Louie: “Elevator Part 3” Review
“You know what’s happier than a three-legged dog? A four-legged dog.”
Louie: “Elevator Part 2” Review
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
“Louie” is not a show overly concerned with continuity. In fact, it’s not concerned with it at all. Louis C.K. seems so disinterested in the show as an institution that he’s frequently recast recurring characters for no reason. Only a handful of characters are treated with any sort of consistency, and outside the main cast of Louie and his two daughters, only his comedian friends and one or two side characters return played by the same actor.
It’s surprising then, that “Elevator Part 3” heavily relies on recurring appearances, bringing two characters back, entirely unchanged. Louie’s storytelling is sometimes so succinct it’s more a short film series than a television comedy, but this episode in particular feels like the C.K. decided to take the show in a more serialized direction. The episode begins with a lost-in-thought Louie being literally kicked in the ass by Pamela (guest star Pamela Adlon), whom has returned after two years away. Adlon is as funny as ever, giving Pamela the same energetic, sarcastic attitude that made her a joy to watch in the show’s early years. Louis C.K. got to show his acting chops again here, responding to Pamela’s excitement with nothing but a detached stare. This is where the story dovetails into the ongoing “Elevator” plot, with Louie announcing that he’s involved with Amia when Pamela says she’s open to a relationship with him. It’s obvious from this scene that both Pamela and Louie have changed a bit, or at least are now at different places in their lives, another nod to a continuity rarely acknowledged by the show.
The update on the issues with Jane followed this continued season-wide theme of Louie’s distance to women, as he was informed that Jane could be struggling due to his lack of communication with his ex-wife. This verbal distance is supported even further with the next scene, where Jane is introduced to Amia, and learns that not only does Jane know a small bit of Hungarian, but both play the Violin. The improvised duet the two play is a perfect encapsulation of how Louie feels in that moment, impressed, but unable to reciprocate what these women are doing. He’s simply trying to make sense of all the events laid out before him. The final scene addresses this nicely, as he consults another returning character, the doctor from “Back,” for advice. Amia has revealed she is going back to Hungary in one month, and Louie is unsure whether he wants to continue pursuing a relationship with her. Much like Jane in “Part 2,” the doctor’s advice on the matter is as hilarious as it is philosophical, with him delivering a wonderfully absurd story about his dog. (I also loved his enthusiasm for all the diseases he studied in med school but has never encountered in real life).
Overall, this was a fantastic episode of “Louie” which broke the show’s own conventions, yet somehow also played to a lot of its strengths. It’s clear that the narrative Louis C.K. wants to tell with “Elevator,” and possibly Season 4 in general, is a big one, and it’s got many moving parts, all with a function working towards this common theme of Louie’s relationships to the women in his life. The segments with his friend from “Model,” which bookend the episode, provided a few chuckles, but it’s the main plot with Pamela, Amia and Jane, that really kicked into high gear. It’s got everything an episode of “Louie” should have and more: humor, heart and a few pretty endearing musings on life.
Excited to see where this story is heading? Let us know in the comments below.
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For some reason I’ve never been able to get into his TV show but I do enjoy his standup routine.