Louie: Meet, Play, Love?

Louie: S03E03: "Miami"

Brave might be too strong of a word to describe tonight's episode of Louie, "Miami," but there just aren't many series out there that have done what this great episode did. "Miami" explored the notion that deep down, all humans are confused (and possibly bisexual) beings who are just looking for connection and a little eye contact and someone to pal around with shirtless in the ocean because we all feel confined to the person we're perceived to be. And it's an especially rare feat on television when it comes from the viewpoint of a middle-aged, balding, overweight father who's fresh off divorce.

I don't want to confuse being gay and attraction to the same sex with what Louie did tonight, though it's certainly part of the conversation. Really, "Miami" was about how we discover feelings, process feelings, and act on those feelings in ways we'd never expect to. In public, we swat at those ideas from bubbling up in our hearts like they're mosquitoes at a BBQ, but given the perfect tick in space and time and butterflies fluttering around, we have no idea what we're capable of (that sounds negative, I don't mean it to sound negative) or even what we want.

Tonight, Louie went down to Miami to do a few shows and hang out on his hotel balcony alone while he looked down at a thriving culture that's the real pulse of the town. Through some hilarious Mr. Magoo-ish turns of events, Louie was accidentally saved from non-drowning by a handsome and fun bag of Cuban muscle known as Ramon. An unlikely friendship was born; Ramon laughed his ass off during Louie's set in the hotel bar, and Louie found someone to connect with in Miami.

Immediately after a bikini blonde stole a strawberry from Louie's lunch without asking (a perfect heterosexual opportunity to chat her up), Louie—sick of the Barbies and Kens who plagued his hotel—found an escape when Ramon invited him out to a party. In a gorgeous sequence of events, Ramon showed Louie the REAL Miami. Louie ate at shacks of local snacks, engaged with people who hadn't just stepped off a magazine cover (the hotel lobby full of models was hilarious), and witnessed another side of life at the festive, unpretentious party with Ramon's Cuban family. It was all good-natured hospitality that opened up Louie's eyes to a new world that he hadn't seen before. And the car ride back to get Louie to his gig in time? Those were good times. Louie was accepted.

Bringing someone into your life (as Ramon did) doesn't have the same impact as being shown a new world, and the effect on Louie was part discovering a new best friend at summer camp and part thankful reassurance that the world isn't full of plastic people stepping on each other's heads. It was enough to fill a man's head with confused feelings, and that's exactly what happened.

Louie canceled his trip home to stay in Miami in an attempt to recapture the feelings of that day with Ramon. He mistakenly projected those feelings onto Ramon, the handsome Cuban man who didn't save his life in the ocean but saved his life in Miami, and sought him out because he was the vessel through which Louie was able to experience this wonderful (I said the word, Louis!) culture. Homoerotic undertones became overtones, and Louie was fully immersed in a man crush.

The final scene, in which Louie and Ramon had an awkward conversation about why he extended his stay, remains beautifully ambiguous. Maybe Louie just wanted to hang out with Ramon as friends, maybe he wanted something more. Likely he was still processing his feelings from being scooped out of the ocean by a hunky man who showed him one of the best times he's had in recent years, and he wasn't ready to talk about those feelings. Could you blame him? All he could do was stammer out something that sounded like denial or acceptance or something in between and watch his new-found friend walk away as he Louie'd a situation once again.

Wonderfully paced, thought-provoking, and more relatable than most heterosexual men would care to admit, "Miami" was excellent and perfectly nailed a very interesting experience. Another fabulous slice of real life from FX's best anthology of short films known as Louie.



Notes

– "I know it's not a popular thing to say but I hate balloons." Best non-sequitur ever.

– The end tag of footage from the shore as Louis C.K. filmed the drowning/rescue scene showed just how hard Louis C.K. works on this show. We see his character as a passive shlub, but it's incredible how much he effort he puts into Louie.


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

Comments (8)
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I think that this episode was a play on the Seinfeld episode "The pool guy" (Season 7). The pool guy in Jerry's Gym was also named Ramon who wanted Jerry's friendship, but here the theme was - what happens when you don't need another friend as a grown up. Louie has a twist, and all though Ramon takes the first step, Louie wants more.
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So far I'm not feeling the same way about Louie as I felt the first two seasons.



I still enjoy the show on a certain level.



But so far it's been a little too on-the-nose, telegraphing where it's going. Did any fan of this show not realize that the plot was progressing toward one of two endings: either the lifeguard is gay or Louie misinterprets that he's gay. If the lifeguard were a better actor it might have been funny when he flipped the script on Louie...but it was done in a pretty unrealistic way.



It's like the characters are verbalizing the plot too much or something. It seemed fake at the end. And sorry it just wasn't believable that he was tongue tied at the end. Once again, Louie pulls back and goes for the "tie a bow" on it ending. If he were really committed to this premise, then he should have experienced some "attraction" toward the lifeguard. That would have been funnier.



So far that's two sell-out endings after a brilliant first episode.



I will never stop watching this show, but I do enjoy nitpicking it.
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louie doesn't have some difficulty with getting some words out. for a comedian to be like that in real life, it's hilarious.



i'm not sure about louie having some bisexual or homosexual feelings of his own, but i did get the tension between "hey, i'm straight (and i want to be your friend)" and "hey, i'm straight but i'm okay with people who are not". it felt like he didn't want to be offensive but he did want to "seem" gay, like he said in the stand-up at end.



good thing about being a girl is that i can say: this episode was fucking wonderful.
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i didn't buy this friendship at all...and the lifeguard was clearly sending some gay signals intentionally or not. And if the lifeguard were truly taken aback by Louie staying a few extra days, I don't think he would have gone swimming with him on his break. That was pretty gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that.



This episode was very Seinfeldian but without the laughs, in my opinion.
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Thank you Tim!!! I thought I may have been the only one who saw that this episode wasn't about an awkward misunderstanding related to the awkwardness of guys making new friends but rather Louie dealing with confusing feelings (including sexual in nature) regarding Ramon. Louie could have easily told Ramon or his ex-wife its not what they think and its strictly platonic, but he didn't for some reason.
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I doubt anybody missed that, but Tim needs some pats on the back so I approve.



But if that were the premise then Louie should have committed to it a little more strongly.



Not saying things when it would be so easy to clear up a misunderstanding when one clearly exists is just as annoying as explaining the situation when you don't have to. It's a worn out comedic device, i.e. a misunderstanding occurs that could easily be rectified with words.
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I enjoyed scenes of real Miami where Louie and Ramon just walking around the town eating local food snacks chasing roosters it gave fun and warming feeling of two men connecting with each other and local people in beautiful town. It was best scenes simple fine and captured right dosage of reality. Louie is the best unpredictable Tv show ever period)
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I enjoyed all the scene.



I just wish the episode were funnier.
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