A few thoughts on the second episode of Horace and Pete coming up just as soon as I wear a bikini under my clothes…
Where Horace and Pete's debut episode felt self-contained enough that it didn't necessarily require follow-up, the second episode was more of a blend of filmed play and ongoing series. Various subplots – Sylvia's attempt to convince Horace to sell the bar, Horace struggling to reconcile with his daughter – moved forward, and there was more of a sense of how the show can function, narratively and structurally, for however many episodes Louis C.K. intends to make.
That said, this one felt more scattered than the premiere. There was an over-arching theme about the difficulty of connection – Sylvia misses having Horace as her confidante, Pete is reluctant to see his friend Tricia from the hospital, the Tinder woman is annoyed at how difficult it is to have even a simple conversation with the guy, etc. – but at times the episode felt more like a collection of loosely-related sketches (or an episode of Louie) than the relatively cohesive first hour.
On the other hand, this was a notably funnier installment. Steven Wright had a lot of great dry one-liners (“I want to take some of those sentences back”), the hipster accepting the higher cost of beer once he understood it was a douche tax was a great pay-off to that argument, and Horace's sex fantasy about Marsha was hilariously uncomfortable. (And can Jessica Lange win another Emmy – assuming this show is eligible in any category – just for her delivery of “cum dumpster”?)
I don't know how much of this show is being written on the fly by C.K. The topical references could be the only part of it, or he could have written episode 2 only after episode 1 was done. But the whole show's an experiment, and I imagine C.K. is going to keep playing around with what exactly it is for however many additional episodes we get. So long as the performances remain this good, and the writing this thoughtful, I'm in.
What did everybody else think? For those who liked the first episode, was this a worthy follow-up? For those who were still on the fence, did this make the show feel worth the investment? Did anybody start out with this one because of the cheaper price point?