Louie Louie Louie: Airport/New Jersey

As Season Two of Louie continues on FX, John S and Josh will be offering NPI readers their reactions to each episode. At the end of the season, they will rank the episodes. Get excited.

John S: Louie’s second season ended with a very simple, basic joke — Louie hearing Pamela yell “Wave to me” as her yelling “Wait for me!” — but it was one that I laughed quite a bit at. It was a fitting final bit, considering the outlook the show tends to have on our hero: He’s passive, self-destructive, slightly stupid, and persistently hopeful. All of that was conveyed by the last joke. And while I would have liked to see his daughters in the last episode, it was somewhat fitting that the last scene of the season was Louie trying one more time to get Pamela to reciprocate his feelings. Faced with the prospect of her leaving for good, Louie was obviously devastated (and nice acting by C.K. to convey that sadness) even though she has consistently shot down all of his advances. Is an airport scene a trite way to end a season? Maybe, but Louie managed to do it in a way that felt interesting, since it was about saying goodbye more than it was about trying to stop someone from leaving. The first half of the episode, though, was a little silly and a little pointless. It seems like C.K. uses stories like this to showcase how immature Louie is, even having Chris Rock berate him until he feels “appropriately shitty.” But it’s hard to really buy that Louie is such a craven individual when the only times he really does stupid things are when cartoonish characters enter his world to tempt him (a PTA mom offers a night of intercourse, a neighbor wants to smoke pot with him, a woman waits outside his show to proposition him for a threesome). In normal interactions, Louie’s behavior is entirely appropriate and rational, which makes scenes like this one kind of pointless as morality tales, and kind of broad as comedy sketches.

Josh: “Airport/New Jersey” was not the strongest episode, but a fitting end to the season. It brought together several elements of the season, including Louie’s unrequited love for Pamela and shockingly forthright—and absurd—propositions from women to Louie to have sex with them. Unsurprisingly, Louie’s niece Amy did not appear in this episode, which makes you wonder if, when season three comes around, Pamela will even be in Paris (She probably will since there has been continuity in plotlines revolving around Louie and Pamela’s relationship so far, but, who knows . . .). Chris Rock—who worked with C.K. in Pootie Tang—was a guest star, but I thought he was utilized poorly, for reasons similar to those John expresses. Pamela and Louie’s interaction has been one of the best parts of the season, and I once again enjoyed Pamela forthrightly telling Louie that she is not and will never be attracted to him. Unlike John, I didn’t find the “wait for me/wave to me” confusion that funny, but nonetheless liked it as a cute way of highlighting Louie’s trend of misapprehending friendly gestures from Pamela as romantic ones.

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