Author’s note: SPOILERS for the seventh episode of Lodge 49, “The Solemn Duty of the Squire”.
“The Solemn Duty of the Squire” was a time of mourning a sovereign protector who was, at minimum, cooky. The previous episode gave us some of the missing pieces about Larry and why he did some of the things he did, and this episode provided more answers, more solid than before and with a sinister edge to them. They were not what Ernie (Brent Jennings) may have wanted to hear, especially about his best friend, but it’s an episode of wake-up calls and dislodging the status quo.
Dud (Wyatt Russell) notices Ernie isn’t quite taking things so well after Larry’s passing, and so inserts himself into his life in an attempt to help. Well, it’s mostly because of the possums back in the trailer, but that’s beside the point. Ernie is a tough nut to crack, not quite liking this new attention Dud has on his life.
The emissary, Jocelyn Pugh (Adam Godley), after some shenanigans with a crackpot named Avery (Tyson Ritter) pretending to be him, reveals to Ernie that Larry took a massive amount of Chinese bank debt out on the lodge, and with Larry now gone, the administration has no choice but to forfeit the loan and foreclose Lodge 49. This is a devastating development to Ernie, not only through his closest friend betraying him and the lodge, but to him, another sign of life never going the way he wanted.
In an attempt to do something nice for Ernie, Dud takes on a second job. It says a lot about his character that he turns down a temp job which could lead to a career at a software company, as he only wants a quick fix now. This quick fix gives Ernie back his flat screen television from the pawn shop (and Dud not realizing he could buy a nicer TV for even cheaper is classic Dud), only for it to fall from its mount in seconds and smoke up Ernie’s place. Their friendship is cracking, starting to spread itself thin.
Liz (Sonya Cassidy) started her journey in bettering herself, taking the executive program head-on. There is a speed bump in regards to the background check, showing her self-destructive behavior when something good is right there in front of her. Liz wants to do better, but something in her makes her believe she isn’t worthy of being better. She runs, a family trait she learned well from her brother and father. I really liked the small but heartfelt moment where Liz is asked what her dream is, and it’s simply to have a zero in her debt. She’s asked what her dream is after that, and she has no answer. Her life has been so riddled with things out of her hands, she does not have a clear answer of what’s next, and this program could potentially be the answer she didn’t even know she’s looking for.
Ernie finally finds Captain, by way of Dud working at the aforementioned second temp job. Dud is all excited with fate once more bringing them together, while Ernie is desperate to find Captain. He happens to be just a guy named Gary, but not just any guy… it’s the legendary Bruce Campbell, hanging out in a desert in an inflatable swimming pool. Now that’s an entrance!
“The Solemn Duty of the Squire” is an episode rife with everyone trying to help one another in some way and coming up short. Dud doing something nice comes at the wrong time in Ernie’s life, who is not interested in taking in a stray of sorts with Dud. Liz backing off from a massive career after receiving help is within her character and shows her self-destructive streak is a defense mechanism for settling, as the last episode also highlighted. Liz is fast becoming my favorite character of the series. Her honesty and Cassidy’s performance go together in making someone completely relatable.
It’s fairly late into the season to introduce a main plot, but it’s for good reason. We know these characters incredibly well at this point and understand them completely. Besides, the main plot emerging is a convergence of all coincidences/fates and moments from before, all starting to take shape. It’s a smart way to tell the story, even if, for some, it took its sweet time to get there. For me, it was told just right, and I’ve been loving the telling of the tale. “The Solemn Duty of the Squire” is a smart episode bursting with character, bringing doubt and uncertainty on many things in a way that sets up the last stretch of episodes in a way that makes me excited.
∗ We get a little hint of Blaise’s (David Pasquesi) life before he found the lodge. He mentions to Avery how he was a mess before Larry found him, and how Larry was good to him.
∗ Scott (Eric Allan Kramer) asking what kind of training Dud got for his security job—and Dud replying, “They gave me a flashlight.”—was perfect comedic timing.
∗ Brian Doyle-Murray’s dedication and concern over Beautiful Jeff in the hospital is bizarre and hilarious. His poem is insane, and Murray continues to be a wonderful little addition to the supporting/recurring cast.
∗ A fun sight gag to the passage of time is the giant value pack of toilet paper Dud brings with him everywhere. It’s slowly getting smaller and a good judgment of time.