Week 3; Still no sign of Alison.
The tension creaks ever higher for the Meyerists and for Eddie and for everyone this week, as secrets are revealed and plots are plenty.
We open in the greatest flashback ever, of the Old Guard, Steve and Gabby and Kodiak and Richard the Shayman (but not Silas because I guess the actor couldn’t be called back). They all have fantastic, terrible hair and Richard has the best worst hair of all and, is having his first ‘medicine’ experience, an Ayahuasca trip, in a far more stress free environment than Eddie did. It’s an interesting little look into how things were when they were just a group of friends, tripping and having fun. Richard has a nice moment, then a sudden panic as he worries over the future.
Steve is his Trip Sitter and comforts him, reassuring an anxious Richard that when Steve’s time comes, he’ll pick the new leaders. Nearby, a little boy, probably baby Cal, plays, oblivious his future is being discussed and decided.
Mary and Abe and some others are in what amounts to a group therapy session when Cal decides to join them for some unburdening. Mary, poor Mary, shares first, her fears that as a recovering addict she’ll relapse if parenting gets too hard. The group sweetly reassures her, because when Meyerism is good, it’s great, but Cal dips out when he sees cops approaching. His look of grim understanding is a great moment but to his relief, they’re not there for him. Yet.
Hawk and The Girl With the Hippy Tattoos, Noah, are on camera smashing a window in the lamest political protest of, and I’m not kidding, all time. All time. Sarah arrives in time to have a tiny brief panic attack before learning her son is the worst petty criminal ever.
Hawk visits Eddie at work, glowing about that time he floated. Yeah, he floated. He tells Eddie, who tries to explain how 36 hours sleep deprivation works and how he too thought he floated, but — wait, 36 hours? Nnnnooooope. Nothing we saw last week happened within 36 hours unless we’re getting our time lines aaaaaaaaaaaaaall out of whack.
Hawk is crushed. I think he came hoping his news would turn Eddie around, but it didn’t. So, Hawk goes on the offensive, and he tells Eddie he wants to commit fully to his vows and as such, can never see Eddie again.
Oooh this is going to over really well.
Sarah is taking Hawk to see Evil Rich Libby but she is in fact Molly Price, who is in fact Faith Yokas from the excellent underrated Third Watch and it’s really hard to watch her scenes without yelling ‘BAWSCO’ every time she speaks. I tried.
Libby is suspiciously nice and when Hawk apologises, and it turns out it’s because she won’t press charges so long as Meyerism backs up out of her grill about the poisoned water, swearing the water is clean and here, she even has her own tests to prove it!
Abe … ugh, this scene.
Abe visits a hotel with his wife for some together time and sort of wants to talk about his own experience in the 36 hours (nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnooooooooooooooooooope) they spent in the woods, how he saw his father who never wanted to be a dad.
His wife doesn’t given even a little, tiny shit about his obvious vulnerability, and segues this into a tirade against Abe for being away so long, and the fight gets real ugly, fast. She tries to leave, he catches her arm to tell her she won’t leave with his kids; she hisses ‘Take your hand off me’ and it ends up with her leaving to pack up the kids and go to Philly to stay with her mother. That fucking hurt. I love these two.
Also, my least favourite TV trope, of all time, because at this stage, it’s so lazy, is ‘cop marriages never work’ and it is on full display here. I’m not even saying she’s wrong to be upset (though the scene didn’t feel entirely earned, even with season 1 to build on), it’s just it’s such a cliché.
I know and don’t doubt for a second that being married to a cop or a fed is hard; I know they have higher rates of divorces and marriages ending prematurely. But, there are cop families who do fine. It would be nice if just once a TV cop didn’t have a failing marriage. Just once. I find it so tedious because there are approximately seventeen thousand TV shows about cops and feds and in every single one of those shows several characters relationships fail because of their jobs. Writers … do better. Be more original. Please. Please. It is driving me insane.
As a total aside, when Molly Price, Libby, was in Third Watch, fully 70% of her story lines were about her marriage failing because she was a NYC cop. So, its hilarious to me in my cynicism that she’s in this episode.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Kodiak and Richard are stateside, and Kodiak is all in his feelings but also, all in Gabby’s (Sarah’s mom) business. He tries to leverage his grief into some ‘I still love you’ noise, and Gabby shuts that all the way down.
