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The Path - Restitution - Review

So much of The Path is concerned with the conflict between the interest of the self and the interest of the whole. We've seen this throughout the season as the characters, in particular Sarah, Hawk, and Sean, have struggled with their loyalty to the movement and their loyalty to their loved ones. Sarah allows Eddie to see Summer and even briefly re-started a sexual relationship with her estranged husband. Hawk has not only had to abandon his father for his advancement within the movement, but now that Ashley has re-appeared in his life, his position has only become more complicated. And Sean has now lost his faith in the Light, but remains in the movement to keep his new family intact.

Of course, this conflict within these characters exists to begin with because of the movement's long-standing denier policy, with takes center-stage in this excellent episode, as Eddie's attempts to get rid of that harmful practice forces most of the characters to face their own guilt. This is most obvious in the case of Tessa, who Eddie accidentally inspires to go to the Lane household and confront the family that refuses to acknowledge her. What follows is a brilliant mess of a scene that unfolds like a car crash, as everyone in the house must reckon with an uncomfortable truth at their family's core.

While Richard and Felicia, two high ranking members of the movement, believe that Eddie may well be the true leader of Meyerism and have decided to follow him, he refuses to re-enter the movement and become that leader as long as some of its more harmful practices remain, most notably the denier policy. But the aforementioned scene shows that ridding the movement of said policy is not going to be easy, as it is so ingrained in the Meyerist culture. But Gab's desire to see Tessa by the end of the episode indicates that while it's not going to be easy, it is possible.

Obviously, one of the show's most notable victims of the denier policy is the relationship between Hawk and Ashley, which is briefly restarted in this episode. Hawk has spent this season dedicating himself to the movement and climbing the ladder, but once Ashley re-enters his life he seems to forget all that, intentionally missing key events. But his bubble bursts once he is confronted by the truth of their break-up, and the involvement of Cal and his mother. Instead of recognizing the flaws within the movement, he once again turns back to it, going in deeper.

This episode's theme was brought up in last week's episode during Cal and Sarah's speech at the World Faith Conference. In that speech they both spoke about prioritizing self-love above all else, surrounding yourself with those who love you. And while family has been said to be a core tenant of Meyerism, it's undercut by the harmful denier policy. At the top of the episode Cal mentions getting rid of the movement's more "religious" aspects, but his interpretation of that is vague. Cal cares about making the movement more mainstream, and while he's been shown to be lenient when it comes to the denier policy, it's not clear where he truly stands.

This episode also addressed the issue of what would happen to Cal and Sarah if Eddie became leader. Richard insists that Sarah must be replaced, believing her and Cal to not be the rightful guardians. This is what has motivated Richard all season. And while Sarah is as devout as they come, is she right as a leader? This season has seen her commit blackmail to help the movement, making the threat of the FBI even more real. At the end of the episode she "relinquishes" that she slept with Cal, but decides to keep everything else that she has done. The episode opened with a dream sequence in which she chokes on Marshall's poisoned meat. We later find out that Marshall died several weeks ago. The guilt is eating away at Sarah. Is she what is wrong with the movement?

Grade: A-