The Path Review: “Providence”

By the way, Alison is still missing.

You thought I forgot about Alison, didn’t you? I’ll never forget!

There’s still no sign of the once, then not, then once again Meyer. I know, I could just go and check if she left the show or might appear later on, but I won’t. Know why? It’s the writers’ job to tell me what happened, and if they won’t bother, I won’t.

My continuity obsession behind, lets get to it, because this week, the weird is back.

Abe is still creeping around getting things done quietly, though it’s building to something. He learns his water tests got shut down (Damn it!) because the higher-ups just want to bring down the Meyerists. Yeah, but also, the bitch poisoning a town! Didn’t you see the exploding cow full of black slime?!

Abe should introduce Meyerism to Facebook live, really. Later he’s frustrated to learn the IRS will try to close down the compound, and from his reaction, it’s not clear if he thinks this is his bosses, or just incredibly bad timing for his case.

In the other brief plot thread, an anxious Sean walks to a nearby, non-Meyer store and asks to use the phone. The ease with which the shopkeeper hands it over makes me think lots of Meyerists who ‘lost their phone’ come down here. Sean calls home to tells his parents about the marriage and Mary’s pregnancy, but has to insist they don’t immediately come to see him.

But, because they are sort of awesome, they immediately come to see him, picking him up on the road. Admittedly, they do sort of totally kidnap him and drive off with a psychologist in the back seat, assuring him he will be fine. It’s softened slightly by his mother’s firm promise they are there not just to save Sean, but for Mary and the baby as well.

You guys! Come on, that balances out kidnapping him a little.

In less heartening but spooky, mystical storylines, Eddie drives along with Summer in the back of his car, and they adorably sing along to the Beach Boys, God Only Knows. Then suddenly, Summer is not in the car but on the roadside by a strange dead tree.  Eddie follows her, but she vanishes and as the dream makes itself more apparent, he’s drawn to a cabin that seems out of place.


He opens the door, then wakes in his bed. Nearby, Chloe is on the phone with her ex, and it boils down to the fact Eddie will babysit her son Johnny for the weekend, though only as ‘the babysitter’, as Chloe and her ex have some rules about introducing their new partners to their son. Like, that’s fine, but you made out at that wedding last week, in front of Johnny? This doesn’t come up. Huh.

Richard is shown a creepy, run down, old cabin we only see from the inside, and declares it will be fine for some sinister purpose.

With Chloe gone, Eddie and Johnny bond a little over GI Joe ,and then more when Eddie offers to take Johnny anywhere he wants to go. As they load up to leave, we see the definitely mentally unwell Kodiak watching, praying to the Light, or since it’s Kodiak, more likely Steve, for strength.

Eddie takes Johnny to a war museum because the kid loves all things military. Johnny has a good relationship with his dad, who — and the kid knows Eddie is dating his mother, but warns Eddie his dad hopes to get back with Chloe — won’t like Eddie, regardless. Eddie makes sure Johnny knows his parents both love him, and he’s such a good dad, guys. My heart.

Kodiak follows them into the museum. In a way, it’s nice to see Eddie no longer so paranoid, except of course, he should be right now.

The museum is a little kid’s dream, full of tanks and displays they can play on and interact with. Eddie carefully steers Johnny away from some especially graphic Vietnam imagery of children fleeing a battle.  In a neat, well played moment, Kodiak is trying to follow too closely and walks into the grisly display as a huge, HD TV bursts to life with graphic video of gunfire, explosions and screams. Kodiak, who is definitely a Vietnam veteran, is shaken, maybe even suffering a PTSD episode.

Shaken, he returns to Richard who is smudging, blessing the cabin for whatever they plan to do to Eddie. Richard is furious as Kodiak rambles about how hard he worked to forgive himself for his sins and how today, he came close to undoing all that. Richard remains furious until Kodiak says ‘Oh also he had some kid with him so …’ and Richard calms down.

