Wyatt Russell as Sean "Dud" Dudley, Jocelyn Towne as Gloria Keller - Lodge 49 _ Season 1, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC
Author’s note: SPOILERS for the third episode of Lodge 49, “Corpus”.
Dud’s induction into the lodge as a squire opens the episode. We hear him struggle under a shrouded veil with creepy sewn eyes, trying to remember the complex but straightforward vows. He makes it through, accepts his sash, and… there is a leaky pipe. Eric Allan Kramer’s Scott is questioning Ernie’s (Brent Jennings) legitimacy and the timing of this induction in regards to their former leader’s sabbatical. Reality is setting in on this momentous occasion. But Dud doesn’t seem too down on it, likening this induction to a marriage and accepting his ceremonial mug with glee.
“Corpus” finds our three lead characters—Dud, Liz, and Ernie—trying to find new ways of breaking free of their invisible prisons, taking on responsibility in their own ways, and finding different results for themselves individually.
Dud gets his first temp job, a monotone, mute-colored office job with a task of simply placing colored papers into a package. But as with most things, it’s not as it seems and is a depressing purpose, the nearly empty office basically a graveyard. The only other person to speak of is Jocelyn Towne’s Gloria, left to terminate employees. She is a strange but fun presence, repressed by a job that clearly weighs on her, and her interest or perhaps blooming obsession with Dud is a comic delight.
Liz, feeling more stuck than ever with bills and a job she’s even dreaming about when not there, plans a memorial service for their missing (and presumed dead) father. She feels it’s time to move on, and it almost feels like she is viewing it as a way to push her life forward, a way to break free of the monotony she faces now. It leads to Dud’s epiphany at their father’s memorial service, spouting wisdom of endless lives and endless possibilities, and how no one is really gone. It’s poignant, but poignancy at a memorial service can be bad timing, especially when sharing too much information in the process. It’s a funny moment, and Wyatt Russell nails it, as does Sonya Cassidy with her abject disappointment.
Ernie crashes a big landscaping meeting while trying to get closer to the Captain, the fabled man up top he is tracking down. He is mistaken for the geologist of the meeting, sitting down confidently as he realizes the Captain is the voice on the line of the speaker phone. When exposed, Ernie tries to get through to the Captain but is escorted out and left even more confused.
These three storylines move the characters forward through their need for change. They are simple but effective ways to change lifestyles that may not be working for them, becoming complacent in the simplicity of settling. It’s a lot more story in it than previous ones, pushing characters in their predestined directions and adding context to what had been—to this point in the season—simply quirks or a little on the underdeveloped side. I found myself smiling at a lot of the antics of this episode: Dud’s aloof enjoyment of finding out about the secret upstairs suite in the lodge (“it smells kind of… bad,” Dud says, while still seemingly enjoying it), Liz’s disappointment at Dud’s speech and Blaise’s total enjoyment of it, more hilarious Ernie expressions, and more mystery surrounding the lodge.
Blaise and Dud’s little encounters at the bar leading to exposition about the Order of the Lynx are still my favorite moments, windows into the mythology while also spending time with two great actors and like-minded characters.
Connections are starting to sprout more often. Liz visits Blaise’s shop and later meets Ernie and Blaise again at the memorial, blending Dud’s personal life and lodge life, which is welcome and hopefully leads to Liz getting involved. Dud’s temp job and the declining employment there are connected to Ernie’s pursuit of the Captain and the development deal.
These tiny connections are fun nods and tiny winks that the world of Lodge 49 is either small or full of coincidence. Either way, every piece matters in some form. “Corpus” has characters trying to push beyond their boundaries some more but are met with resistance or other characters too accepting of their lot in life. Dud’s speech was a good signal of showing where each of the major characters stand, even while it’s played for laughs. Another very good episode, and ends on a tease for more lodge mystery shenanigans that should be fun to see.
* Pot lollipops and burritos are a pretty good idea, but pot lollipops, burritos, and enjoying said burrito in the church only leads to past-due memorials. Lesson learned, Liz.
* Dud’s physical pain continues to trend, this time leading to a great cap to the episode, and I’m sure a great mystery for the remainder of the season.
* I hope Gloria sticks around; she seems fun!
* Connie’s vision/attack leads to a super short but touching moment between herself and Scott, both characters I would love to see more of, as well.
* Ernie can smell out a candle’s scent like nobody’s business. Good on you, Ernie.