We’ve now seen five of the six episodes in the “Elevator” arc. Minus commercials, that’s 110 minutes on a single story, enough material for a full-length film. There have been bits and traces of weirdness around the fringes of the episodes — the cannibalism, the Hurricane Jasmine Forsythe, the white wife turning into a black ex-wife — but “Elevator” is as serialized as Louie has ever been, and it’s just as great.
If you still watch Louie for diarrhea-busting moments, maybe you’ve been disappointed, expecting belly laughs every minute, but that’s not what “Elevator” is concerned with — it’s about sadness, loneliness, isolation, divorce, f*cking your life up by f*cking one. more. time. It’s heavy sh*t, but in typical Louie fashion, presented in such a way that the humor distracts from the darkness.
Take, for instance, the magnificent scene between young skinny Louie (played by Vine star Connor O’Malley) and young gorgeous Janet (CSI: Miami star Brooke Bloom). It’s the dying moments of a marriage, and they both know it. But rather than go out with a fight, they end things with a moan. Nine months later, Jane is born, and unlike Todd Barry, Louie has someone to care for and worry about for the rest of his life. (Brief aside: that Todd Barry scene was perfect. The smallest wins, like a free doughnut, are magnificent triumphs for him, and I love the way his monologue ended with an ovation, as if him saving two bucks on a disgusting Chinatown bus to Croton-Harmon is more deserving of respect than saving lives or caring for other human beings.) Jane and Lily are his everything, but when they’re not around, they’re a devastating reminder of his living by himself. That’s why Louie is so willing to take a chance on Amia, and so UNWILLING to recognize how much her absence is going to hurt his daughters, despite the fact that they can’t really communicate with each other.
Although they manage to get a few things across:
Once again, sex ruins EVERYTHING. Amia is sad because Louie’s late-night insistence in his apartment, which is thankfully more sad than creepy, is the end of their friendship — things can’t be the same between them anymore. He screwed the cow, to so speak, and she’s no longer his. Oh boy, can’t wait to see what happiness awaits in part six next week. Maybe the hurricane will kill everyone!
Now to Do’s and Don’ts: Todd Barry Edition.
1. Do wake up at 10 a.m.
2. Do order the same thing every day, and maybe you’ll get a free doughnut.
3. Don’t “dip” into your data plan.
4. Do take the $8.50 death-trap Chinatown bus to upstate New York.
5. Do make a big fuss if someone spells your name wrong.
He lives a simple “buy 10, get 1 free” life.