There isn’t much good TV on right now, but what is good is great. Well, “was” great. You probably finished your Orange Is the New Black binge-watch a week ago; Game of Thrones wrapped up its massive season four on Sunday; Fargo will do the same tonight (Molly lives or we riot); and this Saturday will be the, one can assume, insane Orphan Black finale. Somewhat lost in the shuffle is a show that’s ostensibly a comedy, but is as impressively and effectively dramatic as any of those series. That would be Louie, which just concluded a great season with an equally fantastic two-part finale.
When last we saw Louie and Pamela, he was refusing to let her leave his apartment. What could have been a largely uncomfortable follow-up was…normal. I mean, “normal” by Louie and Pamela’s standards, which means a lot of name-calling, sarcasm, and one utterance of the word “nigger” (maybe my biggest literal LOL of the season), but hey, to each their own. Your opinion for these episodes is probably tied into your feelings for the hallway scene — if he did, indeed, sexually assault her, then parts two and three of “Pamela” only confirm the misguided belief that “no means yes.”
That’s not how I saw it, though. I think the finale did a fantastic job of showing that it’s actually Pamela who controls the power. There was an interesting gender flip throughout, with Louie playing the role of the emotionally frustrated woman who fixes her face in the mirror, and Pamela as the man who’s unable to show his feelings. Conventions mean nothing on Louie. It’s no wonder she mutters “women…” underneath her breathe. She’s also the one who dictates the terms of the relationship — they only sleep together after she tells him how it’s going to be, and she’s the one who throws out all his “junk.”
(Speaking of “junk”: we came uncomfortably close to seeing Louie’s. Instead, we got a nice, pasty waste butt shot. Bobby Hill can never escape the flatness.)
That’s also why, despite their pleasant bath, they don’t belong together. They’re two broken personalities, and while two halves usually make a whole, there’s no way this relationship, or whatever Pamela doesn’t want to call it, ends well. He’s sad, she’s cruel, and together, and everything’s uncomfortably aggressive or awkward. Nothing’s ever simple — their make-out sessions look like a bear attacking a picnic basket, and half of their conversations begin with Pamela pointing out something wrong with Louie before relenting. They refuse to take anything seriously, right up until the point where he wants to take EVERYTHING seriously. (That’s why the Marc Maron scene stood out. Unlike Louie, he’s all “this is what I f*cking think of you, you f*ck,” all the time.) Eventually, though, Pamela explains where she’s coming from: her fear of intimacy is matched only by her interest in looking for baby elephants in your mother’s vagina. She’s the kind of friend who you wonder what having sex with would be like, but you know you shouldn’t. Nothing good can come out of it, and although “Pamela” ends on a happy note, I can’t imagine things will be all dick pics and vagina selfies the next time we check in on Louie and Pamela.
Whenever that is.
1. Don’t say your name on the phone. It’s 2017 (what a weird detail); people know who’s calling.
2. Don’t press the button.
3. Do skip into Central Park at night. You won’t get murdered (probably).
4. Do send pictures of your junk to the object of your affection. Assuming it’s consensual.
5. Do make fun of “daddy” and his mailbox body to endear yourself to his kids.
6. Don’t be OK with your maybe-girlfriend throwing away all your stuff.
7. Do make meeting your maybe-boyfriend’s ex-wife as awkward as possible.
8. Do wear those glasses, Louie, no matter what Pamela says. They look great.
9. Don’t take your lover to your comedy show. It’s too much pressure for everyone.
10. Do take that bath you’ve been waiting seasons for.