Have you ever been so eager to end a relationship you can hardly contain yourself, but you lack the testicular fortitude to actually say the words? If so, you'll be able to relate quite well to Louis C.K.'s little jaunt as a half-year boyfriend watching in virtual silence as April, his needling workaholic significant other – played by Gaby Hoffman – detonates their relationship based solely on interpretations of his dumb blank face. After a long and excruciatingly emasculating exit, we see one true expression wash over him: relief. It was exactly what he wanted.
And so begins the third season of "Louie," the brainchild and Emmy-nominated smash success of comedian Louis C.K. The line notoriously blurs between the Louie onscreen and the Louis whose head it all comes out of, but there's a strength in the ambiguity of reality that allows a creative liberty not tolerated in other shows.
For instance, this episode marks the first time we've seen Louie's ex-wife, played by African-American actress Susan Kelechi Watson. His kids are whiter than McLovin at a Wonder Bread factory, but that bears no impact on the trajectory of reality on "Louie". It's simply expected that there are some curveballs waiting to be thrown in this world – or homeless men's heads, as last season showed us.
Louie exits the restaurant breakup scene to find his parked car in the middle of what is now a construction site. Just in time, too, because he now has a front seat viewing of a bulldozer scoop demolishing it. This leads Louie into a motorcycle shop, and one leaping slide down the slippery slope of midlife-crisis rationalization later, he's dropping $7500 and riding off on his new bike.
But he crashes almost immediately, not unlike the middle-aged spare-tire poser bitch he's making himself out to be, and injures himself. A hospital visit can't be in the cards because he's a father with responsibilities, but unfortunately he has no choice. He's not terribly injured, but he has to be examined, and his head is in a vise-like brace. Thus we meet the ex-wife (through a phone call), and the short-fused and easily distracted go off the rails of logic. Bear with it, boys and girls. It's called creative liberty. It happens every so often when one man controls his own vision and is able to put it out in the world without any one else's influence. That is a rarity, and it's a beautiful thing. It should be celebrated.
Anyway, the next day, April shows up at his apartment to pick up her laptop and sees his sorry state of sort-of-injury. Out of some rogue compassion chemtrail she cares for him, which says she should stay with him and they’ll visit her mom for Thanksgiving. She accurately calls out his guilt, and unleashes a future reality snapshot: If they sleep together in her childhood bedroom, they’re clearly a couple. They’d be wasting four years of their lives, because he can't step up and "be a man in this one moment." She literally begs him to break it off, to take charge and make a man's move. But deer-in-headlights silence is all he can muster. She leaves. We once again see the wash of relief.
This doesn't feel like a comedy. For some reason, that makes "Louie" that much stronger as a show overall. Fuck the boundaries.