Airtime: Wednesdays on Hulu
Episode: Season 1, Episode 5 (S01E05)
Tweetable Takeaway: Michelle Monaghan dominates a strong episode of #ThePath
This week’s episode of THE PATH was dominated by Michelle Monaghan. Her depiction of Sarah’s terrifyingly intense conviction in Meyerism is both fascinating and a bit scary to watch. Overall, it was a strong outing for the show, as it furthers its exploration of faith and the forces that drive our central trio of Sarah, Eddie and Cal.
The episode opens with Eddie, still digging that hole in the forest from last week. He has a vision of Cal and Sarah, passionately making out, but hides this from Cal. He’s forced to rush home, as Sarah has discovered that Hawk didn’t come home the night before. Hawk fell asleep outside with Ashley and returns home to find the entire extended family there. His nosy cousin Joy blurts out that he’s been seeing an IS girl—an Ignorant, a non-believer.
Sarah freaks out. We learn that she lost her sister Tessa, when she was around the same age as Hawk. She too was seduced by a non-believer into leaving Meyerism. Hawk isn’t ready to break up with Ashley or leave school yet, so Sarah sits him down and tells him a story. He’s a miracle child. Her doctor told her that her unborn baby’s heart stopped beating, and that she’d have to wait for it to miscarry. She went to Peru, where under the influence of ayahuasca she saw the Light. She went home, where she learned that her baby was impossibly, magically alive and healthy. The way the show depicts her drug-induced hallucinations, all shaky camera and quick cuts, is a little clichéd at this point, but Sarah’s unwavering belief that Meyerism aided in this miracle shines through.
Meanwhile, Cal is dealing with his own crisis. John Ridge angrily confronts him. His wife and son have gone to Peru, arranged by Sarah. Hugh Dancy’s portrayal of Cal processing this information while trying to maintain a professional façade over his growing fury was excellent. He’s so angry, he doesn’t even correct John when John calls Meyerism a cult. He blows up at Sarah, but later apologizes, praying with her in the chapel as Mary Cox looks on.
Poor Mary. She finally had sex with Sean, per Cal’s implied instruction, and she goes to tell him, in hopes that he’d be proud? Turned on? I’m not sure what reaction she was looking for, but he was in the middle of dealing with the Eddie Ridge crisis and completely ignored her. Realizing she’ll never get all of his attention, she packs to leave the compound, but Sean convinces her to stay. She ties her self-worth to attention from men, which makes sense given her tragic backstory, but it’s still sad to watch.
Abe, the FBI agent masquerading as Sam the potential Meyerist convert, visits Allison. He isn’t convinced that her husband didn’t commit suicide, but looks into his travel and financials. His frequent trips to Peru combined with major fluctuations in his checking account point to trafficking of some sort. This is an interesting development. It’s never really been established where Meyerism gets all of its considerable amount of money from. It very well could be from drug trafficking. I hope this subplot is explored further.
Abe is also dealing with the news that his toddler daughter is suffering from a rare birth defect and may require open-heart surgery. He confides in Eddie, using it as a pretext to ask to join Meyerism as a 1R. Eddie tells him that faith won’t magically fix his problems, but it seems like Abe might be susceptible to their beliefs. He’s a desperate man searching for answers.
Cal goes to see John, confirming that his wife and Eddie are in Peru, but promising that when they return, they’ll be better than ever. As he’s leaving, John’s menacing Asian bodyguard jumps him, beating him to a bloody pulp as David Bowie’s “Wild is the Wind” begins to play. The show ends with another great montage, similar to the one set to Bella Figura’s “Better Man” last week. The music really is on point.
Despite telling Sarah that his relationship was over, Hawk returns to Ashley. I’m still a big fan of their relationship—it’s written in a naturalistic, touching fashion. Meanwhile in Peru, Freddie takes the “medicine”, experiencing hallucinations, but coming out the other side smiling beatifically up at his relieved mother. Cal thankfully doesn’t die—I seriously thought it was a possibility for a second, considering how intense the beat down was. Can’t wait to see how he’s going to plot his revenge.
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