Lodge 49 (S01E05) “Paradise”

Dud’s new relationship with his boss Gloria nears the end while Liz struggles to figure out her path in life. Ernie is ready to ascend to Sovereign Protector status in the lodge and Blaise has an epiphany of sorts.

“I am at the end of my shift. I am not firing on all four cylinders.” – Champ

What is Paradise?

Paradise is a term that is really subjective. For one person, it might be lounging around in a pool on a raft, for another it could be spending time with the one they love. In the end does the concept even exist?

Dud thinks that he is living the dream. He has a place to live, a woman who loves him, a temp job with a paycheck, things seem to be falling into place. However, what he thinks is an illusion.

Liz is navigating through the aftermath of her “day off” at work where she got totally wasted and apparently chatted up the “corporate bitch” (Hayden Szeto) that was visiting Shamroxx. Jeremy, her boss, wants to talk with her so she automatically apologizes for anything she might have said or done when she was being the “Joan of Arc of booze.”

Instead he lets her know that he has feelings for her. This admission results in an awkward moment for both parties. Most of this episode is chockfull of uncomfortable moments but then again sometimes life is just that way.

Meanwhile Connie and Ernie are trying to define their new relationship terms of “taking a break.” While she tells Ernie that she wants to concentrate on her writing, Ernie basically wants to be taken off the down low list. This is definitely not in the plans for Connie.

Shadows and Riddles

Dud is at the Lodge chatting with Blaise about alchemy when out of the blue, Blaise has a crisis of faith. He starts doubting his ability to discuss the esoteric teachings of Harwood Fritz Merrill.

All the time he is lamenting this to Dud, he is in serious pain. This is where we learn that when he was in India, he picked up a mysterious parasite. Doctors couldn’t find it so he just had to deal with it on his own.

Then he utters something that is so profound, it gives Dud pause. “There are no miracles. We have to learn to live with these things. All we can do is manage the pain.” This is basically what Dud’s father was doing and what his sister is doing now as she tries to unburden herself from the crushing debt that their dad left her.

Ernie, the Successor

Larry is back and he is ready to move on. There is a huge meeting planned where he will name Ernie as his successor and everything will be official. Of course, as to be expected, Scott is crushed by this news.

He wants to know why they can’t wait until London shows up. Of course, Larry shrugs his suggestion off and basically says he is going to do it his way. “Screw London!”

This response doesn’t sit well with Scott who is a “by the book” kind of guy but he just has to stew on it.

The only thing that is going right in Ernie’s life is the lodge. He is even having trouble at work convincing his co-workers and his boss Bob (played by national treasure Brian Doyle-Murray) that he was abducted by Captain’s people and given a gift basket.

While they make fun of him, he is further humiliated when Bob announces to the rest of the room that his accounts aren’t being serviced and that he needs to stop being a diva.

Two Weeks

Dud on the other hand is talking with Alice. She tries to convince him again to head back into the water. She knows he is missing surfing. He refuses.

Before he heads out of the Donut shop, Burt his loan shark is sitting in a booth. He informs Dud that his loan is up. This time, Dud doesn’t dismiss him. The two head back to Burt’s pawn shop to renegotiate another loan.

This will buy him two weeks but to Dud that is a lifetime and now he won’t be hassled. Thinking he is free and clear, he and Gloria have concocted a role-playing adventure in the office. However, things aren’t sexy and they are going nowhere fast.

When Gloria informs him that it is just sex and they aren’t in a relationship, you can see the disappointment register on Dud’s face. She is reluctant to get close because in her words, “I kill everything I touch.”

Dud begins to explain to her exactly how much she means to him. She was the only one that saw him as a normal person. When he tells her, “I saw you. It took me awhile because I was an idiot and you were hidden behind all this stuff but I saw you,” it is sweet and touching.

How many of us are truly seen for who we are? Even by our beloveds or friends? To know that we are loved unconditionally? That is pretty special. After Dud opens up to Gloria like that, they proceed to have sex on her desk.

Limbo Is Hell

Larry and Ernie are playing golf when they start discussing the sad state of affairs between Ernie and Connie. “Limbo is hell. Hell is hell but it might actually be worse than hell,” intonates Larry.

He has a point. Connie won’t pull the trigger and tell Scott even though she has feelings for Ernie. The situation is a mess.

