'Louie' Season 3, Episode 1 Review/Recap - 'Something Is Wrong' But Oh So Right

'Louie' Season 3, Episode 1 Review/Recap - 'Something Is Wrong' But Oh So Right From his unrequited but beautifully constructed confession of love to Pamela to his self-flagellation at eating a pint of ice cream, Louis C.K. is something of a super sad sack in "Louie." He's not only put-upon; he puts upon himself.

You can bet that when aging is part of his opening stand-up segment that things are going to be a little worse for Louie than usual. The routine is just as hilarious (and blue) as usual, as Louie takes us through having to get reading glasses to jerk off, and pondering procedures to replace his dick with that of a recently passed 22-year-old Puerto Rican track star. It sounds absurd, yes, but when Louie says it, it all makes sense.

Louie's mid-life crisis (how many does this make, now?) manifests itself through the purchase of a motorcycle. It goes well at first, with a perfectly European montage of riding the thing throughout New York City. But as with anything else Louie tries, it ends with a crash.

Louie is bruised but not broken, and it seems more painful to him to have to call his ex-wife and tell her about it than to deal with the injuries. Here we have another delightful bit of blind casting on the part of C.K., as the mother of his pale, blond children is a lovely black woman. Louis C.K. commented on the casting, saying that she got the part because--get this--she's good. And it's true: she handles the scene with the perfect level of ex-wife exasperation. Just like Louis used the same actress for his mom and his date last season, it's clear that casting on "Louie" is going to go to the actor who's right, not just the one who looks right.

The motorcycle and Louie's body aren't the only things that get wrecked: a delightful sequence about the absurdity of parking ends with a backhoe crushing Louie's car. The impressive thing about C.K. is how he can take well-worn territory (there was a whole segment on air travel last season) and find a new way to attack it. He's living proof that there are no cliche subjects, only cliche jokes.

But the saddest display of Louie's pathetic state comes with his latest girlfriend, April. Louie is so inept at asserting himself--"being a man," as April puts it--that he can't break up with her, even if he wants to. The result is a barrage of pained faces from Louie that lead April to essentially break up with herself.

Louie has never been very good at existing in the world that he lives in, but in the past he's at least been relatively functional and even a little bit comfortable. That seems to be gone at the start of this third season, as his decisions have him almost unable to make it from the bedroom to the front door.

In short, it's going to be a good season. A good, very dark, very depressing season.