LOUIE 2.03 ‘Moving’

Hit with the relocation itch, Louie faces a tough decision - and a harsh reality.

Johnny Firecloudby Johnny Firecloud

After the chaotically awkward experiences with others we saw in the first two episodes of Season 2 of FX's "Louie," our ginger-capped hero turns the lens on himself – particularly his urge to find a new dwelling. We're shown an increasingly restless soul, who needs a ray of sunshine to step in. It could be a woman, it could be a new hobby, or it could be a $17 million house. Who knows?

After an extraneous stand-up story about a plane ride dissolves into a study on identifying race and sexuality in conversation, we're taken home with Louie, who when moving a piece of furniture is met with protest by his kindergarden daughter. We're witness to the unnervingly real mind-melting madness of a child's innocent but unyielding logical devices, making them both adorable and unfathomably irritating.

Frustrated with the confines of his place and, undoubtedly, the memories of his married life attached to it, Louie decides it's time to move into a new place. Something bigger. Maybe a house? He's so consumed with the idea during breakfast with a friend (comedian Todd Barry) that he completely ignores his buddy's incredibly grotesque & long winded idea for a film project featuring Louie's mother.

"That was only like, ten percent of the idea," he pleads as Louie excuses himself to go find a place. "There's a lot more to it, I think you're really going to like it." Hilariously deadpan as the story went, Louie may as well have been on another planet.

Visiting some apartments is disheartening, and he decides on an upgrade to a house. But upon learning that the one place he wants happens to be $17 million, it becomes clear that Louie has to downsize his ambitions – either that, or warm up to the potential sanitary predicaments of having a toilet in the kitchen. That particular location also has the distinct honor of being the home of a grumpy widower, and the spot where Louie witnessed a homeless man switched out on the street by an identical hobo, shuffling the original away in a towncar. Bizarre? Yes. Are we going to ever find out what the hell it's all about? Probably not. This is New York, after all – weird shit happens constantly. That may have been just a taste of the bizarre.

Louie can't let go of the idea of living in a 5 bedroom heaven of a home, one which once belonged to comic legend Lenny Bruce. Entering the gorgeous secluded garden, the real estate agent's mouth suddenly becomes a conduit to our protagonist's inner monologue, promising more love from his children, and buying this house would fix absolutely everything in his life. He's suddenly spinning in circles with her, dancing, before coming back to his senses. But that's a very relative term, as the words "I'll take it" escape his lips.

He visits his accountant, who immediately sees through the delusion and tries to shake Louie back to reality. He has $7000 in his bank account, which is less than ten times less than one mortgage payment on the house – and that says nothing of the $3 million down payment.

Louie looks like he's being diagnosed with cancer as his accountant suggest he look into a nice rental. "I mean isn't there… What about… what about Obama?"

Fittingly, the moment segues into a stand-up bit about how our hero's doing absolutely nothing to financially prepare for his children's future, eventually questioning the tradition itself (“Why should they get paid for shit I did?”). The connectivity between his stage material and his personal life is poignantly rich, but provides a level of contextual authenticity that strikes a relatable nerve few comics are ever able to tune in to, much less find a home within.

There's no way Louie can afford that house. Yet somehow, when the real estate agent finds him on the doorstep and sees a man accepting that he's dreaming beyond his means, he drops a shocker: "No, I'm buying this house. I'm. buying. this. house."

But as the credits roll, we see Louie and the kids painting his apartment. Reality has returned, and a compromise has been struck.

The ability of Louis C.K.'s unhindered creative control to shape and articulate even the most subtle of character nuance is what makes this show so damned good. It's rare that a star of a program has complete creative control over that same show, and Louie's observational hyperawareness – coupled with his default disappointed/exasperated mood – is an ideal channel for the real Louis to contemplate the modern human struggle on a video canvas.