‘Louie’ Recap: “Looking for Liz/Lilly Changes”

Okay Louis, we get it: you know how to write a show with continuity.

When many television critics wrote about how Louie was a great piece of art they also mentioned that the show did this weird thing where the same actor or actress would play different characters in different episodes, or different actors would play the same character, or sometimes stories that seemed worthy of continuing would never be reexamined, although mostly any other show could and would milk another three episodes out of it. In interviews, C.K. was asked about those things, and he never seemed to give much of a shit. There was no Oedipal explanation to why Amy Landecker played Louie’s date in one episode and his mother in another; he just thought she was a great actress that he wanted on his show more than once. (Doesn’t make it less creepy, but I accepted it.) But it’s become clear that in this third season Louis has decided to try something new and see what can be done with recurring peripheral characters (played by the same actors) and taking more than two segments to tell a story.

Other than last season’s one hour episode where Louie went to Afghanistan, no other story has taken up as much time on the show as the saga of Parker Posey’s Liz character. At the start of “Looking for Liz,” C.K. goes back to the bookstore where the “Manic Pixie Nightmare Girl” worked after asking her out in “Daddy’s Girlfriend, Part 1” and following her along on a crazy date most of us wont be forgetting for awhile in “Daddy’s Girlfriend, Part 2” before she disappeared into her apartment building, looking a little more than depressed. Instead of finding her, he’s told tersely by the manager that she quit, and ended up in a conversation with her replacement, Chloe Sevigny. Sevigny’s character is wayyyy too interested in Louie’s quest to find Posey, although initially it just seemed like she was innocently just happy to be a part of a classic romcom premise.

Chloe, you would think, would be an excellent Parker Posey tracker; aside from Winona Ryder, who else can claim to be a fellow 90s “It” Girl with so much indie cred that she can acquire the entire Pavement catalog? Unfortunately for Louie, Sevigny’s skills at getting past the doorman to Liz’s building were practically nonexistent, describing her “friend” Liz as “around 32 years old” and not knowing her last name. Some friend. Louie, who was hesitant to stalk her place to begin with, continued to be passive when the two went to get some coffee at an empty shop to warm up and rethink their strategy. Sevigny began to grow impatient and flat out yelled that Posey could be found. Realizing that Louie wasn’t for it, Chloe jerked herself off right then and there.

As a million tweeters typed “I’ll have what she’s having,” Sevigny finished and told C.K. not to bother returning to the bookstore because she was married. That’s quite a vetting system they got over at that bookstore. And that concluded the latest, but not necessarily final installment of the Liz story. Sevigny was great, but it felt like the story relied too much on the shock value. And a bit derivative of The Middle.

That killer The Middle line was a joke of course. Any disappointing segment of Louie is going to be better than virtually anything else on television, and there’s always a chance that a sneakily good short like “Lilly Changes” will turn the evening around. Unlike “Liz”, “Changes” had some good jokes sprinkled in before the punchline, like with the welcome return of the full rounded female teacher that Louie humorously sexually fantasized about back in “Daddy’s Girlfriend, Part 1” talking to C.K. in real life for presumably the first time to ask him to help her with some random task.

Or the part when Louie tried to cheer up a depressed Lilly by taking the 10-year-old to a carousel, because duh, she’s 10. It somehow didn’t work.

A trip to the zoo didn’t work either, resulting in C.K. giving his girls the finger behind their back. Ouch. At home after Lilly refused to open up to her father, Louie locked himself in the bathroom to have a private smoke and a dump. I suppose Sevigny was for the boys and this was for the girls.

When he came out Jane cutely informed Louie that Lilly “went out.” He frantically searched for her all over the apartment. When that didn’t work he called on the help of those friendly gay neighbors from the second season premiere. This time they were too busy arguing.

That out of all of the scenes was C.K. telling the critics that he was paying attention to their continuity “complaining.” Anyway, Louie resorted to calling the police. When the cop eventually got around to asking him if he called his daughter’s mother, he sheepishly said he had not. In the second funniest moment of the night Louie made the phone call and began with “Hi, how are you?” and looked back at the police officer for some empathy, but the cop was fresh out of fucks to give.

Before he could tell his scary ex wife that he lost one of their precious children, Lilly walked by with a glass of milk wearing headphones; she was listening to music while reading in a book in the closet the entire time. “You didn’t think to check the closet?” asked the cop and everyone watching. Guess not. In the funniest moment, C.K. attempted to tip the cop whose precious time he had wasted.

Lilly apologized for her actions, because I guess she was reading some magical book that gives 10 year olds some common sense. A sha na na naaaa moment fifteen minutes after the Chloe Sevigny coffee shop scene. It’s hard to stay mad at this show. I’m sorry too Louie.

Next week will be part one of a three part episode. I guess by the end of the season Louis C.K. is going to make sure we are absolutely sick of all of the characters. Bring it on.

Things to Say While Blaming it All on Your Youngest Daughter

– “I’m having trouble sleeping, as we all should.”

– “Buy some shit, use it, it breaks. Try to fuck somebody. Hope your shits don’t hurt too bad.”

– “You cant just drift through life and hope that love is just going to flow into you like plankton to a whale’s fucking mouth.”

– “Now you’re gonna put this on her?”

– “Taxis are magic. Nobody dies. Just get in, just go. I’m not digging in the seat for the belt. There is no way I’m diggin into the Egyptian hepatitis and severed toes so that you can have the seat belt.”

Things to Ponder While Waiting For Your Slovenian Lesson from Marcus

– I guess I can buy that a bookstore would still have a rolodex?

– Louie thought Liz was 32? Try 43.

– When will Winona Ryder show up?

– Is Ursula Parker the cutest child actor in the world or what? A mere thirty seconds after Jane told her dad that it wasn’t his “fawlt”, Parker’s overacting to Lilly walking across the room almost stole the scene.

– Did I really just give a backhanded compliment to an 8 year old’s acting skills? (Yes.) Did I really just give a backhanded compliment to an 8 year old who is a violinist that has already played Carnegie Hall? (Yes again.)

Roger Cormier needs some help with these chairs because of budget cuts.

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