Louie: “The Road Part 1” Season 5 Episode 7 Review

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When looking at the collected season five, every episode has been challenging, whether it’s Louis CK challenging himself, us, or the medium. Every episode except “The Road Part 1.”

After the meditations on gender norms, parenting, relationships, art, personality types, and dreams that preceded it, Louis CK took 20 minutes to complain about the hassle of traveling. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the standup comedy book. No one likes crappy hotels or airport lines. It’s practically part of our culture. It’s easy comedy, which means “The Road Part 1” doesn’t really have anything new to offer.

Of course, it’s done artfully, with a racket of a score to make things feel more chaotic and some really lovely writing. The scenes between Louie and his driver felt particularly genuine, though this is the most like a diva we’ve ever seen Louie act.

But the biggest laugh of the episode came when Louie got stuck with a little girl accidentally left behind her family. He does his best to get her to calm down and trust him, but she runs away as he’s calling airport security. Instead of waiting around or, you know, looking, he vindictively gets on the airport tram and rides off leaving the girl and her family to deal with her own problems.

The third act did feature some nice surrealist touches to the classic travel comedy. When Louie loses his luggage, he’s told that all lost luggage is immediately destroyed. He then watches as two workers in bomb suits drop luggage that may or may not be his into some…thing that destroys it.

The episode ends with him buying a bunch of clothes and packing them in his new suitcase just as he was in the opening scene. Because, traveling, right guys?

“The Road Part 1” wasn’t bad per se, but it was definitely the least imaginative or thought-provoking episode of the season, and maybe last season too. But Louie is always good for a few clever moments of comedy, whether they make you laugh out loud or not. And the show’s defining surrealist feel being in place certainly helps. Let’s just hope there’s a little more planned for next week’s finale. Grade: C+

By Matt Dougherty

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