Monday, August 26, 2019

REVIEW: 'Lodge 49' - Ernie Details His Adventure in Mexico and Dud Finds a New Mission in 'DisOrientation'

AMC's Lodge 49 - Episode 2.03 "DisOrientation"

Ernie recounts his trip to Mexico and Dud sees a solution to all the Lodge's problems. Liz works at Higher Steaks. Dud and Liz spend time with a woman from their father's past.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of AMC's Lodge 49.

"DisOrientation" was written by Bradley Paul and directed by Michael Trim

Dud believes the scrolls can fix all of the problems that have everyone down at the lodge. He sees it as their sacred duty that can restore the strength of the Lynx. It is their responsibility to protect the secrets contained in the scrolls. Larry messed up. And now, his spirit has returned to point everyone back in this direction. It's the most important thing that they can be doing. And yet, there is no sense that the scrolls will actually change anyone's life in a demonstrable way. Some people believe in the power of this sacred text. It's their responsibility to protect its secrets no matter what. Others simply view it as the easiest way to get rich. Dud sees it as his purpose in life. Ernie is the one who actually went on the journey in Mexico with El Confidente though. He did so because he felt he had nothing better to do. This could present as the cure for what was missing in his life. He came back with a changed mind. But he changed by wanting a calm and stable life. He looks at working the desk as steady and reliable. It's something that he could reasonably do for as long as he works there. Of course, that's what makes it eery when Speedy literally dies while working the desk. Beautiful Jeff makes a pointed statement about that being the same exact fate that awaits Ernie. Now, he takes back that comment. But the sentiment still stands. Bob even admits that it was just Beautiful Jeff commenting on the inevitable. This business may survive when so many others in this area close down. But that stability may not always be encouraging. It has brought Ernie some sense of purpose in his life. He wants that reliability now more than ever before. That's because his journey in Mexico just showed how the world of the Lynx is just full of mysterious people trying to con each other. El Confidente isn't some mythic figure. He's just another disillusioned guy with feelings of importance. He sees it all as a personal vendetta to get back some money that was stolen from him. He doesn't actually care about the scrolls at all. He just wants his money back from the sale in the first place. He is committed to that mission not out of some sense of higher purpose. He may have prophetic dreams that indicate the future and the fates awaiting the people he meets along the way. And yet, the show says that most people have vivid dreams that showcase what their subconscious is trying to tell them. Ernie and Dud have dreams as well. Their dreams do connect to the lodge in a significant way. But it's more so out of a sense of community and understanding. It's not the pursuit of gold. That's what Avery and Daphne are after. They are operating under the assumption that the scrolls were used to create the algorithm that formed Bitcoin. That's outrageous and absurd. But it's also the most rational explanation for the rise of cryptocurrency. It's all important because society collectively agrees that it is. There isn't a reason why one currency should be valued more than another. Dud feels the freedom to share what he has learned about the scrolls. He sees it as the epic journey he and the fellow members of his lodge must go on. Ernie is very reluctant to do so. And yet, that purpose keeps following him around. It keeps popping up in unexpected ways that show just how strange and unusual the world can actually be. Scott's idea of a naming ceremony doesn't uplift spirits at the lodge. Nor does Dud's proclamation that they have to go to Mexico. But one is likely to propel the plot forward. That means something because Dud is heavily invested. Life keeps moving forward though.

Liz doesn't want to invest any of her time and energy into understanding the lodge and everything her brother has gotten into as of late. She just seeks her own understanding of this crazy world. She doesn't know how to explain why she jumped off the boat when she was starting to break into the corporate world. Janet knows how to tell that story in a compelling way though. As such, it frames humanity as falling into two groups: one that knows how to shape stories into narratives that enrich their lives and another that simply can't do that. Janet succeeds even though it isn't her story. She succeeds even though Liz is struggling to just get by in life. That's what so many people in this world are trying to do. Jeremy is sweating over the pressure of being a manager at Higher Steaks. He needs this job to work because he has a family to support. Liz doesn't face the same pressure. She is no longer the one worrying about the debts of others. In fact, she was the one who gained power by paying them off. That wasn't the fix she long needed for her life though. She may get a promotion here. But it may still feel like she is trapped in a circle. The training conference she attends here is eerily similar to the one she took last season with this corporate entity once again operating more as a cult. Liz has her friends who are always reliable in her life no matter what. And yet, she too longs for more. She is able to see when she is being scammed. She knows that Lenore is just trying to lure the Dudleys into her pyramid scheme. But Liz also goes back to Lenore's house knowing that her father had a strong connection with her. She may present as the one person who can reveal a different side of the man who long believed in Liz. It hurts when Lenore claims that Bill would have been so disappointed in what his children have become. That stings for Liz because she knows it may actually be true. Dud doesn't see himself as a loser and drug addict. He has purpose and confidence. It may not entirely be working out for him at the moment. But he still feels optimistic and passionate about the world and the life he is currently living. Liz doesn't feel that way. In fact, most of humanity doesn't. We are all striving for something more. The meaning of life has to be significant. It's something that we collectively give value. We don't want to die having never accomplished something significant or with the clarity that it was all worth it. But it may just be empowering enough to know that the lessons we learned in the past can continue to define our lives. Connie doesn't see herself as a woman with confidence and strength. She looks back fondly on the life that she lived in Chicago. She wants to go back to that life for the confidence and wisdom even if it means she'll die shortly thereafter. Life may constantly be a puzzle of unraveling mysteries. And yet, the clarity that comes from reaching out to people who can provide glimpses at answers can be intoxicating. It may be cruel and terrifying too. But it can be so uplifting to go on that journey. The need to fit into a certain box can often be a distracting quality for life. Ernie sees the value of his job. But he may not be as happy and content as he insists. The hunt for the scrolls may not fulfill him or Dud either. And yet, it's something that may need more clarity before life can end for any of these characters.