Monday, October 14, 2019

REVIEW: 'Lodge 49' - Ernie Embraces His Role at the Lodge While Dud Knows He Has More Work to Do in 'The Door'

AMC's Lodge 49 - Episode 2.10 "The Door"

After the events of Mexico, the Lynx regroup at a revived Lodge and prepare for an important coronation. Liz goes for a swim. Connie has a secret.

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 finale of AMC's Lodge 49.

"The Door" was written by Jim Gavin and directed by Jake Schreier

The second season opened with Dud and Ernie experiencing a plane disaster following their trip to Mexico. The narrative actually caught up to that moment in the penultimate episode. It didn't wait until the season finale in order to provide some sense of closure as to how all of that made sense. In fact, this finale also clarifies that Lamar did survive his jump even though he wasn't seen on the ground alongside Dud, Ernie, Daphne and his typewriter. Because that climatic action occurred in the previous episode, that allows this finale to be a bit more introspective. This drama allows its characters to reflect on the journeys they have been on in life better than any other show out there at the moment. Dud can speak eloquently about lamenting the fact that the good and the bad are constantly happening in one's life. He wishes his dad was still alive and present in order to experience all the good fortune that has come his son's way in the past year. However, he recognizes that losing his father is what led him onto this journey through the lodge in the first place. Life may fundamentally be bittersweet and a great unknown. No one truly knows where their path will take them. Ernie was hesitant about returning to Mexico in pursuit of the scrolls for so long. And now, the finale reveals that they are safely back where they belong in London. Lodge 1 is once again protecting their most sacred document. That's a narrative that is now out there in the world. It isn't true though. It's just a reassuring story to create a sense of hope and content. It's nice knowing that all of this had meaning. Deciphering the scrolls shouldn't be the thing that provides these characters with their own sense of being and belonging though. For a time, Blaise was obsessed with unlocking the great mysteries of the lodge. He felt like he was on the right path because he discovered yet another secret room in the lodge. He viewed himself as important and destined to see what so much of humanity is missing right in front of them. However, he finishes the season with full clarity that there are mysteries in this world as well. He doesn't have to go out searching for a way into another reality. The life he has built in Long Beach with his friends at the lodge is so strong. Dud cares about him in such a profound way. He trusts him to rent out the office space where Dudley & Son used to be. Dud too thought the search for the scrolls would solve all of the problems at the lodge. In a way, it did bring everyone together - though some are upset that they weren't invited on this fun adventure in Mexico. But it wasn't in the way Dud expected. Now, he sees the value in embracing what life is and welcoming all of the changes that may be coming around the corner. He has had dread for the normal banality of life. He doesn't see the purpose of Ernie's job. And yet, he embraced it fully as well because it gives him a place to belong. Everyone in life is essentially striving for that. Sure, the world may be a disaster right now with everyone running to TempJoy to find some kind of work. Liz hopes she can be offered as a collective deal with Jeremy and Champ. They work well together. It's perfectly reasonable for Ross to suggest they start their own business. They may not know how anything works. And yet, that's the way that most of life actually functions. People are largely pretending that they have everything together. With Janet, it's all about the mystique of her presenting as an almost mythical figure who can't be contained by the laws of this world. She does magically break into Liz's apartment over and over again. But she is simply a corrupt woman struggling to remain afloat in a constantly changing business environment. Liz sees that clearly. That clarity is so powerful to everyone in this finale. It's a massive relief that offers a sense of reassurance that everything will work out in the end.

Of course, it's not necessary for everyone to have their lives figured out at this moment in time. Everyone at the lodge is at a different stage of their lives. Scott saw purpose in fighting to become the next sovereign protector. It was the job he coveted. He was never looked at as leadership material by Larry. The lodge members have been wary and critical of his reign as well. Again, he has wanted to changed things in order to ensure this building can remain profitable and a vital resource for the community. The power of the lodge is in its community. It doesn't come from some mystical quest that requires the most devout to jump through burning tapestries. Sure, that's what Ernie ultimately had to do in Mexico. In that moment, Scott saw a leader who knew exactly who he was. That's why he deserves to be sovereign protector. It's a title Ernie is now willing to carry. He does so by extending a hand of friendship to Scott as well. Their bond is strong despite how much pressure Scott has placed on himself to make everything work out in a way that it should. He worries a lot. That comes from his fear that he is a fraud who doesn't know anything. Again, no one knows what could happen next. Dud may be concerned about his mounting hospital bills but he doesn't worry because he has nothing of value that a debt collection agency could seize. He has a trailer. There may not be any oil on his land but he dreams of digging a pool and building a nice, comfortable life there. That's his grand ambition at the moment. He can relax and enjoy life as well. That is so vital. Everyone has to remain in the moment. There may be mysteries aplenty in this world. Some may be destined to be known and revealed. Others may not. Clara didn't want to take the scrolls back to London with her because she didn't trust the organization she was working for. She reveals herself to her underling and gets an invitation to see her boss. But it's unclear what exactly that will reveal to her. She trusts Connie fully though. Lodge 49 may be the true lodge. Its members may not know what that means. But it does prove that they are special. They may not be any more special than anyone else in the world. But that too is an important lesson. Every life is special in its own way. Every life should be welcomed when it walks through the doors to the lodge. Liz has been reluctant to visit Dud in the place where he found a new home and family. When she finally does though, she has an eerily similar experience to Dud. He felt a sense of calm familiarity. It was a place to belong that made him feel empowered and important. Liz also has the sense that she has been here before. She knows that it means so much to Dud. She has spent time with some of these people before. She is appreciative of the friendship and camaraderie they offer. But it's insightful that Connie is the one who opens the door and invites Liz inside. That's a relationship that could really flourish if it is developed more fully. Everyone has something they can learn from the stranger. Dud may talk about his twin sister a lot but she is much more unique than he can quite sum up. These siblings have each other and that is wonderful. They will go swimming in the ocean at night together. They will feel each other's pain. It's just startling that Dud once again concludes a season sustaining a major injury. He is struck by lightning while he descends into mud. He saw inspiration in that moment. He had to start digging his pool instead of getting back to Liz to go to Catalina. He was sucked into the ground and came out through the second floor door at the lodge. That is mysterious and strange. That is life. It may not provide an easy answer. It may provide salvation or heartbreak. The people just have to take ahold of their own space and purpose in a world that must always value what they have to contribute.