Dud wears his heart on his sleeve and enters “The Door” on the season finale of AMC’s Lodge 49. Have all the circles closed for good? We’ve got the recap!
The season finale of Lodge 49 was written by series creator Jim Gavin and directed by Jake Schreier (I’m Dying Up Here). It ties up most of the storylines of season two. It also makes us wonder if the circles of repeating history that we’ve seen throughout the season are ready to refresh. Most importantly, “The Door” redefines the true arc of Lodge 49: dealing with loss.
Circles Vanish. Life Appears.
In the most exposition driven, yet still pleasant, scene of the twenty episode run, we learn L. Marvin Metz’s (Paul Giamatti) fate from “Le Reve Impossible.” All that we saw land on the serene Mexican beach was Lamar’s typewriter. But, per an exchange between Dud (Wyatt Russell) and Celia (Alice Ba) at the donut shop, Lamar survived his parachute jump. He’s offscreen finding himself. Or, you know, looking for Clara (Pollyanna McIntosh).
Dud’s leg continues to get better. His limp is barely noticeable. It’s basically gone by the end of the episode. It’s not just his physical health that’s getting better. Dud’s maturing emotionally. In a call back to the first few episodes of season one, we see Dud in his dad’s old shop with Mr. Lang (Charles Green). Lang has had issues keeping tenants in the storefront thanks to Dud and Liz (Sonya Cassidy). Dud has a tenant for Mr. Lang that he approves of: Blaise (David Pasquesi). Blaise is touched by the offer and graciously accepts. He seems to be over his insomnia and the fever dream of the Scrolls Quest. It’s time to reclaim the mantle of the most nurturing and holistic weed dispensary in Long Beach.
The Scrolls are thought to be safe at Lodge 1. But, Clara is still concerned about who was masquerading as her in London while she was in Mexico. Anil (Chum Ehelepola) stops by Clara’s office to tell her that he didn’t appreciate being tied up and abandoned in Mexico. Also, he doesn’t like the clandestine, negative vibe that the Lodge has developed. He quits. After Anil leaves, she gets a visit from the true leader of the Lynx. A secret door is revealed. Someone walks through it and Clara is shocked. But we can’t see who it is. Is it Lamar?
High Steaks Pod
Meanwhile, Liz decides that she works best with her BFFs from Shamroxx and Higher Steaks. At Temp Joy, Liz tells Ross (Joshua Brady) that she would like a job where all of her friends work together. It’s a package deal. A Pod, if you’d like. Ross says that he’s really never done that, but suggests they start a business venture of their own. Liz, Champ (David Ury), and Jeremy (Daniel Stewart Sherman) are intrigued. Later on, fulfilling El Confidente’s (Cheech Marin) foreshadowing oil painting, Dud and Liz swim late at night in wet suits. They occasionally look at each other. They love each other and appreciate how far they’ve come.
Scott (Eric Allan Kramer) does some soul searching and decides to abdicate his throne as Sovereign Protector to Ernie (Brent Jennings). Ernie is touched and accepts. He decides to Knight Dud and buys back The Thing from Burt (Joe Grifasi). Herman (Sam Puefua) warns him that the rubber duckie colored car is a lemon, but Ernie thinks it’s worth it. Plus, dud needs wheels since Bob (Brian Doyle-Murray ) promotes him to be a road salesman for West Coast Super Sales.
Dud is excited to see his best friend take over as Sovereign Protector, but he turns down Knighthood. Then, in an emotionally charged and beautifully acted explanation, Dud explains that he’s happy and grateful for the friends that he has. But, he misses his dad. Nothing is quite the same without him, including happiness. It made me cry and worry about Dud’s well being.
Then, one of my all-time favorite Lodge 49 moments occurs. Dud, knowing the pain Ernie has lived with after the loss of his daughter, asks if it ever gets better. Ernie cares about Dud. So, he doesn’t try to give a soothing, evasive answer. Instead, Ernie says no. The pain never gets better. It never goes away. Lodge 49 continues to approach loss and its aftermath head-on. Its only rival is Amazon Prime’s Undone. Dud is wounded. But he knows he’s wounded. The people around him are also wounded. And they’ll take care of each other.
Lynx of Thunder
Liz has a brief encounter with Janet (Olivia Sandoval). She shows up at Liz’s apartment after making bail in Mexico. She’s dressed in an all-white pantsuit instead of her usual black pantsuit. She seems to be oddly confident and tells Liz they’ll meet again. This is after Liz fully uses the f-bomb to ask Janet to leave.
Later on, Liz is on the way to pick up Dud at the Lodge. He’s running late and it’s raining heavily. Liz actually goes into the Lodge. All the Lynx are happy to finally welcome her in. But, something strange happens. Liz is taken aback by the place. She also seems to think that she’s been there before. She feels that one time there was an accident there. Circles.
Dud is walking in the back of the Lodge. He’s just throwing out some trash in the rain. He passes that second-floor door with no landing. Suddenly, he gets a smile on his face and runs off to the trailer. He’d decided to dig his own pool. And, during the rainstorm, he decides to get some of the digging done. But, it’s a bad storm. And he’s near the fully metal Pump Dragon. A lightning bolt hits Dud’s shovel. He falls unconscious into the clay-like soils and sinks into it. Is Dud dead? Will he be presumed dead. We cut back to the door. The lightning flashes, the door opens, and a pile of dirt falls out with Dud.
Even more questions came with Dud’s drop from the door. Did he just experience the True Lodge? Did he visit Clara at Lodge 1? Like, is Dud dead?! What a way to end a truly unique season of television. Thoroughly entertaining, emotionally devastating, and wildly whimsical. AMC better renew Lodge 49. TV as a whole needs more of this show. What did you think of the finale?