I have been sucked into this new original series on Hulu, The Path. So far only three episodes have aired, with new episodes streaming every Wednesday. And let me tell you, this show is creepy! Having interests in New Age philosophy and spirituality myself, I was blown away by the extremist “movement” portrayed in the show, Meyerism. This cult like movement is an eclectic mix of Christianity, Scientology, New Age, Shamanism, and just plain radicalism. It shows how easily seemingly peaceful ideas can be twisted into something far more dark and sinister.
The show follows a man, Eddie Lane, his wife Sarah and their family who all practice Meyerism. Sarah was born into the movement, whereas Eddie came in later in life after the suicide of his brother. We are also introduced to Cal Roberts, who is the first to grace our screens from the Meyerism movement in the first episode. He leads a disaster relief effort in New Hampshire, his first since coming back from three years away in San Diego. It doesn’t take long to pick up the tense dynamic of this trio. Sarah and Cal have some history from before Eddie came into the picture, and they still have some serious chemistry. And it doesn’t help Eddie is the acting leader for their camp, a role Cal seems to desire for himself. So that’s two things Cal sees as Eddie “taking” from him.
We learn Eddie is recently back from a trip in Peru, something referred to as 6R training within Meyerism. So far all we know about this trip from the first three episodes is that this trip changed him, it inspired questions about the real truth of Meyerism, and if there even is a “Light” as they call it. During his 6R training he was guided to have Shamanistic visions with the help of the South American psychedelic root ayahuasca. He sees his brother who he follows leading him to see, “The Guardian of the Light” founder of Meyerism, Steven Meyer, comatose in a hospital bed with a large albino python curled around him. This goes against everything he has been told by Cal; Steven is supposed to be off writing the next book for his followers, not dying. So maybe Cal is the snake? At this point it wouldn’t surprise me; he is one shady fellow!
Eddie isn’t sure who to trust, and he’s falling apart at the seams. Instead of the strong motivational leader he usually is, he crumbles in front of those newly brought in from the New Hampshire relief. Something Cal and Sarah take note of. The whole basis of their movement is to preach freedom from pain, so his emotional breakdown doesn’t look too good to the new recruits. Speaking of, Mary, a new recruit, has an eye for Cal and it doesn’t take long for her to try to seduce him. Instead, Cal preaches “The Ladder”- their version of the bible - and tells her he can see her pain. He’s very good at manipulating people and gaining their trust, so it wasn’t surprising to see him use his newfound position with Mary.
Cal sees the leadership potential in her, so he uses what he knows to gain her trust. Knowing the abusive relationship she had with father and the horrible things he did to her, he takes her to him. He asks her father to beg for her forgiveness, and beats him when he refuses. She now feels safe, and indebted to him, and we see the real beast that lies within him. This isn’t going to help with the investigation currently under way, looking to the movement. An agent had them put on a watch list, and this act of violence is proving his hunch may be right.
Meanwhile, Eddie wants answers about his vision and what the truth really is. And this quest for answers is leading his wife to think he’s having an affair with Miranda Frank, a woman who was in Peru with him. And I can see why. He is making secret phone calls and meet and greets with an unidentified person, who we know to be Alison. Alison is a former Meyerist who escaped after she claims they killed her husband. Something Eddie looks into, and sees he was a real person involved in the movement, and they claimed he committed suicide. Just like she said they would. Now Eddie is really doubting this movement he has dedicated his life to. He is raising his family in this, and he wants to make sure they are who they say they are. But the deeper he gets with Alison, the more his wife is convinced he is cheating. Now he is up against a wall and forced to do the required treatment program for “transgression” or lose his family for good after his wife followed him to meet Alison. The treatment is a 14 day in house interrogation basically. The individual is forced to undergo intense questioning while in solitary confinement. Their only source of food or drink is some kind of green juice. Which I think might be laced with something. This program is designed to basically beat someone into submission and draw them back to the movement, stronger than before. But first, they must admit their wrongdoing.
Seeing how Eddie never cheated, it’s kind of a sticky situation. In his weakest moment, he ends up giving in and gives a name. The name of the innocent woman who helped him in Peru that his wife accused. I was shocked and angry by this. I thought for sure he wouldn’t do that. He seemed like he really wanted to walk in the light of truth as they say. Now that he’s out of the program though, his wife is being extra shady and distant. I can’t help but wonder if he just gave up her name for nothing. We find out the woman, Miranda was kidnapped by the movement. So it seems this Alison women is telling the truth about the dark side of this movement. Not good seeing as she won’t admit to cheating, because like we know, it never happened. Will she die like Alison’s husband? I hope not!
And now the agent looking into the movement has come to the camp. We see him doing an interview with the man who ran the 14 day program. Is this guy going to try and infiltrate the organization from the inside? This may get messy! Speaking of coming to camp, Cal has Miranda send to the place Eddie did his 14 day treatment. He tells Sarah, and takes off to deal with personal family business with his mom. Now Sarah enraged by the idea her husband cheated sets off to confront the woman who she thinks slept with her husband. As we see her lay into Miranda, I can sense her doubt. Sarah thinks maybe her husband may have been telling the truth after all, and that he didn’t cheat and she made him do the program anyway. This seems to set her off even more, and the more Miranda protests, the more her anger builds. She leaves the room, and sinks into the wall, she knows, Miranda and her husband are right, but she can’t go against what she has been taught her whole life. It’s all she’s ever known. And the only person who can collaborate Miranda’s story, Eddie, has already been zombified by their program.
Eddie meets with Alison after his release to let her know he’s sorry, but he was wrong for his doubts. She can tell that it is the program talking, and pleads with him not to go back. And to be honest, I can feel myself pleading with him too; he is the only hope she has of getting anyone to see the truth. I can’t help but hope he sees he was on the right path helping her after all. But I didn’t have to wait long. After Eddie catches wind that Miranda is in the program and she refuses to “tell the truth about the affair” he rushes to see her. He bangs on the door, no answer. He buzzes in, and there she is, still on the ground, blood in her mouth, dead. Alison was right, Meyerism is dark and there is no light. Now we can only hope they don’t use this against him, and he can go back to helping Alison! I can’t wait for next week, things are really picking up!