Larry tells Ernie that he is the bad guy but once the truth comes out, people will be upset but they will be grateful for hearing the truth. The two men also discuss Dud. We find out the real reason why Larry punched him in the face.

Apparently, Larry thought that Dud was a messenger sent to take him out. When Ernie asks him to explain, Larry gets distracted by his memorial bench.

Dud is in his own kind of limbo with Gloria because she won’t officially consider them as having a relationship. When the pair go to Shamroxx to meet Liz, Gloria is very standoffish and Liz isn’t exactly charmed by her.

She tells her brother that he is just the office boy in a MILF video. Dud asks her to give Gloria a chance, she agrees.

Blaise and the Parasite

The time has come for Larry to officially name Ernie as his successor. Blaise leads off the night with his Harwood Fritz Merrill talk. However, before it can even get started, a parasite starts coming out of his nose.

As he pulls this worm out, which might be the most disgusting scene ever filmed, you can’t help but laugh. After the thing is extracted, Blaise remarks, “that was the greatest orgasm of my life.”

Limbo Part 2

Ernie skips Blaise’s lecture and heads to Connie and Scott’s house. He finds Connie alone. Initially, she is annoyed that he would even come to see her.

That changes when she hears why he is there. He issues her an ultimatum because he is tired of living in limbo. Connie needs to decide who she wants. Ernie doesn’t care what everyone thinks about the situation. He only wants her.

There Is So Much More

Dud and Larry finally have their chat. Larry is being very cryptic but he tells Dud that he was meant to find the lodge. Because of him, Larry feels awake for the first time in years. He realizes that everything is interconnected to some larger picture and that Dud is making everyone realize it.

This excites Dud because he feels that fate has drawn him to the lodge as well. Sometimes things like that happen in life. Totally inexplicable events where destiny or fate throws people together in circumstances not of their making.

Awkward Moments

“Corporate bitch” comes back to the restaurant to give Liz information on the executive training program. She can’t seem to remember asking about it but knows that she can’t take part in it because the bank would garnish her wages.

He seems confused as to why she tells him she isn’t interested. When Corporate tries to convince her, she shuts him down. Then he tells her that he had a good time with her and musters up the courage to ask her out but she also wants no part of that either. Corporate leaves dejected.

For some unknown reason, she finds Jeremy and the two share a kiss. They later meet in the office to have yet another awkward talk where Jeremy tells her that he wants her. This upsets her and she makes a quick exit with his permission to go back to work.

Dud is looking at Gloria’s sketch book. When she finds him doing that, she freaks out. The two go back and forth for a bit when it comes to light that Gloria wants her invalid mother to die. Dud is shocked by her answer.

He then takes her to her mother and tells her to say it to her mother’s face. When Gloria does, Dud knows that she is not the woman for him. It is heartbreaking to watch because it is hard being a caregiver but it is also hard to be without parents like Dud.

The Truth Will Set You Free

Dud seeks refuge at his sister’s place. When Liz comes home it is obvious she is not in the proper frame of mind. The two immediately get into a fight about money, Liz’s job, her being miserable and Dud not taking responsibility for anything.

When that comes out, Liz also tells him that he is just like their father. Then she explains to Dud that their dad probably killed himself because contrary to what Dud believes their father was not happy. When Dud demands that she take it back, the two get into a fight where they are attacking one another.

Everything culminates in the succession ceremony at the lodge. While everyone is milling about, Larry enters naked much to everyone’s chagrin. The proceedings come to a screeching halt while Ernie and Dud cover him up and lead him out of the room.

The Verdict

Lodge 49 is a special gift. It is truly a magical little world. Yes, the characters have their challenges and there are some tough moments but that is how life is.

Some truths are universal. In the case of this show, everyone can relate to loving someone who is emotionally unavailable or attached to another person. Limbo is a state that at one time or another we all have been in. Life involves waiting for opportunities, as well as relationships. It could be said that we have all experienced that “in between” neverland.

The mysteries of the lodge involve the seen and the unseen. Some people are perceptive in one realm and not so perceptive in the other. Do we really see events in their true light? Do we see the people we love for who they really are and not who we want them to be?

That is why I have fallen in love with this series. It delves into the mystical and does more than skim the surface with witty banter and comical situations. Lodge 49 dares to be different amid a homogenized television landscape. That is what keeps us loyal viewers coming back each and every week.

Catch Lodge 49 on AMC every Monday at 10 PM.