‘Louie’ Recap (Season 3, Episode 6): “Barney / Never”
“Barney / Never” feels like one of the earlier episodes of Louie when we didn’t really know what the show was going to be like. It’s essentially two short stories – “Barney” and “Never” respectively, and is possibly the funniest episode of the season so far simply because of how ridiculous it is.
The first section, “Barney,” involves Louis running into Robin Williams at the funeral of a mutual friend. They are the only two that have bothered to show up and meet for coffee afterwards. They talk about their history with “Barney” and how much of a dick he was and eventually end up at a strip club Barney frequented that the two never went to. They explain that Barney was a friend of theirs that died to a stripper, who starts crying. It’s not long before Louis and Robin are surrounded by crying strippers and depressed customers, showing that while Louis and Robin never particularly cared about Barney, some people obviously did. A lot. Louis and Robin laugh at the strangeness of the situation and then agree to go to each other’s funerals.
The second section, “Never,” is where this episode excels. Louis ends up babysitting one of his daughter’s classmates, an eccentric boy named Never, after his mother tells him it’s an emergency – she’s going to get her vagina removed. While Louis talks to his daughter (who doesn’t like Never at all), Never pushes a stroller into traffic, causing a car accident and a toxic gas leak. This kid is clearly trouble and Louis is going to let him into his own home.
While Louis attempts to feed Never something without carbon in it (his mother says all carbon is from China and that various foods will kill him), his young agent from a previous episode calls him and tells him he has to do a radio interview to publicize his shows in Kansas City. Louis reluctantly agrees while preparing Never a bowl of raw meat. After Never throws Louis’s rug out the window, Louis decides to let him have a bath while he does the radio interview. The interview goes badly – the interviewers are terrible shock jocks that laugh at everyone Louis says (even though he isn’t being funny) and play ridiculous sound effects. The interview ends when Louis says Kansas City is the worst city in North America and then his daughter tells him there is something smelly coming from the bathroom.
Now, dear readers, I have not let out a sound like this since perhaps that episode of Louie where he rushed his pregnant sister to the hospital only to discover she had gas. It was a combination of a laugh, a shriek and an “oh my God” all in one. What has Never done in the bath? Well… he’s “diarrhea’d in the tub.” Louis simply stares at Never, who just sits in the shitty water like this is a normal occurrence. It is a horrifying, hilarious and brilliant moment and already one of my favourite moments in Louie ever.
Unfortunately, we don’t get to see Louis tell Never’s mother what a terrible person she (and her son) is. After Louis sits with Never (now in a robe), the episode ends back at the cemetery, with Louis and Robin watching JB Smoove (hey, it’s Leon!) and another guy argue about the African language while burying Barney. The perfect ending to one of the strangest and funniest episodes of Louie ever.
“I diarrhea’d in the tub.” That is Louie summed up in one single moment. Fantastic.
Image credit: FX
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