'Louie' Review: "Elevator Part 4 / Elevator Part 5"

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FX's ‘Louie’ season 4 keeps the dramedy rolling with Tuesday's double-installments "Elevator Part 4" and "Elevator Part 4,"  the first half of which sees Louie and Janet attempting to resolve their issues for the sake of their children, while the second installment sees Louie stressing about the dwindling seriousness of his relationship with Amia.

Last week’s ‘Louie’ episodes “Elevator Part 2 / Elevator Part 3" saw Louie navigating a school incident with Jane and spending time with his downstairs neighbor's niece Amia, after which Pamela (Pamela Adlon)'s return complicated his new relationship. So how do "Elevator Part 4" and "Elevator Part 5” continue the cycle of amiable misery?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Louie’ season 4, episodes 7 and 8, “Elevator Part 4” and "Elevator Part 5"!

Louie and Amia continue to spend time together, both around town and with his children, even as the apparently massive threat of “Hurricane Jasmine Forsythe” seems to loom. Sometime later, Louie and his ex-wife Janet visit with a counselor to discuss the recent academic problems their daughter Jane has been having, which the therapist believes to be a result of their not getting along as exes. After the session, the two attempt to share a friendly conversation about Louie’s relationship with Amia, before Janet learns that the new woman in Louie’s life will also soon be leaving their children behind, while Louie himself has yet to consummate the relationship.

Louie returns home and flashes back to the early hears of his and Janet’s marriage, wherein a particularly rough night led Janet to amiably propose the idea of their divorcing. After an awkward discussion, Louie comes around on the idea, and the mood toward the impending dissolution of their marriage greatly lifts. Louie proposes that they have sex one last time, something afterward the two realize to have been the best they’ve ever had.

Unburdened, Janet even admits that she herself doesn’t find Louie’s particular brand of humor funny, though she laughs off Louie’s morbid suggestion that their last time having sex as a married couple could lead to a pregnancy. Back in the present, Louie jokes with his audience that he isn’t certain how much genuine sympathy he has for sick and elderly strangers, as he can’t be certain he’d give up even a few rare vices to make them feel any better.

"Elevator Part 5"

FX

Hurricane Jasmine Forsythe continues its ludicrous path of destruction, killing LeBron James and the Miami Heat, along with 12,000,000 others, while Louie introduces Amia to his comedian friends, despite her inability to understand even a one of them.

Over dinner with the group, Louie’s friends joke that his inability to communicate with Amia makes it so he skips past all the difficult aspects of relationships, while single people like Todd Barry have things significantly easier. Goaded by the sentiment, Barry reveals his typical day beat by beat, which recently included leisurely breakfasts and doctor’s appointments, before cheaply finagling a ride to a gig in Poughkeepsie. Once there, Barry petitioned the club owner to fix the misspelled sign on his dressing room door, the victory of which is cheered on by the entire bar listening to the story.

Louie returns to his building to find Ivanka passed out in his elevator, the resulting panic of which sees Louie dragging her out, and frantically calling for Dr. Bigelow’s typically-grumpy help. Bigelow helps Louie dislodge a mint from her throat, before Ivanka comes to and ends up disoriented about what she’d been doing. Louie returns her to her apartment, wherein Ivanka asks how serious the relationship between he and Amia has gotten. Louie admits that they haven’t had sex, for which Ivanka dismisses the legitimacy of their coupling.

That night, Louie finishes a date with a reluctant Amia by inviting her into his apartment, wherein Amia ultimately relents to Louie’s advances. The next morning however, Amia seems distraught and seems to imply that the sex was “no good” before leaving the apartment, and a dejected Louie behind.

OUR REVIEW:

The “Elevator” arc of ‘Louie’’s fourth season hasn’t proven as gut-bustingly funny as many have come to expect from the series, but despite the sizable real estate it appears to take up over the first run of episodes since 2012, we’ve come to appreciate the manner in which Amia and Louie’s relationship (as well as past insight from Janet) informs the Louie character and the many facets of communication. As we saw in the former half of Tuesday’s episodes, even in their early years Louie and Janet managed to find effective means to express their feelings, though it ultimately didn’t spare them from the rocky roads of divorce and a “second” relationship to manage.

Things with Amia have unfolded along a completely different trajectory, and as his friends point out tonight, Louie misses both the good and bad aspects of dating in that he never gets to truly gleam a single bit of insight into this person without an ability to share her language. Sure, they communicate effectively enough, and convey the core emotions needed to sustain their dynamic, though the moment any true intimacy finds its way into their coupling, Amia and Louie appear to have vastly different ideas of what they want from their time together.

Unless next week’s conclusion to the “Elevator” series brings some game-changing twist to the story, it’s hard to say exactly where Louie will end up as a character after Amia’s (presumable) return to Hungary, or if the 6 episodes required to tell the story prove an effective trade-off to the more conventionally funny vignettes we’ve come to expect. “Elevator” ably seems like something of a movie in its own right, and still carries with it enough of the earnest ‘Louie’ weirdness and digression (Todd Barry’s story was a particularly amusing side-gag) to remind us why the show makes the impression it does in the first place. For the moment at least, consider us in a similar limbo to the one widening between Louie and Amia, in our case over what exactly Louis C.K. has been trying to communicate to us.

AND ANOTHER THING…

  • The moment of Louie’s Flatiron scream gave a nice bit of complement to last week, specifically Louie having difficulty conveying his innermost feelings to Janet, while the counselor rightly points out that Louie feels moreso than he articulates.
  • Nevermind that Janet and her younger counterpart are portrayed by two actresses of notably different race, much as serial viewers have often questioned how Louie and Janet might have produced two young girls that don’t appear to look like either parent. Somewhat more disorienting was the nature of the digression over all, as we wondered for a minute or two if we were perhaps seeing a different couple altogether.
  • Still somewhat curious about the lack of any title sequences this season, or the manner in which the standup buttons seem somewhat tangential to the episodes they follow.
  • So yes, LeBron James and the Miami Heat are accounted among the 12,000,000 lost, along with Cuba and 90% of Florida. Gotta love the absurdity of Louie’s peripheral vision outside New York.

Well, what say you? Did you get your fill of awkward ‘Louie’ laughs? Did tonight's installments hold up to last week's duo? Let us know in the comments and check back next week for more all-new ‘Louie’ episode recaps of "Elevator Part 6," and "Pamela Part 1" on FX! Hooray for serialization!

Filed Under: FX, Louie, Louis C.K.
Categories: TV News, TV Reviews
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