And now I think he’s Sarah’s real dad.
He very nearly spills the beans about Steve but Richard turns up to stop him just in time.
At the Meyer house in the city, Hawk and Cal hand out free, fresh fruit to children, because when Meyerism is good, it is great. Hawk apologises to Cal over the window and they talk about his Rage and Cal’s Rage and how Cal got a handle on his Rage ( o rly?) and Hawk asks Cal to help him manage his Rage …
… excuse me …
Eddie is watching this from the street and races over to beg Hawk to keep seeing him, even just a few hours once a week, but Hawk legs it. Eddie leaves, only after promised to genuinely murder Cal if he tries to take Eddie’s family.
I believe him.
Richard, who has read the last three rungs — which declare Cal and Sarah the new leaders — shows them to Kodiak, who senses the same problem; Steve did not write them. They realise Cal must have, and begin to wonder if it was Cal who pushed Steve from the cliff.
It’s not impossible, except the sketch they have shows Eddie’s haircut and beard really clearly (which is already suspicious how it was seen that clearly in a GD thunderstorm but we’ll go with it).
Poor, poor Mary admits to Sarah she’s not sure who her baby daddy is. The Other Guy won’t care either way, but Sean will. Sarah is struggling with her advice and settles on telling Mary that who ever Mary decides is the father, is the father, and Sean will see that too. Iiiiii don’t think he will, Sarah. Call it a hunch but I don’t think he will.
And then, oh, okay, she leaves because her phone rings, leaving Mary hanging and clueless. Great counselling, Sarah, top notch.
She goes to see a frantic Eddie, who begs her to make Hawk see her, but also thinks she and Cal are why he won’t. Sarah is just as surprised by the news, and in a telling moment she’s way more upset Eddie was at the centre, and now everyone might know about their visits. He wants to see his son but she leaves.
Eddie … get a fucking lawyer, dude. Seriously.
Abe and Nicole are still flirting a bit and he tries to apologise for the kiss, citing confusion and loneliness, and because Nicole isn’t a bad person, she can entirely relate. Abe visibly makes a decision to get closer to her, but it’s hard to tell if it’s lonely Abe or Fed Abe making the choice.
I really hope the writers didn’t clumsily manufacture that scene with his wife so we all feel okay about these two, who have undeniable chemistry, stepping out on their relative spouses. I mean, I’d like to see these two together but damn it, can’t Abe have just been single?
Eddie is driving, and notices he’s being tailed by … a sinister Prius.
He briefly loses the guy, then sees him again at a gas station and decides to go and blow off some steam with Chloe, who has been calling him to a casino all day — and I mean all day — the actual time is hidden on Eddie’s phone screen, but since about 10 am this girl has been drinking . She also suggests getting a lawyer, which he begs off since Hawk can’t be forced to see him. No, but Eddie, you can stop Sarah taking the kids anywhere or just make sure your and their rights are protected.
She’s making him drink, and he talks about Meyerism being against drinking and gambling, and what he’s trying to say is he probably shouldn’t drink hard liquor for his first drink in decades. Also, didn’t he have addiction problems before, which she knows, so now she’s insisting he drink with her? It was scary and sinister and pointed and knowing when Sarah did it to Cal. It’s bloody irresponsible for the increasingly annoying Chloe to do it to Eddie.
You’ll regret this, Edward.
Then she calls Sarah an unfit mother, and WHOA, CHLOE. WHOA. Sarah may be in a damned cult ,and admittedly last year she threatened to throw Hawk out on the street for wanting to leave the group, but she’s not an unfit mother. An amazingly intense one, sure. But, she’s not unfit. Even Eddie withdraws from this a little because Chloe, slow your roll, lady, so Chloe gets them drinking and gambling.
I have to admit, Chloe has become suspect in my eyes. Her super chance meeting with Eddie happening when it did, when he’s vulnerable and available, just feels weird.
She tries to calm down his paranoia about the floor security watching him, but his paranoia plays out when Sinister Prius man sits down nearby.
Eddie tries to run off, and Chloe talks him back down.
You know who might understand this paranoia? ALISON.
