When you’re standing on the beach, where Hawk and Eddie end up in “The Shore,” you can’t see where it begins or ends. There are no definitive lines. Sand and sea and sky blur together. It’s a liminal space, an “in-between” place where one thing transforms into another. Something about it feels spiritual — and not just because Eddie’s dead brother shows up there to wander among the seagulls. Hawk and Eddie might literally be in Coney Island, eating $11 crab rolls just off the boardwalk, but they’re not the only ones standing on a threshold. Cal is drifting in and out of sobriety (and maybe in and out of sanity) after burying Silas. Sarah can’t distinguish her dreams from her waking life. And Hawk and Eddie are still vacillating between faith and belief. All of them are in a place that’s neither here nor there. Soon, they’ll have to choose sides.
What makes Cal’s story line so compelling right now is that it puts you into the same liminal space as a viewer. You might not be entirely sure if what you’re seeing exists only inside Cal’s head or if it’s real. Last week, when Cal killed Silas, I wondered if the whole thing might’ve just been a vision. Now, it’s clear that Silas is actually dead, but there’s still a surreal tone to Cal’s point of view.
His early scenes are shot like a dream, all lit up with red and orange sirens cutting through the dark. The episode begins at night, as Cal wraps Silas’s corpse in a sheet and carries it out to his car. There are cops all around him. The compound has been designated a protected space, meaning the removal of the Hondurans has been delayed, and on his way out of the compound, Cal runs into Mary’s father, who just happens to be there, grumbling about “payment” for his daughter. (Yuck.) It’s a bold move to bring a dead body outside on a night like this, especially since Isaiah just stopped Cal to chat a few minutes before, telling him that everyone is “on pins and needles tonight.” What would Cal have done if Isaiah caught him with a giant human burrito slung over his shoulder? I can just imagine it: “Oh, you mean this human burrito? Well, it’s required for a top-secret 7R procedure. You’ll understand once you’re enlightened.”
The hypnotic mood continues as we segue into Sarah’s dream. She’s walking down a road when she sees Hawk with his headphones on. There’s a truck coming up behind him. As she screams and runs toward him, he turns into his kid sister, and when the truck passes by, Sarah sees something terrifying: It looks like Sarah herself, except she’s been transformed into one of Silas’s idols, with a Medusa-like head, her forked tongue slithering out of her mouth. Later, when Sarah spots the same idol in her office, she starts to get suspicious. Was Silas there? Her mother warns her about interpreting the dream too literally. “You’re not just you in your dreams,” she says. “You’re everything.”
Is Sarah’s dream a sign that she bears some responsibility for Silas’s murder, if only indirectly, through her relationship with Cal? Or is her mother right, and it’s just a warning that all the Meyerists are in danger? Whatever that truck symbolizes, it’s coming for everyone.
And it’s looking more and more likely that Sarah’s the only one capable of protecting them. After last week’s uplifting sermon, everyone’s already treating Sarah as if she’s their new leader. She even performs what looks like a miracle, literally breathing the life back into Nicole’s baby. Right now, people need to believe in her, especially since Cal has been MIA. When he visits the recruitment office where Sean is working, the people there can sense that something is off about Cal. Felicia tells Sarah that Cal is dragging the movement down, and Cal seems to prove her right when he shows up at Sarah’s place drunk. But Sarah, who’s always had a soft spot for Cal, chooses to see things in a much more charitable way: The Meyerists are getting a ton of donations because of Cal’s decision to harbor the Hondurans. To her, he’s the real savior. “We are going to be a powerful force in the world,” she tells him. “It’s all coming true.”
NEXT: Eddie’s seeing ghosts