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The Path - Oz - Review

The Path presents a very nuanced and complex view of Meyerism, portraying both the helpful and harmful effects of it. In the show we see the great charitable work done by the movement, but have also seen its unfortunate rules and restrictions up close. Meyerism can be a great comfort to people and give them meaning, but it can also tear families apart due to its policies when it comes to deniers.

This season has carefully been setting up Eddie’s realisation that he has been “chosen” to lead the movement. And in this episode we see him actively go about achieving that end, he and Richard going to Felicia in order for him to continue his climb. It’s hardly a surprise that he does this outside the movement itself, given how his experiences with it have been so negative all season.

Due to these experiences and losing his family, Eddie wants to get rid of some of the movement’s archaic policies. As he says to Hank at the end of the episode, he just wants to bring families together. So it’s fitting that this episode sees the return of Ashley, Hawk’s ex-girlfriend. Arguably, their relationship was the first season’s greatest tragedy, destroyed by those very policies Eddie wants to get rid of.

Oddly though, while throughout the season the state of the movement, both financially and ideologically, has been so unstable, making the prospect of a new leader such as Eddie seem preferable, this episode sees the movement’s prospects greatly improved, as Sarah’s blackmail of wealthy members gets the movement temporarily out of its financial trouble, and its presence at the World Faith Conference gives it more legitimacy, Cal and Sarah presenting a united front.

This also brings the series’ central love triangle back to the foreground. Just as Eddie has regained his faith and looks to return to lead a reformed version of the movement, Cal and Sarah finally have sex, a result of series-long sexual tension. This is especially interesting given the potential information we learned about Cal’s childhood last week. Not only do we as viewers see Cal in a new light, but Sarah does too.

As I have discusses at length in previous reviews, this season has largely been about the direction of the Meyerist movement, and the conflict between old and new. But that conflict has now shifted, with Cal’s vision for the movement representing something more traditional, still including the movement’s more, for lack of a better word, cult-ish rules, and Eddie’s potential new vision being far more progressive. But, returning to the theme of rot, the problem with the movement may not be it official rules and policies, but the personal, non-official behaviour of its two leaders, both of whom have been involved in some conspicuous and illegal activity in an effort to help the movement. After all, that is what is keeping the FBI investigation going.

Also, Abe and Nicole have sex. Good for them, I suppose.

Grade: B

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