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Louie – Eddie

The second episode in the double
feature of Louie had slightly less laughs than “Come On,
God” but it was every bit as good. The plot of “Eddie”
centered on Louie reuniting with another comic that he hadn’t seen in
twenty years. Their misadventures in Brooklyn led to some uproarious
comedic moments; before things took on a more somber tone when Eddie
reveals his real purpose for visiting in one of the series’ most well
written scenes to date.

One thing should be made clear right
away, Louie’s old pal, Eddie, is a jerk. From his first moment on
screen to his last he was abrasive and condescending; which is not to
say he wasn’t funny, at times at least. Played by comic, Doug
Stanhope, the character’s personality wasn’t far from the actor’s, or
at least his onstage persona. He was obnoxious to everyone he meets,
as soon as he meets them, if not outright belligerent. Eddie hasn’t
said two words before he is getting into a fracas with comic Greg
Rogell. (Who got a great laugh for his brief bit of standup on Tiger
Woods’ sex addiction.) Eddie lays into Rogell and any non-rode
comic, for not having the resolve to live in their car and have
debilitating drug addictions – like “real” comics. Though
Louie and Eddie both started out together, it is clear the two now
have very different views on what it means to be a comedian.

It isn’t long before Eddie is in
another altercation, this time blowing up at a liquor store clerk.
Calling the guy a racist immediately after laying into him with
several Arabic stereotypes was particularly funny. Especially since
the clerk turned out to be Hispanic. Eddie’s best laughs came when
Stanhope got to showcase some of his own standup. After dragging
Louie to an open mic at what might be the worst venue in New York,
Eddie took the stage. His brutally honest and depressive material
was hilarious, especially to a tipsy Louie, who had been pulling off
their communal bottle of booze just as much as Eddie. Laying out how
little he now cares for sex was just a prelude to the horrifyingly
dismal life that he details for Louie in the final scene, which was
light on laughs, but packed quite an emotional impact.

Eddie was grating throughout the
episode, but it resulted in humor more often than not. Though with
his final act it would be hard not to remember him as more than a
jerk. After dropping hints of his impending suicide throughout the
episode it wasn’t a shock to hear Eddie confess his intentions to
Louie. Knowing it was coming didn’t take much of the sting out of
seeing someone dropping all that on a supposed friend. I’m a firm
believer that a person has the right to cash out whenever they
desire, but only if they aren’t leaving anyone behind to blame
themselves. Which is exactly what Eddie could have done, if he
didn’t feel the need to burden Louie with the knowledge. Hearing a
doctor had given him the means to off himself, with the intent that
Eddie do just that, was certainly worthy of sympathy. As was him
having no one to say goodbye to. But the only reason Eddie is saying
goodbye at all is because he is choosing to kill himself. As sick as
it would still be, if Eddie at least wanted Louie to talk him out of
it than telling him would be at least somewhat understandable.
Thankfully the ire Eddie’s doctor-approved suicide brought up wasn’t
enough to take the shine off an incredible scene.

Louie is justifiably furious with Eddie
after hearing the news, and in his anger rails on the suicidal comic.
Louie’s refusal to give him a reason to live was an applaud worthy
moment. As Louie said himself, he has worked hard to find answers to
that question and shouldn’t have to hand them out to someone too
stubborn or fed up to look for his own. A bickering couple passing
by breaks the hostility, and Louie realizes the futility of his
argument. Eddie is determined to do himself in, and there is no way
to make him take back sharing it. Louie is also a much better guy
than Eddie, and doesn’t want to say goodbye to his old friend by
berating him in the street. It may have taken Louie awhile to get
there, but he eventually uttered the only thing you can say to
someone who drops that bombshell on you: “I hope you don’t
kill yourself…I really do. But I gotta go home.”

The
show could have taken a break after the excellence of “Come On,
God”, but C.K. followed it up with an equally brilliant episode.
There aren’t many writers who can come up with such consistently
poignant plots, let alone the jokes to fill them, but C.K. does just
that along with directing and editing the series. And with these
latest episodes, he has yet to put out a dud this season. “Eddie”
might not have been the funniest episode to date, but it still placed
high in the ranking of
Louie’s
best.

Rating
9.5

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