The final episode of this fantastic three-part installment of Louie has our hero reaching a pinnacle of self-discovery, but he’s also come to realize how very few people he can trust in his life. Of course, there’s always his daughters, who continue to pull at their daddy’s heart strings with every scene, but in the cut-throat industry of show business, even people Louie thinks he is close to try to turn on him.
This is why David Lynch’s character of Dahl is so strangely perfect. He may be a little bit out of touch with reality, and he definitely drove Louie up a wall during the audition process, but Dahl is old school personified, and while he’s aware of the dirty tricks of this day and age, he never stoops to them. He tells it like it is. “If you get the show, they’ll bring in some young producer,” he tells Louie before his test show. The higher-ups don’t want any part this guy’s honest tactics. But before he goes he gives Louie his parting advice on how to handle show business:
1.Look ’em in the eye, and speak from the heart.
2. You gotta go away to come back.
3. If someone asks you to keep a secret, their secret is a lie.
Part one has never been the issue for Louie, as speaking from the heart is literally one of the only things he can do right. Part two is a little trickier, considering Louie isn’t really anybody at this point, so he’s never really arrived anywhere to go away or come back from. But No. 3 has always been the problem for Louie. He trusts that everyone is as honest and good natured as him, and it’s burned him before. Even when Seinfeld comes in moments later to say he’s taking the job, Louie resigns for a moment because Jerry is a nice guy. It’s not until he’s asked to keep it a secret that it kicks in. He gets it now. Hosting a late night show may not be the best fit for him, but this process has given Louie a new outlook on life. Not in a selfish and ruthless way, but in a “fuck it, I’ve got nothing left to lose,” kind of way.
So he goes out for the test show and kills it. He’s funny and charming and oh so very Louie without letting the suit and tie and the bright lights change what he is all about. He scored very well with the audience and the executives. He did exactly what he was supposed to do, which is to say he brought down Letterman’s price from $60 million over 10 years to $40 million. He was a pawn in their game, and in doing nothing but what he was told he’s now dead to the Letterman show, but it doesn’t matter. As he tells his daughters during his run at the beginning of the episode, “If you want to get a big thing in life, you’ve got to make a big effort. You gotta try hard. You gotta do things you’re not used to doing.” The old Louie could have seen this experience as a big waste of time, but after he heard the news he didn’t sulk about it. He went right to the Late Show studios and celebrated. As well he should have.
– Jane doesn’t want Louie to change. She likes Fat Daddy.
– I love how Louie’s agent just fades into the background in most scenes. Especially so with Dahl, who basically sits on top of him on the arm of the couch like he isn’t even there.
– Oh how amazing it would be to tune into a C.K. monologue five nights a week: “Obama promises that the economy will improve over the next four years. He also promises to kill Bin Laden a couple more times.”
– Louie confesses to Susan Sarandon on the show that he masturbated for the first time after seeing her in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which she thought was the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to her.
– Paul Rudd was the other guest, who Louie mocks for having named his daughter Darby.
– The show ends with a great scene as Louie is finally learning to fight back in Alfonse’s gym after getting his ass handed to him in the previous few sessions.
– Season finale next week. What do we want to see before we leave Louie for almost a year?