What if a cult was a gated community you might actually want to join?
Hulu’s The Path tells the story of a group of people living out the Vision of their founder. They don’t like being called a cult, they prefer the term movement.
We open up with what looks like a post-apocalyptic wasteland. People are scattered amid the ruins and then a few cars roll into view. The rescuers are members of the Meiyerism movement. But this isn’t some distant future, it’s just the site of a tornado. It seems the Meiyerists get new members by rescuing people.
The Path is a pretty dull show. The followers of the movement seem to be living a pretty good life and there are branch offices around the country. There are hints that they are Scientology types who use machines to self adjust how they feel and reach a higher level of consciousness. They also use a lot of pseudo-scientific talk about their feelings and their interactions with each other.
Then there is an odd bit of business where the cult might be based on an actual supernatural event. The cult’s leader, who we see from time to time in a coma in Peru, appears to have had an actual experience with a magical Ladder. One of his few disciples has a burnt hand she offers as proof of her encounter with the Divine.
The conflict comes when the new head of the group wants to take them in a new direction. Since it looks like the Founder is going to die at any moment, he doesn’t see a problem with this. A few of the other old timers are less interested in his vision of the future.
One of our heroes, played by Aaron Paul of Breaking Bad fame, is a man suffering a crisis of faith. He the talks talk, but finds that he doesn’t really believe anymore. For his lack of faith he is sent on a spiritual walkabout. It doesn’t really help.
The Path ends with the possibility of a miracle and we will have to wait and see if there is a second season for a few answers to the many questions raised in the first.