Author’s note: SPOILERS for the eighth episode of Lodge 49, “Something From Nothing”.
“Something From Nothing” gave us a window into the world of Captain, a spirited bender of booze, bread, and urinating behind buildings. He ate a divorce settlement, gave the middle finger to his own billboard, and broke into his own home. This is a hell of a character, and the fact it’s Bruce Campbell sells the madness even more. It was worth the wait to find Captain all season.
Ernie (Brent Jennings) is desperate to close the deal and earn commission from Captain’s construction job. He sees Dud (Wyatt Russell) as a hindrance when he is anything but, Captain wanting to bring him along for the fun as they have a night on the town together. And what a night it turns into.
But as is the case with most things in Lodge 49, not everything is as it seems. Captain is getting divorced, after putting on a show of being happily married. He is not the higher up, but a middleman for the higher ups, a shell of a shell corporation. And though it’s not yet explicitly said, I’m not so sure about his wealth. He is just a lonely guy, wanting friends in a world out of his control. Campbell really sells this, as a goofy larger-than-life character who is a little broken inside, just like the rest of the cast. He fits in well with Dud and Ernie, and I hope we get to see more of them together, just hopefully farther away from the bloody mess of a cock fight. He looks to be joining the lodge, after all, which is a good (but probably bad) sign!
The honesty between the three of them in the restaurant was incredibly human, and a good gauge on their standing in life. Where Captain and Ernie talk of inflated dreams of big lives and in the end settling, Dud’s is the more interesting response. He simply wanted to work at his dad’s pool shop, go home and have a beer at the end of the day. Both treat it almost as disappointing, like Dud didn’t plan to amount to much, but my view on it was so much more than that. It’s a simple life, but a full life. He had a plan of doing something he loved, just as they did; less loftier than theirs, to be sure, but just as valid. I really liked Russell’s delivery in this scene, selling the love of Dud doing what his father did as a career.
Liz (Sonya Cassidy) is surrounded by people in the executive seminars trying to impress with high class attitudes and corporate buzzwords, but it’s through her honesty and realness where she is able to shine through. Her reading from her possible boss’ book and how one must intake the good people and excrete the bad is read out loud, as her experience has proven the opposite to be true: the regular folk are the good, and the higher-ups are the bad. She passes “The Essence”, completing the program, but her celebration with her ex-coworkers gives her pause, looking back at a life she was comfortable in, and perhaps not quite ready to give up on. It’s the same simple life Dud dreamed of, and now it’s fading away for something higher up. That self-destructive feeling might be seeping back in.
Captain’s explanation about phony land deals and shell corporations gave me massive Inherent Vice/The Big Lebowski vibes, as did Dud’s absolute confusion as the explanation grew more complex. But “oil” perked him up as a keyword he could understand. Both Ernie and Dud were finally offered something major, a big score to serve them for the rest of their lives. Perhaps it’s too good to be true, especially with Avery (Tyson Ritter) hanging out in the bushes, but for now, it’s good to see both men happy and friends again.
Connie (Linda Emond) gets a lot more time this episode, as her illness is growing worse. She struggles, returning to old haunts with nostalgia in her heart and refusing to leave the lodge when it’s too bright out. She is also writing a piece about the unemployed ex-Orbis employees and their small gathering to break office equipment turning into a catapult and trebuchet building exercise. It’s a smart little angle for the show to deploy, that destroying things can lead to the creation of things. It’s somewhat of a running theme in the show, the idea of building from the rubble, in both a metaphorical and literal sense.
“Something From Nothing” found the Dudley siblings using their lot in life to their advantage. They rose above their standstill and made things happen. Simply being themselves was the stepping stone needed to prove their worth, and it proved immensely worthwhile. This was easily my favorite episode of the season so far, full of fun and hilarious moments and really excellent performances from all. Campbell sticking around, at least for a little longer, is a bounty of riches, and is providing a wonderful lift to the impossibly great Lodge 49 cast as the show closes toward the end of its first season.
∗ New favorite line: “Guys, it feels weird talking to you while I’m sitting in a pool.” – Captain/Gary
∗ Vik Sahay as the corporate seminar hype man is amazing casting. He’s been in a lot of great roles over the years, but he’ll always be Lester from Chuck to me!
∗ Dud’s reaction to the cock fight is amazing (pictured above). Russell has been killing it in Lodge 49!