One constant about Louie, the character, is his consistent befuddlement with other human beings. But nothing confuses Louie more than the opposite sex, and he took it from all sides last night in "Looking for Liz/Lilly Changes," Louie's take on Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus.
The episode was divided into two parts, and in both, Louie gawked in amazement at how bizarre two women in his life acted. You could actually say three if you include Liz (Parker Posey from "Daddy's Girlfriend"), the emotionally inconsistent muse that dragged Louie by the hand to a Scandinavian deli and engaged in breaking and entering.
It was Liz that was the impetus for his first adventure, which guest starred Chloe Sevigny as a rambunctious (I guess that's the word for it) romantic who couldn't bear to see Louie give up on a chance to find love or whatever that panging Louie has in his loins is.
It should be said now that Louis C.K. obviously thinks that women who work in bookstores should be institutionalized.
Sevigny played a woman (did we ever get her name?) who worked in the same bookstore that Liz did. Turns out Liz quit shortly after her date with Louie for reasons unknown except for that's exactly what unstable women like Liz do, and Sevigny's character (let's call her "Chloe") would not let Louie's love fade as the incredibly beta Louie was willing to let it do. So here's Louie and a stranger–emphasis on strange–stalking Liz, and we can talk about them going to Liz's building and the rude bellman but let's just jump forward to the toe-curling finale.
As much as Louie loves to tell "real" stories (see: "Miami"), it also takes pleasure in fantasy and exaggeration and has done so to extremes in recent episodes (see: one-man action-movie chase scene running away from his dad). Louis C.K.'s standup is often punctuated by two steps into the realm of ridiculous to get a point across, and that translates into his show through these bouts of bizarre. Obviously Louie never jumped on a sleek motor-tricycle and speedboat to get away from his father, and it's probable that Chloe didn't actually go to town on herself in the coffee shop because she was over-stimulated from trying to make Louie's romantic connection.
Or did she? That's part of the beauty of Louie. We see a world filtered through his eyes, and those are some weird eyes, man. Sometimes it works to great effect, as the end-of-episode chase scene did in "Dad," and sometimes it's just something weird that happens, like Chloe's bean-flicking. I don't want to say that didn't particularly work in this case, but I also don't go into my insane friend's house–knowing full well that he is insane–and complain about the mismatched wallpaper. This is Louis' world, and we're just dropping in to see what he has to say. I'm not sure it always has to make sense, and I don't think we'll always find something digging for deeper meaning. Maybe Louie just wanted to see some girl get off.
The second half brought Louie into conflict with a woman a little closer to him, his eldest daughter Lilly. All of 10 years old, Lilly was having grown-up problems at school. It could be bullying, it could be playground teasing, it could just be an argument over Bieber's best song. I don't know and I don't care (Louie does a fantastic job ignoring unnecessary details). All that mattered was that Lilly was a big grump.
Once again, here's another female whose behavior completely confuses Louie, this time to frustration. As Louie was smokin' and surfin' while shittin', youngest daughter Jane tried to tell him that Lilly left the apartment, when in fact she didn't. Louie freaked out and called the cops, but, it should be noted, was more afraid to call his ex-wife (another scary woman in Louie's life) than the cops. Of course Lilly was in the apartment the whole time, reading in her closet with headphones on.
Now I don't want you to leave this article saying, "Tim thinks Louie is a misogynist who hates women and thinks they're weird." Louie, like a lot of men, just doesn't get women. These absurd behaviors exhibited by women in the episode (particularly Chloe's solo session) aren't necessarily portrayed negatively, and who knows if they even happened at all. We're in Louie's head when we watch the show, and he's just as much of a freak as the people he has run-ins with. Would anyone be surprised if the series ended with Louie in a straightjacket telling all these stories to a house plant in the lobby of a mental institution?
– Who else brings their laptop into the bathroom with them? I write half my articles for TV.com in there. *This may or may not be true.
– The funniest bit of the episode by far was the final stand-up routine talking about cabs, seat belts, and kids. Way too funny. Especially his line about cab drivers' home countries "where kids die all day and it's boring..."
– If you have kids, how often to you flip them off behind their back? Future parents, how often do you think you will flip your kids off behind their backs? For me, I know I will be doing it about 30-35 times a day. I do it to my cats all the time.
– What percentage of things that happen in Louie do you think actually happen? Is it 90-percent reality and 10-percent Louie's imagination? Or is it closer to 50-50?
Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom