Fans of Hulu’s engrossing original series The Path know how a single person can invert your entire sense of reality, if that individual is charismatic and sinister enough. In the show, converts to a New Age religion known as Meyerism — with those converts including Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul — lose themselves to groupthink and manipulation. If you’ve seen The Path, then you know how intense it is… and if you haven’t seen it yet, prepare yourself to ask how strong your own mind is.
With Season 2 set to air on Hulu starting on January 25, let's refresh our (untampered) brains and head back to a compound in upstate New York. Time to dive deep into the Meyerist movement with our complete Season 1 recap.
The Path Episode 1:
'What The Fire Throws'
Cal, Mary and the aftermath of a tornado
While a tornado is busy wrecking havoc across New Hampshire, an army of white vans speed straight into the path of its destruction. As Mary (a young, vulnerable drug addict) struggles to navigate her way across the debris of her destroyed hometown, she is discovered by Cal, a Meyerist leader who immediately becomes her savior and who she later offers her body to. Survivors of the storm are later evacuated and welcomed into the Meyerist compound where they are gradually indoctrinated.
Sarah, Eddie and a leader in grave peril
In upstate New York, Eddie has returned to his wife Sarah and their two children Summer and Hawk. Eddie's beliefs have been severely shaken following a Meyerist spiritual retreat in Peru, where he had a vision of the movement's leader Steven Meyer laying comatose in a hospital bed. His attempts to reach out to Meyerist defector Alison, who might be able to give him guidance, are misinterpreted by Sarah, who believes Eddie is having an affair.
The Path Episode 2:
'The Era Of The Ladder'
Eddie, Sarah and a different kind of extramarital affair
While in couples therapy, Eddie allows Sarah to believe he is having an affair to hide the fact he is having doubts about his faith. He continues to see Meyerist defector Alison, who's certain the movement murdered her husband Jason who "disappeared" while on a trip to Peru. After their meeting, Eddie searches through the Meyerist files and discovers that, at least on paper, Jason committed suicide. Eddie is later forced into a two-week session of solitary confinement where he admits to an affair with another member of the sect.
Hawk begins to walk down the path of temptation
Meanwhile, Eddie and Sarah's son Hawk deals with the pressures of mixing with outsiders, as Ashley, a girl from his high school, grows closer to him. Ultimately this leads to Hawk fighting with Ashley's boyfriend and being tempted by her offers of a juicy steak.
Cal receives a huge donation — and a BJ of gratitude
Cal spends the episode trying to gather new recruits. With Mr. and Mrs. Ridge reaching out to him following their son's fifth failed rehab stint, Cal agrees to help in return for a huge monetary donation. Later, he forcibly takes their son away. He also introduces Mary to the practice of evangelism, sending her on a missionary expedition with fellow Meyerist Sean. Mary gives Cal oral sex and Cal encourages her to gather more recruits with Sean as it's revealed that Eddie's vision was correct — Dr. Meyer is comatose in a hospital bed and Cal seems to be making up his own orders for the movement.
The Path Episode 3:
Meyer does not respond to treatment, everyone continues to pray
Cal sits at Dr. Meyer's bedside in Peru and tries to work out a grand plan for his succession, but becomes increasingly frustrated by everyone around them who does nothing but pray. Meyer's tumor isn't responding to treatment and Cal tells Sarah that he's "moving on," insinuating that he is likely to ascend to the position of Meyerist leader.
Eddie emerges from lockdown, makes up a different affair
Eddie is released from his 14-day lockdown as a result of Sarah believing he had an affair. While in solitary confinement, he confessed to an affair with Meyerist Miranda Frank — an affair that never took place. Eddie promptly gives a sermon about the value of making mistakes and learning from them, only to make his peers believe he is back on the unwavering straight and narrow. Consequently, Miranda is brought in for interrogation and risks being expelled from the group before being savagely questioned by Sarah. Eddie later meets with Alison, insisting he's once again a fully believing Meyerist, that her husband Jason committed suicide, and that his vision of Dr. Meyer lying comatose was nothing more than a temptation "by the dark." He then cuts all ties with her. For now.
Detective Gaines starts his case against Cal
Detective Abe Gaines sets about trying to infiltrate the compound after growing increasingly concerned with the behavior of the Meyerists. Eddie gives Gaines a full tour of the compound, but the detective voices his concerns that most of their new converts are refugees of the tornado we saw in Episode 1. Mary's father, who was beaten up by Cal in Episode 1, is convinced by Gaines to delay pressing charges until he can build a bigger case against the sect.
