Follow TV Tropes


Series / Lodge 49

Go To
"It's different in here."

Lodge 49 was a series airing on AMC and starring Wyatt Russell and Brent Jennings.

In Long Beach, California, perpetual loser Sean "Dud" Dudley lives out of his car, combing the beaches for anything he can pawn for money to buy booze and donuts. His life is forever changed when he stumbles upon a ring from the local chapter of the Order of the Lynx, a secretive fraternal order devoted to alchemy.

In November 2019, shortly after the second season finished airing, the series was canceled.

This series contains examples of:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: When a still very alive Larry sees the memorial bench in his honor, he loves it.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Whenever Liz gets drunk, she gets very, very stupid. At one point, she gets drunk, bets Alice that she can pull a couch with her teeth, and ends up not only crashing into a mirror, but then falling through a glass table.
  • The Alleged Car: Dud lives out of an old car that is falling apart. When itís stolen by Bert, the pawn shop owner, it almost feels like he was doing Dud a favor without meaning to.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: There's definitely something off about Booie, the Pool Party poolboy, with his lack of eye contact and ignorance of social cues.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Dud and Liz are divided about whether their fatherís death was a mere accident, or if he committed suicide. The show never answers for sure either.
  • Asshole Victim: After repeatedly stealing commissions from Ernie, Beautiful Jeff hijacks Ernie's plan to locate Captain... and gets lost in the desert.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Thought Captain was a friendly, fun-loving guy? Nope. Heís trying to con Dud, Ernie, and everyone else in the city out of millions.
  • Brick Joke: Throughout the first season, Dud repeatedly speculated that his fatherís death/disappearance was due to a shark attack, which Liz doesnít believe. In the season finale, Dud goes surfing in the same spot and gets attacked by a shark, causing him to smugly say ďI told you soĒ to Liz.
  • Broken Pedestal:
    • After Larry's death, Ernie learns that Larry's been stealing from the Lodge for years. He is pissed. However, by the end of the season he starts to reevaluate his opinion after Dud points out Larry only did so to keep the Lodge open and keep everyone together.
    • Both Dud and Ernie end up feeling this way about Captain, after heís exposed as nothing more than a drunken scam artist.
    • After decoding the diary found on Wallis Smith's body, Blaise learns that Smith wasn't a true alchemist but a insecure, It's All About Me jerk. Mitigated however in that he comes to admire Jackie Loomis, the real author of the diary.
  • Butt-Monkey: The whole world seems to be working against Dud. Jocelyn gets it even worse.
  • Capitalism Is Bad: Most of Dud and Ernie's problems can be traced to some greedy prick higher up on the food chain, whether it's the bank that took Dud's home and business to pay off his dead father's debts or the customers who stiff Ernie on commissions and force him to eat the expenses when they underestimate the costs of a piping job. Season 2 reveals that this is baked in to the DNA of Long Beach itself; the town's perpetually-ravaged economy is the result of Orbis, the main employer, conducting incredibly ill-conceived experiments in finance in the sixties.
  • Career-Ending Injury: A snakebite on the foot ended Dud's hopes of surfing professionally.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The Geologist seems like a recurring extra at best. Until he exposes Captainís scam to Dud and Ernie.
  • The Chosen One: Towards the end of his life, Larry starts to believe that Dud might actually have been sent to redeem the Lodge.
  • Cope by Pretending: Sean Dudley lost his father in an apparent suicide. He keeps insisting that his dad must have been killed by a shark. At the end of the season finale, after finally accepting that his dad probably killed himself, Dud goes out to the beach... and gets attacked by a shark.
  • Corporate Conspiracy: Played with, as Conspiracy Theorist Champ keeps insisting that Long Beach's financial woes are all the fault of a mysterious organization called Parabola, which is ingrained within local company Orbis. Champ turns out to be partially right; there was in fact a Parabola group within Orbis back in the sixties, and they did play a role in Long Beach's financial woes, but Parabola is long dead, and their role in Long Beach's problems was accidental ó they were conducting an experiment in theoretical currency called the Orbit and the Orbits ended up in the hands of employees, who began converting much of their savings into Orbits. When the Orbit turned out to be unsustainable, lots of families in Long Beach lost all their savings, leaving Long Beach as a Dying Town.
  • Death Seeker: Dud believes that Liz is secretly suicidal, given that she gave up on being a paralegal in favor of a dead-end waitressing job at Shamroxx. After falling through a glass table and getting a nasty cut on her wrist, she barely manages to avoid being forced to get counseling at the hospital.
  • Disappeared Dad: Dud and Liz's father vanished while body-surfing one day. Since his body hasn't been found, nobody is sure if he drowned, killed himself, or left town.
  • Dream-Crushing Handicap: Dud once planned to become a professional surfer, even winning the chance to compete in Nicaragua. But then he got bitten on the foot by a snake, and the wound never healed properly, and thus he can't surf anymore.
