Airtime: Wednesdays on Hulu
Episode: Season 1, Episode 4 (S01E04)
Tweetable Takeaway: We learn more about Meyerism on a revealing #ThePath
Ok, so I made a mistake last week. I thought that Miranda Frank was dead at the end of the last episode of THE PATH, and that Sarah killed her. I overestimated the levels of craziness this show reaches. Apparently Miranda only passed out from low blood sugar and broke her arm, and Sarah only feels responsible. Not as exciting, but definitely more plausible.
This week’s episode opens with the news that Miranda is in the hospital, and that Bill and Felicia are coming to visit the compound. We don’t know who Bill and Felicia are yet, but the ominous music tells us that this isn’t a friendly visit from two pals. FBI Agent Sam shows his wife one of Meyerism’s children books while their baby cries in the background. Oh no. Now that we know that Sam has a loving wife and sick baby, it’s going to hurt even more when Cal has to destroy him in order to stop his investigation (I’m still predicting that something like this happens).
Cal has managed to brainwash Miranda in thinking that she had a relationship with Eddie, based on a hug she gave him and some thoughts she was having. However, while questioning her he realizes that Eddie’s real problem is that he’s having doubts. Cal isn’t sure whether or not Eddie found out that Steve is on his deathbed while in Peru, but can’t take any chances, so he encourages Eddie to try for the next rung on the ladder, 7R, with Cal as his guide. He acts like he wants to help Eddie, but clearly he just wants to learn what he knows and manipulate him into following him. Miranda disappears from the hospital before Eddie is able to talk to her.
Bill and Felicia turn out to be high-ranking members of Meyerism who have been sent there to observe how Cal is running the place. They clearly distrust him and his naked ambition, but he shows them the brainwashed Miranda Frank as proof that he has what it takes to be the next leader, and that nothing will stop him. Before they leave, they tell Eddie to keep an eye on Cal.
One positive of this episode is that we do learn a little bit more about what Meyerists believe, as the compound is getting ready to celebrate Ascension Day, which is their main holiday. It honors the day Steve began climbing the ladder. Apparently it was a physical ladder, and when Felicia began climbing after him, her hands began burning. They took this as proof that Steve is some sort of Messiah. Meyerists are scared of “The Future”, which seems to be the end of time, and believe that a garden paradise will open up on Earth that can only be accessed by Meyerists. They only listen to music from the 60s/70s, as it’s more positive than the dark music of today. It isn’t clear how the movement makes any money, as everyone we’ve seen them convert has been poor, damaged souls, but apparently they make enough that the leadership can buy five bedroom houses in San Diego and support their families comfortably.
But most interestingly, they believe in the healing powers of an ayahuasca-based medicine that can fix drug addiction and other societal ills. Sarah wants to give it to Freddy Ridge, son of millionaire John Ridge, who Cal promised to cure, but John angrily yanks Freddy out of the program. Cal tells Sarah that they’re no longer using the medicine, as he’s trying to expand the movement and rightly senses that the average person might be turned off by something like that.
Meanwhile, Hawk and Ashley’s love story continues to be the sweetest aspect of the show. She invites him to a party and gives him an iPod shuffle full of music that she thinks he’ll like. His nosy cousin spots them talking in front of a diner and confronts Hawk, telling him that Ashley just wants to corrupt him, but Cal goes to the party anyways, kissing her as soon as he sees her. Aww. I hope those two crazy kids make it.
At the Ascension Day celebration, Sam sees Mary talk about the abuse she suffered from her father. Now he has a moral dilemma—if he “rescues” Mary from Meyerism, is he returning her to someplace even worse? Eddie agrees to try for 7R with Cal as his guide. The episode ends with the two of them in the forest, about to start their spiritual journey together. “The Future” was probably the slowest-moving episode so far, but it helped develop Meyerism a bit more, so I didn’t mind. I still think this show has promise, and am looking forward to next week.
Jennifer Trofa lives for two things: spreading the “Superstore” gospel and themed “Law & Order: SVU” marathons on USA. When she’s not binge-watching her favorite shows, she’s reading any book she can get her hands on.
Jennifer Trofa | Contributor