Hulu’s new original series, “The Path”, created by NYU Tisch alum Jessica Goldberg, revolves around the lives of those within the Meyerism movement, although many outsiders refer to it as a cult. The first two episodes of the show, starring Aaron Paul (“Breaking Bad”), Michelle Monaghan (“True Detective”) and Hugh Dancy (“Hannibal”) premiered on March 30 and demonstrates significant promise for the series with its smart writing and complex characters.
The Meyerism movement — though its principles are slightly elusive — revolves around the concept of truth by way of The Ladder: the method for achieving the highest truth. In the first two episodes of the series, members of the cult hear from Cal (Dancy), the highest-ranking member of Meyerism, that the Doc — or founder of Meyerism — is busy translating the last three rungs of The Ladder in Peru so that those who metaphorically “climb” it can achieve the ultimate form of enlightenment. Simultaneously, one of the protagonists, Eddie (Paul), has just returned from a retreat in Peru, and is beginning to have doubts about the legitimacy of Meyerism upon experiencing a disturbing vision. His wife, Sarah (Monaghan), thinks he is having an affair.
We are also introduced to a variety of other characters that have complicated and changing relationships in relation to the Meyerism movement. There’s Mary Cox (Emma Greenwell), a victim of a debilitating tornado who aspires to convert to Meyerism upon being saved by their leader, Cal. Then there’s the mysterious Alison (Sarah Jones), who decides to leave Meyerism after her husband was killed for having doubts upon returning from Peru, and is now on the run.
While the movement appears honest and benevolent on the outside, different truths about the reality of Meyerism are slowly revealed. In the second episode, we see Eddie undergo demoralizing affliction as he is subject to a 14-day “Program” for alleged transgressions against his wife. We also see Miranda Frank (Minka Kelly), the woman accused of cheating with Eddie, confronted by the same frightening people following the aforementioned Alison.
The world created in “The Path” is a compelling one to watch as different characters slowly unravel truths and lies. So far, the show is excellently written and marvelously directed, allowing for just the right amount of mystery and intrigue. “The Path” shows us both the positive and negative aspects of the movement; we understand why many are drawn to Meyerism as their doubts begin to manifest. Even in the first two episodes, each character seems deeply complex in their relationships towards Meyerism and one another.
With shows like “The Path” added to their roster of original series, Hulu ascends to the ranks of original series streaming successes like Netflix and Amazon. For fans of cult dramas and “True Detective”-esque mysteries, “The Path” is definitely worth checking out.
The first two episodes are already available on Hulu with your subscription; new episodes will be released every Wednesday.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 4 print edition. Email Natalie Whalen at [email protected]