Louie Review: Redhead with Daddy Issues
There was another cold open on "Dad." It was a long one, and it portended what the show had in store for us, as Louie was actually awfully strange until he received a phone call.
It was from Uncle Exclesior (a Latin word meaning "ever upward" and is often used as an interjection – an appropriate name we’ll soon discover) and it offended the electronics store employee.
But Louie dismisses him, causing the employee to place a box on the ground behind Louie as he talks on the phone. Uncle Excelsior announces he’s coming to New York and wants to meet Louie at the Russian Tea Room. Stunned, Louie turns and falls over the box.
Determined to not let it go (a theme that grows and festers like a tumor as we approach the episode’s conclusion), Louie complains to the manager, only to be ridiculed once the transgression plays back on the security camera footage. It’s here, we actually get to see Louie watching himself and saying, “That’s not me.” He’s become someone he despises. Defeated, Louie leaves briskly and even more agitated.
From there, I don’t know that you’ll see a better scene than when Ex gives Louie the finger and tells the story about a father wearing a condom with a prostitute. Best scene of the episode, one of the best in the season and arguably the series.
We cut to Louie playing cards with Sarah Silverman, Nick DiPaolo, Jimmy Norton and a couple other comedians. Jimmy’s waffling on his next move, then eventually calls. When he gives money to Louie for chips, he accidentally includes what appears to be a child’s drawing of a woman with a scraggly bush sucking a huge (penis). The table teases Jimmy mercilessly, which prompts one comedian to launch into a story. He’s abruptly cut short when Louie throws up and clears the room.
At the doctor's office, the screws come loose and Louie begins to unhinge from reality.
On the airplane, the stewardess announces their arrival and mentions Louie’s dad. The neck rash looks worse, as does Louie, who crushes his plastic cup. At the rental car agency, he throws up on a car and gets chewed out by the attendant who harangues and disparages him. Even Louie’s dashboard GPS gets in on the action.
Distracted, Louie almost rear ends a truck, but stops short. The car behind him honks and Louie loses it. He and the driver, a tough-lookin’ muscular dude with a shaved head, yell at each other before the guy notes that Louie’s nose is bleeding. He gives Louie a rag, Louie apologizes then talks about his dad. The guy says his dad is dead. Louie apologizes again, perhaps this time learning his lesson and they hug it out.
As Louie pulls up in front of his father’s house, we come to the main event. The denouement we’ve all been waiting for and lead to. As what sounds like a tuba plays, the scene feels like a commercial for pepto bismol or Gas-X. An exhausted Louie closes the car door, which makes the driver’s side window shatter into a million pieces instantly. He makes his way to the door looking sicker with each step.
Finally, at the door he pauses a moment before ringing the bell. A shadow appears and grows larger as the figure approaches. The moment of truth has arrived. Time to figure out what happened and hash it out. Only, this isn’t your typical TV show. It’s an indie film disguised as one. This is where we expect to see Louie’s father and all the crap he’s put him through; where Louie’s father breaks down into tears for the way he treated his son; where Louie doesn’t accept his father’s newfound regret or admission of guilt but slowly comes around.
Nope. Instead, Louie backpedals like a high school freshman about to ask his crush to the school dance. He takes off and runs down the street. It’s like a bad dream. He discards his long sleeve shirt, hops on some sort of ATV and speeds away as if he’s in a chase sequence without a pursuant. He runs to the end of a dock, hops down into a speed boat and jets off.
Finally, in the middle of the ocean, the boat comes to a stop. Louie looks around then laughs – maybe at his own absurd behavior, maybe at how no matter how adult he tries to be, he’s just an overgrown kid. Maybe he’s laughing at us for being so gullible as to think we’d see him make up with his father? Or maybe he’s been down this path before, just as he had been last week with Marc Maron?
In any case, we wait as he sits idly, bobbing up and down, by himself, in the middle of the ocean. As the credits roll, there’s no music. Just silence and solitude. Despite how surreal and fantasy-like that sequence was, this is his reality.
What’s it all supposed to mean? We’re weren’t given the standard To Be Continued like with were in "Daddy’s Girlfriend Part 1" or with any other cliffhanger that doesn’t neatly tie loose ends. But that’s Louie and that’s life. The show is a situational comedy, the antithesis of "sitcom." And I don’t think anyone will get sick of that anytime soon.