When last we left the story of Louie and Pamela (Pamela Adlon) the line ‘You don’t even rape well’ had ended the show with a stunning thud. An unfunny encounter between Pamela and Louie ended in an unsatisfying fashion for the characters and audience alike. After leaving the story behind last week for time with Louie’s daughters, we return to the Louie and Pamela story and are surprised at the show’s ability to make us not only forget the series low-point but witness one of the series true comic high-points.
Louie and Pamela Go on a Date
Somehow, despite his ‘not raping well’ Pamela is not only taking Louie’s calls, though not without giving him a very funny hard time, she’s willing to go out with him. First stop is a very strange art gallery filled with unique avant-garde exhibits that seem at first disjointed, and rather typical of the esoteric New York art world. Things take a strange turn toward the meta however as more and more the exhibits begin to feature Louie himself, though neither he or Pamela acknowledge it.
First, a video installation features Louie’s screaming face just as Louie himself turns and walks away. Later, a recording of the N-word is in Louie’s voice though he doesn’t appear to have recorded it himself. Still later, a human installation of naked men standing in lijne is headed up by a balding, red-headed, middle aged guy, clearly modeled on Louie. What was the point of all of this? Beats me, but the meta moments lend a strange energy to Louie and Pamela’s interactions in the gallery as they giggle and traipse about like snarky teenagers. Better yet, the whole series of scenes deliver some very big laughs.
Central Park at Night
After picking up some take out Louie convinces Pamela to go into Central Park at night for a picnic. There, Louie convinces Pamela to look up at the stars, not something New Yorkers are often capable of; the lights of the city tend to obscure the lights of the sky. There is a meteor shower on this night and realizing that Louie planned this romantic adventure around this beautiful sight, Pamela is touched by the romance and the chemistry between them that is typically barbed briefly becomes sweet.
Pamela Spends the Night
You didn’t think Pamela was going to make things easy did you? Pamela Adlon has established the character of Pamela as a borderline personality, fearful of just about any show of caring or vulnerability and here those qualities are expressed through a game of naughty peek a boo via text message. While the previous scene briefly recalls the repellent rape joke from two weeks ago, this series of scenes bubbles where that one boiled and the chemistry that was missing two weeks ago shines as Pamela and Louie consummate their budding relationship.
The Morning After
Ah, but it would not be Louie without a deprecating denouement. The following morning brings Louie’s daughters on an unexpected visit. Here, Pamela takes the opportunity to return to her ball-busting persona while still giving Louie enough tough love to know that they’re on the same emotional trajectory. Yes, it seems Pamela is feeling what Louie feels. Will the second half of the season 4 finale undo these good feelings? Wait and see.