‘Louie’ Recap (Season 3, Episode 8): “Dad”
There have been 34 episodes of Louie so far, and I think “Dad” might be the strangest one yet. It is a series of comedic vignettes, strung together by Louis’s fear of his father and stress about visiting him. Over the course of the episode, Louis encounters an almost supernatural series of occurrences that result in Louis escaping his father via numerous methods of transportation, and it had me laughing my ass off at how weird and fantastic Louie can be.
For the first half of “Dad,” Louis is frustrated: his daughter keeps playing beautiful violin instead of doing her homework, the staff at an electronics store would rather harm him than help him, and he’s just received a mysterious phone call from his “Uncle Excelsior,” who wants to meet him for lunch.
Louis reluctantly meets his Uncle Excelsior (played by F. Murray Abraham, who was the husband of the woman who offered Louis sex and drove him to their house last season) at the Russian Tea Room. Excelsior is clearly from a different world than Louis: he tells jokes about dukes he’s visited, and explains the relationship between a father and son with a metaphor about condoms and prostitutes. The point of his visit is that Louis needs to visit his father in Boston, despite not seeing him in two years.
Louis puts off the visit for a while and plays cards with his fellow comedians. Whilst discussing Sarah Silverman’s breasts being cut off and Jim Norton’s homemade pornographic art, Louis suddenly vomits on the table, which obviously ends the game. He visits the doctor and we learn that aside from the sudden urge to vomit, he also has a rash. The doctor thinks it might be a sign of stress, and Louis realises that he is torn over whether or not to visit his father. He decides to overcome his fear and travel to Boston, spontaneously vomiting and getting into mischief along the way.
Once he finally makes it to his father’s house, Louis decides to run far, far away. He gets on one of those weird three-wheeled motorcycles and speeds to the docks, where he jumps on a speedboat and heads to the middle of the ocean. This is where “Dad” ends, with Louis floating on a boat in the middle of nowhere, laughing his ass off with relief about not confronting his father.
This episode is all about the unresolved: we don’t learn why Louis has a problem with his father nor why the thought of visiting him makes him sick with stress; we don’t even see his father at all, which would seem to make this episode pointless, but it’s executed in such a ridiculous and amusing way that makes me not care about any of this. Louie is all about the different, the unusual, and the unexpected, and “Dad” was a perfect example of this. Aside from all that, I think I laughed more at this episode than any other this season. Everything Uncle Excelsior (what a name) said was hilarious, and I cracked up every time Louis vomited (or when he closed the door of his rental car and the window randomly exploded). After the disappointment of last week’s episode, “Dad” was a delight: this is everything I love about Louis C.K. and Louie the show in one package. Superb stuff.
Image credit: FX
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