  • Due to the Dead: In the third episode, Dud and Liz finally hold a memorial service for their father.
  • Dying Town: The suburb where Dud and Ernie live is in dire straits because of the closure of the local Orbis plant. Nearly everyone on the show either knows someone who's being affected by the closure or is themselves being affected by it.
  • Enemy Mine: Bert ends up helping Dud get his family's pool shop back, because he'd rather have Dudley & Sons back than have to deal with Pool Party.
  • Eye Scream: Gary tries to shoot Avery with an old harpoon gun, but he misses and the recoil sends him flying backwards over a balcony... where a narwhal statue stabs him through the eye.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Dud and Ernie go through hell together, but by the end of the first season, theyíre clearly close friends.
  • Foolish Sibling, Responsible Sibling: Subverted. Dud is a classic screw up, squatting in his old apartment and living on spare change and pity, while Liz has a full-time waitressing job and is interested in moving up the corporate ladder; however, it quickly becomes very clear that she's just as much of an emotional wreck and a stunted adult as her brother, and sabotages her own chances at moving up.
  • Foreshadowing: There are several moments where Connie seems to have weird hallucinations. Then in the season finale, we learn why; she has a brain tumor.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Dud may be lazy and unmotivated, but he is extremely literate. At one point, he is seen reading the works of Giordano Bruno.
    • Gloria is a talented sketch artist, but a teacher that ranked her the worst in class years ago shook Gloria's self-esteem. She drops pursuing an art career shortly after.
  • Horrible Housing: Long Beach's economy was ruined when a cult attempted to turn the city into a Company Town back in the sixties, and thus many of the recurring cast live in less-than-ideal conditions. Liz's apartment is small, has a broken dining table, and the bedroom is dominated by an old pool slide. Dud lives in a cramped old trailer on the outskirts of town. And Champ is squatting in the abandoned Orbis factory, where he is apparently competing for sovereignty with other squatters.
  • Gainax Ending: By virtue of being Cut Short. Liz enters the Lodge for the first time and is struck by the same deja vu Dud experienced in the first episode. Meanwhile Dud wanders to the trailer and starts ferociously digging a swimming pool in a rainstorm; his shovel is struck by lightning, and his unconscious body sinks into the mud... Only for him to come falling out of the Lodge's mysterious second-floor door. Cut to black.
  • Insistent Terminology: In the fourth episode, the Lynxes discover a dead body in a secret room. Everyone keeps calling it a mummy, but Blaise insists that it's actually a reliquum corpus, because the dead guy was trying to put himself into suspended animation.
  • Jerkass: As the rest of the Lodge tries to prepare for Larry's inevitable retirement and death, Scott keeps trying to throw wrenches in the works just because he doesn't want Ernie to become the new Sovereign Protector, even though he knows full well that Ernie's the most likely one to get confirmed.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane:
    • Either alchemy is real and the Order Of The Lynx is descended from a real Ancient Conspiracy, or it's all a load of crap and the Lodge is just a fancy social club. The season one finale all but states that itís for real.
    • At one point, Dud hides in a sewer and seems to have a transcendental experience, seeing a vision of space in the water. Towards the end of the season, itís revealed that the water in the area has been tainted and may be causing people to experience hallucinations. So did Dud have a mystical experience or was he just tripping balls?
    • Some elements of Dud's hallucination in the hospital allude to events he is unaware of (that Ernie went to Mexico with El Confidente) or that haven't happened yet (the crashing plane in the Flash Forward).
  • Mentally Unwell, Special Senses: Connie and Larry both experience seeing things no one else can (she sees people sometimes cloaked in glowing auras, he sees an actual dragon in his front yard), and both are a perfect example of Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane (although the series implies real magic may be involved, she has a brain tumor, and he may be affected by toxins in the local water supply).
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: After Beautiful Jeff is sent to the hospital for dehydration after getting lost in the desert, his boss acts as though he's mortally ill.
  • Missing Mom: Dud and Liz's mother passed away when they were young, leaving them to be raised by their father.
    • This actually becomes a minor plot point in Season 2, when Liz befriends Lenore, an old girlfriend of her father, out of a desire for a maternal figure, despite her being less than an ideal option.
  • Money Dumb: Dud is thousands of dollars in debt as a consequence of his bad decisions and inability to plan ahead or live within his means. The fact that he keeps trying to clear his debts by pawning anything of value to his loan shark doesn't help things.
  • Monochrome Casting: Pleasantly averted. The show includes characters like Ernie (African-American) and Gil (Latino) in its portrait of the decline of the American middle class. The Lynxes are also shown to be more diverse than some of the real-world groups it's inspired by.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Janet Price, with her black suits and turtlenecks, Cloudcuckoolander tendencies and legal troubles stemming from being a massive fraud are carbon-copied from Real Life grifter Elizabeth Holmes.
