Well, this episode was wildly uncomfortable, taking a rebound situation and turning it into an attempted rape.
What the hell is going on here? Louie is sad — Amia and Evanka are gone, their apartment empty except for the couch where he first saw her (where, let’s remember, Amia also thought he was trying to assault her when she woke up to him standing over her). Dr. Bigelow has typically caustic advice for Louie, whose name he can’t even remember; basically, this is the good part of love, the heartbreak before you forget someone for good. Louie doesn’t buy it, and I don’t either, but then Pamela sends him a text with a picture of her holding up her middle finger. Next thing you know, he’s smiling and they’re having lunch. Even though she now wants nothing to do with him, continuing the yo-yo arc of their relationship, she agrees to babysit for the girls when his sitter cancels. They’re strangely yoked to each other; he asks, “Why are you so mean to me?” and she asks in return, “Why do you like it?”
It was nice to return to some extended stand-up, plopped right in the middle of the show. The set was about God and whether anyone believed they were going to heaven, which shifted into a discussion about the absence of women and mothers when we talk about God, which shifted into a pretty feminist-in-scope discussion about the reasons women are not in charge (men are afraid of women being mean to them). He had smart things to say about the absurdity of women as property, our inability to vote until 1920, which basically means democracy is only 93 years old, and the utter shittiness of people naming clothing after an act of domestic violence.
That’s what makes what happens next so completely, unbelievably terrible.
When Louie gets home to relieve Pamela of her babysitting duties, she’s splayed out on the couch in the most anti-Amia way possible — legs going every which way, arms all over the place, mouth hanging open. When she gets up to leave, he keeps steadily encroaching on her personal space, and she keeps reeling back and jumping out of his way, shoulders pulled up to her ears, incredibly defensive. Instead of letting her go, he starts dragging her around the apartment. Pamela is clawing at walls, trying to get free; when she eventually gets loose, she screams, “You can’t even rape well!” and then he crowds her into a corner by the front door, standing over her while she cringes and he says, “You said you wanted to do something with me. I’m going to kiss you now.” Pamela relents with a giant “Ewwwwww,” Louie kisses her awkwardly, she says, “Let me ouuuuuut,” and when she’s gone, he presses his back against the door and fist pumps triumphantly.
What the hell? Is this a rebound or a rape?
Their relationship has always been contentious, but this was flat-out dangerous. It was awful to watch, and I wasn’t sure where he was going with this or what he wanted us to feel about his character. The beauty and hilarity of Pamela is that she always has the upper hand with Louie, and it was really uncomfortable to see her acquiescing to him out of fear. The fist pump was the worst part; did Louie think he had actually accomplished something good? That a kiss under duress is better than no kiss at all? This preempts the #YesAllWomen conversation on Twitter, but is totally reflective of the “good guy” credo — how can Louie be a creep when he’s so ineffective?
Which is, of course, part of the larger problem. Men who think they are immune to sexual violence often don’t see their behavior as threatening. This was fucking rapey, no questions asked. Where is he going with this?
The episode ended with Louie and the kids on a bus talking about directions and yelling at a spitter, but I was still too shocked at the rapey behavior to even care. This episode is called “Pamela 1,” so let’s hope in the next installation she’s coming back with a restraining order.
Moments of Not Rape
- “I don’t know your name, but you’re a classic idiot. You may be the most boring person I’ve ever met.” Dr. Bigelow forever.
- “Pick up the phone; maybe it’s your balls calling.”
- Child Murder Shorts.