We open on the Fab Four; Eddie, Vera, Mary and Cal being hosted in an Indonesian restaurant by an enthusiastic new Meyerist with roots in Bali. He tells a story of dreaming of a man saving a woman from a fire, only to hear the true story of Eddie’s miraculous survival and rescue, back in the season opener. This drove him to investigate Meyerism, and after one meeting he was hooked and wants to spread the word to all of Asia. He intends to do this by converting an island resort he owns in Bali into Asia’s first Meyerist centre, singing the praises of Steven Meyer in the process. Cal coolly corrects that it’s Eddie who now ‘owns’ the message and will teach it going forwards, which drives poor confused Mary to cover her frustration with a toast to their new beginnings.
Later back on the ranch, Vera invokes her mother to raise doubts about the Too Good To Be True nature of the offer, and Eddie’s wonderfully human response can be summed up as, ‘We get to go to Bali’. Vera wants to know if, after the truth about her mother came out ‘they’ are okay, and Eddie is actually pretty sweet in his honesty, reassuring her that he’s just processing everything but otherwise they are fine. Their sweet moment is interrupted because someone is in Eddie’s cabin; it’s just Hawk and he’s freaking out about Caleb. Caleb has sent, or more likely been made to send a letter to Hawk, basically asking him to leave Caleb alone. It’s clear even to Hawk that it’s not really from Caleb, and it’s enough that damn it, he’s going to Maryland to save his man. YES, HAWK! Elsewhere, Sarah can’t sleep so she’s bribed the landlord to let her into Lilith’s place. Lilith is absent so Sarah frantically routes through her things, and in no time at all she finds out who Vera truly is.
The next day Eddie … d’aaaw, he’s going with Hawk to save Caleb, and leaving Cal in charge while he’s gone. Cal is genuinely moved by the situation, and that Eddie is stepping up to the plate. Eddie informs Cal that he’s put Vera on an accelerated plan to complete the rungs and asks Cal to take over while Eddie is gone. Cal makes that face, you know the one? Where he’s trying not to just faint or catch on fire, but since he’s Cal he plays it cool. Eddie leaves telling Cal he trusts him and appreciates him, but as soon as the door closes, he calls Mary to tell her the news. It doesn’t quite go over as well as he hoped, because they were due in Washington to help Bucky the creepy creeper be less creepy. Mary wants to go alone, while Cal voices the concern Bucky tried to use as a threat — that Mary shouldn’t be alone with the accused sex offender. Plus, he reminds her firmly and prissily and very Husbandishly, the actual Movement needs his attention, Mary. God!
Mary thinks Cal shouldn’t be alone, like, in general what with the therapy and the Cave of Painted Flowers, his profound and constantly emerging emotional damage, and all that messy stuff, but the point is, she will go. He asks after Forrest ,and Mary ends the call by coldly reminding him the ‘collective community’ can take care of their baby while they’re both off doing their own wildly conflicting, self-serving shenanigans elsewhere. Dear readers, I think some of last week’s theories from the comments might be about to unfold.
On the road, Eddie gets a call from Sarah, who thinks she’s surprising Eddie with her news about Vera, but of course, he knows. He calls it really complicated, and reassures Sarah that Vera has apologised for lying and is trying to make it right. Sarah is pissed he didn’t tell her as soon as he knew, especially with her Lilith obsession; he ends the call as Hawk is coming.
Back on the road, Hawk adorably probes about Vera and Eddie’s feelings, floating the idea Eddie only came to get away from things for a while. Eddie has a great moment trying to explain that he’s learned things about Vera that make him love her … differently. Not less, but he’s adjusting. That was nice. I like the scenes these two have.
Speaking of Vera, she and Cal are in the woods to do that spirit quest we saw Hawk take last year. They’re both concerned about what the accelerated routine might bring up in her, and Vera wishes Eddie was there — instead of Cal, basically. He’s cool with it though, because Cal right now is an amazing person. Vera asks if Cal was able to face his past when he did his ‘AL’ but Cal has to admit he has absolutely no memory of his own. It’s just now starting to occur to me that up until the start of this series, Cal didn’t remember huge chunks of his own life. No wonder he could barely function. Vera is sympathetic, and these two kill me. Cal says he trusts she’ll be fine but offers a lighter, just in case. She turns down, wanting to commit entirely. Cal leaves her alone to prepare.
