Author’s note: SPOILERS for the sixth episode of Lodge 49, “The Mysteries”.
He who thinks a fire, is a fire. Remember that.
We open on Lodge 49, ages before, with Larry as a kid defending his mother’s honor. Her heart is set on the lodge, or, at least, the leader of the lodge, and a trip to London is in order. Larry is not first priority, as he remembers from his trailer in the present.
With the fallout of Larry (Kenneth Walsh) crashing Ernie’s (Brent Jennings) transfer of power ceremony by stumbling in completely naked and confused, we get an episode about Larry and his future. He wants to travel to Mexico to get something back, and a mysterious man by the name of El Confidente will be his transport. Ernie does not know what to make of it, as Larry appears disoriented and even burned some of his eyebrows off when lighting the stove. He’s not all there but has his lucid moments. The rest of the lodge thinks assisted living is the answer, but Ernie just isn’t sure yet.
Ernie is passed over on finding Captain at work, the search in the desert passed off to Beautiful Jeff (if only Ernie was better at golf!). Ernie and Connie’s (Linda Emond) affair comes to a point where Ernie can no longer fool himself, knowing he can never really live in the present, as his head is always in the future. “The Mysteries” was full of moments where Ernie must make difficult decisions for those closest to him, and on the whole, he looks to make the right ones.
Dud (Wyatt Russell) gets his new temp job as a security guard with Champ (David Ury), Liz’s co-worker from Shamroxx. Their travels in the slowest golf cart through the dead Orbis building is quiet and bizarre, but the heart of the beast, as Champ calls it, is all they’ll need. And speed, apparently. Dud’s told to run the other way when facing trouble or seeing anything suspicious, but when he finds it, he dives headfirst. This includes a fun little shot of the squire (Dud) heading off into the cave (the darkness of that part of the building) on his steed (a cart). Metaphors are not lost on me today, Lodge 49. Dud has a vision of infinite stars in a small water cove underneath the building as Larry speaks of the squire surviving the viper pit to Ernie (more metaphors, but this time, literal, due to Dud’s snake bite). Dud’s visions, especially in this case, appear to be the possibilities of the infinite, each light a possibility. But while there may be infinite possibilities, there can only be one outcome.
Liz (Sonya Cassidy) overhears Alice’s father in the donut shop say he doesn’t want her to turn out like Liz, and instead of taking it as hurtful, she quietly agrees and walks away. She’s accepting her lot in life more and more, growing complacent. Alice comes to her apartment later on to apologize, and they hang out. It leads to feats of strength, and ends in Liz elbowing a mirror and falling through her glass table. It may not be her finest moment, but it’s certainly the wake-up call she needed to know her life needs fixing.
We finally get to see the inside of the Sanctum Sanctorum, the fabled protector’s room, and it turns out to be a simple man cave set-up with a mini-fridge, a couple of chairs, a portable stereo and some files. The episode provides the most mythology the show has dealt us yet, with Larry telling Ernie about the magnum opus scrolls, a part of lodge and alchemy history, which had found their way to Long Beach and Lodge 49 through his mother years before (the London trip back in the day). Larry feels Dud is the answer to the lodge’s prayers, as he had mentioned previously when El Confidente (the mysterious transporter to Mexico) was supposed to pick him up.
Larry passing away at the end of the episode was a touching moment, as he helps jumpstart Ernie’s car and looks up at the small lodge birdhouse from all those years before. He has jumpstarted Ernie on a path, and his time here is done. The last thing we hear is the first thing we heard at the start of the episode: the chirping of the birds, new life as one ends.
“The Mysteries” was a heartfelt and touching episode about the friendship between Ernie and Larry. The hour flew by breezily. The episode was about friendship and doing what you can to help someone out, even when uncertain of the consequences. Ernie was never certain on Larry’s plan but went along anyway, playing along when he had to as one does to help a friend. Ernie made some choices in life that while difficult, were made for the right reasons, and showed he was progressing even if the decisions were hard on him. Brent Jennings was excellent throughout, showing the care and concern and heartbreak of someone who realized letting go was difficult but necessary. Moving on can be right, as some characters learned in “The Mysteries”, and it can lead to personal growth needed for the journey ahead.
∗ There’s a recurring bond for reality television on Lodge 49, where just hanging out and watching TV is a casual and communal way to have a good time. It usually involves Liz, as it did with her father and Dud in the past, her and Dud in the present, and now with Alice.
∗ The emissary isn’t starting his first trip to California well. Passport and phone missing, and that second search was ominous and will certainly make his first day even worse.
∗ Liz tripped on the same spot before when Alice was at the door. It reminded me of the foreshadowed trip over a carpet in Breaking Bad, one that also led to some bad times.
∗ Larry mentions to Ernie that Dud is connected to the True Lodge, and that he is special. We don’t yet know if this is true or just rambling, but it’s an intriguing development.
∗ Larry got to see his dragon one last time in all its glory, the one mentioned in a previous episode. It’s where the oil pump used to be, and it’s beautiful. And also very not real. But, you know, metaphors.