"This wealthy, famous, connected man had so many chances — more than most people will ever get — and he f*cked them all up," says Maureen Ryan. CK's return to stand-up Sunday night "almost didn't surprise me," she says, "because that is Louis CK's thing: Having control. He made comedy specials and an entire TV series on his own and dropped them on his website. He had total mastery of those rollouts. Creative control is something a lot of artists long for. I don't have a problem with that. Here's what I do have a problem with: He controlled, in a monstrous way, the manner of his professional return — and then he used the word 'rape' in his set. For laughs. For a 'joke' about how rape whistles are 'unclean.'" Ryan adds that "a lot of the TV of the last couple decades has been designed to make us feel sorry for monsters and sociopaths.... One thing I and other critics have had to point out an infinite number of times is that these stories of predation, exploitation, assault and rape are usually told from the point of view of perpetrator — or maybe the (male) white knight whose motivation is saving or avenging a woman who is attacked. The survivors of the violence? Eh, who cares about them? So few do. So few. What a smart, cleverly arranged long con Louis CK's career has been. He skillfully built a world in which he — via Louie or his stand-up routines — 'excavated' faults and 'examined' the sh*ttiest parts of various attitudes, impulses and actions. But it was all really part of a long-term effort to get us to think, 'Hey, at least he's trying. He's giving it some effort.' He adopted a pose of brutal honesty so that he could seem like a good bro, a man who's working on being better than his worst moments."