Monday, August 12, 2019

REVIEW: 'Lodge 49' - Dud Sees a World Full of Possibilities Following the Shark Attack in 'All Circles Vanish'

AMC's Lodge 49 - Episode 2.01 "All Circles Vanish"

The pool shop is under new ownership. Dud recuperates from his shark attack while searching for Ernie. Ernie deals with the aftermath of his adventure with El Confidente. Liz enters the TempJoy workforce.

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 season premiere of AMC's Lodge 49.

"All Circles Vanish" was written by Jim Gavin and directed by Jake Schreier

This drama details existential dread and economic anxiety better than any other show out there. It's such an unusual series that defies any kind of conventional understanding or explanation. And yet, everything about it just lines up perfectly to create a world that is vast and mystifying. It actually feels relatable because so much of humanity is in search of connection and greater meaning. Everyone wants to feel fulfilled and loved. They want the validation that comes from feeling like they accomplished something. But that's also a goal that is remarkably different for everyone. Liz has long held the burden of financial ruin for her family. It should have been a celebration that she got all of her debt cancelled out. But now, it feels like the pressure is on her to find her passion and be fulfilled in a way that she never has been before. People have long told her that she has so many great parts that could accomplish so much. She struggles because she hasn't found direction. She has no problem bailing on any situation the moment that it no longer suits her needs. That could really show just how self-destructive she can be. She is now trapped in the same temporary employment office as Dud. But the show also has the frank understanding that this is where so many people end up because of a changing workforce. The economics of the world are constantly shifting. Liz thought she could return to Shamroxx after trying to move up the corporate ladder. She couldn't because she had already been replaced. But now, the entire store is forced to close due to a rat infestation. That's so blunt and grim. The company has the right reaction of condemning the building. That just comes with the human cost of the employees once again being lost to the system with no clue how to provide for the people they love. Jeremy feels that economic burden. He has to get money quickly to support his family. For so many people though, it's a quest to enjoy what they do. Dud only envisions being able to clean pools. He saw that as a career he could no longer pursue because of his snake injury. And yet, he also believes that the shark attack has opened his world to a lot more opportunities. He sees it as the cure for his prior injury. He may be walking around on crutches now but he feels stronger than ever before. He is optimistic about what might happen next. Sure, there is plenty to be concerned about. Liz is the one who understands the scope of medical costs while Dud quickly makes bad money decisions the moment it's suggested to him that he could sue the city for this attack. It's insane. And yet, the audience should have the trust that things will continue to work out for Dud. He may be naive and privileged. He is allowed to be a free spirit who can do whatever he wants. Not everyone has that privilege. It has cost him severely at times though. He wants to be happy that a family pool business has moved into his father's old office space. He can't though because he feels slighted for being dismissed. Now, the new owners are right to turn him away. But this isn't a story about them. They feel like this is a neighborhood full of potential when its residents see a city that will never change. It's on the downturn and won't be coming back. That's probably because of the toxic environment causing various hallucinations around the city. But it still inspires Dud to take action. He still gets support and validation. He may no longer have his bond with Ernie. That remains an ongoing mystery. Ernie just wants a simple life once more. He no longer wants to chase after shadows. He doesn't want to be on the hunt for the scrolls. It's a path that he is destined to walk though. Dud will encourage him to do so. Right now though, Ernie wants the simplicity of being loved and seen in a community. He wants his respect while not causing any waves. That's relaxing to him. It also just feels like he is pushing people away simply because of something tragic that happened that he wishes to keep private for the time being.