Louie is back for Season 4 and he returns with more a whimper than a bang (not that that is a bad thing as I will explain). However, in that whimper there’s moments of heart and alienation more attuned to real-life than just about anything else on TV. It’s rare for a premiere to be so devoid of big laughs and instead have sprinkled throughout awkwardness that forces you to laugh as a way of coping with your discomfort. The biggest laughs of the nights are the two book-ending stand-up spots that also speak to the alienated feelings that Louie goes through throughout the episode length story (two wonderful bits about how us finding alien life probably wouldn’t go the way we would like and how racist comments force his friends to talk in a Penguin voice) finding him trying to reconnect with the people he formerly associated with.
Though I’m not sure this isolation is not caused by Louie himself, he seems to make the same connection subconsciously when he puts a man to sleep while he’s talking to himself (“Oh my god, I’m a boring asshole”). I say this is a subconscious realization because that throughout the story line Louie still continues with this behavior. When he requests to go to potluck dinner he insists on making fried chicken even though there is no need for another dinner dish. Or when a woman he knew through his daughter would like for her son to join her for violin lessons, he admittedly tells her that no, his daughter is better than her kid and he will not be accompanying her.
Louie is the contestant observer, never becoming involved in his own story. Even when he initially connects with the one other outsider in the episode his words are that of an observer when he tries to comfort her. His encouraging words to her are mentioned in the same breath of “I’m leaving” and when he finally connects with her his actions almost immediately separate the two. The only lasting thing that Louie does in this episode is piss off one lesbian soon-to-be mother. For a premiere this had a very odd tone, but the awkward laughs and cinematic feel make this excellent entry into the Louie canon.
Louie premieres this Thursday night on FX