Sarah Lane is about as primed as a person can be to have a total nervous breakdown. I’m not saying that lightly, either.
But I’ll get to that.
Kodiak and Richard, who remain the absolute best, discuss Cal with Kodiak only sticking around long enough this week to suggest Cal, who was in the US when Steve died, could have killed their leader, psychically.
Good lord, I love him. Please don’t turn out to be in some way monstrous, Kodiak.
Richard’s like ‘…. yeah, anyway’, but has his own way to watch Cal, sitting in on interviews with acolytes.
It doesn’t take too long for him to get suspicious. Flexing her Lady Macbeth muscles this week, is sweet, broken, dangerous little Mary. After the news there may be a Fed in their midst, Cal is having members of Meyerism ‘source’ a sort of brush up confession thing that appears less intense than the full ‘Damage’ sessions they have. Here, people are asked to lay their hand on a sheet of paper that changes colours based on whether a question has triggered the toxins that build up in us because of damage to leech out in sweat.
Holy mercy, that is some fantastic bullshit, right there. Meyerists, you guys. While Richard mans the recorder, Cal is guided by a dense book of questions and explanations for what ever colour the paper changes. I’ll bet.
The sessions can be brief or long, depending on the subject. Sean has been called in to a session and while he frets over how he’ll be able to keep it a secret from Cal that he knows the baby could be Cal’s, Mary isn’t concerned at all.
She knows Cal wants their tryst to remain a secret. She calmly tells Sean to leverage their information against Cal to their benefit.
And, he does. A newly confident Sean drops a few hints for Cal; Sean knows stuff he shouldn’t know, he says fatherhood approximately 76.5 times, and he point blank asks for a new fridge to replace their broken one.
Cal knows he’s been blackmailed, but Richard clearly thinks Sean was hinting at something else.
Cal furiously goes to see Mary, and tries to vaguely threaten her that he won’t be blackmailed.
She much more confidently tells him that in fact, he will. Oooh girl! She wields that strange power she has over him, telling him the baby could be his, or Sean’s; she doesn’t know. They nearly kiss, but she flits away, leaving him shaken.
Last year, I wondered a lot about Mary going Manson Family on these people. If she is carrying Cal’s kid, can you imagine the effect that’ll have on her?
Everyone should be afraid. Very afraid.
Finishing up with ‘sourcing’ for the day, Richard reports to Cal that Cal has to ‘source’ as well, to keep the process pure. Cal has to agree, and lays his hand on the paper. Richard asks what he wants from the sessions of the last few days and Cal comes clean about the FBI, claiming their motive is just discrimination and nothing else.
He’s sourcing to try to root out a spy. Richard promises to listen to the recordings more closely. Cal leaves, his paper unchanged, to Richard’s dismay. Outside the room, unseen, Cal walks himself back from a near panic stroke and stumbles off.
The following day, he tries to poke at Sarah about Eddie but she’s having none of it. He talks about the pitfalls of parenthood as Doc preached them, that it made you focus on the individual, not the whole Movement. Sarah assures him Doc was right, and brushes off his questions about seeing Eddie again like she’s got a secret. Which, of course … she has.
Earlier in the day, Cal had reached out to Abe, who I sometimes forget that they believe is called Sam. AbeSam has been semi honest about his background in the military and in security, in amidst his lie about his dead baby daughter. Cal is half offering to bring the remaining family into Meyerism, but when he abruptly mentions the FBI, there’s a second when it almost feels like a threat. Abe tries not to swallow his tongue or just plain catch on fire as Cal talks up Abe’s background … which he hopes Abe will use to help them find the spy.
Abe nearly dissolves with relief, and promises to take on the role. It’s above his status as an R1 but this is just a sign they trust him, which he reports back to his boss. There’s a hilarious conversation when the boss man openly mocks the Meyer beliefs and brushes off Abe’s comments about believing in Virgin Birth with a firm, deadly serious ‘Because that actually happened’.
Abe’s face is magical. They bond over their willingness to go the distance for this case, and it really is nice to see Abe getting so much backing from his bosses this year around.
Then things get interesting and it only occurred to me as I typed this up; Abe goes to Dr. Shelby for what we later realise is probably a made up racing heart. Nicole arrives and drops some bitchy gossip about Sarah secretly seeing Eddie (and we’ll get to how she knows) and for a moment, Abe looks … emotional. Maybe, like he made a mistake? It’s hard to say.
It stands out because later, he and Russell are leading contraband raids over the compound. It seems a fairly normal practice and they use it to root out weaknesses, like pushing a woman caught with cigarettes to dump them and finally be free of their hold on her.
They raid Dr. Shelby’s office and they find … a cell phone, taped under the treatment bed. Russell finds it, specifically, because obviously Abe can’t. The phone is programmed with federal numbers. Shelby at first confidently, and rightly, asserts it’s not hers. But it doesn’t matter. She’s out, forced to leave the compound forever while she sobs. It’s heartbreaking. I hope Abe’s having her picked up by someone to support her.
Now I’m wondering if he got emotional because he realised he could have reached out to Eddie, or set up Eddie, rather than innocent Dr. Shelby?
Maybe I’m reading too much into that moment with Nicole. They share another one as Shelby leaves, laden with mutual chemistry. Don’t you two do it! You have families!
As always, it’s Sarah, Cal and Eddie who really send my blood pressure through the roof. Sarah and Marshall, from the poisoned town, visit Sarah’s scientist contact at a water testing lab. With the donation from Noa’s mother and some money scraped up from the town folk they can pay for the advanced water testing the town so desperately needs.
Which is when Sarah drives home to find Hawk being arrested for his vandalism of Libby Dekaan’s window.
The mad woman has tacked on assault and terrorism charges using some federal contacts which, holy shit lady.
Rather than say, leverage their relatively positive PR to go public with this obvious act of extortion the family Lane, including Eddie, panics and stresses. Moreso because their only lawyer is a dumbass Meyerist who thinks The Light will beat Libby’s high level contacts and influence.
Eddie and I are about as impressed with that as you can imagine.
Inside prison, Hawk reads The Ladder but is intrigued by one of his cell mates, a young kid who holds lectures in the yard about how trapped they all are by the system. Hawk clumsily tries to explain his beliefs to them, asserting to the largely non-white group that everyone is equal in Meyerism, but unable to fend off the preaching kids observation that regardless, Meyerism still sees everyone else as beneath them.
Hawk has to fend off a pervy crackhead cell mate but it seems to win him some respect with the other kids and he’s allowed to sit in on the lectures.
Outside, the crisis spills the beans to the family that Sarah was letting the kids see Eddie, with little Summer glumly confessing to her grandparents as a possible cause for Hawk’s situation. Hank, Sarah’s father, warns Grandma Gaby off being cruel and she actually listens, reassuring Summer kindly and sweetly it’s nothing to do with Eddie, and Hawk will be home soon.
Nicole, who later gossips about all of this to Abe, bitchily wonders aloud why Sarah is the Guardian, when Russell is the better Meyerist. Sarah’s parents have absolutely none of this and she’s gently but very pointedly told to back off.
Gaby and Hank ruin their cool grandparent bit, though, when bickering about Kodiak, and leave me thinking once again he might be closer to the family than I thought. Sarah’s real dad?
With Sarah clueless and a little helpess, Eddie takes control in a quietly disturbing little flash of his dark side. First he … points out –because threatens might be the wrong word –to Sarah that he can have Hawk taken away from her since this all went down under her care. He does this so she’ll join him in personally visiting Libby DeKaan to speak with her.
Libby ignores Sarah’s immediate offer to stop testing the water, so Eddie goes all in. Turns out Libby has an estranged son she doesn’t speak to, a fact, Eddie points out, that must wrack her with guilt. He found it out from the internet. The beauty is, it’s a pure Meyer tactic. One he came to after maybe praying a Meyer prayer. Interesting.
He has her son on the phone and Libby breaks down crying as she speaks with the boy for what seems like the first in a very long time.
She calls Eddie sadistic and stalks off so he twists the knife a little more, asking how she sleeps at night.
Sarah looks like she wants to eat him alive. Sexual like. And she does, later, when she talks about being afraid the Light won’t save them. Eddie comforts her and they end up in bed together.
If it was confusing for the kids before … But they’re both so calm and relaxed, it’s heartening to see and I can almost pretend they might work this all out after all. They won’t. Because we can’t have nice things.
They talk openly and frankly about Eddie’s medications and the fact he’s been sort of seeing Chloe. Sarah swears she never has, nor could, sleep with Cal.
She doesn’t judge his use of medications, though she is curious and troubled by his unusual scar. He admits he got struck by lightning, but doesn’t explain further, and they go back to holding each other.
Later he’s able to get Hawk out of jail, though Hawk is furious he’s there, and even more angry to learn they wont be testing the water, and suggests he was ready to be a martyr to the cause. Oh, Hawk.
Eddie tries to talk him down, but Hawk sulks.
Sarah has gone to break the news to the farmer Marshall about the water, and finds him comforting his favourite cow as she dies painfully.
Sarah rushes into her explanation and apology, freezing with fear when Marshall pulls a knife. He cuts the dying cow open and poisoned black blood bursts out of the wound, all over Sarah, who screeches into the credits.
Guess they don’t need to test the water.
So … yeah, as you can see, Sarah is clinging on by a threat at this point and I am honestly afraid of what might happen when she goes. We’ve all see the terrifying glimmers of her madness and that was when her adolescent son was having an utterly ordinary crisis of faith.
At this stage, she’s fit to go nuclear, and I’m afraid for anyone in her way. Mary is no less terrifying. She’s always been manipulative but this is the first time it hasn’t been about some immediate reward, be it the drugs she stole or Cal’s attention. Now she has power, she’s wielding it fiercely. I feel like Cal is still so obsessed with Sarah that there could be the potential for something huge to happen between them all. I want to believe Sarah she’d never be with Cal that way, but Sarah’s not the most stable person. What may she do if confronted with his lovechild with Mary? Sarah at this point is kind of unpredictable. But so is Mary.