Monday, September 9, 2019

REVIEW: 'Lodge 49' - Dud Welcomes Beth Into His Life as Ernie and Scott Press Connie for Answers in 'Estrella y Mar'

AMC's Lodge 49 - Episode 2.05 "Estrella y Mar"

Liz goes into business with Lenore. Ernie reunites with Connie. Dud and Beth try out marriage. Blaise and Scott's conflict comes to a head.

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.

"Estrella y Mar" was written by Dana Ledoux Miller and directed by Alethea Jones

It's probably not a huge surprise that Dud and Beth's marriage flames out very quickly. Dud feels his emotions so fiercely and proudly. And yet, his world can be so strange and alienating to the people around him. Liz loves and supports him no matter what. Of course, that has hindered her in many ways as well. In fact, she feels stuck in her life unsure of what she should be doing. She gets the same exact reading from a psychic even though she doesn't believe in any of that. She is happy for Dud though. In fact, everyone is happy for the newlyweds. Even if they think it was a rash and foolish decision, they understand that everything may work out for Dud because it usually does. It doesn't in this instance though. He is respectful about it. He doesn't desperately try to hold onto it believing that it's something more special and meaningful than it actually is. He has been very reluctant to let things go in the past. He struggles with accepting change in his life. That has long been a major problem for him. He believes he found purpose at the lodge. He mostly just keeps jumping back and forth from concerns. He was all-in on the hunt for the scrolls in Mexico. As soon as he was kept off that journey, he went all-in on this marriage with Beth. He already saw it as a longterm relationship. Everyone was skeptical about that assertion because they have only been together for a few days. But Dud is optimistic and wants to put in the work to ensure that it lasts for the rest of his life. That's what he wants. He enjoys being married. He may not be with the right person right now but he deserves to find someone whom he can love in that way. That may be Emily the librarian who returns here. Dud had completely forgotten about her. She hadn't forgotten about him though. She is the first to tell him that his favorite author is coming to Long Beach for a book signing. Sure, he and Ernie only show up after the event blows up. But that mostly just showcases how strange and wild occurrences happen in this world. Plus, there is the overwhelming sense that the most menial interaction could have major consequences for someone else. One of the employees at the book store also happened to be one of the guys in the van who intimidated Ernie last season. That was a spark that ignited a passion within Ernie once more. He mostly just wants to know who was truly pulling the strings all along. It's still a mystery as to who owns the Orbis land. That is a lingering concern somewhat. But it's not pressing at the moment. It's a mere curiosity that Ernie has. He is instead much more passionate about Connie returning home. Sure, she may present as a changed woman who hasn't made her personal decision between Scott and Ernie yet. But she is on a path of enlightenment. She may not believe in the teachings of the lodge in the same way that Blaise does. However, she believes in the power of the vision she has in the end. That's enough for her to open her eyes once more. It could be something of importance. A vision coming to her for a reason. Or it could simply be her once again seeing something that isn't there because of her brain cloud. Wearing this blindfold may not have alleviated her health concerns in the slightest. It just allowed her to ignore them for a little bit. That may be perfectly fine as well. Dud hasn't worried about his shark bite. He may be limping more and needs more medication from Blaise. But he isn't concerned about it until others notice that he may not be doing as well as he claims.

In fact, that's such an overwhelming factor of the world. Everyone wants to put on a brave face and say that they are good. It's easier than saying how we truly feel. Beth doesn't want to walk away from this rash decision she has made. In the end though, it's the best thing for her because Dud and his friends put her health at risk. The lodge may not be as safe a refuge as everyone wants to believe it is. There is still a door on the second floor that leads to nowhere. There are now power tools laying around because Scott wants to make improvements so that Connie will offer him some hope about their marriage. But that mostly just provides Blaise with a weapon when he finally lashes out at Scott. Everyone has been so dismissive of Blaise and his alchemist pursuits for so long. That's what makes it an apparent and joyous victory when Dud believes that Blaise has completed the Magnum Opus after sealing himself off in the secret room. That's incredibly unlikely. But it also comes after an hour in which Blaise rejects the concerns of reality around him. People push him away and he pushes back. He causes injuries to Scott and Beth. Those are significant. And now, he is just gone. Vanished to places unknown with Dud actually celebrating while everyone else is concerned. But again, that's simply how Dud operates. He wants to believe that the best is happening to everyone at any given moment. He wants people to know that they matter and their love matters. That is a beautiful message. It may not help many people though. Liz wants to find direction. Instead, she only continues to see Lenore as a hustler who alienates everyone in her life. There is no reason to go in deeper with the Fydration pyramid scheme. It runs the risk of destroying any personal relationships that Lenore has. She has her friends listen to her pitch and they don't want anything to do with it. Lenore presented as an opportunity to fully understand Bill Dudley. Some answers were clarifying. Others though only proved just how alienated Liz is feeling in the world. Again, it's important that she still has Dud in her life. He hasn't moved into the trailer completely just yet. That's his ultimate goal though. He may always be crafting plans for how to have wild and crazy adventures elsewhere. Liz doesn't have that drive. She is facing this existential crisis by being older than her mother was when she died. She doesn't have that path and mission that seems to come so easily to others in this world. She has a job but that doesn't mean much to her. She doesn't know what to believe in this world either. Psychics may or may not exist. Family members may or may not be helpful. Friends could be reliable or change their minds at a moment's notice. Life is always in a state of evolution. She doesn't know what to fight for. Lenore views her life as one constant battle where she fights for survival. That's not the same mentality that Liz has towards life. It means they clash but do come together in the end. Liz may never see Lenore again. And yet, this relationship allowed some things to be said that may help Liz move forward with whatever comes next. That is encouraging even though nothing has fundamentally changed for her and her brother in this life.