This episode of The Path is all about parents. Every character in this show has unresolved issues with their parents, and a lot of them came bubbling up here.
The first scene, for instance, is Cal sitting by the bedside of his surrogate father, Dr. Stephen Meyer. Just as Eddie saw in his vision, the man behind Meyerism is indeed catatonic. Cal wants to figure out a plan for succession — he has a big vision for the movement and can’t afford to let it grind to a halt. Everyone there with him in Peru, though, just wants to keep praying.
Meanwhile, Eddie is finally out of lockdown, the 14-day Stalin-esque interrogation he went through because his wife Sarah thinks he had an affair. He gives a mini-sermon to fellow believers about the value of making mistakes, which seems to convince everyone he’s back on track.
Unfortunately, there are consequences of his interrogation. In order to get through it, Eddie confessed to a nonexistent affair with fellow Meyerist Miranda Frank. Now, Frank has been brought in to confess her crimes, which she quiet understandably refuses to do. The apparent protocol when someone who’s transgressed doesn’t “unburden” properly is to cast them out, but Cal orders Miranda brought in for further interrogation. He says this is a special case because it has to do with Sarah and her family. Just then, however, he’s interrupted by a phone call and rushes off. When Sarah asks about it, he says it’s church business “that doesn’t involve you.” Quite a turnaround, and no wonder: It’s not church business at all but an issue with Cal’s estranged mother, over whom he has significantly less power.
At high school, Hawk is now watching guard while Ashley Fields uses the school showers. She’s clearly embarrassed, but Hawk tells her it’s not her fault her mom didn’t pay the power bill. Soon, though, the bell rings, and it’s back to the status quo as Ashley rushes off.
Det. Abe Gaines previously voiced concerns about the Meyerists, and now he’s following through by infiltrating the compound. He even goes through a recorded entrance interview, and gets a tour of the compound from Eddie. Eddie tells him about all the great sustainable energy they’re working on and the new workforce they’re training in those techniques. Abe, however, is mostly concerned with the fact that they seem to be recruiting their workforce from the ranks of the storm victims and refugees they claim to help.
Eddie meets with Alison again, and tells her he’s committed to Meyerism. He tells her he found out her husband committed suicide and doesn’t question it. He says his vision of the catatonic Meyer was just a temptation by “the Dark.” Alison tells him that there’s no Dark, no Light, “just us.” She says she knows him now and he can’t hide the truth. It does sound like an affair.
Speaking of affairs, Sarah goes in to talk to Miranda Frank. She wanted Cal to accompany her, but he’s occupied at the moment. Sarah high-mindedly tells Miranda to tell the truth, while Miranda screams about how Sarah can do anything here – her family are like the Kennedys of Meyerism or something. It sounds like they’re having two totally different conversations, like two bureaucrats in a Kafka novel. Hopefully Sarah’s story line turns around soon because at this point, three episodes deep, she’s a profoundly unlikable character who continues to aggravate and punish people for something the audience knows is clearly a fabrication.
Anyway, it turns out Cal visited his mother for the first time in three years because she recently started a grease fire in her apartment, and he wants to move her into an assisted living facility for her own safety. She agrees, but only if Cal breaks one of his religious vows and gets drunk with her.
Hawk tries to explain his burgeoning struggle of faith to Ashley, but as one might expect from a teenage boy raised in an introverted community talking to a pretty girl for the first time, he’s very awkward. He even ends up insulting her by calling her ignorant, so she walks off. He asks her if she ever prays — she tells him to pray for her power to come back on.
Cal takes his mother for a tour of the nursing home, and it does not go well. She calls him a cult leader in front of the nurse and then goes further: She calls Meyer a quack, over and over again until ever-compressed Cal finally snaps, telling his mother he’ll let her die in the street “’cause that’s what you deserve.” That freaks her out.
NEXT: Another cliffhanger