This 'Friends' Cop Returns To The Force On 'Louie'

Like everyone else, I love to rewatch old Friends episodes on Netflix, well, just because they're finally there. There are so many classic moments to relive from the long-running sitcom and hilarious characters to become reacquainted with, like Phoebe Buffay's intense police officer boyfriend Gary. And strangely enough, Gary actor Michael Rapaport will be playing a cop on Louie , this Thursday on FX. The 45-year-old actor, director, and comedian is already getting rave reviews for his guest role in the episode "Cop Story" as Lenny, a police officer who also happens to be Louie's sister's ex-boyfriend.

In a review in The New York Times, critic Mike Hale called Rapaport's appearance "a fine performance" as the episode "a familiar situation and spins it in a novel, eerie way." And it's no coincidence, since Rapaport had plenty of experience of play a New York City cop as Gary, Phoebe's boyfriend for four episodes in the fifth season of Friends. Sure, the talented actor has had other amazing roles (Justified, Boston Public, The War At Home, My Name Is Earl, Prison Break, and others), but Gary made such an in impression in such a small amount of time. And that's a sign of a great character.

In case you don't have time to fire up Netflix before "Cop Story," here's a rundown of Rapaport's finest moments as Gary the cop on Friends.

The One With Gary's Introduction

In "The One With The Cop," Phoebe finds a police badge at Central Perk and has a good amount of fun with it until Gary finally catches her. Phoebe tries to bust him for parking his car by the Central Perk entrance, shows her "badge" — which is actually his. She tells him she's an undercover whore in vice. He starts to quiz her and Phoebe uses her police knowledge from NYPD Blue to try to get over on him to no avail.

Gary tracks Phoebe down to Monica's apartment, where they engage in some flirtatious legal talk, but he agrees not to arrest her for impersonating a cop — and asks her out instead. "Ever since you flashed my badge at me, I kinda can't stop thinking about you," Gary tells her. "You're the prettiest fake undercover whore I've ever seen." Aww.

The One With Phoebe & Gary's Great Sex Life

In "The One With Rachel's Inadvertent Kiss," Phoebe brags to Monica about how she and Gary just like to have sex at his apartment all day. This gets Monica's competitive motor running and she enlists Chandler to prove that they're a hotter couple than Gary and Phoebe.

The One Where The Guys Do a Ride-Along With Gary

Being the macho men that they are, Joey, Chandler and Ross go on a police ride-along with Gary in "The One With the Ride-Along." Ross is super enthusiastic, Joey gets banned from eating a sandwich in the cop car, and Chandler is, well, Chandler. When a car backfires and they guys think it's gunfire, Joey jumps to protect Ross instead of Chandler and Gary's impressed. But really, Joey was protecting his sandwich. Duh.

The One Where Gary & Phoebe Decide To Move In Together

Gary asks Phoebe to move in with him in "The One With the Ball," and she says yes, even though it's a bit to fast for her (see above at 1:51). Despite her doubts, Gary convinces her it's the right thing to do with a declaration of love. "I was lucky enough to find someone that I really love," he tells Chandler. "I just want to be around her as much as I can."

The One Where Gary Was Trigger Happy

Once their all moved in, Gary and Phoebe snuggle in bed as the birds are literally chirping. But he takes care of that with his gun — yup, he actually shoots a bird. Phoebe breaks up with Gary and moves out, because he shot a bird. That poor bird. And that's the last we see of Gary on Friends.

How will Rapaport compare as Lenny, Louie's cop pal? We shall see.

Image: KC Bailey/FX