This is just a really fun episode. Last week’s was certainly very experimental, but this one gets back to the basics, delivering a consistently funny storyline with tons of little jokes thrown in and several fantastic performances to anchor. It’s as entertaining as television gets these days, and it utilizes a great set up to both bring the laughs and to explore the Louie character in depth.
One of the major themes recently in the show has been the sense of loss of control, especially regarding Louie’s daughters and their developing maturities. The first sequence highlights this head on: Lilly seems to be bored and not paying attention to the play, but afterward, Louie’s punishment of taking away her phone is met with strong resistance. The tables are turned on him, and he’s surprised at the way his daughter takes in the play because he doesn’t even think she cared. “I thought it was beautiful,” she says, and we’re starting to get some flashbacks to last week, to Lilly calling A Clockwork Orange “artistic”.
Afterward, even the younger daughter can control his life. The sleepover just happens before Louie can even do anything about it, and he’s even forced to take them along to bail out his brother at the police station. He attempts to act like a father of sorts to Shasta–he fails, and the shot of him closing the door quickly on her mom is hilarious–he fails to order pizza properly, and he gets into a little spat with TranquiliTAY and Afghanistan. It’s not a fun time for him, and it makes sense why he’d turn to Pamela at this point.
What makes their interaction so great in this episode is not only the performances, but also the fact that Louie’s acting a bit different here. Due to the loss of control regarding his daughters’ lives in this episode, he’s now not being all that passive, instead choosing to initiate the phone sex with Pamela. He’s being more assertive about what he wants now, and although Pamela eventually chooses to hang up on him, her small smile tells all.
-Bobby’s black and white story is awesome. I especially love the guy getting arrested in the background.
-The Broadway bit mashes up several plays: Close and Lithgow’s A Delicate Balance, Cera’s This Is Our Youth, and Broderick’s This Is Just A Play.
-Two more left this season. That went fast.
Photo credit: FX, Louie