|Left to right: Parker Posey and Louis C.K.|
Welcome to my recaps of season 3 of the FX television series Louie. Join me as I try to dissect what I hope will be another excellent season from one of my favorite shows currently on TV. I think what makes this show work is the ability for Louis C.K. to be self loathing and artful at the same time in unique and clever ways. Also, keep an eye out for my Breaking Bad Breaking Half column set for upcoming Mondays.
On this week's episode, we join Louis C.K.'s date with Liz (Parker Posey), the book store employee from last week who left a strong impression. She seemed so perfect and blissful. In a sense, she was the manic pixie dream girl to this bizarre, cynical world. What exactly does C.K. choose to do with this character? This week's episode may in fact be a dissection of the aging dream girl in a fairly simple story of two people walking around New York.
The episode begins with a stand-up routine in which C.K. talks about dating, including a riff on how he farted after dropping her off. A continuing bit includes a quandary into the downsides of being an attractive woman. The notable downside is that you're everyone's sexual fantasy and how disturbing that must me.
The episode immediately jumps straight into the date. The two meet up and kick things off. Liz insists that they walk instead of taking a cab. This is later discussed to be because C.K. is fat and unattractive and Liz has no tits, which is the main reason she is sticking with him. There is already a sense of self-depravity developing and a bizarre connection that comes with it.
Along their walk, the see a homeless man (Casey Siesmaszko). He goes on a story about why he is sleeping in the cold. This includes stories about how he sees snakes and cannot get rid of them. He considers sawing his arms off, but that it would only cause problems. C.K. tries to convince him that there aren't any snakes. When that fails, he buys him a sandwich and gets him a room at the Comfort Inn.
After that, Liz and C.K. are seen entering a stairwell. Liz decides that they should walk the entire way to the roof. Things go smoothly at first, with Liz telling C.K. to breathe and relax. However, when C.K. gets exhausted, it takes some forceful encouragement to get him going again. By the end, he is completely exhausted and a little light headed.
Once on the roof, Liz heads towards the edge, which C.K. doesn't approve of. He tries to coax her away, but she just acts unafraid. She deducts that he won't come over because he is afraid to jump, since it would be too easy. She defers that she isn't and eventually joins him far away from the edge. The episode ends with her finally telling him her name and that she had a great time.
I will admit that it would be a little hard to top last week's introduction. I find the Liz and C.K. relationship to be very sweet and I would love to see it continue. My hopes are not diminished this week, and instead are solidified. While it doesn't have all of the energy that makes last week so good, we finally get a good chunk of time with Liz, which is great compensation.
We get to understand who she is as a person. She is a little crazy and has a rocky history. However, she is kind of ambitious and wants to challenge everything that comes her way. She may be a little much at times, but she seems like a nice fit to C.K.'s cynical world view. In fact, he seemed to be much more cheerful and active in this episode than he has been with most women.
With that said, it is possible that this is the end of their relationship. While I see that the night ended on a high note, there is a chance that C.K.'s desire to impress her just deterred him from future dates. He is willing to impress her now, but what will happen down the line when he doesn't want to?
Of course, this would also insist that she will be coming back in future episodes. It's not too far off, as Pamela Adlon has appeared numerous times throughout the first two seasons. However, this is the joys of Louie. This could go either way. This could be a slight of hand that disappears next week and C.K. is back dating someone else. I would hate for that, but I don't rule it out.
Overall, it is a solid episode where we get to see these two on a personal level. It is less busy than most episodes have been, and that causes it to drag at times. However, this completes an exciting story that started last week with at least a happy ending. Isn't that all we could hope for in Louie?
Favorite moment: The ending is kind of beautiful in a way that almost blurs the line of manic pixie dream girl. There is a belief that C.K. could overcome his fear of being close to the edge. Liz's ramblings seem to be almost hopeful. This provides fruition and while it may seem that Liz is a little crazy, she has some good points to her, too. It is a beautiful speech, and the capper of her finally giving her name is the sign that gives me hope that Liz is coming back. They're just that great together.
Rating: 4 out of 5
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