The 'Louie' Scale: 'Sometimes You're Supposed to Be Sad'

The fourth and fifth installments of "Elevator" ask "Whose fault is it?" Well, it's Louie's fault. Always has been. 

This article is from the archive of our partner .

It's no secret that Louie is more than a comedy. The show can range from the happily hilarious to the utterly depressing. So for this fourth season, we're going to plot each episode on "The Louie Scale" to figure out just how comedic or dramatic it was.

We've reached the back half of this six part maybe-it's-a-movie arc that Louis CK has placed in the middle of the season, but our love interest was largely absent in the fourth installment. After an opening scene of Louie and Amia enjoying a Rangers game (they couldn't be the tickets that Vanessa gave him, right?) and a brief glimpse at Amia with Louie's daughters, "Elevator Part 4" spent most of its time on Louie and his ex-wife.

Louie and Janet see a therapist to figure out what's going on with Jane, and it's the sort of session that costs $800 for two hours and has Louie screaming out of skyscraper windows. "Whose fault is it?" the therapist asks, and everyone knows it's Louie's. His messy emotions clash with Janet's precise logic, and Jane gets caught in between. "I've been going through my shit and I know that's contributing to the problem," Louie tells Janet after the session, but it's unclear if he's referring to something specific or just his general life shit (probably both). There are fleeting moments of compatibility between the two of them – Louie elicits the slightest of laughs from Janet in the elevator – but their conversation ends with Janet asking, "Can't you just figure out how to live a life already?," a question Louie has been trying to answer for three and a half seasons.

The second half of the episode held the depressing inevitability of a perfect divorce ruined, Louie and Janet pre-children and on the cusp "divorcing out of kindness," only to ruin it by having one last fuck (Louie's idea, of course) that leaves Janet pregnant with Lily, and the couple locked into years of marriage. But even back then they were sharing cigarettes and speaking hard truths: "Louie, you are funny to some people, just not me." The tragedy of their marriage has deep roots.

"Elevator Part 4"

The penultimate episode in the "Elevator" arc had Louie grappling with the missing parts of his relationship with Amia (who, bless her, can shut down Jim Norton without even speaking English). He sees what his life could be like without children – Todd Barry's, filled with mundane triumphs – and once again saves Evanka's life, with the help of a reluctant Dr. Bigelow, after she chokes on a Mentos. She thanks Louie by ridiculing him (complete with a 7th grader's vulgar hand signs) for not yet sleeping with Amia. "If you didn't screw the cow, she's not your cow," she tells him, which is apparently a saying in Hungary.

So Louie has sex with Amia, but something goes wrong. He wakes up next to her and immediately knows. "Not good," is the first English she manages, and then, "It's okay." Is it?

"Elevator Part 5"

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.