Lodge 49 (S01E07) “The Solemn Duty of the Squire”

Ernie finds out some bad news concerning Larry and the Lodge, Liz starts her corporate climb, Dud gets a new temp gig, Blaise has his heartbroken and a new character arrives on the scene.

Lodge 49 Says Goodbye

Lodge 49 bid adieu last week to one of the quirkiest characters on television in a long time. Larry Loomis left the building. How can you say goodbye to someone who was prone to stripping and attending a Lynx function bare assed naked?

Ernie decides that a softball game is exactly the way to go. Of course, things don’t go smoothly for Dud. He gets knocked down by Ernie making a catch oddly enough and gets a knot on his forehead as a result of the collision.

After the game, while Dud is limping to the parking lot, he witnesses Ernie standing by his car fighting back tears. Knowing how close he and Larry were, Dud makes it his mission to take care of his friend.

Climbing the Corporate Ladder

Liz decides to bite the bullet and go through with the Shamroxx corporate training. In a hilarious sequence where she is being interviewed by Tara, the “gatekeeper” she tells her that the “real world is a nightmare.” What makes this exchange hysterical is Tara’s stony-faced response to Liz’s truth telling.

Feeling extremely nervous and aware that she is babbling, Liz blurts out that she hasn’t found the right place yet but when she does she will make it a million times better. After that admonition, Tara abruptly closes her book and gets up.

She tells Liz that the next step is the background check. Here is where the dream falls apart. Liz knows that she has several things that will come up in addition to the monumental debt that she is carrying courtesy of her late father. In a panic, she acts like she is going to the bathroom but exits the building instead.

Finding Love

Blaise is spending time with Avery the London Lodge emissary. They are talking about mystical and esoteric matters when Avery reveals that he knows the secrets of alchemy. That it does exist and so do the scrolls.

At first, Blaise waves him off thinking it is more of the Fritz-Merrill nonsense but when Avery asks him to go on the quest for knowledge with him, the dynamic changes. The next thing we know, the two are cuddling in bed together.

I have to admit, I didn’t see that one coming but Blaise appears to be smitten. And by all accounts, so does Avery.

Dud Pays a Visit

Tired of the graveyard shift at Orbis although he is having fun playing around with Gil and the other jobless tech people doing basement shenanigans, he wants to diversify his portfolio. Or so he tells his contact at the temp office.

Reluctantly, the contact gives him a new job as an admin with a small business in the desert. Finally, on a day shift, Dud ambles out in his easy going way.

Ode to Beautiful Jeff

At the beginning of the show, we see the sprawling desert vista and Beautiful Jeff is wandering around like he has lost his mind. He ends up in the hospital where his boss Bob is hovering over his bedside like a worried mother.

Ernie and Jeff’s co-workers are on the scene and all of them are trying to understand just what happened. Bob blames Ernie and says that he has “blood on his hands.” What we find out is that instead of Ernie meeting up with Captain, Beautiful Jeff was sent instead.

Whatever went down with Captain must have been a doozy of an event because Jeff appears to be in a coma like state. At this juncture, Bob demands that everyone take shifts to keep Jeff company or they can just quit.

This entire bit of business is insane but supremely funny. Ernie’s reactions to Bob’s craziness are inspired.

Corporate Loves Liz

Liz is preparing to get drunk when she hears a knock at her door. When she opens it, she finds “Corporate” standing there. So, she lets him in.

Curious to know why she bailed on the interview and also because he is attracted to her that is his reason for showing up on her doorstep. In a very matter of fact way, Liz tells him that there is something in her background that will prohibit her from being hired.

Corporate tells her he had the same problem but he made the cut. When he asks what Liz did she tells him, “It involved Homeland Security.” Before shutting the door on Corporate he utters, “Oh, s***!”

Dud and Ernie – The Odd Couple

Dud was living in Larry’s trailer quite happily until he hears a noise in the bathroom. When he goes to investigate it turns out that there is a possum infestation. Spooked, he runs out of the place and drives to Ernie’s.

The two friends chat although it is quite clear that Ernie wishes Dud would leave. Dud informs him that it is his “solemn duty as a squire” to look after him to make sure he is okay. While this is sweet, Ernie believes he has it together and tells Dud he is okay with Larry’s passing. It was going to happen and it is life.

Unconvinced, Dud ends up talking Ernie into letting him stay since he doesn’t have a place to live. The two end up being the “Odd Couple.” While Ernie is on an errand one day, Dud decides to do a good deed.

He goes to Burt’s pawn shop to buy Ernie’s repossessed television back. After some haggling and declining Burt’s asking price of $900.00 for the set, Dud takes out a payday loan and the TV set is his.

