The future is coming, inevitably, just as it always is. Not everybody is happy about that. This episode of The Path finds its characters looking to the future and being a little unsure about what they see there.
First, though, they have to deal with some things from the past — namely, the apparent overdose of Miranda Frank. After Eddie told everyone he’d had an affair with Miranda to divert blame from his own doubts about Meyerism, he visited her cell and found her comatose on the floor. She’s since been rushed to the hospital and finds herself one-on-one with Cal. She tells him what really happened in Peru, or at least what she saw — Eddie muttering “there is no light” to himself after a drug-induced vision of his dead brother.
The past’s major intrusion on the events of “The Future,” however, is a visit from Bill and Felicia, two Meyerist elders who have worked with founder Dr. Stephen Meyer since the beginning of the movement. They’re in town for the annual Ascension Day festival, putting a slight crimp in Cal’s plans to mold the movement’s future in his own image.
Bill and Felicia aren’t amused with Cal’s vision of the future, but several rank-and-file members of the movement are. Some of the younger ones grill Hawk at school. The future is coming — what does he know about it? But when it comes to the battle inside Hawk’s soul, the horny teenage boy side is finally starting to win over the wannabe ascetic monk side. He can’t stop staring at Ashley. Who cares about the future when you’ve got a girl like that with you in the present?
Ashley invites Hawk to a party the same night as Ascension Day. He’s wishy-washy, but she goes the Garden State route, converting him to secularism via a specially deployed indie rock mixtape… Arcade Fire, in this case. Unfortunately, “Rebellion (Lies)” does not actually play in the episode (licensing rights, y’know), but one can only imagine the effect it might have on a boy like Hawk, torn between his restrictive upbringing and the adolescent daydream of sex and partying.
Sometimes thinking about the future is nice because the present is such a constant struggle. Freddie Ridge, for instance, has been dealing with drug addiction on top of aloof parents for years now. After being forcibly taken into the movement by Cal, Freddie seems to be doing better, but Sarah isn’t convinced. She thinks Freddie is faking his conversion, saying whatever his parents want to hear. She wants him to try Meyerist “medicine,” but to the Ridge parents that sounds like just another drug. Over Sarah’s protests, they take their son with them. Cal is on their side, it turns out — he doesn’t want the Meyerists messing around with that “medicine” anymore, especially when the son of such a powerful potential supporter is at stake. Drugs were a big part of Meyerism’s past, but not the future Cal has in mind.
Cal is rehearsing another big speech for Ascension Day, probably in the mold of that premiere-ending barn burner, but it gets interrupted twice. First, by Eddie; he wants to know where Miranda Frank is, after finding her missing from the hospital. Cal won’t tell him, and the divides between these two old friends are starting to become clear even to them. Eddie and Cal were once close friends, but as with The Wire’s Avon and Stringer, later developments have set them on separate paths. Cal has a solution to this strife: Eddie should attempt the next rung of the ladder (7R) with Cal as his guide. According to Sarah, this is an intense, revealing process. Something tells me the things Eddie and Cal learn about each other on this course will drive the rest of the season — or at least the next few episodes.
NEXT: Ascension Day