The Path Episode 4:
Miranda takes an overdose and disappears
In the aftermath of Eddie "admitting" to an affair with Miranda, she apparently overdoses in her cell, where she explains to Cal that in Peru Eddie had a crisis of faith, mumbling in her drug-induced state that "there is no light." When Eddie later looks for Miranda in the hospital, she is nowhere to be found, which causes tension between Eddie and Cal.
Meyerist elders come to town and challenge Cal's authority
Meyerist founding members Bill and Felicia arrive at the compound to celebrate Ascension Day. They are not happy with the way Cal seems to be fashioning the Meyerist Movement in his own image. They are angry with him for encouraging Alison's persistent agitation of the Meyerists and the unethical treatment of Miranda. Felicia asks Eddie to spy on Cal, and so he accepts when Cal asks him to go up to 7R, the next rung of his indoctrination, which demands complete honesty between the two men.
Hawk locks lips with outsider and high school temptress Ashley
Hawk finds himself unable to think about anything but Ashley, who invites him to a party on the same night as Ascension Day. He ends up kissing Ashley at the party.
Sarah doubts Freddie's Newfound Sobriety
After failing rehab five times and being handed over to Cal in exchange for a sizable donation, Freddie Ridge seems to be making progress — but Sarah has her suspicions. She suggests he take the Meyerist medicine, but this freaks Freddie's parents out, saying it sounds too much like the drugs they're trying to ween him off. Later, Sarah finds Freddie in a drug den and sends him and his mother to Cusco, Peru.
The Path Episode 5:
Eddie and Cal's tense training continues
As Eddie continues his 7R training under Cal's guidance, he sees a vision of Sarah and Cal kissing. This makes Eddie all the more defensive and he hides the nature of the vision from Cal. Later, Cal learns that Sarah sent Freddie and his mother to Peru and he becomes incensed, but Sarah remains unwavering in her confidence that this was the right thing to do. Eddie leaps to her defense against Cal's wrath.
Sarah freaks out about Hawk and Ashley's growing romance
Sarah tries in vain to get Hawk to end his romance with outsider Ashley, but the teen just can't help himself and ends up sneaking out at night to be with her. This is the family's nightmare come true, as Sarah's sister Tessa defected when she was Hawk's age for a similar reason. Ultimately, Sarah believes Hawk when he tells her he's broken things off with Ashley — even though he's lying.
Mary becomes increasingly frustrated by Cal's lack of attention
Mary tells Cal that she has slept with Sean, as per Cal's orders, but he seems distracted. She grows frustrated that she's not getting enough attention from Cal and so attempts to leave the group.
Detective Gaines gets deeper into the Meyerist belief system
Detective Gaines believes he's discovered evidence of drug trafficking in the group, yet finds himself drawn deeper into the religion, opening up to Eddie about his sick daughter.
The Path Episode 6:
'Breaking And Entering'
Once again, Alison helps Eddie question his faith
Eddie and Cal search for Alison in a motel, but Eddie helps to hide her from Cal when he spots her on the balcony. Later, she admits to taking $40,000 that was meant for Jason's secret Meyerist missions. Sarah confronts Cal about his intimidation of Alison and Cal admits to Eddie that it was a mistake. Later, Eddie and Alison meet in a bar to discuss the Meyerist faith, leaving Eddie even more skeptical.
Villainous Cal tries to look like a hero
Failing to locate Alison, Cal turns his attention to Mary and interrupts her late at night in bed with Sean. He decides to send Sean away to Delaware; Mary tries to stop him leaving, but it's too late. In a gesture to demonstrate he's not a bad guy, Cal adopts a party of illegal immigrants from a local factory into the compound.
Ashley's family moves into the compound, to mixed reactions
Hawk convinces Sarah to shelter Ashley's family after they're evicted. The family is given an inspirational lecture from Cal and Ashley's mother gets a job, but Ashley feels uncomfortable about how her father is viewed in the Meyerist philosophy. Hawk and Ashley have sex.
Detective Gaines speaks to Jason's parents
After meeting with Jason's parents, Detective Gaines discovers that their son was trying to buy late-stage cancer medications, suggesting he knew about Dr. Meyer's illness.
Sarah breaks into her estranged sister's house
Sarah sneaks into Tessa's home, tries on her makeup, snoops around her kitchen — and discovers a colossal amount of prescription medication.
The Path Episode 7:
Sarah takes a stand for the refugees
The authorities, activists and the media descend upon the compound. Bill and Felicia work with the Upper Rung to give up the Honduran refugees Cal took in. Sarah ultimately makes an emotional plea in the case for the Hondurans, resulting in the group being allowed to stay in the compound after all.
