The season finale of AMC’s delightfully eccentric series Lodge 49 aired yesterday. It was heartfelt and heartbreaking at times. An emotional rollercoaster of a ride that left you breathless but wanting more.
Part of the reason why I love Lodge 49 so much is the whimsical nature of the show. The fact that within this series exists pockets of hope, stardust and magic is precisely why it is special. It is definitely better than the grind of everyday life and much like the Lynx home, it provides a certain level of comfort for all the viewers that chose to make 10 p.m. on AMC every Monday for 10 weeks their sanctuary.
While I approached the season finale with a bit of dread, I was happy at the prospect of a season 2. For once, the television gods smiled and a show that is indefinable and at times indescribable made the cut. And yes, this is a statement rife with hyperbole but my faith in Hollywood is restored a tad.
I am not exaggerating when I say that this episode left me feeling like I had been put through an emotional ringer. Next to Doctor Who, the David Tennant years, I have rarely cried at a television program. Tonight, was the exception. The fallout of Gary’s con game wreaked havoc everywhere and affected everyone.
No one was spared, not Dud or the eternally Zen and optimistic Blaise. Real life infiltrated this beautiful haven and sucker punched us all. The fact that every situation these characters found themselves in was totally relatable is a rare occurrence on the boob tube.
Perhaps that is why I felt uncomfortable watching Ernie lose his position and self-worth at the job where he gave a huge portion of his life to. The injustice of watching Bob tell him he doesn’t have the charisma that Beautiful Jeff does was infuriating as it was sad.
The Heartbreak of It All
Identifying with aspects of these characters has never been an issue but this week’s episode was designed to hit certain notes. A deep sense of loss ran throughout Full Fathom Five. Much like Ferdinand in The Tempest, everyone is chasing and looking for their Alonso.
The triad of Connie, Ernie and Scott came to the inevitable head only for the two rivals to discover that she left both of them behind. Living abroad and hanging out at the London lodge, she calls Ernie to ask if he and Scott talked.
Ernie is hurt by the fact that she never told him she only had years left to live. Connie informs him that time doesn’t matter because we’re all on a clock. At that moment, she lets him know something that he has wanted to hear from her for a long time. She loves him.
Liz’s storyline was heart wrenching. Fresh from her crazy clean, she decides to see if she can get the corporate job back. Of course, she can’t. Eugene is disgusted with her and after he tells her to leave, the door on that relationship is closed.
Figuring she could just return to Shamroxx turned out to be a bust too. Jeremy filled her position and then some. Now, Liz has nowhere to go but to the bank.
It is there that she has her cathartic moment. This entire season was building to this one incident. When she informs the loan officer that she can no longer live her life under the crushing weight of her father’s debt, it is empowering as it is painful.
After she says she will throw herself off of a bridge is when events get set in motion. Really understanding that Liz is sincere and that she has a death wish, the loan officer talks to the manager and her $80,000 note is paid in full.
The scene where Liz is sitting in her car looking at that note and sobbing her head off makes you want to hug her and tell her everything will work out. She can start living her life and she can start feeling free.
Now comes the portion of the program that hit me personally. Dud finds Liz in their Dad’s pool supply shop. The brother and sister start talking and Liz reveals that she misses their father. It is what happens next that tells me big things are in store for Wyatt Russell.
Dud recounts the day their Dad went missing. He asked him to go in the water with him. Dud refused. This has stayed with him for years and he has a complete breakdown. If only he would have gone with him, the outcome might have been different.
While Liz attempts to comfort him, it is quite clear he blames himself. And we as an audience see just how much he misses his father. This moment is personal and painful. For anyone that has lost their parents and have found themselves an orphan, you will identify with his speech.
The Man in the Van and the Gold Rush
Breaking up the emotional rollercoaster for a bit is a surprise guest. El Confidente shows up. He is real and he wants to take Ernie to Mexico in his 1970’s van. Let’s just say the person driving the funky vehicle is a funny guy who knows all about weed and things that go up in smoke.
There is another scene of note. Dud and Ernie are on the links. In need of a father figure and someone he can count on, Dud tried to make Ernie that guy but it never stuck. However, this time, Ernie can see that Dud is hurting, he tells him that he will be at the golf course every week. If Dud needs to find him, that is where they can meet up.
Even Blaise gets a bit of his light back. Feeling depressed after telling Jocelyn what a failure he is in life he stumbles upon a secret compartment. Inside it is Harwood Fritz Merrill’s alchemy kit and there is gold to be made!
Jim at Del Taco Will Lead Us
Which brings us to the end. Just when we think that things might be taking a turn toward the light, Dud gets in the water for the first time in years. He appears calm and serene as he waits for a wave. However, what happens next is a complete and crazy out of nowhere curve ball.
For those of you that haven’t seen this episode yet, I will let you discover what happens. Let’s just say, next season is going to have quite a bit to live up to and Jim Gavin is the man to deliver it. As for me, I will be right back in my corner booth in the Tavern, observing and waiting for season 2.
What did you think of the season finale? Let us know in the comments section below.