“Louie” left its viewers hanging two weeks ago with the finish to part 1 of its “Pamela” story, when Louie forced himself on his friend Pamela, who exclaimed “You can’t even rape well!” and finally submitted to one of the cringe-worthiest kisses ever put to film.
Last week’s nearly feature-length “In the Woods” set aside that story to tell a melancholy tale about Louie’s childhood. The question, then, was whether Monday’s (June 16) season finale, the final two parts of “Pamela” would address the way they left things.
The answer turned out to be no, which added to the discomfort of watching these two episodes. I say “added to” because even without the incident at the end of part 1, Louie and Pamela are just not good as a couple. Parts 2 and 3 try to make the case that they’ll get there, ending with the two of them sharing as much intimacy as she’s willing to offer.
But that moment is preceded by Louie spilling copious amounts of water out of the tub as he gets in, and Pamela telling a story about her “first kiss” that’s really about a fight she got into as a kid. Louie is so besotted with Pamela that the nature of their relationship rarely reveals itself, and even when he does briefly decide that he’s fed up, she’s able to draw him back in with something as simple as an underwear picture.
Watching an on-screen relationship where one half of a couple is more into it than the other half can be uncomfortable, both on screen and in real life. That “Louie” opted not to acknowledge the way this whole thing started makes it even rougher.
Pamela Adlon is credited as a co-writer with Louis C.K. on these two episodes, and the two are long-time friends in real life as well. Over the course of the show, Pamela has quite clearly held the upper hand in the on-screen relationship. So it’s possible C.K. and Adlon saw Louie’s behavior at the end of “Pamela Part 1” as just a brief moment where the roles were reversed, and not the awful action that a lot of reviewers and viewers took it to be.
But we did see it that way, and thus the finale to what was really in interesting, experimental and at times wonderful season of television leaves a bit of an off taste.
What did you think of the “Louie” season finale, and Season 4 as a whole?