That was a serious trip, the kind of episode that people write long ass existential term papers about, deciphering all of the references to mythology, history, time/space, and feminism, among other things, that were going on. I think that this might be one of the shows best episodes to date, and considering what a great show this is, that is really saying something.
The episode title, circles, seems like a reference to the circular nature of time, with the myth of the founder of the lodge running parallel to the journey to find the scrolls of Jackie in the 60s and the journeys of Blaise, Dud, and Liz in the current time, all trying to find fulfillment and meaning in an often cold and uncaring world, with the scrolls and alchemy as a possible thread that ties them all together, as the past and resent literally run into each other and pass by each others stories. Jackie seemed to be the only person who wanted to find the truth of the scrolls for the sake of pure knowledge and for the benefit of the Lodge (unlike the guys she shared them with who wanted them for bragging rights or to monetize and weaponize them), much in the way that Dud hopes to find them for the sake of the Lodge and finding a purpose in his life after so much senseless tragedy.
So will Dud and Liz come together and activate their Wonder Twin powers to figure out the real secrets of the Lodge? Is it possible that Liz is the true chosen one, and her buddies are, like, her three wise men? They seemed to be especially paralleling Jackie and Liz, two women with lots of potential and drive, but nowhere to really put that drive to use. There is also a parallel with the original founder, who left behind terrible memories of a war to found the Lodge and go on his journey, while Jackie didnt kill herself with Wallace to stay with her son Larry, who would later need her support to deal with his own terrible war time memories. This episode has possibly the most confirmation that some supernatural stuff is going on here...maybe. The scrolls are certainly real, but what do they really say, and where are they? Did Liz find the hole in space and time that Dud maybe found last season, or is just a gas leak that makes you see things? But then how did Liz get snow in her hair? What does it mean?!
Thats not getting into the corporate commentary, like seeing the 60s version of Orvis trying to turn Long Beach into a full on company town with its own currency, only to end up just looking dumb while screwing over their blue collar workers, or the strange world that is being built by people in the abandoned Orvis factory, or poor Gil being pulled into the Fydra pyramid scheme out of desperation, there is just a whole lot to chew on here.