When The Path first premiered on Hulu in January 2016, it made big news as the streaming service was finally putting forth a series that many considered to be decent competition to what was being built over a Netflix. Their trailers built up what looked to be a suspenseful look at what being in a cult (excuse me, movement) might actually be like, as well as what could happen should one try and escape said movement because their faith had wavered.
If you haven’t caught up yet to everything prior to the season 2 finale, fair warning, there will be SPOILERS AHEAD.
Looking like his position as a denier was going to block him from ever being able to see his kids again, Eddie Lane looked to start life anew. Still not wanting to be separated from his family, but also not wanting to a member of a congregation that seemingly had different beliefs than he did.
And in the process, weasel faced Cal was making the moves on his still-not-legally ex-wife, Sarah, by adding her as a Guardian of the Light.
Sounds pretty much like a soap opera, right? Well, for much of the first season, that’s what it was. All the sneaking around that Eddie did never really amounted to much outside of the fact that Cal would hold his lack of faith over his head, in what never really seemed like either a legitimate threat or even something which was really that dangerous as Eddie could have really just faked it if he wanted to.
So, when it would have been expected that the second season likely would have been more of the same, Eddie struggling to find out how to be with his kids and win his family back while the movement was continuing to flounder under the leadership of a manic “Guardian” in Cal who’s still trying to win Sarah over, you would have been right.
After all, that’s what makes sense.
But then comes the moment when they decided to spend way too much money on a center in the city to help their movement grow while they don’t have any cash, aren’t getting an IRS exemption, and Sarah all of a sudden is willing to do whatever it takes in order to get her way, even if it means extorting people based on their “unburdening” tapes. Fortunately, though, that’s actually the part that’s interesting as it’s been noted that other movements/religions have taken similar approaches in the past.
Or at least more interesting than Hawk’s back and forth with teenage angst of wanting to grow in the movement, hating his dad, hating Cal, loving Cal, wanting to see his dad, and then constantly complaining about how he’s only 16, but should be treated like an adult.
Great kid, we get it, you’re going to be the youngest rung two in the movement’s history.
And then you find out that for some reason Eddie was with “Steve” when he decided to jump over a cliff and now he’s become the rightful Guardian of the Light, someone who can actually do all these weird things like see a version of Heaven that he’s building while near death, or trip off to another dimension where people don’t have faces while just staring at a coin in order to climb higher on the rungs in order to take Cal down, who was apparently molested as a child by the leader, but which was never really spoken of in the first season.
All in all, it just gets weird, especially when they had the opportunity to build the story up in to something with furthering the FBI investigation, getting Eddie involved and have him question if his loyalty is to his wife who is still letting him see the kids despite the movement prohibiting contact with him, or if he’s actually moving on with a new interest (which is also weird because apparently she dated his brother when they were younger?).
Instead, the series plays with the idea that perhaps the movement is something real that was led by a man who was a pedophile and who has passed his leadership in the movement to someone more deserving.
However, even then, it also appears that Eddie isn’t left unbroken by his new rise to power. Something which he threatens to use eventually, and which seems to make him appear less moral just by the fact that he’s so obsessed with taking it back.
It’s been an up and down season thus far, but with Eddie headed back to the compound for the finale after leaving town because his son asked him to (and his daughter doesn’t really have a say in it apparently), things seem like they’re about to heat up, and it’s not just because Richard just burned all the dirt the Meyerists had on people they had previously helped.
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