“Circles”, a surreal and reflective episode of Lodge 49, focused on the history of the Lodge and Orbis to mixed effect.
This recap of Lodge 49 Season 2, Episode 6, “Circles”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
In “Circles”, a strangely surreal and reflective episode of Lodge 49, Blaise (David Pasquesi) is still missing. We see him often, though, in regular filtered flashbacks to the origin story of the Lodge’s relationship with Orbis, told through the perspective of the late Larry Loomis’s mother, Jackie (Cara Mantella). It’s an odd story, full of sex and lost secrets and suicide pacts, and while it sheds some light on the Order of the Lynx and the mystery of the missing scrolls, it also highlights how this show is at its best when it refuses to explain the particulars of its plot — even, arguably, when it has no real plot at all.
Lodge 49 has always used its alchemical mysteries as a metaphor for lost people trying to find themselves; whenever it makes its mythology literal, it loses something of itself. In “Circles”, Dud (Wyatt Russell) has a conversation with Ernie (Brent Jennings) in which they have a little falling out over the former’s slavish devotion to his perceived destiny, but it holds a little less water when there’s something tangible for Dud to find at the end of the Lodge’s secret, gold-lined passageways.
Liz (Sonya Cassidy) and the old Shamroxx crew aren’t immune to the literalizing, either; they chill out and get high, and during what initially appears to be a bad trip, Liz ventures through a door and into a snowy vista. When she returns, her hair is dappled with snowflakes.
I’d argue that Lodge 49 Season 2, Episode 6 is weaker for all of this. It’s best elements are also its most lifelike: Jackie backing out of a suicide pact to take the Lodge’s “secrets” for herself works better if those secrets aren’t alchemical riddles but gobbledygook; just a woman putting personal ambition over decency. Scott (Eric Allan Kramer) performing a song he has written at the Lodge’s open mic night, after banning Don Fab and the Longshoremen from performing, smacks of his desperate need to win back his wayward wife, Connie (Linda Emond). And Blaise, having been discovered by Dud reading Jackie’s story in a secret room, having to prise the infection from Dud’s shark bite proves that medical realities won’t budge under the influence of wacky ad-hoc medicine.
Eventually in “Circles”, Blaise and Dud crash through the floor of the secret room and right onto the stage where Scott is serenading Connie; it’s a perfect example of idle fantasies getting in the way of real life. I hope the rest of the season has more of that.