Lodge 49 season 2, episode 8 recap: Zugzwang

Lodge 49 _ Season 2, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Michael Moriatis/AMC
Lodge 49 _ Season 2, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Michael Moriatis/AMC /

Lodge 49 is gearing for a big trip in “Zugzwang.” After hitting rock bottom, our heroes lift their spirits and head out on a quest. We’ve got the recap!

The entire Lodge has been going though some things in the second season of Lodge 49. Rock bottom was hit a couple of times in episodes like “Circles” and “Exile.” Things seem to be living in that desolate state at the start of “Zugzwang.” As Ernie (Brent Jennings) explains it, zugzwang is a term used in chess to represent that every possible move will result in failure. That really explains where we’re at in the Lodge 49 story. But, for once, everyone embraces the inevitable. It takes an episode to get there, but, group by group, the Lodge is headed to Mexico to find the Scrolls.


L. Marvin Metz (Paul Giamatti), or Lamar to friends, is playing Uno with a dejected Blaise (David Pasquesi) at the Scientology-light rest home. Blaise is profoundly dejected about how far he let himself go in pursuit of the Scrolls. He warns Lamar not to consider alchemy or the quest as real things. Lamar suggests, as Blaise once did, that getting too close to the truth can make one go mad. Genevieve (Susy Kane) says some stuff in French. It could be important to the plot. Or, it could just be French.

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Dud (Wyatt Russell) and Ernie (Brent Jennings) are allowed to come visit Blaise for the first time. But first, Dud reports for his first day working the orders desk next to Ernie. It’s complete with razzing from Beautiful Jeff (Michael Lee Kimel) and handing down of Speedy’s old jacket by Bob (Brian Doyle-Murray). Dud looks genuinely happy. Sure, he’s part of a workforce that could crush his soul. But, he needs money and he gets to work with his best friend. It’s not all that bad.

David Pasquesi as Blaise St John, Paul Giamatti as Lamar - Lodge 49 _ Season 2, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC
Lodge 49 Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC /

Dud and Ernie are floored when they find Blaise is friends with their favorite writer in the whole world. Lamar is happy to meet fans. Blaise is surprised. He didn’t think Lamar was actually published and known. Lamar holds court in the common room. The glow of the Fydro vending machine is over his left shoulder every time he talks.

Fydro has infiltrated the Lodge. Lamar has infiltrated Ernie and Dud. Even though Ernie believes that he’s wasted his life and Dud is ready to settle down with steady income, they both decide to go to Mexico in search of the Scrolls. They are inspired by Lamar’s theory that the center of the Earth is as hollow as a Cadbury egg. Blaise joins them. On the way, in El Confidente’s (Cheech Marin) van, Blaise is finally able to sleep.


Liz (Sonya Cassidy) is officially Janet’s (Olivia Sandoval) assistant. The Higher Steaks crew has also joined Janet’s staff, which means we get to see Champ (David Ury) in a suit working reception for Liz. When she receives a package, the contents aren’t as distressing as her title is: Chief Financial Officer. Did Liz get a promotion? Is something else happening? She decides to ask Janet directly.

Janet’s office is a wide-open loft. There is a huge blow-up of her on the wall. It’s black and white, of course. Janet’s desk is a treadmill. She’s constantly walking at around three and a half miles per hour. Liz asks if she’s been promoted. Janet is trying to explain that typos can be images of the future when our old friend Dr. Kimbrough (Bronson Pinchot) comes busting through the needlessly large doors. It turns out that he was a part of Omni and the documents that Liz shredded in his office were part of a cover up for Janet.

Sonya Cassidy as Liz Dudley, Olivia Sandoval as Janet - Lodge 49 _ Season 2, Episode 8 - Photo Credit: Michael Moriatis/AMC
Lodge 49 Photo Credit: Michael Moriatis/AMC /

The good Dr. Kimbrough is wearing a wire. He hopes to get a good sound of Janet incriminating herself, but it’s clear what he’s doing. Dejected, he leaves. But, Liz now has a pretty good idea that she’s being set up to take the fall for Janet. Over frozen yogurt in the park, Janet admits that she was trying to frame Liz for all of her financial sins at Omni. But, she changed her mind when Liz mentioned Dud, the Lodge, the Scrolls, and the bitcoin involved in the quest. Janet leads her own expedition to Mexico with Liz and Tarquin (Vik Sahay).

Walk of Shame

Scott locks himself out of the Lodge. It’s during the day when most members are at their day jobs. He had tried to clean out a grease trap and ended up reeking. Scott takes a shower and is only wearing an official Lodge Sovereign Protector cloak. He’s locked out of the Lodge with nothing on him but that cloak. Scott ends up walking around the neighborhood while getting drunk from paper bag liquor. He eventually makes it back into the Lodge, but feels low until Connie (Linda Emond) shows up with Clara (Pollyanna McIntosh).

Clara has shown up at the Lodge to collect on her Godfather marker. She needs Connie’s help. Most of Lodge 1 has been spread around the globe. Clara now feels that she needs to look for the Scrolls in Mexico. Scott decides to tag along. But first, Lamar meets Clara and is smitten. She loves his books, but could do without his long creeper-hugs. The two still share some beers before they set out on their quest.

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So, all of Lodge 49 is headed to Mexico in search of the Scrolls. The separate factions and head starts really make this feel like It’s a Mad Mad Mad World. Will the Lodge find the Scrolls? Will El Confidente allow them to be taken? Will Ernie and Dud jump out of a plane? We’ll find out on the next Lodge 49.