Monday, May 26, 2014

REVIEW: 'Louie' - Louie Screams Out a Window While the Weather Gets Reported On in 'Elevator Parts 4 & 5'

FX's Louie - Episode 4.07 "Elevator Part 4" & Episode 4.08 "Elevator Part 5"

Louie and Janet seek professional help.

Louie and Amia connect.

Louie is asked twice in these two episodes tonight whether or not he is sleeping with Amia. It's a reasonable question to ask considering the amount of time he has spent with her as well as how much time she has been around his kids. For how complicated the whole situation is, that's a benefit that Louie should be getting. It's an awkward situation to address but both Janet and Evanka ask so bluntly. But both have very different reactions when learning that they're not having sex. Janet's is one of concern for their children and how they'll feel while Evanka's is one of laughter over the situation not being as complicated as it could be. But that's not the end of Louie's story with Amia. The two do get to the bedroom by hour's end. And that's such a wonderful sequence too - with the two at the door not saying goodbye and going from kisses on the cheeks to kissing on the mouth and then working their way to the bedroom in the dark. It's realistically raw. And that only contributes more to the awkwardness that is the morning after where we learn that it just wasn't that good... for Amia. To Louie, he doesn't understand and was happy with it. That means there is still more story to tell with their unique relationship.

But that's not all Louie gets to do tonight. In "Part 4," he gets to do the thing every person who's ever been in therapy wants to do: walk to the window, open it up and shout at the top of their lungs. That scene is frustrating with how little help the therapist actually provides - she does get one great insight which will keep her in business - and how Louie and Janet just aren't on the same page anymore. And frankly, that's a discussion that doesn't happen a lot when people talk about divorce. They talk about how messy it is when the split first happens. They talk about things getting better over time. What they don't mention is how the relationship still goes through the ups and downs just like any other relationship. Louie and Janet can both agree never to go to another therapy session ever again but they still haven't come to a decision on what to do with Jane.

And that launches another great moment of introspection by Louie. While staring up at the inside like we all do, he remembers a time earlier in his marriage with Janet. It was a time when they were both willing to end things but also to have sex one last time. And the rest is history. It continues the episode's discussion of divorce - but through the perspective of a young couple who are struggling together. They can't even get the hotel to deal with the noise above them. They've had a rough year and just want out. That really does seem to be of the mentality of today's society. Couples are happy to get married and it's good for a couple of years before it comes to an amicable split. Sometimes marriages aren't meant to go the distance. That is a reality today. And sometimes couples stay together because they have kids or because its beneficial to them. Louie and Janet stood together a little while longer because of the kids and they must have had some good moments during that time because they also had Jane. But Louie and Janet are also a better couple when they are not together romantically. Their split allowed them to be happy in their own lives. They can go out in the world and life. Of course, they still have the kids to deal with. But up until this point, that has been fairly easy. This situation with Jane is complex and will require a complex conclusion.

Additionally, we get a couple of really poignant yet different vignettes in "Part 5." Todd Barry tells the simple story of what he did for the entire day. And it's just fascinating to see him going into the simple details of life. He woke up, got on his IPad, had some food, worked out, took a nap and then went to a gig. It's a simple life but it's also a happy life. It's a happy life because it's how he wants to live it. He has his own identity. He's not attached to another person or to kids. He is his own man. He is Todd Barry and not Todd Berry and that letter is the most important thing in the world.

Later on, Louie walks back to his apartment's elevator and finds Evanka unconscious. He can't wake her and is forced to drag her out and get Dr. Bigelow to come save her. It's a really dramatic moment. Evanka could just as easily die and that would throw a major wrench into Louie and Amia's relationship. He's the one who found her. But once Bigelow enters the scene, it becomes much more obvious that the scene is meant to be lighter. Evanka is not going to die. She was just choking on a Mentos. She's up and back to normal in less than a minute. And is healthy enough to walk up stairs and question Louie and Amia's sexual relationship. It's an offbeat sequence but one that really leads itself up to the developments with Louie and Amia later. This "Elevator" arc has been a really entertaining and complex story for Louie as of late. I'm really intrigued to see how it will end next week.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Elevator Part 4" was written and directed by Louis C.K.
  • "Elevator Part 5" was written and directed by Louis C.K.
  • We know so little about Patrick and yet Louie can't even come up with one negative thing to say about him.
  • It's.... interesting that a young Janet is white. Yeah, that's all I'm gonna say about that.
  • I love that the whole room is listening to Todd's story by the end. And he rightfully gets applauded by the end of it.
  • Hurricane Jasmine Forsythe has killed LeBron James plus 12 million other non-famous people and the rest of the Miami Heat.
  • Plus a young bird died! She was only 6 years old!
  • But let's get some more storm updates from Weather Guy.
  • Louie: "Can we leave now while this feels kinda even."
  • Louie: "For 800 dollars, we could have Jane killed."