The Path: “Spiritus Mundi”

I had to watch the episode and pause to explain the entire thing to my boyfriend before I could even sit down to contemplate writing this.

Intense does not cover it. Not even a little bit.

Mary is lost as fuck in those woods from last week, cursing herself as she passes the same tree. She finds a creek and drinks but immediately doubles over in labour pain.

I’d complain about the trope that no pregnant woman on TV, ever, can have a safe or normal birth (remember last year when Sarah prayed Nicole’s baby back to life?), but I’m too wrapped up.

At Eddie’s, Abe has told him everything. Abe is conflicted because Sarah is blackmailing people; they’re terrible people, but she’s facing four years in prison. And, she was right about the water. And these are terrible people. Abe offers to handle things in a ‘certain way’ if Eddie wants, but Eddie declines. He says Sarah made her own choices, Abe has to do the same. Not for Sarah or Eddie, but Abe. They part on good terms, shaking hands and sharing a look of respect and friendship. I want them to be friends, so much.

Sarah and Cal have rounded up Richard and Felicia, and question them intensely in the In House building. Richard first tries to claim he was trying to usurp power and used Eddie as a pawn, though Felicia is 100% over all the bullshit. She explains everything, throwing shade at Sarah and Cal in equally brutal measure, especially when Sarah lets Cal glibly accuse her father of being in on it.

Richard won’t repent or unburden, so Sarah delivers her judgement; a denier contract. He begs not to go, and she seethes at how selfish and deceitful he is.

She’s just so…personally offended. Like last week, she didn’t care who knew, just who snitched. In some very scary ways she’s such a child, so undeveloped. My favourite Michelle Mohaghan is this one, by the way. The terrifying one.

Richard is made to go, but they’ve got one trick left for Felicia. Bill, the remaining elder, founder and Felicia’s husband, enters her little cell. He begs her to repent, shoots down her claims of belief. He admits how she got her scars when Steve ‘ascended’ – they were really high near a bonfire, basically.

Cal and Sarah enter, and Bill tries to apologise for Felicia; she won’t let him. She has nothing to repent for and she’s staying until The Light judges her.

Oh, wow. Foreshadowing in the most twisted way.

Bill, watching Felicia like she’s dying, is ushered out and she’s left alone.

Hank stops by Eddie’s place just long enough to break the news and back out of Team Eddie for good.

In the city, Cal and Sarah coldly drop Richard off at a homeless shelter. He meekly apologises, leaves the car and shuffles off sadly to the shelter. My heart is in ten thousand pieces. Sarah asks Cal if he thinks it’s true, that Eddie chose Steve — since now she’s had Richard and Felicia both claim it to her face. Cal shrugs that Steve was just a man and his words meant nothing. He misses Sarah’s quiet, simmering rage at his words.

The next day with Mary still missing, Sarah and Cal hold a crisis meeting to announce Richard’s departure. They’re only talking about his stealing Sarah’s transgression. As the group worries, Cal, Sarah and poor Bill who has been trotted out for this very purpose, reassure them. Cal finishes by boosting up the group and praising how great they all are. The psychology of the language they use is crazy, with Richard described as awful. When a question of Mary and Sean’s absence is raised, Cal says they were ‘coerced’ by Sean’s parents.

It’s so clever and twisted.

While everyone is distracted, Abe slips the water test results into Sarah’s car.

With the meeting over, Gab reminds Hank to be cool unless he wants to get locked up too, and they greet Bill, and everyone pretends to believe Felicia is sick back at home.

Cal goes to the apartment, and when Russell arrives, Cal claims it’s to look for clues where Mary and Sean may have gone. Russell knows something more is going on and offers his support to Cal, whatever happens, and then watches Cal with a weird intensity as Cal looks around.

Eddie has been meeting deniers all day. One man he met was tossed out because he got Steve’s attention, and was being groomed for leadership. Cal didn’t like that and ran to Steve with stories the man was trouble. He was booted at once. Another woman Eddie meets was being pressured to call her son a denier and refused, so got thrown out too.

