“I don’t believe that you have to hit this arc structure of a story, where you have to tell everybody why you told the story, you have to tell everybody how it ended and what the conclusion was and start again with a whole new problem next week. It’s been run so many times in television that people can see it coming and it’s hard to enjoy.”
Louie says that quote in the commentary for this episode, but it also highlights his approach to the series as a whole. He doesn’t believe the classic tv conventions are needed, so he doesn’t use any. He says it in reference to this episode because it is particularly fragmented, even by Louie’s standards. But it does introduce the most important character after Louie, even more important than the kids, and that’s Pamela. For that, it’s an essential episode.
The episode begins with a cold open of Louie at his therapist’s, played by David Patrick Kelly of The Warriors and Twin Peaks fame. Louie says he is confused by sex, and the doctor says “it’s very simple: the man takes his penis, puts it in the girl’s vagina. He ejaculates, and she dies.” When Louie questions the dying part, the doctor simply says “Oh no, I was thinking of something else.” There are three of these scenes scattered throughout the episode, and they are all basically just a surreal joke, with the only lasting thought being why does Louie go to this guy?
The first segment begins with a stand-up set from Louie, after which he gets approached by an attractive 26 year old blonde woman. She says she has a thing for old guys. She smells Louie and says old people smell “like dying. It’s sexy”. She then puts her number in Louie’s phone, and leaves when her date comes over to ask her to go. The whole thing is almost creepy, and plays like the type of fantasy that only an older recently divorced bald man would have. Louie just goes along with it, almost stunned throughout, which doesn’t change when they cut to the next scene of them having sex at his apartment.
Her brand of dirty talk is hearing Louie say things that prove how old he is (favourite line “I voted for Mike Dukakis” “Who the hell is that!”). Then when she’s done, she says “that was great. Thanks” and leaves. Louie’s expression as he closes the door is one of amazement and disbelief, as if the whole thing
was a dream, which Louie confirms on the commentary when he says it was made up. It’s a short (5 minutes), simple sketch, and it helps give more space to “Play date”, which is one of the rare pieces in the show that informs future episodes.
The piece begins at a PTA meeting, which we are told is the first one Louie has attended, which gets a warm reception from the other parents. It’s also Pamela’s, but they don’t care so much about that. The other parents gathered are complete idiots, and yet their responses seem incredibly accurate to how real parents are in life. “They’re being demoralised. You fill them with academics, you don’t tell them who they are!” is just one ill-conceived suggestion. The same parent asks angrily “when are they suppose to dance?!” Also they don’t have a gym because of last year’s “diarrhea flood”, which is all that’s said about it, leaving the viewer to imagine a gym flooded with diarrhea. Thanks Louie. Somehow Louie’s solution to the fatigue problem that “School sucks. You do what you can to improve it, but in the end there’s a limit.” gets the worst reception with the parents and teachers.
After the meeting, Pamela approaches Louie, and the two share a cigarette and bond over managing to do adequate parenting. Their kids are friends, so Louie asks to arrange a play-date. Pamela asks “You’re not trying to stick your dick up me are you?”, which sets up how their relationship operates from then on. Another parent, Mrs Cartesian, approaches them and asks if her son Never could join the play-date, but Pamela says that they’re not making plans for one. Mrs Cartesian leaves and Louie says he feels bad, but Pamela justifies it by saying “She’s an asshole, and Never is a piece of shit” “Well, he did come out of an asshole” is Louie’s rejoinder, and their friendship is set in stone.
Illustrating Louie’s lack of conventions, the “Play-date” piece in this episode is broken into two parts itself; one the PTA meeting, the other the actual play-date. They are separated by another therapist scene, where the doctor says the reason Louie has no friends is because Louie thinks he’s fast, but the doctor was the only one who brought up Louie’s weight. He’s basically just saying that Louie’s fat.
Pamela is played by Pamela Adlon, who played Louie’s wife in his previous show Lucky Louie and is the only other person that contributes to the scripts aside from C.K. Pamela (the character) is almost perfect for Louie. They are both divorced and share a world weary attitude. The play-date takes place at Louie’s apartment, where Pamela stays because she couldn’t find anything else to do. After dinner, the kids play and the two adults share their problems with other parents, children and other people’s misconceptions of divorcees. Louie wins at “what’s the worst thing you’ve thought about doing to your kids” when he says on his youngest daughter’s 18th birthday he thinks he’s going to kill himself, as after that he will stop being a dad and just become a regular guy. While other people might have been shocked or offended at hearing that, Pamela reacts by laughing and saying “please do it now! You’re the biggest bummer I’ve ever met” She then passes out from too much wine, which her son wakes her up from, knowing full well it was because of the wine, showing us that it has happened many times before. When she wakes up the two of them leave in an instant.
Pamela is a rarity for Louie; a woman who is roughly the same age that he can get along with and like him is not the perfect parent. After she leaves we get a close-up of his face, and he looks actually sad. Here was a person that made Louie sad when they left the room, not entered it. Contrast that with the face he pulled when the young girl left his apartment earlier in the episode, and it’s easy to see that Pamela means something to him. This is the first time in the show that we see Louie actually wanting something, and as the relationship is developed in further episodes it gets more and more heartbreaking. In fact with every passing episode that’s the only thing you can expect from this show, yet I can’t stop watching.