Sarah asks Hawk about not seeing Eddie and he repeats his story about committing to his vows, dismissing Eddie as a Denier. Even Sarah defends Eddie, not just reminding Hawk he never fully revoked his beliefs, but also reminding Hawk, Eddie didn’t walk out on them, he stopped believing, and she prays every day he’ll find his faith. Aaaw she misses him. They bicker about Libby’s blackmail, but Sarah doesn’t intend to leave Libby be and will continue to defend the poisoned town. Hawk tells her how Cal will help with his Rage and … excuse me …
Sarah bristles but doesn’t actually forbid this, just tells Hawk he’s not like Cal.
Sarah … Sarah … Cal is a murderer. An admitted murderer. You have seen the body! Your only concern he’s around your son should be, because HE’S A MURDERER.
She calls Cal who promises he won’t tell about Eddie … oh, won’t you, Cal? How decent. Ass.
He actually, seriously tries to hold the moral high ground over her, and she shuts that noise all the way down and reminds him of how he blew all their money on a building because of his conscience, but she does not say ‘STAY AWAY FROM MY SON, ACTUAL MURDERER’ which is really all there is to say, really.
SARAH. REALLY. ALL THERE IS TO SAY.
Instead, she just makes him promise to fix all their problems with the IRS, and free up the money for tests for the poisoned town. Girl, turn him in or I might start to agree with Chloe about your suitability to take care of children and DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT DOES TO ME? CHLOE, SARAH. CHLOE. DON’T DO ME LIKE THIS GIRL.
Mary is brushing her teeth and spits so much blood, but Sean, who has read the pregnancy books, knows its nothing to worry about. Isn’t it?! Are you sure?! Jesus fucking Christ, can that happen?!
Mary admits the baby might not be his, and when he asks who the father could be, her guilty look says it all. He leaves. My heart shatters, again, some more.
Sarah checks with an actual scientist who assures her that yes, Libby’s tests are biased as all hell, but proving the water is toxic could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. She heads over to the town to tell the families and collect water samples, and the guy who last week was so meekly begging for help is now, when faced with actual people helping, is just astonishingly cynical and you know, kind of rude to Sarah’s face. I get it bro, but she’s there. maybe save your disappointment for when she (by which I mean, Cal) lets you down.
So, she drinks some of the tainted water to show it’s not just a ‘fix of the week’ for her.
…. Sarah, seriously, CHLOE.
Eddie is drunk with Chloe and they messily make out before he notices Sinister Prius man, and they get into it. Sinister Prius mN warns him away from the centre, but Eddie gets dragged off by security before he can do more than freak out.
Later, he’s being rushed to hospital having an adverse reaction to all the hard fucking liquor (and probably the crunchy beatdown casino security dished out), like, I told you man. I told you.
Kodiak and Richard perform a ritual in the woods to channel and speak with Steve, asking him if he is truly in the Light. I am loving the fact that the two men who know for a fact that huge facets of their lives are built on a lie, are the ones who go hardest in on the mysticism. Once again, our perspective of what happens is up for question, there’s thunder, lighting, even a brief shower of rain, but both men are also bone dry on a quiet still summer night.
Kodiak channels Steve and intones …. there is no Light …
…. duuuuuuude. So…back in season 1 we discussed how Meyerists, like any religious group, can justify anything if they filter it the right way, through their own special lens. For Christians, everything can be explained as God’s will, or a test, or part of The Plan.
We’ve seen how Meyerists think their experiences are spiritual, mystical, because … they’re meant to be. Sarah seeing the owl in the woods last year … owls live in the woods. But to Sarah, at that time, it was significant. Hawk believes he floated when more than likely he was hungry, tired and had been pushed into a vulnerable and pliable emotional state. Cal, curiously, has had no such scene
So, if Kodiak is a True Believer … he should arguably have heard Steve say ‘naw fam, all good, the Light is liiiiit, lol’, but he didn’t. That could be benign. Kodiak just accepts Steve’s mode of death means he missed his Ladder. Or, it could be Kodiak’s revealing what he truly believes … it’s all lies.
Its hard to say, but his behaviour with Gabby was suspect enough to make me wonder about his motives. Is he, like Eddie, a non-believer? If he is, maybe he’s trying to bring things down from within, dismantle them carefully by just quietly undermining the foundation of their belief, in the hope people learn for themselves, and just leave on their own. Or maybe he’s a true believer who now thinks Cal or Eddie cost their leader his chance at Meyer heaven.