Ashley and her family flee the compound
Ashley's mother freaks out when she sees that a Meyerist meditation room has cropped up at the dental office. She pulls her family out of the compound and forbids Ashley from seeing Hawk.
Eddie comes clean to Cal and Hawk asks to accompany him on 'the Walk'
Eddie is caught by Cal sheltering Alison. He then confesses his vision of Dr. Meyer while he was in Peru and Cal demands that he take part in the Walk, a 250-mile trek. Eddie prepares for the trek and Hawk begs to go with him.
Silas returns and is murdered by Cal
Meanwhile, Silas makes an unexpected return to the compound, but when he tells Cal that the "movement is dead," Cal fatally stabs him in the neck. This marks the end of the Meyerist Movement as the compound knows it, ushering in the new generation of Meyerists.
Mary lashes out at Cal
Mary convinces Betsy to steal drugs from the infirmary. She confronts Cal and flees the compound, only to return once her abusive father emerges from the protestors.
The Path Episode 8:
Cal buries Silas's body in the woods
After murdering Silas in the previous episode, Cal buries his body in the woods before retrieving Sean to help him reunite with Mary.
The Meyerists prosper as the protectors of the Hondurans
The big standoff finally comes to an end as the compound is declared a protected space, which means the relocation of the Hondurans will be delayed. This sees a significant increase in donations flowing into the Meyerist coffers from those who support the Hondurans.
Eddie and Hawk get knee-deep in male bonding on their 250-mile Walk
Eddie and Hawk bond as they embark on their epic trek. They find themselves at Coney Island, Eddie's childhood haunt. Here he has a vision of his brother on the beach and Hawk begins to see his father more as a person with a past than just a parental figure.
All roads point to Sarah becoming a key member of the Meyerist elite
After having a series of disturbing dreams, Sarah begins to suspect that Silas may have recently visited the compound. Later, she delivers Nicole's stillborn baby, but manages to bring it back to life through resuscitation and prayer. She begins to look a lot more like the spiritual leader the compound is craving — something that Felicia has indicated Sarah should prepare for. Getting caught up in the moment, she very nearly gets intimate with Cal, but manages to stop herself. He brings up his suspicions of Eddie, which leads to Sarah discovering Alison's number on Eddie's burner phone.
The Path Episode 8:
Cal's atonement with Dr. Meyer and some offshore bank accounts
While in Peru, Cal asks Dr. Meyer to tell him if anything displeases him before he commits to the next phase of his grand plan for the movement. Essentially this is his way of absolving himself of the guilt of wanting Freddie Ridge's father to take over all of the Meyerist investments — which include several lucrative offshore accounts.
Sarah and Alison trade secrets — and both are devastated
Sarah meets up with Alison and offers to give her Jason's journal in exchange for the truth about Eddie. When Alison reads the journal she becomes suicidal, and subsequently gives herself up at the compound. When Eddie returns, he announces that the only truth he realized while on the road was that his family were his truth. Sarah confronts him about his religious doubt and says she feels as though he's rejecting everything within her soul.
Hawk gets his heart broken on all fronts
Upon returning from the Walk, Hawk discovers Ashley has been living out of her car with her mom. He leaves the compound to get a job so that he can support her, even though Sarah threatens to cut him off. Cal bribes Ashley to break up with Hawk by offering her a place of her own. She takes Cal up on the offer, leaving Hawk heartbroken and Eddie furious.
The Path Episode 10:
Eddie is cast out from the compound and makes a shocking discovery
Eddie refuses to sign a form labeling him a Meyerist denier. He leaves the compound and sets up camp in a motel before making a visit to the hospital, where he sits and prays for Detective Gaines' sick daughter. Her condition miraculously improves. Later, he seeks out psychiatric help for the visions that continue to plague him, fearing he is on the verge of a mental breakdown. Eddie then returns to Peru where he finds — shocker — Dr. Meyer out of his comatose state and standing at the window.
Alison is reintroduced to Meyerism
Alison seeks out Cal for help after reading in Jason's journal that he would be willing to forgo death to climb the burning ladder — which explains why the FBI found his body in such a burned state. Consequently, Cal makes an amendment to the Meyerist rules that permits forgiveness of remorseful deniers. Alison is reintroduced to the movement.
Cal comes clean about Dr. Meyer's supposedly grave state
While Sarah and Eddie draw up a Meyerist divorce settlement of sorts, Sarah agrees to Cal's idea that she go to the next level and join him as a guardian of the light. After hacking his computer, she discovers that Cal has written the last three rungs himself and he comes clean to her that Dr. Meyer is dying of cancer.