It’s a good job parts four and five of “Elevator” aired on the same night because they go together pretty well, with five opening with more updates on the progress of Hurricane Jasmine Forsyth, which has now killed Lebron James, the rest of the Miami Heat, and 12 million other people.
This bit of continuity in a show that usually throws continuity to the wind implies Jasmine Forsyth may actually become a credible threat to our characters. “Elevator” didn’t dip into surreality much until Part four showed up, but now I’m starting to become a bit worried that this sweet and simple story about Louie dating a girl who has to return to Hungary is going to be climactically upended by her getting blown off the face of the earth or something.
Impending doom aside, this was another good episode and another one that, despite being a piece of a larger whole, feels like its own, independent piece of Louie weirdness. A big reason for this is that almost the entire first half of “Elevator Part 5” focuses on comedian Todd Barry walking us through an average day for him. Barry (who seems like he’s probably a chilled-out, super-nice guy in real life) is depicted as a huge dick on this show, which didn’t work so well for me in the season premiere, but this scene, in which he describes an incredibly mundane day in his hugely uneventful life, but does so with the energy of a self-important douchebag, made me laugh more than the show has in some time.
The biggest highlights of his monologue are his joy over getting a free donut every time a particular waitress is working at his regular diner and (the crux of the tale) how important it is to him that he manages to get a club owner to replace the piece of paper on his dressing room door on which his name has been incorrectly spelled “Todd Berry” with the correct spelling (a difference of one letter). The absurdity of everyone in the club crowding around to hear Todd’s story and applauding for his petty victory makes this scene all the funnier.
I can’t be too mad at an episode with an awesome Todd Barry monologue, but I do wonder if all this Barry came at the loss of furthering the plot of Louie’s troubles with his daughter Jane and ex-wife, Janet. I talked a few episodes back about how great I thought it was to see a character as young as Jane get some genuine development, instead of her just being a precocious and/or troublemaking kid, as kids so often are in fictional media. But her issues aren’t even addressed in this episode.
Otherwise, we do get a big leap in Louie and Amia’s relationship as they finally sleep together (it being rather surprisingly revealed that they had yet to do so in Part 4). Leading up to this momentous event, we get a bit more of Ivanka (Ellen Burstyn) whose life Louie saves once more (she’s passed out from choking on a Mentos), this time by enlisting the help of Dr. Bigelow (hooray, it’s Charles Grodin again). It’s interesting and funny the way Ivanka, just as Janet did in the previous episode, inquirers as to whether Louie and Amia are having sex yet sort of functions as them peer pressuring him into actually initiating said sex.
The final scene is also good. It’s both sweet and a little difficult to watch Louie awkwardly operate when the time for hot and heaviness arrives. And it’s sad to see (even if we, like Louie, can’t understand Hungarian) that Amia clearly believes they’ve made a mistake in sleeping together.
The next episode will finish “Elevator” out. Let’s hope the small bird who died of sadness is the last casualty of this six-parter and that things with Amia end satisfyingly.