The Horror Honeys: 'The Path' ~ It's NOT Scientology... GOT IT?!

'The Path' ~ It's NOT Scientology... GOT IT?!

A Pilot Review with Revenge Honey Linnie

The Path (2016 - )

Unlike our beloved Zombie Honey Bella, I adore any and everything cult-related, even when it's a tacked on twist. Maybe it's because my only deeply-held beliefs are that Red Vines are better than Twizzlers, The Shining is over-rated, and people are way too hard on Keanu Reeves. Other than that, the odds of me EVER getting sucked into a cult are less than 0%. Which is why I was so excited for Hulu's new original series, The Path, a show that focuses on a sect of Meyerists (NOT Scientologists... the creators pinky promise) lead by Hugh Dancy's charismatic charmer, Cal Roberts.

But does The Path measure up not only to cults on film, but the creepiness of real life extreme religions?

Not yet... but it's getting there.

The Story: Eddie (Aaron Paul) has just returned from a Meyerism retreat in Peru, and he's acting strange, especially where his born-and-bred Meyerist wife, Sarah (Michelle Monaghan) is concerned. Sarah is convinced that Eddie is having an affair, but really, he experienced something in Peru that has shaken his trust in what was once a deeply-held belief. Meanwhile, Eddie and Sarah's teenage son Hawk is questioning whether or not he wants to remain in "the movement," and a new recruit, the formerly-drug-addicted Mary (Emma Greenwell) is proving a temptation for Cal. Stories intertwine and beliefs are questioned as we are lead down The Path ourselves, all the while questioning... just how much reality are you willing to ignore in order to cling to your faith?

I joke about Meyerism's similarities to Scientology because they are many (afterlives full of gardens and light, climbing ladders of spirituality to reach a transcendent state in which one abandons their "physical being," some undefined body reading device, and even their own version of an SP, or suppressive person), but realistically, Meyerism is as insane as any religion. Their beliefs are just based in a 60s, hippy culture, and this is evident in people like Sarah, who grew up in the faith. The first two episodes of The Path inundate you with details about Meyerism, and how much you are willing to buy into will depend entirely on how charismatic you find Hugh Dancy's Cal.

Which is to say... a lot.
Even when The Path slows down and leads you into side stories that don't seem like they have staying power, it's the performances that keep you engaged. This is first television project back for both Dancy (Hannibal) and Paul (Breaking Bad), and Dancy is the one who is truly shedding his former skin and embracing something new. Even when his "we're not a cult" leader is spouting literal nonsense, there was never any question how and why these people ended up under his charge. The question I am anxious to discover going forward is just how Cal ended up as the face of Meyerism, but in an effort to avoid spoilers, I won't go into detail about Meyerism's former leader (except that he's played by Keir Dullea... HORROR BONER).

Forced marriage counseling... Always helpful.
Paul, on the other hand, hasn't entirely walked away from Jesse Pinkman. In fact, it isn't impossible to imagine that character ending up where Eddie is now. That being said, there is always something sympathetic and inherently appealing about Aaron Paul, which is going to be vital moving forward. Eddie is our anchor in both the real world and the Meyerist world, and if anyone else were playing this role, I can't imagine being quite so intrigued.

Right now, the real wild cards are the main female characters, played by Monaghan and Greenwell. Neither are terribly sympathetic, with Monaghan specifically frustrating, especially if you don't find yourself of the religious persuasion. A lot of my faith in The Path is riding on the future characterization of these women, and whether or not they become as strong as the men.

No spoilers but seriously... It's not Scientology.
The first two episodes of The Path are currently available on Hulu, with new episodes posting every Wednesday. I'll keep watching, but I'm not willing to sign over my physical body to the Meyerists just yet.

Revenge Honey Pilot Rating: 3 & 1/2 yellow pythons out of 5

Have you watched The Path?
What did you think? Tell Linnie on Twitter: @linnieloowho