|This was unironically a scene in the episode.|
Heh. You know who's banking on your intuition being off? A cult! It's possible that this show is also counting on our intuition being off which in turn makes it sort of unforgivable but possibly brilliant. Or both.
If you have ever fantasized about running away to upstate New York for the rest of your life, this show might be for you. If you love Aaron Paul and/or Hugh Dancy with the fire of 10,000 suns, this show might be for you. If you miss Big Love, The Returned or would prefer The Walking Dead if it were more theoretical and motivated by a quasi-religion/philosophical belief system, this show might be for you. As far as I can tell, that is the cross-section of people who will be drawn to watch The Path. But hell, that might be a pretty big group of TV watchers, for all I know.
|You know the emoji with hearts in its eyes?|
|Upstate NY is for real so pretty though.|
|I'm pretty sure that's a linen shirt.|
Paul and Monaghan play marrieds, Eddie and Sarah Lane. Their family is crucial to the Meyerist movement because among them and their kids are three generations of this religion represented. Sarah was born into it, whereas Eddie came to it later, like many of the devotees -- through despair and heartache. (He had lost his only perceived ally in life, his brother, to suicide.) Sarah and Cal have history, he tosses off a line about her breaking his heart but you know she probably did. Eddie recently ascended a rung by tripping his face off in Peru on requisite ayahuasca but as plant medicines are wont to do, he's seeing the world differently now and is having serious doubts about his choices to be a part of the movement. Sarah assumes his distance means he's having an affair. There is a mystery girl, who we see through some expositional scenes has separated from the cult, that Eddie is talking with now to try and get some answers from since she is no longer enmeshed in Meyerism. (It's as tedious as the structure of that sentence, I assure you.) Most of the Lane's story teeters between mildly interesting and forgettable. I'd like to add that there's more chemistry between Eddie and Cal than Eddie and Sarah. I'm just saying.
The two most intriguing aspects to the story, for me, lie in the worst of the tropes which is hilarious but also maybe genius of the writers. In the first, the show opens with the aftermath of a tornado in a New Hampshire town where Cal and his people sweep in and 'rescue' those most in need and included in this round-up is a girl, Mary, who's also detoxing from opiates. We come to find out her dad is a real dirtbag -- the kind Cal can't wait to get his hands on. And in a moment, juxtaposed with his giving a lecture to the Meyerists on trading self-created illusions for a new reality, he beats the shite out of him in their trailer. (I know.) The second is Eddie and Sarah's teenage son who we see in a moment without mom and dad, at school. He's teased for being a Meyerist in the cafeteria (of course!) but not all is lost because a pretty girl across the room is watching him. He notices and shrugs it off, but there's something delicious there. That might just be true of this show, in general.
|Just some light reading before bed.|
* The opening credits are gorgeous.
* Mike Cahill (Another Earth) directed the pilot. It's not perfect but it looks pretty damn good.
* There's a conversation early on in the kitchen between Sarah's mom and Sarah that is so sharp and symbolic of the setting they're in. Her mom, 'helpfully', mentions a possible reason Sarah's husband isn't the same since the trip to Peru and it involves another woman. It's so cruel and mean but disguised as 'honest and real' (transparent!) and if there is even one more line in the rest of the season that rivals its brilliance, it might make the show worth watching -- it's that good.
* The glass of water imagery will, god willing, be explored more. Both Mary is extended water in the teaser as a sign of trust and Eddie refers to a glass of water Sarah extended to him first time they met that defined their relationship henceforth.
* I haven't seen The Leftovers, but from what I've gathered this has a bit of that vibe, too.
* Goldberg's fascination with how a cult/religious movement can last more than one generation is pretty damn interesting. It's chilling to watch Eddie reading a children's book version of the origins of Meyerism to his young daughter.
* I think this show has the potential for the right kind of tawdry the subject matter requires to be entertaining, since it's already moderately provocative. It's early yet but I'm hopeful.
* Did I forget to mention Aaron Paul?
* What about Hugh Dancy?