“The Path” doesn’t waste any time jumping back into the conflicted world of faith vs science in its Season 2 premiere, and for that, we’re grateful. If it seems that now is the perfect time to continue exploring an anti-establishment rhetoric in the face of a possible higher power, the Hulu series does well to explore both sides of that argument with a fair amount of grit.
If you take away the motivations and message of the show’s spiritual movement — in case you forgot, it’s called Meyerism — what you have left are a group of lost and broken people coming together in search of community, love and a greater truth. While the first two components we mentioned are there in spades, the jury is till out on item number three.
With Eddie (Aaron Paul) continuing his life away from the retreat, the episode focuses mostly on Cal’s (Hugh Dancy) continued mission — enlisting new followers, but also the greater challenge of evolving Meyerism from a spiritual movement into a recognized religion.
It’s pretty evident his motivations are purely driven by ego, as Dr. Meyer (Keir Dullea) never desired such feats of fame. But beneath the holier-than-thou bravado that drives Cal forward are some sinister secrets he’s struggling to keep buried.
Last we checked in with the group, Cal lied to everyone about writing the final rungs of the Ladder — the movement’s Bible if you will — and while Sarah (Michelle Monaghan) has done her best at keeping this secret quiet, a bloodier one soon comes to light.
After discovering Cal bid on a building in the city — where the movement can thrive as a state-recognized religion — Sarah gets into a car accident, killing a deer. Cal comes to her rescue, and when she pins blame for the incident on him and his selfish, reckless behavior, he comes clean about Silas (Steve Mones) — the man he murdered in Season 1.
And to think, Sarah thought life would be so much easier with Eddie out of the picture.
RELATED: Ayahuasca-fueled vision sends Aaron Paul down a dark ‘Path’
Speaking of Eddie… Our reluctant hero seems to be acclimating as best he can outside of the cult (sorry, “community”) he grew up in. But in the wake of his own realization that the movement is based completely on what he believes to be a fairy tale, Eddie continues grappling with his own questions about reality:
Are the visions he’s having real? Is Eddie going crazy? It should be worth noting that in the world of “The Path,” the term crazy is relative.
As we’ve watched this subtle war play out between the government establishment and the scientific world in which it resides — with Dr. Meyers’ believers residing inside this spiritual encampment, relying on faith and hope for the mystical unknowingness of the light to guide them forward — one truth has come to light: Nothing is as it seems.
Because if Eddie’s visions are indeed real, then Steven Meyer is very much alive. That notion right there puts Cal’s leadership plans in dire jeopardy.
Aside from the murder of Silas and his false claims of writing the final three, highly coveted, rungs to The Ladder, Cal’s conflict with Eddie is just beginning. For if Eddie is the real leader the group needs, then our boy has some deep soul searching to do.
No matter how you look at it, the balance of power is about to shift — and something tells us this transition will be anything but peaceful.
“The Path” streams a new episode every Wednesday on Hulu.