The Path: The Future
April 18, 2016 6:59 AM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

At the annual Ascension Festival, Cal attempts to maintain his grip on power through manipulating basically everyone; several couples get a chance to be adorable, and at least one couple gets a chance to be hella creepy and disturbing (hi again Cal); and we find out more about the structure and history of the Meyerist Movement. Also that FBI agent and that heroin addict kid show up again. Man, there are a lot of people in this cult (it's not a fucking cult!)

From the AV Club: "Giving the series an antagonist in Cal, and a compelling rather than cookie-cutter one, allows Eddie to step into the role of the questioning hero, skeptical of the movement and Cal’s teachings, and positions Sarah as Meyerism’s potential savior, pitted against Cal in the second generation battle for the soul of the movement. If Cal is the snake coiled around and endangering the weakened Meyerist Movement, whose response is best? Eddie, who would abandon his faith and the movement if his family would come with him, or Sarah, who clearly believes in the good the Meyerist Movement can do and would fight for it?"
posted by showbiz_liz (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Cal, you might want to consider not directly menacing two of the only people in the world who could be considered to outrank you. Also, hey Sarah, way to aid and abet an international kidnapping, I'm sure that wont make any influential billionaires very very upset or anything.

Holy shit that scene with Cal and Mary was disturbing. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt with that blowjob scene two episodes ago because she initiated it, even if it was clearly wrong for him to get her go through with it given the power imbalance... but this was just straight-up using. I really like the contrast between Cal and Mary's interactions and the stuff with the teenagers - like Hawk's cousin earnestly talking about how her sexual feelings aren't real and how she never wants to get married because she wants to ascend the ladder (while clearly crushing hard on Hawk). Cal demonstrates just exactly how harmful that kind of repression can be in the long term.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:08 AM on April 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

What killed me about the Cal and Mary scene is her face afterwards. You can see her trying to deal with the realization she has traded one abusive father for another. That whole "How much am I worth?" Meanwhile, her boyfriend does genuinely care for her. This puts her, a bit, on a parallel journey with Eddie. Meyerism has given her so much. She can't leave without also abandoning the first place to show her support and genuine care. This is one of the things I love about the show. The cult isn't pure evil. There is good that they do.

Also an important point here is the cop finally learns the truth about Mary's father. That the man who wants his daughter back is the same guy who sold her to his friend at 11 for a ten dollar bill. I wonder what is going to happen to his journey.

Oh Hawk. I gotta say I was so damn happy he kissed that girl at the end. I mean I know it's gonna be a mess, but he's such a sweetheart. I was also struck recently when I saw a picture of Heath Ledger in 10 things I hate about you. Hawk looks A LOT like Heath Ledger.
posted by miss-lapin at 7:45 AM on April 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

I wonder what is going to happen to his journey.

So, here's one thing I really want to know more about: when the camera panned away from FBI Guy as he stood over his kid's crib and said "you're right, there's something wrong," it lingered over a framed photo of an older girl, maybe 5 years old. We haven't seen any other child in their house, though.

Utterly unsubstantiated speculation: I think there might be something congenitally wrong with their daughter which also affected a previous daughter, who is now dead. And now his second kid might also die? What a great mindfucking trigger for a massive personal crisis, eh? Perhaps the same sort of crisis that regularly leads people to think "hey, joining a maybe-cult might not be so bad after all"?
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:00 AM on April 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

If a previous child died, he probably wouldn't be dragging his feet over treatment and his wife would certainly bring it up to spur him to get help. Given his job, he may have lost that daughter to a cult or drugs or any number of things. It's also possible, she's just an adult now and off doing other stuff.
posted by miss-lapin at 12:38 PM on April 18, 2016

Fair enough - it just seemed notably weird the way the camera lingered on the photo at that moment. I'd swear the panning actually slowed down for a sec just to make 100% sure we noticed it.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:41 PM on April 18, 2016

My take on FBI Guy was that he had gained empathy and insight during his visit with the Meyerists and so, while he had earlier dismissed his wife's concern and his child's possible pain, he was no longer dismissing it. His character grew because of the !cult, is what I thought the show was saying. (But I also interpreted the hallway picture same as showbiz_liz.)

I submit "!cult" as one way of referring to the Meyerists without saying "Meyerists" all the damn time while also respecting their wish to not be called a cult. I need to make that sentence sarcastic but don't know how.

And I was glad for these scenes that pulled the cop into a more complex situation because I felt the early "cops are watching" parts were a beat from a different show.
posted by sylvanshine at 4:34 PM on April 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

I appreciated seeing the upper rungs being suspicious of Cal. I had been under the impression they were doe-eyed innocents since they were certain a miracle would save Glorious Leader. I'm pleasantly surprised by their savvy around Cal. And of course I'm looking forward to the (apocalyptic?) showdown with Cal.
posted by Monochrome at 2:36 PM on May 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

P.S. What does everyone think Felicia actually burned her hands on?
posted by Monochrome at 2:55 PM on May 22, 2016

I figured she fell into a campfire and was tripping balls too hard to realize it.
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:00 PM on May 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

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