  • Ponzi: In season 2, Liz gets roped into selling "Fydro", water that has supposedly been "infused" with the element of fire.
  • Punny Name: Blaise, the friendly neighborhood pot-shop owner.
  • Pyrrhic Victory:
    • In the first-season finale, Liz clears her debts, but she's broke, her employment prospects are bleak, and after the stunt that she pulled with her bank, it's probably going to be hard for her to get another loan.
    • In the second season, Scott finally succeeds in becoming named the new Sovereign Protector of Lodge 49, but only because the London office believes that he'll sign off on a brutal repayment plan for the Lodge's debts. And everyone else at the Lodge knows this, so he quickly finds himself becoming even less popular than he already was.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: Possibly what literally happened to Avery after the debacle with Captain. When Daphne explains she and Avery work for the same employers, Dud asks where Avery is, and Daphne offhandedly mentions he's in Antarctica.
  • Red Herring: The second Captain shows off his live harpoon gun, you just know itís going to kill someone. And he does try to use it... but he misses. And the recoil knocks him out a window for good measure.
  • Refuge in Audacity: In order to clear her debt with the bank, Liz hands them all the money from her bank account and then threatens to kill herself if they don't declare her debt paid off, telling the clerk that whether they accept her offer or not, they won't get any further payment. They accept.
  • Resentful Guardian: Among the reasons Gloria is stuck in Long Beach is because she has to take care of her elderly, infirm mother. She's reached the point where she openly wishes her mother would just die so that she can move on with her life.
  • Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: After realizing that Janet Price's whole image is a fraud, and realizing that Janet's tutelage will just turn her into a fraud, too, Liz literally jumps ship.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Harwood Fritz Merrill, the first Lynx, originally became interested in alchemy to try and find a cure for what would now be called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which he struggled with as a result of his experiences in war. This started a tradition, with many Lynxes being military veterans like Ernie and Larry, the latter of whom also developed PTSD after serving in the Vietnam War.
  • Shrouded in Myth: Captain, a mysterious businessman who nobody seems to really know about, yet is fabulously wealthy. The truth is depressingly mundane; heís just a bumbling con artist whose scams are starting to crash down around him.
  • Soul Crushing Retail Job: In the first season, Liz works at Shamroxx, a Hooters knock off. Complete with work nightmares!
  • Stepford Smiler:
    • Dud remembers his dad as a smoke-ring blowing, live-for-life kind of dude. Liz however claims to have been privy to his real state: a deeply depressed man being crushed under astronomical debt, and thus suspects that his drowning was no accident.
    • Captainís cheerfulness turns out to be a weak facade. Heís really a drunken loser who only got his money through scams and criminal enterprises.
  • Swarm of Rats: One causes Shamroxx to be closed down in the second season premiere.
  • Tear Up the Contract: When the mysterious Captain is finally tracked down, we see a brief scene of him preparing to sign divorce papers; on a whim, he eats the papers as a defiant gesture at his now ex-wife. The gesture is largely symbolic, as Captain's next seen drunk and destitute in the street.
  • Threatening Shark: In the season one finale, Dud decides to try surfing again, but a shark bites his right leg.
  • Trailers Always Lie: The teasers for Season 2 play this up, presenting the show variously as a horror show, cheesy sitcom or A-Team-style action show.
  • Trauma Conga Line: In the course of a year, Dud suffered a debilitating injury to his foot, lost his dad, lost his job, and lost his house. It's not hard to see why he's kind of a mess.
  • Variations on a Theme Song: The theme tune in the season 2 episode "Le Reve Impossible" is changed to an appropriately triumphant mariachi version of the usual music.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back!: As much as they loathe Dud for his constant failures to pay off his debts, Bert and Herman hate the Pool Party family worse, and thus they help him sabotage the Pool Party and ultimately force the family to hand the deed to the store back to Dud.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: After getting drunk on her day off with her co-workers, Liz wakes up in an apartment with her co-workers and a man from Shamroxx's corporate division completely knocked out. The next episode fills in the blanks for her thanks to recorded video.
  • Women Are Wiser:
    • Unemployed slacker Dud and his hardworking sister Liz. Also qualifies as an example of Polar Opposite Twins. Subverted later when it becomes clear that Liz is just as self-destructive as Dud, but she's better at hiding it.
    • In season 2, it's revealed that all of Wallace Smith's supposedly brilliant deeds were actually done by Jackie Loomis; she allowed Wallace to take the credit because she realized that nobody would listen to her because she was a woman.