At the ranch gates, Sarah isn’t even allowed through the gates to try and see Vera but being as Sarah was, in every way, born on that Ranch, she knows exactly how to sneak in. She gets as far as Eddie’s cabin, then is loudly and very visibly dragged screaming away.
In Maryland, Eddie and Hawk meet with the leader of the gay concentration camp. Hawk awkwardly eyes the photos on the wall of the camp’s ‘success’ stories. They’re pretending like Eddie is a devout Catholic who is there to consider having Hawk sent there. Clayton, the leader, is almost certainly a deeply closeted man, as he talks through how the centre handles ‘Waywards’. Eddie makes an excuse to get Hawk out of the room so he can sneak around, encountering an amazingly creepy ice cream man, and following him around. He finds a mock-up of a diner where young men and women are being coached on how to have male/female ‘dates’. Hawk sneaks in and tells Caleb to come with him but Caleb isn’t ready to go, and Hawk takes a punch for his troubles. Eddie arrives as Hawk storms out. Eddie asks Caleb why he’s doing this, and to Clayton’s God-themed answer, spits ‘You’re deluded’.
In Washington, Bucky is giving a speech as he donates money to planned parenting and of course ,Mary is there and looks absolutely amazing. Sitting down for dinner, Bucky is chin-wagging with rich socialites, and can barely keep his eyes off a pretty waitress — as soon as he can he slips his hotel key into her hand.
Mary notices it, and as soon as possible drags him up to his room to yell at him. He’s drunk and surly, but she gets his phone off him and locks them into the room for the evening, to physically prevent him from almost certainly committing sexually assault. He agrees, then he’s ordering room service, wine and at her demand, fries for Mary. I don’t like any of this. Don’t do this to her, show.
On the ranch, Cal comes to see Sarah, who is locked in one of the old therapy rooms. He think she’s a jealous ex, and she shoots it down so fast, and I love her. She makes it clear it’s about the now-missing Lilith, and Cal asks what exactly made Sarah so obsessed. It was the hypoxic cleanse which lead her to find Lilith, and realise Steve was trying to cure his paedophilia. She loses it a bit over how, you know, it kind of destroyed her whole life.
Cal softens and sits on the ground, and admits he’s in therapy, and Sarah? Is so, so happy for him. She’s so proud, and asks why now. Cal talks of being blinded by … emptiness and nothingness. He says he’s afraid he’s fading out of his own life story. He emotionally admits that once he realised how much of his own life he had blocked out, the foundations of Cal started to crumble. Sarah asks if the therapist helps, and Cal half jokes that he lies to his therapist, so … They share a sad little laugh and Sarah explains more about Lilith, mentioning the cave which of course, really gets Cal’s attention. The expression on his face when he meekly asks ‘The cave with painted flowers?’ is devastating.
Vera sleeps in the woods and Sarah, after clarifying she is real, demands to know where Lilith is. She calls Vera a hollow, empty liar, but Vera calmly tells Sarah that Lilith is not merely deceitful, she’s dangerous. Vera tells Sarah about the ‘Eddie has to die’ part of the prophecy, the whole ‘raise it up to bring it low’ thing and Sarah just coldly demands to know where Lilith is.
In a diner elsewhere, Hawk is understandably upset, so much so he’s rude to a waitress but Eddie calms him down. Eddie is again, great and wise, pointing out that Caleb is a dealing with a lot and may not be ready to just walk away from his whole life, now if ever. He explains that it’s hard to accept our fathers have lead us astray, but it’s a part of life, and can take time to come to terms with.