You know who would be a great tool in this case? ALISON.

Sarah has somehow tracked Eddie here (…. how?) and shaking with tension, she confronts him about his claims. Eddie lets his damn mouth run again, but miraculously manages not to throw Abe or anyone else directly in Sarah’s path. He does let spill he knows she’s blackmailing people, and those people are testifying against her.

She asks how he knows because she has forgotten that just a few weeks ago, they threw their doctor out on claims she was spying on them. Sarah’s mind works in funny ways. She just … accepted that with the nurse gone, the problem was fixed? Damn, woman.

Eddie doesn’t clue her in how he knows and she’s left dazed and afraid. Driving home she notices an SUV following her, and then with no warning the vehicle rams her car and forces her off the road.

Richard has spent the night at the men’s shelter, and isn’t up for a second. He seeks out the fabled Jeremiah, a lawyer doing very well for himself. Jeremiah is married to David, has two gorgeous kids, and a penchant for winning triathlons. There’s some talk of how it was Steve who encouraged Jeremiah to swim to try to help with his health problems.

And yet according to Cal, Jeremiah’s issues were such that Cal talked Steve into transferring Jeremiah to the legal side of things.

I see how it is. I wonder how many other deniers personally crossed Cal? I’m guessing like … 90%.

Richard meekly admits he’s soooort of left the movement, and asks for a couch to spend just a few nights on. Jeremiah says no, that it wouldn’t be fair to his family. Richard leaves with an apology and regrets for how they parted ways all those years ago.

My Heaaaaaaaaaart.

Cal is at the city centre, leaving a sad and very needy voicemail for Sarah, telling her he loves her. Oh, dude. He gets a call from Hank and next thing, he’s arriving at the compound to the news Sarah is missing. Hank and Hawk are calling hospitals and police stations while Cal tries to keep calm.

Mary is STILL in the woods, and stumbles into a tree with Meyer markings, then spots a designated path. As she starts to walk home, her water breaks and The Birth Instinct kicks in, as she contorts into a half crouch or whatever position her body tells her to be in to pass this baby safely.

Sarah, dazed, wakes in the hospital. She briefly sees Eddie but when she wakes again, only Cal is there. She explains it wasn’t an accident and when she says she had seen Eddie, Cal decides Eddie did it, even as she denies the possibility.

While Sarah talks to the police Cal, who just can’t help himself, lets spill to Hawk just enough half truths to leave Hawk thinking Eddie did this. When Hawk leaves to clearly, clearly go and raise hell, Cal blithely lets him.

Sarah is free to go home and the police give her back her belongings from their care — including the water results. Dramatic! Beats!

Abe watches silently as goddamn terrible people give statements against Sarah Lane. One guy raped a girl when he was 15, and complains about how after he wrote Sarah the cheque, his wife found out anyway, and left with his kid. Oh, how sad. Kinda hope Abe pushes him down some stairs, to be honest. I mean, they recorded his statement so they don’t need him. Down some stairs, onto some bullets, whatever.

Eddie goes home to find Hawk waiting. The kid is fuming and raging and blames Eddie for Sarah’s crash. His critical thinking skills have gone to shit when he thinks Eddie knowing about the crash is suspicious. Eddie points out the hospital called because he’s Sarah’s husband, but Hawk is beyond reason. Eddie tries to tell his son he’s been manipulated, but Hawk steps into him.

Eddie manages to push Hawk up against a wall without anyone hitting anyone else,  but it’s an ugly scene between this father and son. Hawk calls Eddie by name, and suggests Eddie leave in a way that isn’t a request.

Sarah and Cal are driving back to the compound, wondering who left the water results, if it was the same person who ran her from the road or … but as they arrive home, they see Mary two dozen feet from the gate,  collapsed in the arms of one Meyer, while another cradles her newborn. Cal and Sarah race over to help, and Sarah sees the baby. He’s white. He’s Cal’s child. The confirmation is enough and Sarah glares at Cal.

