The Path Review: “The Red Wall”

Week 4; Alison who?

This show makes me need blood pressure medication.

Fast becoming my favourite pair of people in the world, Richard and Kodiak talk about rabbit-chewed strawberries, which Kodiak missed up in Siberia for ten years,  but they mostly discuss whether or not Cal is capable of hurting Steve. Not ‘anybody’, specifically Steve. Richard doubts, but Kodiak, who it turns out is full of this sort of insanity, proclaims ‘We could live a thousand lifetimes and never find the bottom of the sea of human cruelty’.

Oh my word. Amazing.

Richard is used to this and reminds the former hermit that Cal is risking the Movement, but Kodiak, who I speculated last week could be trying to destroy from within, shrugs he doesn’t care about the Movement part of things, that’s why he ducked out for a decade.  But, he does care about Steve and will find out if someone hurt him.

Kodiak … you curious bear.

Later, Kodiak intercepts a jumped up Cal to talk about the rabbits eating his strawberries, which he segues into asking after Cal’s well being. He senses the weight of leadership burdening Cal but Cal begs off, it’s hard, yes, but a blessing not a burden. Kodiak reminds him unburdening is, you know, kind of their whole deal  and none of them are above it don’t you know, and his suggestion Cal might need to unburden goes unspoken.

If CAL looks at you like this, you might be a special kind of crazy.

Hilariously, Kodiak thinks Cal killed Steve. Cal will begin to think Kodiak knows about Silas. Cal leaves Kodiak alone so he can deliver this perfect wisdom to his captured rabbit:  ‘Shadows grow long. The night is only beginning’.

I’m dying. I am dying. More Kodiak, forever, the end.

Hawk and Noa are busy being pretty privileged , carefree kids who think their life is harder than it is. It’s adorable. Noa takes Hawk to see Andrew Bird, live in New York, a private gig — though she won’t admit how she got them in. Ooooh, she’s a rich girl.

Hawk mentions his ex who would have loved the gig, and Noa asks why they split up, and pokes him a little over missing her. He moves like he might kiss her, and she reminds him she’s twenty-one to his fifteen, and a boy. She leaves him there, deep in his feelings with the music playing him through.

The next day he’s little mad, and she snaps he got to listen to great music all night, thinking about the love of his life, then admits she’s not in the best of moods. Her mother has ‘done her thing’, slapped on her golden handcuffs and reminded Noa that wherever Noa is, her mother is always there.

We later learn her mother is some crazy rich music mogul in California and has donated $250,000 dollars to the Movement.

See, it’s funny, because in one way, Noa is actually getting full support from her mother to go and do her thing, to fight her fight, and save the world. But for Noa, who I suspect may just be one of those people who seems to resent their life being easy, she’ll always invent a problem. A show of good faith from her mother can’t be just that, it has to be this convoluted bullshit.

Or maybe her mom is terrible; we’ll see.

Mary and Sean sort themselves out, to my eternal relief. But, Sean … Sean is falling out of love with the Movement.

In a seminar he has to be prodded to take part in an activity where they all try to see a white wall as their preferred colour, and is clearly not remotely there, for Cal’s bubbling, intense enthusiasm.

Later he … he winds up at Eddie’s, and it just occurred to me I don’t know how exactly he knows where Eddie lives, and I don’t think Eddie asks either.

Sean’s visit is sincere, as he admits all his feelings, and what Mary told him about the baby.

Eddie is deeply sympathetic and in a nice moment, he doesn’t tear down the Movement for this kid, despite how close Sean is to the edge. Instead he councils him not to sweat the wall thing, nor the Light, nor any of that; simply to decide if he loves Mary, and the baby, and go on that. Funnily, that’s exactly what Sarah told Mary.

Sean returns home and they tearfully reunite, swearing to be there for each other, swearing that regardless of who the father of the baby really is … he is theirs.


Eddie’s reason for being so wise? Well, our boy’s episode last week was a pretty much full blown emotional break down. He wakes restrained to his bed, but is quickly released by a kind and sympathetic doctor.

Chloe, who is turning out to be more clearly good people, has told them about his twenty years in Meyerism, and the doctor is keen to help and support him. She accepts he really was being followed; she gently asks if his black eye or his lightning burns were inflicted by Meyerists. She’s a pretty great doctor.

Sarah finds out and arrives, horrified of course to see him in this state, to learn he’s under a psychological evaluation. Her wordless response to Chloe, then later when she stares at the IV pumping meds into him, are a masterclass in acting. Michelle Monaghan,  you guys …

She begs Eddie to come home, breaking my heart a thousand times, but he cant. Later the doctor gives him a fair few prescriptions, some just for sleep, others for the anxiety, dysphoria and oh yeah, the PTSD.

I … don’t think he got diagnosed with PTSD in a day, but okay. She explains more about how being in a cult can screw with your head and refers him to a support group for cult survivors.

…. how is this being paid for?

Later at home, Chloe, who might be good people, is carefully reviewing his scripts to make sure he follows the instructions about what to take with food and such.

I’m in love with this scene, because these details are so important with meds.

Eddie is defensive, and it devolves quickly into an almost-fight, with Eddie trying to make Chloe leave, and claiming she’s using him to assuage her guilt for not ‘saving’ Johnny.