Way to bury the lede, Kodiak.

The next day, Johnny and Eddie have a funny, awkward conversation about what Eddie would do if war broke out right then, but immediately springs chilling news on Eddie; they were followed at the museum by a man, Kodiak, who asked if Johnny could get home alone, as the man wanted to take Eddie with him.

Eddie freaks the hell out, and the scene is so tense I entirely forgot Eddie’s dreams can be prophetic, until they were actually on the road. He calls Chloe, and says he’ll drive the few hours up to where she is, so they can all spend the rest of the day on the beach and come home together. She nearly says she loves him, which he misses entirely in his wound up state, and agrees to wait for him.

Though they drive off with Johnny in the front seat, later he’s moved into the back — continuittttyyyyyyy — more or less entirely so his lying down to sleep mimics Summer vanishing in the dream. Eddie turns on the radio to hear God Only Knows, sees the creepy tree and now, a parked and windowless black van.

I’m going to blame Eddie being so oblivious on, you know, his prophetic dream coming true before his eyes, because he walks right into this obvious trap. Kodiak clubs him over the head. How did they get ahead of him? How did they know where he was going?

He’s presumably driven away and the detail of his dream gets really weird — the cabin Richard picked is the one he and Kodiak drag Eddie into. Whoa.

Back at the car, Johnny has not died trapped inside it on a hot summer day. Night is about to fall as he wakes, alone, calling for Eddie, who is nowhere to be seen.

Duuuuuuuuuude.

With no inkling of Eddie’s troubles, Sarah is called to the front gate of the compound and learns the IRS are foreclosing on the land and buildings. Why, then are the letters going to Cal in New York?

Sarah goes right to Cal about the letter, and in the episode’s only moment of good, common sense by anybody, they decide there and then to just sell the New York building. See! So easy!

That was me jinxing myself, by the way.

Meeting with the realtor, Cal and Sarah talk up the genuinely very impressive and ongoing renovations as selling points. She warns them of the massive loss they’ll take reselling so soon. If they wait three years they could earn back every penny they spent. I’ll admit, that would give me pause, and I’d probably have as violent a tantrum/panic attack/meltdown as Cal does, after he can slip off to his office and punch a wall to bits. That won’t help the selling price, Cal!

But, you know, people live on the compound, so sell the building. Just sell it. It’s easy.

Cal has broken his hand, and naturally Mary’s radar is pinged by this, so she materialises to tend to him (exactly as intensely as you think). He admits how badly he’s screwed up, but she Lady Manson Macbeths all over him about how much he’s done for her, for Sean, for all of them. He will, she insists, will fix this. Because this is Mary and Cal, she over-sexualises kissing his wounded hand while he freaks out over it all, and ends it with a fatherly kiss on her head.

Steve broke this boy in a way maybe only Mary could ever understand. I’m sure of it.

Outside, Sarah is drawn to something happening. Hawk has a new haircut of course, and I hate everything about it. It makes him look like Cal, which is the point and I think even Cal notices this. He is also growing into his little messiah complex quite nicely, as the episode finds him washing the feet of, and befriending the local vagrants. He offers them fresh, clean clothes from their supplies inside, and bonds so easily with one belligerent man that I honestly nearly groaned at it all. It’s all very wonderful and noble, but sooo heavy handed. Sarah sees and is struck by the whole scene, joining her son to wash some feet.

Later, Cal approaches Hawk to have another ‘session’ that just ends up being Cal telling a most curious story; once there was a Meyer named Jeremiah who was Richard’s long term partner. Jeremiah was always out in the field on missions, but health issues always made him the one needing help. Cal advised Steve to use Jeremiah as a lawyer instead, since he already was one. Jeremiah was able to do far more as a lawyer, and never missed field missions once he signed that first cheque. Hawk asks after Jeremiah’s current fate, and Cal begs off that it’s a story for another time.

No. It’s for now, Cal!

