As with many of Louie’s two-part episodes, each installment examines a different side of a particular issue. In Part One, it’s mostly about Louie’s quest for love and though we meet this girl, it’s all presented through his point of view. We don’t really get to know her until the actual date in tonight’s Part Two, and the focus shifts drasitically from Louie’s romanticized version of her to complete character study.
What makes this episode so great is that it takes place over the course of one night, and while it’s not exactly presented in real-time, the audience gets to know Louie’s date just as Louie experiences it — a slow peek behind the curtain of a fellow troubled soul.
The date starts off with the two going to a crowded bar and we learn very quickly how extreme her personality is (I’ll continue to use vague pronouns because Louie’s date’s name is never revealed, though she messes with him at one point and tells him that it’s Tape Recorder. Louie believes her at first, mostly because he’s a sucker, but I also like to think that it’s because he has an undying trust in people as a whole.). She orders Louie a beer and two Jaeger shots for herself, but the bartender won’t serve her because of the scene she made last time she started the night off with Jaeger.
Maybe trying to take her thoughts off taking a drink, her mind and body start moving a thousand miles per hour, being incredibly open and honest with Louie about her past without letting him get a word in. We see a few Louie reaction shots that show his concern — clearly this woman is not what he expected — but her willingness to open up to him is an oddly refreshing change of pace. She makes him promise that he will always be honest with her (even though she wasn’t honest with him after they left the bar), as that’s the only way she will continue to stay with him. Louie agrees, which leads to an unexpectedly eventful night walking the streets of Manhattan.
It starts in a vintage shop, where she forces Louie into a dressing room and begs him to try on a dress. Obviously Louie shoots this idea down, but after some presistance he finally agrees. Is Louie that desperate? Of course he is. But he’s also that weird and that sweet, which makes this moment work on so many levels. Especially since she ends up laughing in his face, only to share their first kiss moments later.
Next they stop at a place Louie’s never been, a market called Russ & Daughter’s Appetizers, where they eat fresh fish, bagels, peaches, and other weird stuff that Louie can’t get enough of. Even after living in New York for years, Louie can still find joy in being able to stumble across something new.
After giving a homeless guy the remainder of his sandwich, Tape Recorder asks him why he did that. When he responds, “it’s a more humane way of throwing it in the garbage,” she suggests that they help him out for real. After enduring a story that this guy sees snakes and needs his pills in order for it to stop, Louie refills the guy’s prescription and sets him up in a hotel room for the night. Whether or not the guy was scamming them is irrelevant, because regardless if that was the case, Louie managed to make his life a little bit better, even if just for a night.
The crazy goosechase across the city concludes when she brings Louie to a building and sneaks in through a side door. She wants to climb the stairs all the way to the top, and Louie’s about to draw the line here (especially since she won’t tell him how high they are going, since she knows he won’t do it if he knew), but something about this woman strikes the ambitious and adventurous side of Louie (that and she yells at him drill sargaent style for him to keep going).
When they reach the top, they are greeted with a beautiful view, and she heads over to the ledge and starts talking about how much she loves it up here. Louie starts to get very uneasy about her being near the ledge, especially considered some of the stories she shared earlier, and the tension is palpable throughout the scene until she ends all doubt by telling him, “the only way I fall is if I jump. That’s why you’re afraid to come over here, because a tiny part of you wants to jump, and it would be so easy. But I’m not going to do that. I would never. I’m having too good a time.” Finally, with a sad look on her face knowing that her fairytale night is going to end, they go home.
With Louie’s problems, issues, thoughts, and feelings pushed to the side for an episode, we got a lot of the same qualities of expression in this episode only through a different character. There’s life and there’s death and there’s everything in between, and Louie isn’t the only one who questions it all. More than likely, Louie is never going to run into her again, but this encounter has certainly opened his eyes to the experiences of other people, gave him some insight on his own fears, and maybe gave him a slightly different outlook on how to approach his relatively mundance day-to-day existence.
- Louie’s opening stand up bit delt with how difficult it must be to be a young, attractive woman in New York. You’re smaller than most people and massive men just groan and fantasize about you all day long. But it must be easy, because they get free drinks, which is like a 16 dollar savings every week.
- It upsets me that Louie lives in Manhattan and doesn’t like to walk.
- “Do people call you Tape?”