Louie, Ep. 3.08: “Dad” the show’s most brazenly cinematic outing yet
Louie, Season 3, Episode 8: “Dad”
Written by Louis CK
Directed by Louis CK
Airs Thursdays at 10:30pm ET on FX
After last week’s mostly “off” outing, Louie comes back swinging with one of its most brazenly cinematic episodes, a 22-minute whip-pan through a wide variety of topics and moods that feels very much like a dry run for CK’s theoretical return to feature-length filmmaking. (CK has stated that he’s considering running a Kickstarter-esque campaign to raise the funds to independently produce another movie, hoping to dodge the stdio interference that he feels doomed his surreal comedy Pootie Tang.)
“Dad” ostensibly follows a single plot thread for its entire duration, but it does so through a series of otherwise disconnected vignettes, all of which work, which is a relief after the draggy last two thirds of “IKEA/Piano Lesson.” “Dad” also opts out of the traditional Louie opening, instead treating us to the sight of CK’s screen daughter Ursula Parker and her considerable violin playing – rudely interrupted by her dad, who is adamant that this is homework time. “But it’s beeyooteeful!” Tough luck, kid. The scene gives us a rare glimpse of Louie as a less-than-ideal parent, which is fitting given that Louie spends the rest of the episode literally sick from the thought of even seeing his own father.
But before that fateful almost-meeting, Louie faces a marathon of ramping unpleasantries, from an embarrassing “assault” at a Best Buy-esque electronics store (and a hilarious instant-replay via security camera, starring a schlubbier stand-in), to a bizarre meeting with his deeply eccentric “Uncle Ex” (F. Murray Abraham, making his second Louie appearance), to a poker game that gets rudely interrupted by Louie’s mysteriously upset stomach. (The scene is just the latest bit of Louie‘s increasing acknowledgement of some kind of continuity, with Sarah Silverman joining in on the poker nights we last caught a glimpse of back in Season 1.) Abraham’s scene is particularly great; in a recent interview, CK mentioned that he didn’t feel Abraham’s previous appearance used him optimally, and promised this second scene was written for “his voice.” Usually when writer/directors throw that word around, they’re speaking of an actor’s entire aura, but I like to think that he was speaking literally, and he was intent on hearing silly non-sequiturs in Abraham’s authoritative, sonorous voice.