Louie: “Cop Story” Season 5 Episode 3 Review

Photo Credit:http://www.geeksofdoom.com/2015/04/23/tv-review-louie-5-3-cop-story

Louie never wastes its guest stars, and “Cop Story” got everything out of Michael Rapaport it needed to and more.

Rapaport is a character actor that’s rarely given material this juicy. But Louis C.K. has a way of writing roles that are a perfect fit for somewhat obscure actors that they then totally nail. The best example is of course Pamela Adlon, but also Sarah Baker in last year’s outstanding “So Did the Fat Lady.”

Rapaport’s Lenny is as fully realized as both of those characters. A born and bred New Yorker, Lenny is an NYPD officer that dated Louie’s sister back in high school. He accidentally runs into Louie on the street, hilariously embarrassing him, and pretty much forces him to go to a Knicks game with him.

Lenny is completely unaware of social cues and lives in the hope of regaining his former glory. He still acts like the king he was in high school, even though no one treats him like it. But Rapaport and the script make for a great team to get some likability out of this washed-up character. He emits big, positive energy to just narrowly avoid coming off as an asshole. That is to say he’s the stereotypical New Yorker circa 15 years ago, before the hipsters took over.

The antithesis to this can be seen in the episode’s opening scene when Louie can’t get help in a cookware store from its 24-year-old owner because he’s not the clientele that matters. This scene was perfectly juxtaposed to the rest of the episode, first showing the city dweller that moved here after college and cares about only that culture and then diving into the story of this old-fashioned in-your-face New Yorker.

But Lenny’s night with Louie is a complete disaster. His fellow NYPD officers won’t let him into the Knicks game for free, he pushes Louie around in the street like one of his court buddies, and eventually loses his gun. Louie flawlessly transitions at this point from a light evening of awkward humor to an emotional meltdown over a gun without skipping a beat. The seeds are so carefully laid for Rapaport to just let loose in the episode’s climax, and the results are truly heartbreaking.

Moving back to comedy, Louie goes out alone to find Lenny’s gun, which he successfully does. In a perfect moment of Louie surrealism, he drops the gun in front of an NYPD van milliseconds before six or so cops pile out, only for none of them to notice as Louie just stands their awkwardly. But Lenny gets the gun back and we have a deservedly happy ending.

Louie character studies are always a treat, and “Copy Story” was no exception. Featuring a standout performances from the underrated Rapaport, this episode was as often funny as it was emotionally effective. It didn’t quite reach the highs of “So Did the Fat Lady” or season two’s “Eddie,” but it still struck a chord in the ways Louie does best. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty

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