May 22, 2015

TV Recap: Louie - 'The Road:: Part 1"

Louis C.K.
Hello and welcome to the TV Recap series on FX's Louie. Join me every Friday as I recap all of the events that have happened over the course of the fifth season. Join as the show reaches new highs and news lows while following the stand-up career of Louis C.K. with his family and friends. Will it be better than the overtly ambitious season four? Will the show produce its best season yet? You'll have to read on to find out all of the juicy details along with plot descriptions and opinions on every memorable moment.
Proving that it is difficult for Louie to now go a season without at least one multiple part episode, we reach the penultimate with "The Road: Part 1." It is a concept that we have seen before, specifically in "Miami" where he takes a visit to Florida and turns it into the feeling of growing old. This time, at least in the first half, it is more of a broad adventure that captures more of the vibe of having to work on the road and dealing with all of life's problems. For the most part, it is more of an intriguing episode than one with deep and complicated plots. In fact, it may be better for that.
The episode opens with Louis C.K. getting ready for a trip. He packs his suitcase and heads for the airport. When he lands, he is met with Mike (Devin Ratray), who is overeager to please C.K. as they drive around the city. It eventually gets to the point at which C.K. asks him to be quiet. When they arrive at his place of rest, C.K. is disappointed to see that it is a motel full of people who randomly knock on doors. Mike, being eager, wants to drive C.K. to the club two hours early, but gets shot down. C.K. does a routine about how sex is private, which makes Mike laugh. Still overeager, Mike tries to please him on the ride back.
Upon flying to the next city, he has to take the train to another terminal. He witnesses a family walking in. When they exit, he notices a child is still on board. He helps her search for her family before she runs away. In the process, C.K. realizes that he has lost his carry on luggage with this distraction and asks for help. Things keep escalating and soon he is on the verge of missing his flight. Thanks to an attendant, he is able to get on board. The episode ends with him having to buy new luggage.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Here we are at the end of another Louie season and it's time to get back to what makes me really like the show. Where last season was too rooted in multiple part episodes that featured more fluff than interesting concepts, C.K. returns to his roots to tackle more interesting subjects that influence us all. In his case, the road is a place that many don't know that much about. In some cases, the audience may even be best viewed through the character of Mike; who finds the way of the road to be full of fascination and life. It is a place where anything can happen.
Then there's disaffected C.K., who run across a lot of issues on his trip. He is sleeping in motels that he doesn't care for. He loses his luggage after trying to do a noble deed. He just wants to be left alone, but he keeps getting thrust into situations that require him to do something. What makes it work is just how disaffected he is by it all. He doesn't see the glamour of travelling across the country or even the beauty of the city. He mostly wants to humor people long enough for him to relax in silence. This is fine, but someone will always come around to bug him. Unlike other comedians like Bill Burr or Myq Kaplan, he isn't nearly as friendly or lively as audiences would want. Does that make him a jerk? Kind of. But from his point of view, it kind of makes sense.
While the first half revolving around Mike is full of great moments of ventilation, the real magic comes in the second, where C.K. is called upon to be a hero at the risk of losing his flight. When he tries to play a hero, he ends up literally losing everything. It is a situation that feels all too real and ends up causing a lot of stress. It makes sense why he is overeager to talk to staff about his situation. He wants to just go about his life. This may be the most stressed that we have seen C.K. possibly all season. However, it was pretty cool to see him driving across the airport tarmac to his plane. Something about it definitely felt new and unlike anything that a show its kind has done before.
I am very curious to see what "The Road: Part 2" has in store for C.K. after these series of events. Where I initially had thought that there would be grander themes that were subliminally in all of the episodes, this is one of the first to not really share his family or Pamela in the central plot. Maybe it will tie together nicely. Maybe it will just be a grand plot leading to one random joke. I am not sure how Louie is going to end next week after a short but great season. All I know is that I'm going to miss it more than I did last time.

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