Ooooh , Eddie, you shit.

My new best friend Chloe fires right back with yeah, maybe she couldn’t save Johnny, because she was a TEENAGER, and he was suicidal and couldn’t ask for help for his own, Johnny reasons.

She assures Eddie, he’s different. He can ask for help, he left the Meyerists when he knew they were bad for him. She sweetly, easily tells him she’s been in therapy for ten years. She knows she’s not saving anyone. Eddie is saving himself, she can see it in his eyes. Else, he wouldn’t be here in the real world.

Aaw Chloe!

After his visit with Sean, we see Eddie carefully reading his prescriptions, and taking his medicines carefully and safely. He takes off his wedding ring and attends his first support meeting.

For the first time, he says the words out loud; ‘I was in a cult’.

Last season, we saw psychology once from Sarah’s point of view ,when she saw all the medicines her sister is on. They are, by the by, the same ones Eddie now has, of course. I wonder if Eddie will seek out his sister in law. Maybe she’s in his support group.

Sarah was terrified by her sister’s medicines.  Here we see it from the point of view of someone who needs it, who will engage with and be helped by it. I love the dynamic there, the call back to this show’s love of playing with perspectives. Eddie is learning that just because one system failed him, it’s a flaw of that system, not a flaw of needing support.

That said, in a very subtle touch, the support group is a Christian run thing. I wonder how Eddie will feel about that.

As for the other two …

Sarah has embraced her monster. She has pulled out the old tapes of one Lisa Jackson. Lisa works at the IRS, is a very casual Meyer but they were relying on her to secure the tax exempt status.

Cal subtly threatened her last week into helping, and now Sarah wants to use Lisa’s Damage, her confessions from her Unburdening sessions, to threaten her into helping more.

Cal, even fucking CAL, thinks it’s just evil but Sarah is adamant and they’re so desperate for money because of the promises she’s made to the poisoned town, and just in general.

The last time they had money problems it was the cash Alison stole from them, maybe ask her about — wait, no — she’s still …completely missing.

Sarah doesn’t know she’s running headlong into a trap. Lisa, terrified by Cal, is with the FBI, afraid of the Meyerists. She admits they did help her once, but she’s afraid of them now. The lead agent talks to a concealed Abe, and wants to send Lisa to a meeting Cal has arranged on the Compound while wearing a mic, and Abe rightly worries she hasn’t been vetted. What he means but doesn’t say is, they don’t know her past, if she’s a reliable witness to use.

Abe, that’s gonna be a nnnnnnnnnnope

Regardless, she’s going in, agreeing to work to help them.

Cal is high as hell on himself in his seminar with everyone, even the down and out Sean. Later, still pumped, he’s confronted by one of the homeless people being made to vacate the newly bought building for the Meyerists. The man rightly points out he’s the wrong kind of homeless (the kind who wont join a fucking cult for some food and shelter). Someone, maybe the guy but maybe Abe just because he might be around, tosses a bottle at Cal, missing him  — but he’s cut by glass.

Sarah comes back from seeing Eddie and they both treat the news he’s going on medication like he’s dying of cancer. She also warns Cal off sending people to follow Eddie. Cal again tries to prod her for seeing the man in the first place, but she won’t have it, won’t let him decide who she gets to be.

She asks after his injury, and he complains about the homeless people they’re evicting and their hot, white, liberal hypocrisy burns bright for a moment, because they don’t fucking care at ALL.

He begs her not to threaten Lisa, as it goes against everything they are (as if it’s never happened before, Cal, come on, man).

Sarah points out that again, he doesn’t get to decide that shit anymore, and he can’t drag her off this road he damned well set her on. If he cared that much, he’d just go and confess but … you know … Cal.

Sarah gets super intense and hisses how she gets it now, what he used to say about changing the book, she gets it and the book will change. She orders him to leave Eddie alone and Cal seems genuinely afraid of her.

Later she meets Lisa, alone, which was not planned, since the Feds are really looking more at Cal.

Absolutely terrifying

Sarah is saccharine sweetness and smiles as she thanks Lisa so much for all her help, and laments how without tax exempt status, the Movement can’t help others like they did Lisa. Remember Lisa? How they helped with all the terrible things you did that will never, ever, ever go away?

While she’s speaking, she has laid Lisa’s tape on the table and the woman is horrified. She urgently stops Sarah playing the record out loud and scrawls a note.

Run, run, run, run awaaaaaaaaaaay

Abe and the Feds listening in hear Sarah send Lisa away, but don’t know what happened. All they know is Sarah didn’t threaten Lisa in anyway. They have nothing.

But … it wasn’t a total wash.

Sarah, terrified and shaking, meets Cal. She shows him the note in which Lisa has quickly outlined the devastating news; The FBI have someone inside, and they are coming.

While they reel, horrified, we see Lisa burning her tape and at last we hear her Damage.

And oh, how damaged she was. Depressed after her divorce and muddled up on pills, she ran over a little boy on a scooter and she drove away, left him to die without telling anyone. She calls him just some street kid, some druggie kid, even while she sobs that she looked into his eyes and saw how young he was. She was a mother … didn’t want her kids to lose their mom.  While we hear her speak we see Sarah arrive home. As Lisa worries over her own children, Sarah, in near shock, sits with her own.

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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