Cal’s entire point is, Hawk should tell Noa to ‘tap’ her ‘potential’. As in, ask her mother for more money. Oh, that’s going to go well.

Back home, Sarah is breaking the news to the family, and Nicole has the most relatable and realistic meltdown; they don’t own their home, which is on the compound, they have five kids and Russell can not do anything. Where is the lie? Show me the lie?!

They pray for guidance and blessings and sure, okay.

The next day, Sarah breaks the news to Cal that they’re financially fucked. They owe hundreds of thousands to the IRS, and while she owns her home, very few others do. So, she’ll take out a second mortgage on her home, ask for more donations and maybe they can make something work with the IRS …. wait, what? Cal asks the question I have been screaming for some time:  ‘What about the building?!’

She wants to keep it. For Hawk.

She is fucking awful. She is risking other peoples homes for her 16 year old son — because he’s likable, and kind.

Sarah Lane, you are the worst.  He doesn’t need a building.

If he’s that good, he can preach from a fucking soapbox. You awful, selfish woman.

What happens if he changes his mind? What happens if he doesn’t live up to all that potential? Case in point, Hawk goes to ask Noa to speak to her mother. This does not go well. Noa is furiously offended, and describes a very sad life with a drug addicted mother who routinely forgot and neglected her child, only to buy back her favour time and time again. Noa calls her mother toxic, and won’t reach out to her.

Sarah and Cal fail to secure her second mortgage because of how unreliable her income is, especially now Eddie is out of the home. Outside the bank, devastated — yet still not thinking laying their fate at the feet of a petulant teenager is fucking dumb — they laugh off their tension over being such terrible, terrible Guardians of the Light. Sarah gives Cal this speech about how amazing he is having come to the Light from Hell, and being so exceptional. She asks him to be exceptional again, but what she’s really doing, is taking him off the leash she’s had him on since she learned he lied about the Rungs.

Back at the building, Cal looks like he might be accepting the building has to go, especially when Hawk breaks the bad news about Noa.

Except … Hawk was so moved by Noa’s story that he realised who they really need to save; Noa’s mother. They need to bring her to the light. Cal’s eyes practically flash with dollar signs. Maybe they just saved their money problem.

He finishes the night the only way he knows how; by begging forgiveness from people he knows will always give it- — Sarah and her family — while framing his mistakes as not really his fault, and just a failing of him loving Meyerism SO much. Russell and his folks and to some degree, Sarah, all readily forgive him because they are dumb. Nicole can barely even look at him. We leave with them all praying over their food.

The threats on the compound make me think some mass flight to South America could really be in the cards. Noa may hate her mother, but I feel like she’d be savvy enough to prevent the cult taking the woman for every penny, and if that line of income doesn’t come through, the Meyers will have nowhere to go.

That Kodiak is a vet wasn’t so much a reveal, but it makes me all the more curious about him. He’s made clear more than once that his dedication is far more to Steve than the Movement as a whole, and again, I find myself wondering what he knows and will fight to keep a secret, to protect Steve’s name. What did Steve do to Cal?

I like the parallel that we end with the two characters with the most dents in their faith winding up abducted in one form or another, but the question will be, who fares the worst from their time in captivity? It seems obvious to think Sean will come through easiest, but Eddie has shown us leaving a cult isn’t easy, even when you want to.

I’m going to be holding my breath until someone rescues Johnny.

Nadine Morgan

Nadine Morgan

Nadine Morgan is really terrible at the ‘About You’ part of life.
Nadine developed her reviewer skills writing epic facebook rants about the details script supervisors forget and trying to explain why Carol on The Walking Dead broke Lizzie by accident.

Nadine loves TV, film and books but she wishes someone would pay her to be the continuity editor.

She can be found on Facebook and in her forest garden and if she’s not yelling at her TV she’s trying to convince a cat to be an Instagram model and refusing to let 90’s fashion die.

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