Lodge 49 Q&A — Peter Ocko & Jim Gavin (Showrunners/Executive Producers)

Peter Ocko and Jim Gavin, executive producers of AMC’s Lodge 49, talk about another near-death experience for Dud and the moment that brings the entire cast together. 

Q: Everyone comes together around these scrolls. Was it always an intention to bring the characters together like this?

Jim Gavin: I think we always knew. At some point, we started talking about a quest where everyone ended in the same place. That was definitely an organizing principle and something we were really looking forward to.

Peter Ocko: I think when we introduced the idea of the scrolls in Season 1, we wanted to be careful to pay it off and not have it explained away. I think that moment where they do come together is less about the scrolls and more about the fact that they’re all brought together because of them.

Q: Even Liz is a part of the action, despite her protests to get involved in the lodge. In fact, she actually steps foot in the lodge at the end of this episode. What might that mean for her?

JG: That’s a huge part of the story. Liz knocks on the door and Connie opens it, and it’s definitely a twinning of what we saw before with Dud. Her entry into the lodge is no small thing. We can say that for sure. I think many things had to happen to her before she gets to the point where she knocks on the door. She is looking for something. I don’t think she quite knows whether the lodge is the answer, like Dud does, but she’s there and we’re excited to see what that means.

Q: Every time people go to Mexico they seem to be changed — for better or for worse — when they return. Why do you think that is? 

PO: I think there’s something about the “other place” that is romantic and exciting. We all live our small lives and the idea of an escape to a different place in any story is super important. We loved the idea. I think living in southern California, it was a natural choice to make Mexico our goal, but I think the Mexico in our story is as much a fable land as Long Beach is. It serves a bigger purpose and represents an escape there. A utopian escape.

Q: Dud and Ernie grew apart and then came back together this season. Do you think the fact that Ernie is now Sovereign Protector and Dud chooses not to be a Knight will impact their relationship in the future?

JG: What happens in their personal story separates them. It’s two people, knight and squire, having to save each other and to help each other get to a certain point. Ernie is a deserving king and I think Dud feels like he hasn’t earned it yet. That’s something to look forward to – what does he need to do to become a knight?

Q: Connie tells Ernie that Clara doesn’t trust the people in London, that Lodge 49 may be the true lodge. Is this good news or bad news? 

JG: I think this season was a tale of internal strife within the lodge and tearing it apart. This season tells a story of coming together and everyone realizing what they need to do to keep the lodge in place and make sure Ernie is on the throne. I think in [the future], the strife and threat of the lodge would be more external and our knights will have to defend the castle.

PO: Viewers may have noticed an El Confidente painting that Connie is looking at that depicts dragons blowing fire on the lodge, so it’s certainly in the cards.

Q: Blaise and Scott sort of, kind of make-up. How do you think their differences this season will impact their relationship moving forward?

JG: They definitely represent two very different aspects of the lodge. Blaise is a mystic and Scott is the furthest thing from that, but the lodge requires both. They need to be in harmony and in Season 2, they are not. They definitely have a major falling out, but by the end, they recognize that they need each other. Scott, perhaps more than any other character on the show, is finally looking into the abyss of himself and I’m excited to see where that takes him.

PO: For most of the world, therapy is too expensive. If Blaise tells you to look inside of yourself, it’s a good thing to listen. [Laughs]

Q: And what was it like starting to explore some more vulnerable aspects of Scott this season?

PO: From a writers standpoint, it was a joy. The Scott that presents himself in the pilot of the series is not a fully fleshed out guy yet, but we knew that we could go a long way with him. We were able to push those boundaries and lean into a character – who you may have already jumped into conclusions about – and see another side of him.

Q: So…Dud gets struck by lightning at the end of Episode 10. Do these near-death occurrences have a deeper meaning or are they just a lot of fun?!

JG: What might seem tragic and catastrophic for another character serves as blessings on some crazy path for Dud. It’s the story of a guy who gets bit by a snake and then a shark and now lightning. Who knows what else is coming for him? He’s a wounded man and is trying to overcome a wound, but I think the meaning of that wound is the story we’re trying to tell. [Moving forward], I think he’ll take a step forward into a greater understanding of what that means – living with pain and loss. Sometimes you have to be a fool and it might be the only way to survive.

PO: As storytellers, our job is to devise new and disastrous ways to keep him wounded until the length of the series.

Q: Something falls out of the mystery door at Lodge 49! Anything you can tell us there?

JG: There’s a clock ticking at the very end. It’s the nature of time. [Eventually], that ticking clock will take on a new meaning.

PO: It will all become clear…

Q: What were you most excited for people to see this season? 

JG: For me, it’s two things. One, just watching our amazing cast develop more and get into more trouble – that’s the best part – and this season we knew we would have Paul Giamatti. He showed up and delivered in ways that I think are unforgettable. That was a major highlight. We all had such a blast. It was crazy to have our entire cast in one place. It was unforgettable.

PO: Being able to come back after Season 1, which was like a training season for Lodge, and to have an audience that understands the world and are expecting anything and wants to connect the dots – that for us was such a luxury. We can’t wait to hopefully make more!

Read an interview with Executive Producer Paul Giamatti.

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