Louie 5×06 ‘Sleepover’: Slowly learning

Louie 5x06 Cover

This season of Louie has commented again and again on how people don’t really understand the way that millenials live in the world, and, more than that, they’re afraid of what millenials and their knowledge means for themselves.  Every generation experiences the world differently, and the older generations look at the younger and demonize the way they experience the world, not because they legitimately think the youth are wrong, but because they need to justify their own relevance.  Because, as we get older, we lose our relevance in society, and the young continue to gain more relevance.

Louie 5x06-2

Source: FX

“Sleepover” comments on the ways that Louie as a character is learning to adapt, to consider the perspective of others, to empathize with other people.  Normally, Louie would listen to his daughter rant about being on her phone during the play he took her to, and he would take the phone anyway.  But he seems to understand her after she talks to him about it, like he’s actually considering how she lives her life.  That doesn’t mean that he completely understands the youth.  During Jane’s sleepover, he does everything in his power to stay away from the group of girls, to the point that he locks himself in a separate room and sits alone.  Louie is often pulled in two different directions, where he attempts to rewrite his behavior but also distances himself from things that make him uncomfortable.

Louie 5x06-1

Source: FX

But, for the most part, “Sleepover” has Louie learning from his mistakes.  His phone call with Pamela is one of those instances.  Where Pamela was in control sexually in “Bobby’s House”, here Louie is taking control of the conversation, telling her to take her pants off instead of letting her control what he does.  It’s not just that he’s in control, it’s that he’s being active in his interactions with her instead of being passive.  He’s expending the effort to actually be present with her instead of just being around.  And that turns Pamela on, to the point that she almost had phone sex with him until she heard the screaming of the children in the background.  People are reacting more positively to Louie being active because it shows that he has an interest in connecting with them.  When people see somebody being passive, even if they’re naturally introverted or anxious, they see somebody who doesn’t really want anything to do with them.

Louie 5x06-3

Source: FX

And Louie also is able to connect with the children that he has for the sleepover.  He might initially balk at the idea of giving them a sundae table, but he wants them to have fun, so when he has to take them to the police station to bail out Bobby, he tries to make it something that the children would enjoy.  He lets them run around the police station and yell, and he gets them ice cream afterwards.  It might not be the most orthodox thing to do with a group of children, but it’s an adventure, and Louie realizes that children want adventure more than anything else.  Putting himself in the perspective of those children is what helps him to really understand what they want, and more than that, how to compromise what he wants with what they want.

“Sleepover” might not be the more interesting episode of Louie, but it goes to show that the show is evolving and so is the character of Louie.  He’s still learning what it means to connect with the people around him, and he’s learning that taking action and being present around others is what helps him really make those connections.  Because that’s what we need to do in order to show other people that we’re searching for that connection.  We need to project to them our desires and feelings, because otherwise people have a hard time really understanding what it is we want.  And if people know what we want, then they’ll have an easier time finding just how to connect with us.

So what do you think of this season of Louie?  Do you think the two-part finale will be any good?  Let me know in the comments!

Michael St. Charles

is just a Michigan State University grad who loves a good story. If he’s not off teaching the young ones how to solve quadratic functions or to write an expository essay, he’s watching old-school HBO shows, indie horror movies, or he’s playing Resident Evil 4.

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