I was convinced that “Louie” would not be able to overcome the ugliness of the ‘rape’ joke that ground the first part of the ‘Pamela’ trilogy to a thudding halt (As much as I tried to downplay it in my review, it was a true low-point for the series).Thankfully, “Louie” smartly jumped away from the story for a week to get the collective taste out of everyone’s mouth. Then, the series returned with the romantic and downright wistful part two that found Pamela softening toward Louie and allowing some genuine affection to emerge. “Pamela Pt. 3” completes the arc in a most thoughtful, funny and welcome way.
Louie Needs Furniture
Of the many ways Pamela keeps her emotional distance from Louie while maintaining her affection for him, selling all of his furniture would seem the most manic and disturbing. It’s the kind of story one tells about a truly crazy ex-girlfriend and not necessarily a story you tell about a potential love of your life. Nevertheless, Louie touches on this story and manages to make it sweet and funny when Pamela accompanies Louie to buy new furniture and they banter like an old married couple.
Pamela Watches Louie Perform for the First Time
They’d been friends before and you might have thought Pamela had seen Louie’s act so it’s jarring to see a nervous Louie fumbling his material as he eyes Pamela who doesn’t laugh once. Her point is fair, it’s hard to laugh when the comic staring at you the whole time, but for someone like Louie to bomb in front of Pamela, it’s rather like yet another ball-busting on her part, only psychic rather than direct. After the gig Pamela meets Louie’s fellow comic and winds up consoling Louie after a jealous encounter with Marc Maron who’s just had his series picked up. Revisiting one of the most famed falling outs in comedy history also provides an opportunity for Pamela to offer a rare bit of tenderness, albeit in her snarky, tough love kind of way.
Pamela, I Love You
Regular viewers likely knew how this scene would play out as earnest Louie attempts to tell Pamela he loves her. Naturally, she hides behind jokes, and then sex before giving in to anger and letting Louie walk away wounded, What happens next however, is a wholly unexpected and wonderfully tender series of scenes that play out in the nude. After getting Louie to come back to her apartment, Pamela awaits in the tub. At her urging she joins him and they have a rare, earnest and thoughtful conversation about first kisses and Pamela’s reluctance to express her feelings. This is “Louie” at its absolute best, combining laughs and pathos, truth and grace, all in a single conversation. Yes, the metaphors are obvious, Louie is naked, Pamela is naked, their emotions are naked, though Pamela remains somewhat strategically covered, appropriate for both basic cable standards and her inability to be completely vulnerable.
Naked and Afraid
It’s a truly lovely scene and it ends season 4 on just the right note of sweetness and hope while setting up new obstacles and areas for humor in season 5. How will Louie and Pamela’s relationship play out? It could go anywhere from here with Pamela growing more open while Louie becomes a little more thick skinned and confident. There is so much more to mine from this relationship and I cannot wait for season 5. Here’s hoping Louie doesn’t make us wait a year like he did last time.