Brent Jennings as Ernie Fontaine, Wyatt Russell as Sean "Dud" Dudley - Lodge 49 _ Season 1, Episode 4 - Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC
Author’s note: SPOILERS for the fourth episode of Lodge 49, “Sunday.”
“Why would anyone want to live forever? I just want to live for real.”
Finding a semi-mummified (or “reliquim corpus,” as Blaise points out) past leader of your lodge in a wall tomb is certainly something you won’t forget. As community pancakes are on the menu for this Sunday, we have most of the lodge upstairs coming to terms with a fifty-year-old corpse that was hermetically sealed behind the wall of the suite. This requires our characters to keep things calm, and allows Ernie and Dud to go off in search of Larry, their missing, or on sabbatical, leader.
“Sunday” was simply that: an episode of a Sunday with friends. Everyone has their own problems to combat, and throughout this Sunday, they use a little help from their friends in order to both cope with and solve them, at least momentarily.
Dud and Ernie are an amazing odd couple when paired together. It’s happened a few times so far, but getting a whole episode is a bounty of riches. Brent Jennings plays Ernie with a dismissive uncertainty; he does not know what to make of Dud, but seems to enjoy his company. At the very least, he finds him amusing. Wyatt Russell, on the other hand, plays Dud with a carefree determinism. Dud sees the mysticism of the world and his circumstances, while Ernie’s just trying to make something happen in his life.
They share an honesty session in the middle of the episode, as Dud is unsure why someone would take their life after his own experience of being poisoned by the snake in Nicaragua. It’s a touching moment; Ernie says that he survived for a reason. The scene allows the roles to reverse, as Dud starts to show his doubt while Ernie is the optimist.
Liz’s day off turned into another day at work, this time as a patron instead of a waitress. It’s a way to distract herself, as being inside her own head for even a minute looks like a nightmare for her. Drinking a slushie tequila and having a shopping cart joust is a small distraction. It seems to be enough, at least in that moment. We get a glimpse of her life before in a flashback, of how she had been rather successful and how her father asked her to co-sign for a loan. It all seemed simpler then for Liz, and it’s another tough break in the litany of tough breaks these characters have faced. We get some fun symbolism when the bird hitting the window while she meets her father, which repeats itself as the first thing she sees when waking up after a heavy day (and likely night) of drinking.
And speaking of symbols, while Dud is hacking up dead person particles in the toilet, we are treated to some symbols that are quite similar to those that the dead protector had written down in his self-proclaimed magnum opus, which Blaise finds inside his jacket. I’m sure someone on the internet has already solved the whole puzzle or mystery behind them, but I’m going to go along for the ride with the show and wait to see where it takes us.
This was another strong episode for the show. The deliberately casual nature of each character’s plight is not high stakes by any standard, but you’re deeply invested in their lives and their goals. Spending time with them is enough of a reward that the events that transpire can take all the time they need to and I’d be perfectly happy.
“Sunday” continues the streak of Lodge 49 taking a simple concept – what these characters are up to on their Sunday – and creating something that is fun to watch. Dud and Ernie looking for Larry, Liz unable to stay away from work, and the lodge dealing with a community pancake event while a mummy is upstairs all work together and are perfectly balanced.
∗ Liz was ready for the Sunday beach, but like a lot of us, once the door’s open, it just seems like so much work.
∗ Ernie’s disdain for Dud’s truck is palpable. The loose fountain drinks, the missing seatbelt, his holding on as they simply back up… Brent Jennings continues to be great.
∗The kids finding the tomb and running around was a fun gag. But kids shouldn’t pull jaws off mummies; that’s not safe or clean. Nor is inhaling mummy dust, as Dud does in yet another painful fall.
∗ Artful coffins and witch leashes are not something you expect to see in homes every day, but Dud’s interest and Ernie’s unease were a great odd couple moment.
∗ We get to visit Joe Grafisi’s Burt at the pawn shop again, this time connecting up Dud and Ernie once more: he’s Ernie’s bookie, while Dud pawns prized possessions and takes out too many loans here. Dud’s excited about the connection, but Ernie’s more of the mind it’s coincidental.
∗ Another vision came to Dud. In the pilot, while sleeping in his vacant apartment, he dreamed of the snake that bit him. Here, he sees a seal that runs across the road. Now, this one could certainly be real, as we hear seals in the distance throughout the scene, but it’s intriguing how animals keep coming into Dud’s life.