‘Louie’ Season Finale Recap: New Jersey/Airport

S2E13: It saddens me to see Louie go because we’ll have to wait almost a year before we see more episodes of what it truly one of the best, if not the best, shows on television. That’s why I’m thankful that the show continued its signature brand of witty, oddball, quirky, heartbreaking vignettes as it said farewell to its second season with “New Jersey/Airport.”

“I’m not taking you into the city at 2 o’ clock in the morning because you had to look at some woman’s vagina.” –Chris Rock

After killing it with brand new material during his set at Caroline’s, Louie lets a barfly tell him that he can have any woman he wants after a set like that and that he should hang out in the bar and get laid. Immediately a woman comes up and compliments Louie on his set, and he thinks she’s going to hit on him, but she just asks for headshots that reflect what he looks like now that he’s older for the comedy club’s website. This bleeds into a sad montage of Louie not getting any tail from the copious amounts of attractive ladies. He leaves, dejected and stumbles upon a beautiful woman waiting in a car outside. She compliments him on his set and says she was sitting outside hoping he’d come out so she could offer him sex. She unlocks the car door and Louie looks at it like the entrance to the Temple of Doom, but he ultimately gets in. We know immediately that this isn’t going to end well, a realization promoted immensely by the fact that the woman is dressed like a mail-order bride.

She starts driving him to her house – in New Jersey – and every time he starts to stutter and feel uncomfortable that she’s taking him to her house – in New Jersey – she starts giving him a hand job. That’ll shut any guy up. They reach her magnificent house where she introduces him to her husband – she wants to have a threesome. When he’s uncomfortable, the couple kick him out but he has no way home because he’s deep in rural New Jersey. It’s only fitting that he calls a famous comedian – because all famous comedians live in New Jersey, right? So, as he walks the unpopulated streets of suburban New Jersey, he calls Chris Rock to come get him. Rock picks him up, but not without a lecture about how Louie needs to grow up.

As evidenced by Mrs. Rock’s vehement disapproval of Louie – though we only hear it in the background – Louie may be an adult, but he still needs to grow up. It’s really true; if we look at this whole season, from the moment he realizes he can’t buy his dream house to the time he tries to get laid after witnessing a violent death to the time he tries to have sex with an advocate for celibacy to the time when Joan Rivers teaches him how to accept how lucky he is, this whole season showed us that even with his bouts of wisdom, Louie still has a lot to learn.

This half of the episode ties those instances together and prepares us for the painful second part of the episode in which Pamela heads to Paris.

You’re the most f**ked up person I ever knew.” –Pamela

Louie’s taking Pamela to the airport so she can go to Paris and try to get her son back from his father because they’ve decided they want to live together. Or at least that’s what we assume she’s doing until she won’t answer Louie’s repeated question about how long she’s going for. He tries to get it out of the gate agent. No go. He continues to pitifully ask when she comes back at security. No go. She finally tells him that the reason she’s going to Paris is so that she can make it work with her kid’s dad. And we are crushed right along with Louie.

She oh-so brutally tells him that they will never be together and that she can’t believe that despite her efforts, Louie is still hanging on. He admits he is, and she is forced to even more brutally tell him she’s just not attracted to him. His dumbfounding stubbornness continues and he chastizes Pamela for her decision to follow her ex even though he’s an ass and he left her.

Louie doesn’t get that love can be unrequited. It doesn’t compute. He says he’ll wait, but she insists he doesn’t. She says he’s a good person and a good dad, but when he starts crying she storms off. I thought the agonizing moment of watching Louie watch Pamela as she zigzags through the security line was the most heart-breaking few minutes of television I’ve ever witnessed. Then it happened. Pamela stops at the top of the top of the stairs and yells for him to “wave to her,” but he hears what he wants to hear instead: “wait for me.” As he walks out of the airport, hope restored, chest puffed out, ready to take on anything, we can’t help but feel immense pain for him. His incandescent happiness is all for nothing and he’ll eventually learn that and feel the soulcrushing weight of such a realization.  

I never thought an episode of Louie could make me tear up, but this episode did just that. Louis CK has taken the very typical saying goodbye at the airport scene, and with a few subtle changes he’s made it something meaningful and new. It’s an incredibly moving, innovative and heartbreaking scene and the perfect note to end on for the show’s second season finale.

Farewell, Louie. We’ll miss you. Here’s to another wrenching season next summer.