It’s Louie versus the Youth this season, and the kids are winning.
But he’s sort of letting them win. Just like the kitchen-supply-store owner in the beginning of “Cop Story,” Louie only has a half-ass fight against a generation he doesn’t want to understand. Lilly properly schooled him after he tried to take her phone away for texting during a star-studded play; when he found out she was using it to learn more about the playwright, he looked proud enough to cry, and confused enough to give up. The store owner called it — he’d rather be the sort of guy who wants his daughters to be smarter than him, so in moments like this, he has to give over to just being wrong and let Lilly feel the thrill of being right.
Jane is a different story, bouncing around from one piece of furniture to another while he vacuums, frighteningly curious about rape (“It’s a bad financial thing”) after Louie gives Jane the third degree about how she’s going to get to her friend’s house. Jane has already been positioned as a bit of a weirdo, but she’s at the perfect age to revel in it, as evidenced by her frenzied sleepover gang. I like that none of the parents raised the question of whether or not it was weird for a single father to host a sleepover for girls, but that also sort of answered the question about why he started it so early — he’s really winging it most of the time. After Louie accidentally told one of the kids her parents are getting divorced and made Jane a proper grilled cheese (shredded cheese and lots of butter, people), he basically had to contend with a group of hopped-up, screeching ruffians for the rest of the night. Not even two pizzas (“one cheese, one half cheese … and half cheese”) could assuage them. Louie hid out with an iPad and some headphones until something just as jarring as a grip of whooping tweens running circles around him happened: Pam texted.
Their breakup was pretty clean, but Pam has smashed her way back into Louie’s life before. This time around was weirdly tinted with lies; as they were about to embark on some good, ol’ fashioned phone sex, Pam lied about where she was (the bathroom of some dude’s house), and Louie didn’t tell her that he was about to jack off in a house full of tweenage girls. To his credit, he did push the dresser in front of the door. Even though she couldn’t say the words, Pam missed Louie, and he missed her “stupid tits.” Things got progressively sweeter before Pam hung up on him, especially when Louie asked her to tell him exactly what she was doing because he thinks about it all the time, but the kids banging down the door, chanting, “We want ice cream!” over and over again sort of brought down the mood. It did give us the chance to see Louie threaten a group of kids with a bat while he made fun of their names (Afghanistan and Tranquili-tay).
When Bobby called to beg Louie to bail him out of jail while the kids were zoned out in front of an animated screaming box on TV, Louie did the first thing that came to mind: He got all of the kids up and dragged them down to jail with him. He never really considered calling the other parents or even calling someone over to babysit, and I’m not sure if that makes him more or less responsible. The girls chattered the life out of everyone in the cab, and then bounced off the walls screaming in the police station. They were legit freaking out; it reminded me of that episode a couple of seasons ago when the sanitation workers came crashing in through the window to illustrate how loud garbage trucks actually sound.
After Bobby gets bailed out, he tells the girls a lie-filled story about why he was arrested; it involved a goat, an old woman, and an a hungry guy on a bench, but the funniest part of the black-and-white old-timey reenactment was the fact that an innocent African-American man gets thrown into the paddy wagon with Bobby, even though he was just walking by. It’s the sort of subtle thing you could miss if you blinked, made funnier by the fact that it was part of a silent clip about the ridiculousness of law and order. Everyone got soft serve in the end, even the innocent African-American guy.
Bobby wrapped up the episode by admitting the real reason he was arrested (massage parlor raid), and the fact that he thought yogurt and milk came from different parts of the cow (“Milk comes out of the tits, yogurt comes out of the pussy!”). In an episode that had cameos from Matthew Broderick, Glenn Close, John Lithgow, and Michael Cera, I didn’t expect the best part of the show to revolve around livestock.