Richard, poor exhausted man that he is,  arrives at Eddie’s and asks to stay. Eddie offers the house because he’s leaving. Sarah and Cal will burn it all to the ground. He tells Richard about the blackmail, which horrifies the poor man. Eddie gets in his car and hauls out as Richard emotionally calls after him, begging him to stay, telling Eddie the last rung will come and Eddie will see.

But, Eddie’s gone.

Sarah watches over the sleeping mother and child as Cal enters to check on ‘everyone’. Sarah glares. Cal shuffles awkwardly, knowing she knows, and says he’s sorry.

Sarah glaaaaaaaaares and approaches him. She says she takes all the responsibility for being asleep, missing it all. She had all the information. She had Silas’ body (oh NOW the dead man matters?), she knew who Cal was.

She warns him she’s not sleeping any more, she’s wide awake. She invites him to hold his son, who she says will need Cal.

Uuuum Sarah, don’t take out stuff on the baby?

Mary wakes, and she and Cal stare at each other over their child.

Later, Richard and his little rolling suitcase have made it back onto the compound. Sarah is dodging the blessing ceremony for the newborn to sit in that damned tent and cry. The same tent, I’m sure, that Cal’s mother referred to.

In the big barn, Bill and Cal lead the ritual as everyone lights a candle and wishes good things for the baby, like laughter and love. Richard rushes in and calls out that Cal wrote the final rungs, and Eddie is the Chosen Son. He ducks back out and chains the doors closed, trapping everyone inside. Everyone tries to find a way out as Richard rushes over the compound, calling out Cal as loud as he can. Sarah hears and chases him, but he gets into the records room and locks himself in before she can reach him.

He opens his little rolling case and he has two cans of gasoline, and this is exactly where I started screaming at my screen.

We cut to Eddie, pulling over to put gas in the car. While he pumps, we cut back to Richard soaking the room in gasoline, while Sarah hammers at the door hopelessly.

Richard opens his second can and douses himself in gasoline. My notes from this point forward are literally ‘Richard NOOOOOOO’.

Pumping gas, Eddie hears Richard’s final words to him. His car is full but when he takes out the pump it’s still flowing and spills onto the floor.

Eddie seems to be having a vision and urgently speaks of Sarah, running to get back in the car and turn around.

Richard is in the records room. He calls to Sarah to run away and only when he hears her go does he light and drop the match.

My emotions. MY. EMOTIONS.

That was incredible. I am heartbroken. Richard was not a perfect man, he over saw some screwed up things, from Eddie’s traumatic in house in season one, to … who knows what other sins and cruelties committed in Steve’s name. But he seemed … mostly harmless. And he believed. Meyerism was his world, and Sarah and Cal just … took it from him.

Whatever sympathy I have for the pair, this impacts it greatly. They are blinded to their cruelty, Sarah especially. Her tunnel vision is a thing to behold. The question is, how far gone is she? Not long ago Sarah was so eager to do things the right way, even talking about updating their methods. Now she’s doing what we know her for, closing ranks and getting nastier and crueler. In season one, I never had Sarah pegged as the most dangerous Meyer, not like this, but the transformation has happened.

Eddie has settled back down from his curious manic episode last week, though he had yet another mystical happening. The idea he’s mentally ill makes a lot of sense, but some of what he experiences has yet to be explained so I keep going back and forth on the theory. Some of his visions are easy to explain away as being induced by drugs or stress, or being pieced together memories. But, how did Eddie see the front of the cabin he was taken to by Richard and Kodiak?

I wondered this week if he thought of Sarah because he had smelled gasoline on Richard back at the house. Richard came to him looking for a place to live, and his actions seemed to be a response to what Sarah was doing with the tapes.

So … on the one hand, maybe Richard was already carrying gas around, Eddie only realised later and he made the connection, Sarah may be in danger.

Or … something else happened.

PS; It’s worth noting, if that fire burns out of control, at least Felicia and maybe other Meyers are locked in their rooms. Maybe Alison has been there this whole time and we’ll finally learn where she’s gone. Still waiting on whether the writers to bother to pen two lines, and explain where she is.

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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