesn’t notice his stalker, as he’s too busy trying to entertain Johnny, Chloe’s son who he volunteered to watch for the weekend while she’s working in the Hamptons. They go to a war museum, followed by Kodiak, who has a mini-breakdown when he sees photographs from Vietnam. He’s a veteran who’s clearly suffering from PTSD, but the way the show depicts this is so expected and melodramatic. It’s all close-ups of the photos, spinning cameras, and long shots of Kodiak’s freaked out face.
Johnny casually reveals to Eddie that a man was following them. He even approached him and asked if he knew how to get home on his own. Eddie of course goes into panic mode, but he tries to keep it cool for Johnny, calling Chloe and telling her that they’re going to visit her in the Hamptons. They begin driving, soon passing a tree and cabin that Eddie saw in a hallucination at the beginning of the episode, although in that vision, Summer was with him, not Johnny. Seeing the tree and cabin in real life seems to mean that Eddie is having legitimate visions, once again supporting the theory that he might be the true leader of the movement.
Eddie makes a rookie mistake and gets out of the car to confront the person parked in a very creepy black van. It’s Kodiak, who immediately knocks him out and drags him into the cabin, where Richard is waiting. Kodiak and Richard seem unaware that Johnny is sleeping in Eddie’s car, but Johnny wakes up at the end of the episode.If Johnny runs into the cabin, interrupting Richard and Kodiak’s little forced interrogation, what will happen? If they harm the kid in any way, it will be a moment the show won’t be able to come back from. I’m interested in learning what really happened in Peru, but this melodramatic kidnapping is not the most satisfying way to get that information.
Sarah’s subplot this episode wasn’t very engaging. The movement is deep in debt, so the obvious solution would be to sell the City Center building. Sarah and Cal begin working with a real estate agent, but Sarah changes her mind once she sees how much living in the city has changed Hawk. Not only did he cut his hair, but he’s now washing the feet of the homeless to show that no one person is better than another. He’s really taken to the charity work and Sarah doesn’t want to disrupt that. Her new idea is to take a second mortgage out on her house, which will hopefully encourage other members who own their houses to do the same.
However, when Sarah and Cal go to the bank, the banker turns her down. Her income fluctuates based on the donations members give to the movement, she just went from a two income household to a one, and she probably shouldn’t have even been approved for her mortgage in the first place. Their original adjuster was a member of the movement. The bank could take the compound, which would be messy, as some members own their individual houses on the compound’s land. It’s a harsh reality, so harsh that Sarah opens up to her family members. Nicole is immediately judgmental, but the others are mostly stunned.
There doesn’t seem to be an easy way out of this predicament, save for a large influx of cash from a generous donor. Cal essentially tells Hawk to lean on Noa in hopes of getting her rich mother to help out, but Noa refuses to ask her for anything. Her mother was a drug addict who abandoned her. However, Cal and Hawk decided to talk to the mother directly. Hawk determines that she needs the light more than Noa. How this will affect his relationship with Noa remains to be seen, but it doesn’t seem like things are going to end well for any of the characters.
Season 2, Episode 7 (S02E07)
The Path airs Wednesdays on Hulu
Jennifer Trofa | Contributor