They get back on the road and before long, Hawk is asleep. On the ranch, Cal has found the caves and suffers a severe hallucination of Steve. Cal strips to his waist and pulls off his belt, tying it tight around his chest and tightening it while Steven encourages him, and we hear the creepy chant Sarah recited. Eddie, in the car, is suddenly struck as he’s the one being squeezed. He pulls over the car, gasping for air, stumbles out and falls to his knees. As Cal passes out, alone in a dark cave with a tight belt wrapped around his chest, Eddie finally draws breath.
In the hotel, Mary arrives at Bucky’s room in the morning, and it seems like he managed not to sexually assault anyone. He has cartoons on TV and they both lament being adults. He’s still grounded, so they settle in for more room service, and it’s clear Mary is falling for his charm. SHOW, DON’T DO THIS.
Eddie arrives home to the cabin to find Vera waiting. She admits she had her mother committed but he … sort of doesn’t want to hear it. He admits he’s ready to not be mad at her anymore, though he is mad at Steve, and that’s what’s tripping him up. He asks if they can just be ‘us’ for a while, and they warmly embrace. Oh Eddie … you think you’re mad now.
It seems Vera gave Sarah Lilith’s new address at the hospital, as she’s gone over to visit. Sarah knows about Steve as well as Vera, and is angry at Lilith for lying to her. She wanted to believe Lilith about the light, and Lilith insists it did speak to her. She asks Sarah to help get her out, but Sarah refuses as Lilith shrieks after that she’s no better than Steve. Once again, Lilith is just … cut out. God damn it.
At home, Sarah finally takes off her Meyer pendant.
In the city centre, Eddie comes to his office to find Cal. Cal cradles Forrest and cheerily reports that all was well in Eddie’s absence ,and is just glowing. Eddie, though … he must have been talking to Vera (or the strange link he shared with Cal somehow informed him), as he gently asks Cal if something happened to Cal. With Steve.
Cal freezes, eyes going saucer wide, and he manages to nod while looking literally anywhere except at Eddie. Eddie assures Cal they don’t have to talk about it, and Cal stutteringly asks if Eddie will pray with him. Confused, Eddie asks if Cal really still wants to be a Meyerist and again, all Cal can do is nod.
We end there, because this show is trying to drive me into a state of catatonic shock.
It’s sort of a crime that Hugh Dancy can’t build an entire house out of awards, isn’t it? This episode could be called slow, but I don’t think that would be entirely fair. It was quiet and steadily paced, but it very much felt like the deceptive calm before the storm.
My least favourite storyline of the night was of course, Mary and the Congressman and just FYI, what ever direction this storyline might take; I hate it. We know what Buck is, we know what might happen, and the fact it’s being played with and drawn out just isn’t sitting right with me.Which is a shame because she is in her element bossing him around, their hilariously pissy argument in his hotel room was great fun at a few points. I wish the circumstances of their relationship were different so I could enjoy them yelling at each other.
Caleb and Hawk … I’m still hoping Caleb turns up at the gates of the Ranch next week or maybe in the finale, but until that moment, my heart is entirely broken.
Cal and Sarah’s scene when she was locked up was one of my favourite of the show, so far. Hugh and Michelle are always so great with each other but their real, human talk really touched me.
Lilith’s last vision appears to be coming true, or part of it is. Eddie will be in Bali at the beach resort sometime in the near future. Does that mean he’ll be shot? It’s entirely possible; on this show, visions come true and appear to carry some real power. Eddie’s experience of similar visions is exactly why he’s in the position he is now. Lilith has been right before, about Felicia. But will Eddie be shot and recover? Or would the show actually kill Eddie Lane?
I think … no. Not his body, anyway. I think Lilith’s vision is less literal than she realises — Eddie won’t physically die, but the Eddie we know, the kind man who is trying to do right, will probably be gone for ever. Eddie has been dabbling in paranoid megalomania for some time, and surviving an assassination attempt might be what pushes him over the edge into full blown Jim Jones territory.
Or maybe he will be killed. If he goes, what would Meyerism look like? Would Cal take over? Theories in the comments, beloveds.
The Path will return to Hulu next week and on Oohlo soon after.