LOUIE “Dentist/Tarese” Review

LOUIE (FX)

This week’s LOUIE returned to the dual storyline format and neither arc in ‘Dentist/Tarese’ seemed to well represent the possibilities that can come from the brain of Louis C.K.. He opened the show with a comedy set discussing how if we were all a bit less angry over pedophilia and sexual abuse, more children wouldn’t die at the hands of the abusers. Now it was definitely more humorous than my description, but that’s the general gist. This skit just so happened to be the one that triggered my fight with the comedian, and I didn’t find it any funnier this go around. It also fit in awkwardly with the rest of the episode, as the opening comedy sets generally set the tone for the show.

In the first part, Louie visits a dentist, played by the always hilarious and semi-creepy Stephen Root, where the sound of the cleaning instruments were enough for Louie to ask for the gas. His gas-enhanced hallucinations might have been the best part of the episode, where he confronts Osama Bin Laden and crew for being assholes about 9/11. His frank conversation with leader of Al-Quaeda is refreshing, as he moves beyond political and religious ties and explains to Osama and friends that no matter why they did what did, it makes them jerks. It ends with a bizarre sexualization of a banana and a possible altercation with his dentist. Nothing comes of the incident, except the possible sub-text that if you don’t know something, it might not affect you.

We then see Louie fall in love/lust/obsession with a local check-out girl, who just happens to be black. Louie returns to the store often to create a relationship, each time being ignored by they young girl. As someone who worked in retail when she was young, it’s generally easier to pretend nothing is happening when you have a customer with a crush. He finally takes his affections a bit too far, but purchasing and then trying to give flowers to the check-out girl, Tarese. She refuses, explaining that he doesn’t even know her, and calls over the manager. The manager and Tarese seem to move on from Louie’s gesture, by crediting his debit card, but Louie can not get her out of his mind. In his second creepy move of the season, Louie essentially stalks the girl on her way home, following her on the subway and tries to create a conversation while sitting next to her. He crosses boundaries, borderlines and doesn’t seem to truly understand how threatening he might appear. Tarese, who has been calm throughout tells Louie to “suck a dick” when he asks if she lives in a tough, black neighborhood. UGH! Louie follows her home and she confronts him about his interest in sleeping with and dating her only to experience dating a black girl. It’s obviously true and she ends the conversation when she informs Louie he can’t always get what he wants. The show ends with him sleeping with another black woman, heftier, not as cute, who lives in the same apartment complex as Tarese.

This episode explores a handful of issues, but it seems the power struggle and its sub-text in various relationships is the common thread throughout. Louie’s unrelenting approach showcases the lack of understanding some of us have when it comes to social situations and the overall lack of boundaries in so many of our relationships. I prefer Louie when the content lends itself a bit easier to humor, but I applaud the fact that he continues to delve into his own subconscious and work out his variable closet of social quirks.