The standup sets have come few and far between this season of Louie, so when one does show up, it usually serves a purpose, acting as a sort-of theme for the entire episode. “Pamela (Part 1)” had one of the longest in the show’s history — it began with Louie asking the crowd to applaud if they think they’re going to Heaven, and ended with an extended riff on wife-beaters and beating the sh*t out of women. This, in a season where Louie sent Yvonne Strahovski to the hospital after (accidentally) punching her in the face, and he corners two different women. One time, it “works,” he has sex with Amia, and everything is horrible and awful. That scene is more desperate than anything, but in last night’s episode, his refusal to let Pamela leave his apartment is staged as a comedic set piece — she doesn’t play the victim; instead, she cracks wise about Louie not even being able to “rape well.” Yet it’s still an uncomfortable moment in a depressing season. Louie, Louie, Louie, you’re gonna cry.
BUT “Pamela” ends with a fist pump, even after most of Brooklyn is decimated (maybe that’s not such a bad thing), Louie’s Hungarian love breaks up with him, he nearly gets run over by a shirtless fat man in the rain, is ordered to pick up his his doctor’s dog’s poop, AND has an uncomfortable encounter with two would-be mobsters plotting a murder. Actually, maybe the fist pump makes sense — usually Louie’s happiness is our happiness (think back to the final scene in last season’s finale, where he gleefully shares food with a Chinese family), but here, we feel kind of miserable. He’s celebrating a kiss that had Pamela recoiling in horror, unable to escape. I have to imagine this is intentional.
We’re supposed to feel kind of sh*tty and confused. In “Elevator (Part 6),” he’s the hero, literally carrying his ex-wife and daughters out of danger; in “Pamela (Part 1),” he’s a brute using his physicality to force a kiss from a non-consenting woman. It goes back to something he said in his standup routine: it makes no sense that men are in charge. Using his fictional Louie persona, Louis C.K. is showing why that is. Louie is mostly a good guy, but he’s also desperate, needy, and when he’s sad, like he is when Amia leaves, he’s threatening. But not THAT threatening — he still gets blamed for spitting on the floor of a bus. I’m very curious to see how this arc resolves itself over the rest of the season.
Lemme know what y’all think, not only about all THAT but how much Louie tipped the translator waiter.
“Elevator (Part 6)”
1. Do jump for joy when your family member has sex.
2. Don’t cry for Brooklyn. They’re already dead.
3. Don’t ever throw away a plastic bag. You never know when they’ll come in handy.
4. Do get Hertz to help pay for your expensive storm episode.
5. Don’t forget to tip your waiter.
“Pamela (Part 1)”
6-10. Don’t…well, yeah.