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The Path recap: The Era of the Ladder

Eddie and Hawk face big decisions while Cal reaches for the national stage

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Greg Lewis/Hulu

The Path

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Aaron Paul, Michelle Monaghan, Hugh Dancy

The episode opens with Eddie and Sarah in the Meyerist equivalent of marriage therapy. They’re told to reach back into the past and figure out what’s bothering them. While faithful Sarah envisions the two of them traveling into a wormhole made of light, naked as the denizens of Eden, the increasingly troubled Eddie just sees them sitting on the bare floor. Sarah wants her husband to do the organization’s 14-day lockdown program, but Eddie refuses. Everyone makes mistakes, he points out. “I don’t,” Sarah responds.

Cut to Cal in his car, listening to some kind of motivational tape. Per the voice of his invisible instructor, he goes through eye exercises in the mirror, practicing how to convey different emotions. He arrives at the home of a wealthy couple who want him and the Meyerists to help their son through a drug addiction. The wife is a faithful convert who found the organization’s methodology very helpful in dealing with her mother’s death a decade earlier. The father less so; he’s willing to donate an extraordinary amount of money to Meyerism but doesn’t want to be publicly associated with it.

At high school, cool girl Ashley Fields finally approaches Hawk in person. She was impressed by how his family took in refugees from the New Hampshire tornado and wants him to come by her house to help her with something. It doesn’t seem like anyone in his family has prepared this high school boy for how to, like, talk to girls, because he has quite the awkward stammer in her presence. It doesn’t help that Meyerist dogma expressly forbids such a private interaction with a nonbeliever.

This is emphasized to Hawk when he brings up the request at a later family dinner. Eddie, however, tries nudging the rules. After all, Meyerists are also supposed to aid anyone who asks for their help. Their beliefs and their practices appear to be in conflict here — a classic problem for many religions. Eddie gives Hawk approval to do it.

Later, Cal and Sarah share their mutual frustrations. In Meyerist practice, this is called “unburdening,” when you talk about what’s bothering you so it doesn’t curl up inside. Cal is annoyed by the hypocritical rich guy, and Sarah is still troubled by what she’s convinced is Eddie’s affair. Hopefully Sarah will get more to do as the show goes on because so far she’s not far off from Michelle Monaghan in True Detective, the wife nagging and annoying the roguish male protagonists.

Cal is trying to bring Meyerism into the light — not just the light of Truth, but the literal public spotlight. This kind of publicity has apparently always been forbidden by founder Stephen Meyer because it would only bring trouble and controversy for the movement. Indeed, Cal appears to have created one possible enemy already: a detective named Abe Gaines. Gaines is disturbed both by reports that the Meyerists reached the tornado site hours before FEMA and that some of the refugees they’ve taken in aren’t responding to messages from friends and family. A shot of Mary’s bloodied, beaten father serves as proof that some are going even further than that. Gaines tells his boss he’s putting the Meyerists on “cold watch.”

Speaking of Mary, she’s now training as a Meyerist novice. Cal takes a group of them to a public park and tells them to reach out to people who seem lonely. She and Sean (the novice who first approached her in the last episode) have success with one woman after Sean reveals that his twin sister was killed in a school shooting. 

Eddie meets up with Alison in a far less suspicious setting: a lumberyard. The trouble with his wife and family is getting to him, and he wants to back off, whether his vision of a comatose Stephen Meyer is true or not. Alison reacts angrily — she thinks Meyerists killed her husband for trying to defect, so she has nowhere to turn. And wasn’t the truth the whole motive for Eddie joining Meyerism in the first place? For now, though, Eddie drives off.

NEXT: Crisis on Infinite Eddie’s