The Family Plan: Does Burning River Lodge Really Exist? Is Planet a Real Car Dealership?

Dan Morgan takes his wife Jessica and their children Nina, Kyle, and Max to Burning River Lodge in Apple TV+’s action-comedy movie ‘The Family Plan’ when several hitmen try to kill him. Dan realizes that his “enemies” know about his secret life and family in Buffalo when one of them tries to eliminate him in a supermarket. After dealing with the predicament, the Planet Car Deal employee decides to hide himself and his family in Las Vegas. On the way, he stops at the lodge to get a good night’s sleep. The lodge and the car dealership’s placing in the narrative are significant as far as Dan and his journey are concerned!

The Fictitious Lodge

In the film, Burning River is presented as a lodge in Cleveland. However, there isn’t any such lodge in the city in reality. The name of the establishment is a reference to the Cuyahoga River fire that happened in June 1969. The water in the river was immensely polluted during the time due to the dumping of industrial waste. Several manufacturing units were located along the river, which bisects Cleveland and feeds into Lake Erie. On June 22, 1969, an oil slick on the river caught fire, which paved the way for pivotal consequences.

Time and National Geographic’s coverage of the incident unraveled the ecological crisis the country was confronting, which seemingly made Congress launch the Environmental Protection Agency in January 1970 to oversee pollution regulations. The nation also celebrated the first Earth Day in 1970, which is a legacy of the “Burning River.” Due to the prominence of the fire, several establishments in Cleveland are named “Burning River.” The phrase gradually became synonymous with the city. In the film, the progression of Dan and his family’s journey is marked through the “Burning River” lodge rather than explicitly stating that they have reached Cleveland.

A Window to Dan’s Normal Life

Similarly, Planet is a fictional car dealership in Buffalo, New York. The establishment is just like any other car dealership in the country, where a salesman has to try his best to persuade a customer to buy a vehicle. There is nothing extraordinary about Planet and that’s not accidental. The car dealership represents Dan’s ordinary life, which he leads with his wife Jess and their children Nina, Kyle, and Max. For years, Dan worked as an assassin and put his life on the line to eliminate targets, initially for the government and later for his father McCaffrey’s clients. Every day as an assassin might have been an adventure on its own for Dan. He left the world of blood and adrenaline rush to lead an ordinary life.

Dan’s transition from working as a hitman to a car dealership salesman shows how much he longed for normalcy in his life. Dan left the realm of crime to lead a life filled with minimum conflict. He wanted the biggest challenges he would face in his life not to involve murders and dead bodies. At Planet, his biggest concern is a potential customer not wanting to buy a car. The same doesn’t keep him awake at night or stop him from cherishing his life with his loved ones. Dan embraces the mundaneness at his workplace because it allows him to live with a family and without guilt.

Read More: The Family Plan: Who is Trying to Kill Dan? Why?