But just when you think you have Louie figured out, he confounds your expectations. In a grueling first season episode, Louie and his brother have dinner with their mother, and she announces that she’s a lesbian now. That’s a plot you can imagine on a modern network sitcom, but the way the scene is handled is something I’ve never seen before. Louie is almost a dispassionate observer, realizing earlier in the episode that the only reason he loves his mother is because he has to. But his brother, the devoted son, comes almost unhinged, desperate for her approval. He claims that she’s never said that she loves him, and while she assures him that she has most certainly said it in the past, she won’t actually say it. He pleads with her to say those simple words, and she just chastises him. You’re watching a man who only wants one tiny thing, and his mother is actively withholding it. For a few minutes, it’s not even a comedy. And nobody learns a lesson. It’s a scene where we watch people interact, without a dramatic resolution.