Lodge 49 (S01E09) “Apogee”

This particular episode of Lodge 49 is appropriately named. Apogee means culmination as in the end of situations. Perhaps, it is all about walking on and leaving things behind.

Goodbye Is Easier Than Sorry

With only one more episode of Lodge 49 left, it is easy to become melancholy. For almost 10 weeks, we have gotten to know and love these quirky denizens of Long Beach. They are like our friends.

In a society that is constantly in turmoil, with politically charged moments hanging in the air 24-7, tuning into AMC’s indescribable and indefinable series is a respite and a refuge. It is different in there and thank God for that.

The impact of Lodge 49 is a positive one. It is a show where the ordinary is extraordinary and the magic in everyday life is just below the surface. For the first time, in a long time, the characters are real people. The actors and actresses look like your neighbors or your work colleagues. This isn’t a show about photo ops like so much of the offerings in primetime network fare.

I guess why Apogee resonated so much with me personally is the fact that the older you get, the less inclined you are to settle for undesirable situations. Sometimes, you have to say goodbye to regroup and recalibrate your personal value system.

This is what has happened to some of our favorite Lynx members. Even the optimistic duo of Blaise and Dud find themselves a little jaded and tainted with what has been going on. Blaise is hating the fact that Jocelyn has basically rained on everyone’s parade with his pedantic ways.

At one point, he tells him he is like a “wizard of demystification.” When you look up the word, “buzzkill” in the dictionary, you will see a picture of Jocelyn.

The Blinding Glare of Disillusionment

Even our fair-haired ex-surfer boy, Dud is disillusioned. When he is conned by Captain yet again or so it may seem, he responds by stating that he remembered his Dad the way he wanted to not necessarily the way he was. He overlooked what was truly going on which is what Liz has been telling him all season.

Connie and Ernie, the Romeo and Juliet of the baby boomer set seem destined to live their lives apart. This storyline has been frustrating and heart wrenching from the start. Just when things seem to be falling into place, Ernie sabotages everything by letting Connie know that her husband, Scott is aware of their affair.

This is the beginning of the end for the pair. Before they call it quits (again), the way they come together at the Lodge is heartbreaking. The lingering looks, the tentative touches, when Connie breaks down you can feel the love the two of them have for one another that can never quite be enough to hold them together.

So, she can’t stay with Ernie and she can’t go home to Scott. That is an unfortunate area to be in and Ernie is spot on when he says it is a moral grey area just like Captain is so fond of saying.

Liz is also on the precipice of some wonderful things happening in her life. Janet is willing to mentor her to greatness but yet it is almost as if she has an inner kill switch. Is the corporate life for her? Being part of a couple with Eugene seems unlikely as well.

As Above, So Below

After her encounter with Janet, when you think she is getting ready to embrace the new path that she has been given, Liz literally leaps into the ocean and swims away as fast as she can.

Even Scott is trying to say goodbye to ways of conduct that aren’t working for him. Being overbearing and somewhat smothering with Connie, he is doing his best not to hover over her. But in the end, the sacrifice he makes by allowing her to be with Ernie, is this controlling in and of itself?

By setting her free does he also imprison her? Scott wants to do the right thing but he gets tripped up by a misplaced sense of honor.

What of Gary “Captain” Green? The specter of capitalism and the American dream? Much like the disillusioned state of the economy in Long Beach with most of the Lodge being impacted by Orbis closing, was that what he represented?

When Gary finally comes to terms with the fact that he has to let go of Brenda and the life he used to have is he really re-establishing his duende? Is he prepared to go it alone?

And in a twist of irony and a bit of craziness spurned on by a misguided Avery, he ends up half dead at the hands of one of Brenda’s beloved sea mammals. However, in the end, she comes back to him while he languishes in a hospital bed.

In the next episode, maybe everything comes full circle and the underlying mysteries of the Lodge will be rediscovered. Purging oneself of old habits might be the way to see the truth and beauty inherent in life. As Dud says, it is hiding beneath the surface.

The Verdict

I have been saying this all along about Lodge 49. Most of why I love it is because it can’t be categorized. It has heart and not many network shows have that today.

There is substance in the writing. The ensemble cast is sprinkled with “Elvis dust.” They embody their characters so well that you become convinced that they aren’t actors and maybe Lodge 49 is a reality show.

Which is testament to how talented these individuals truly are. I felt a little bereft at the departure of Kenneth Welsh as Larry Loomis. Bruce Campbell’s swan song is also a tad bittersweet.

It is different in here and I sincerely hope that this show will get a season 2. When you find a gem as rare as Lodge 49, you have to hold on to it for dear life. In the case of this series, the Lodge will never go away.

Catch the last episode next Monday at 10 PM on AMC.