Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
While I greatly enjoyed the series premiere, “Back,” it was the second episode of the hour-long helping of “Louie” that really solidified the show’s return. “Model” began with Louie in a bar talking to a somewhat attractive waitress and attempting to ask her out, but instead of rejection he’s hilariously told not to ask because she doesn’t want to feel bad for saying no.
We then got a great scene with Jerry Seinfeld, reprising his role as himself from Season 3’s “Late Show” epic, as he offers Louie the opportunity to open for him at a charity event in Long Island. Seinfeld’s skepticism about it was priceless, with him telling Louie he can’t be his usual crass self, Louie agreeing, and the scene being followed up immediately by a shot of Louie desperately trying to think of ideas on the bus to Long Island. There was some great interplay between the two comedians in this scene, with Louie almost seemingly like a young comic being mentored by the elder Seinfeld.
Things became even worse when he arrived at the event, as a t-shirt clad Louie found himself surrounded by dresses and tuxedos, uninformed and possibly in over his head. A frustrated Jerry then berates Louie for not knowing it was a formal event and hilariously gives him a crest-covered jacket to wear. (I have to mention that seeing Seinfeld restage a bit from his own show was nothing short of priceless.) Louie, of course, crashes and burns during his set, finding it hard to come up with material and often unintentionally insulting the audience, whom are all silent except for one spirited woman.
When Seinfeld takes the stage, he immediately throws Louie under the bus, offering a couple of jabs at him before continuing into his own material as a dejected Louie heads for the exit. It’s here that the episode’s main part comes into focus, as outside the event he meets Blake, a beautiful model (played by guest Yvonne Strahovski) that happened to be the lone woman who laughed during his set. Blake confesses that she thinks Louie was totally out of place at the event, but she loves the fact that he went on stage anyway and even took a few of the guests down a peg. What follows is some fun interplay between Blake and Louie, as her carefree spirit clashes with Louie’s usual cynicism, as Louie tries to process the run of good luck he seems to be having. Yvonne Strahovski brings a lot of fun and personality to Blake, always jumping and skipping around while Louie just stands there. When they finally begin kissing, the look on Louie’s face a few scenes later as he lies in bed next to her says everything about his arc this episode. He’s obviously happy, but also slightly overwhelmed and really trying to process what just happened.
Louis C.K.’s script and direction present Blake in an interesting way, too, often having her be obscured by shadows in dark areas or appear out of focus due to standing far away. Only a handful of scenes actually show a clear image of her, almost as if she’s like a fantasy for Louie that he only gets to experience for a few moments at a time. He’s like a dog chasing a car, and once he catches it, he’s not sure how he got it or what to do next.
Of course, this is “Louie,” which means their bout of passion can’t last long. In a hilarious reversal, Blake tries to tickle Louie causing him to swat her hand away and accidentally break her nose. And again, because this is “Louie,” he ends up going to the hospital with her and has Blake’s parents bring a lawsuit against him for the damage to her face. His scenes with a lawyer recommended by Jerry provide some chuckles, and Louis C.K. ends the episode on a somewhat hopeful note, with Louie smiling as he tells the story to the waitress from the episode’s start.
All in all, this was a truly fantastic episode of “Louie” that used all the elements that make the show great: hitting on some great character beats, the use of some great visual storytelling, and most of all, providing a ton of laughs. Louis C.K. seems to have come up with some great material during his hiatus, and if “Model” is any indication, I can’t wait to see where this long-awaited fourth season of the show goes.
Which guest star did you favor this episode? Let us know in the comments below?
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