Lugging the set into the house, Dud proudly mounts it on the wall. Settling down in the easy chair to watch a game, he turns the television on.  Much to his chagrin, it explodes off the wall in a series of sparks. Just then, Ernie enters his house with groceries to find utter chaos.

It is the last straw as he throws Dud out of the house and out of his life. He emphasizes the fact that Dud is no longer welcome by shooting a bb gun at him until he drives away.

A Far Away Guest Arrives

Everyone is at the Tavern in the Lodge having a good time. It is kind of like a wake/celebration for Larry. The alcohol is flowing, everyone is in good spirits. Blaise and Avery are very cozy together.

Then a mysterious guest arrives rather loudly. After apologizing profusely for being tardy, Ernie looks at him rather confused and asks his identity to which the man replies, “I’m Jocelyn from London.” At the same time, everyone turns and looks at Avery.

Feeling the pressure to explain himself, he bolts in his haste to leave the scene of the crime. Before doing so, he topples poor Jocelyn over a table. Blaise is left looking after his newfound love wondering what in the hell happened?

Liz Loves Corporate

Things seem to be looking up for Liz as she shares nachos with Corporate. The two are laughing and talking like old friends. Finally, it is truth telling time as each of them reveals what caused them to run afoul of the law.

Corporate got pinched for drugs and Liz got arrested for driving a forklift down the runway at the airport. In a rather poignant moment, Liz tells Corporate how she was supposed to do great things but that never materialized. Then she utters this heart wrenching phrase, “I never thought I would end up here.”

He takes her hand and the two kiss one another.

The Bad News

Ernie is meeting with Jocelyn in Larry’s old office. The news is pretty grim. Apparently, Jocelyn has uncovered that Ernie’s best friend was stealing dues from the Lodge and using them to live. Which means that basically, he took every Lynx’s money.

Now, with the mounting debt incurred to the tune of $300,000 the Lodge is probably going to have to shut its doors for good. Ernie also begins to realize that his friend was lying to him all the time about El Confidente and the entire thing was a ruse to escape the country.

Knowing that the only place where he feels worthy is going to go belly up incenses Ernie to no end. He starts wrecking Larry’s memorial picture.

Beautiful Jeff Has the Key

The next day, Ernie visits Beautiful Jeff in the hospital. Just in time to hear Bob’s poem to him. It is utterly ridiculous and the entire time that he is reading it, Ernie is looking at him like he is nuts.

Finally, Bob leaves. Ernie goes to take his shift when Jeff wakes up. He tells Ernie to go find Captain. Jeff is building him into a mythical figure by saying they “swam in a giant pool and Captain snaps his fingers and worlds are born.”

Then Jeff proceeds to tell Ernie where to find his Holy Grail. This is something he needs to do now because maybe Captain can help with his personal situation and the entire Lodge 49 debacle.

There He Is!

Ernie makes the trek into the desert. He locates a construction trailer and hesitantly knocks on the door. Who should open it? Dud!

The two men stare at one another. When Ernie enters the office, the two embrace. Of course, Dud thinks Ernie wants to apologize. At that point, Ernie states his purpose. He is looking for Captain.

Dud is generally confused but then the lightbulb goes on. “Oh, you mean Gary?” So, they both go over to the window to look out at a regular guy sitting in a wading pool. Dud comments, “That’s Captain, huh!”

The Verdict

As we get closer to the finale, we can see how far this beautiful story has evolved. Each week we learn more about the characters and how they are all at some sort of crossroads in their lives.

Their worlds literally do intersect at the Lodge. No matter how badly Ernie doesn’t want to see it, he and Dud are destined to be together. They are in a cosmic cahoots with one another.

We had a huge reveal with Blaise and his sexual preference. Not that it matters. I was just glad to see he found love and equally sad to see that dissolve.

Liz’s segments were inspired. Sonya Cassidy knows how to convey depth of feeling and such a state of profound disappointment that when she said, “I didn’t think I’d wind up here,” I teared up. Who really expects to end up where they do in life?

This episode was all about finding things that are missing, be it love, forgiveness or that elusive business target. It is comforting to know that no matter how lost we may feel, someone is going to be standing nearby to catch us when we fall.

Finally, after talking about him in hushed tones throughout the season, we get to see Gary “Captain” Green. Green played by veteran actor, Bruce Campbell is something to behold. His introduction is like nothing I have ever seen on network television.

How many times does a pivotal character get introduced in a kiddie wading pool? Although he didn’t have any dialogue, his presence was felt much like Captain’s shadow looming over Long Beach.

Lodge 49 is the type of show that you look forward to week after week. There are only 3 episodes left which makes me a little sad. But if the television gods are willing, hopefully we will get a season 2 filled with even more mystical and magical plots to explore.

Lodge 49 airs on AMC Monday nights at 10 PM.