Louie Recap: Occasional Free Doughnut

Photo: KC Bailey/FX
Episode Title
Elevator Part 5
Editor’s Rating

There are so many chicken jokes this season.

After Amia goes to see Louie perform at the Cellar and deflects some leering, perverted comments from Jim Norton, she crowds around the table with Louie, Nick DiPaolo, Greg Fitzsimmons, and Todd Barry for dinner. Everyone talks around her, mostly about how lonely Louie will be when she leaves, with Fitzsimmons chiming in that Louie is actually afraid to be lonely. It would explain why he usually ends up on the batshit-crazy end of the dating spectrum; people who are afraid to be alone would rather have chaos than the empty maw of their own thoughts staring back at them. Louie is usually alone, but being alone is different from being lonely. All of this in-depth philosophical conversation is set to the soundtrack of Todd Barry saying “AIDS” to the tune of “Smoke on the Water” while drumming on the table. Of course.

The first third of the episode is dedicated to Barry’s day, namely what he does with his time as a single, childless man about town. His day is pretty much what you’d expect — waking up at 10:30 a.m., having breakfast at a diner downstairs, fucking around with his iPad for a while, a trip to Urgent Care, naps, gym, and a gig — and I was glad they didn’t go for the cheap “I masturbate all day” joke that comedians everywhere keep tucked in their back pocket. You travel a lot and stay in hotels; we ASSUME you’re masturbating everywhere, so you don’t really have to talk about it. Barry’s day is tinged with cheapness, from the free doughnut to the extra-cheap bus ride to his gig upstate, and the whole scene sets him up as some sort of alternate-universe champion of life. The wild round of applause at the end, the bold celebration of mediocrity, was wonderful.

Ivanka almost died choking on a Mento (is the singular of Mentos actually Mento?) in the elevator, which she appropriately dubs the “evil box of death.” Louie is the one who finds her and, with the help of Dr. Bigelow, brings her back from the brink. When he helps her upstairs, she asks if he and Amia are serious, then proceeds to do finger-bang hands to show that she means to ask if they’re having sex yet. We didn’t even know how much we needed Ellen Burstyn doing finger-bang hands in our lives until she graced us with it. Internet, if that is not a GIF by noon, I will have lost all faith in you.

In the last episode, Louie said that he and Amia can’t communicate but they have a good rapport. It’s evident on their walk that they do; Amia quickly mimics someone near them saying absurd things into their phone, which makes Louie smile; she has the same temperament as Louie, and finds interesting ways to express it. When they get back to his place, she initially wants to go, but then acquiesces and stays when they start kissing in the doorway. The whole makeout scene happens in the dark, and when they wake up in bed together the next day, Amia looks distraught. The only thing she says to him in English, after a minute of Hungarian, is “No good,” and the newscaster on TV says a small bird died of sadness.

Is Amia gone? Did the "no good" refer to the sex, or the fact that they had sex, knowing she was leaving and didn’t want to get attached?


  • Every single news bit makes me laugh. “Hurricane Jasmine Forsythe claims the life of LeBron James … and the rest of the Miami Heat … and 12 million other people.”
  • The Jim Norton and Amia scene made me smile; I like that she was able to lay waste to him and spark his insecurity using only her tone of voice.
  • “If you didn’t screw the cow, that’s not your cow.” “I’m not sure that’s how that goes.” 
  • Dr. Bigelow forever! Every line is a gem. When he shouted at Louie for knocking on his door (“I have boundaries!”), screaming “Hit her on the back!” as his only bit of medical advice, telling Ivanka that Mentos are the “perfect plug for the esophagus.” Charles Grodin is the funniest part of the show, week after week. He’s also really nice to Ivanka in a way that he’ll never be nice to Louie.