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Larry David (#110 of 14)

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap Season 9, Episode 10, “Fatwa!”

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Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 10, “Fatwa!”

John P. Johnson/HBO

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 10, “Fatwa!”

In the past, some season finales of Curb Your Enthusiasm have been kind to Larry David: They've seen him triumphantly salvaging a potentially disastrous restaurant opening (“The Grand Opening”) and saving a doomed musical (“Opening Night”). But even when Larry is in the right, when he deservedly wins a petty squabble or outwits an obnoxious celebrity, there's a particular satisfaction in watching him reap the consequences of his own foot-in-mouthedness. And last night's season-nine finale episode, “Fatwa!,” doesn't cast Larry in a heroic light. Throughout, it indulges whole-heartedly in fiasco, and much to the detriment of Larry and everyone in his inner circle.

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap Season 9, Episode 9, “The Shucker”

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Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 9, “The Shucker”

John P. Johnson/HBO

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 9, “The Shucker”

“There's no discretion anymore,” Larry David laments in the penultimate episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm's ninth season, and there's an inkling of truth to his complaint. Were Larry's company more discreet, Cheryl might not have divulged personal information about Larry to her new beau, Ted Danson. In the event that there is still discretion in a world full of big mouths, it usually comes at a price: $2,500 to be exact, from an extorting shellfish shucker (Steven Weber), in exchange for not telling Lin-Manuel Miranda that Larry fell asleep during a performance of Hamilton.

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap Season 9, Episode 8, “Never Wait for Seconds!”

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Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 8, “Never Wait for Seconds!”

John P. Johnson/HBO

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 8, “Never Wait for Seconds!”

Larry David isn't what you would call a bad tipper. He may squabble with individuals in the service industry, even insult or baffle them in the process, but he's usually quick to rustle up some cash for their troubles. Maybe he genuinely appreciates their assistance. Or, as it becomes increasingly clear in “Never Wait for Seconds!,” perhaps he'd rather wash his hands of the situation, extricating himself from any more involvement with a stranger. Given the abundance of service employees who Larry has run into throughout season nine of Curb Your Enthusiasm, not to mention the instances of him expressing his distaste for being indebted to anyone, it's not surprising that the series should devote an entire episode to the politics of favors.

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap Season 9, Episode 7, “Namaste”

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Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 7, “Namaste”

John P. Johnson/HBO

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 7, “Namaste”

In last week's Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David briefly played the people's hero, standing up to self-righteous hostesses and ill-mannered travelers. In “Namaste,” he proudly reemerges as a shameless asshole and nuisance, which leads to some of the best—and worst—tussles of the season so far.

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap Season 9, Episode 6, “The Accidental Text on Purpose”

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Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 6, “The Accidental Text on Purpose”

John P. Johnson/HBO

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 6, “The Accidental Text on Purpose”

Larry David has worn many hats throughout Curb Your Enthusiasm's run. This season alone he's been a pickle hero and fatwa boy, but more often than not, he's just a “four-eyed fuck.” “The Accidental Text on Purpose,” last night's episode of the show, introduced the unlikeliest of roles for Larry: relationship guru. Why anyone would trust Larry with relationship advice is unclear, but for the better part of the episode, Larry doles out some inspired—and appropriately disingenuous—nuggets of wisdom.

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap Season 9, Episode 5, “Thank You for Your Service”

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Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 5, “Thank You for Your Service”

John P. Johnson/HBO

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 5, “Thank You for Your Service”

“Thank You for Your Service,” last night’s unbelievably incident-packed episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, hinged on the kind of tone-deaf punchlines that have marred many of the Larry David show’s recent episodes. But it’s also the ninth season’s most cohesive installment thus far, recalling the jigsaw-puzzle-like construction of vintage Curb episodes.

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap Season 9, Episode 4, “Running with the Bulls”

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Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 4, “Running with the Bulls”

John P. Johnson/HBO

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 4, “Running with the Bulls”

Throughout its original eight-season run, Curb Your Enthusiasm questioned the limits of political correctness and offended nearly every group in the process. In doing so, the series produced some wonderfully uncomfortable (and impossibly funny) television. “Running with the Bulls,” though, is what happens when Curb’s inherently problematic humor fails.

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap Season 9, Episode 3, “A Disturbance in the Kitchen”

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Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 3, “A Disturbance in the Kitchen”

John P. Johnson/HBO

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 3, “A Disturbance in the Kitchen”

In the season-seven finale of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld pick apart the phrase “having said that.” “You say what you really want to say,” notes Larry, “and then you negate it.” To which Jerry adds, “You win either way.” The exchange may seem like a simple semantic criticism, but it’s a fitting turn of phrase for the inhabitants of the Curb universe, for whom bluntness and approval-seeking are coincident, often contradictory traits.

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap Season 9, Episode 2, “The Pickle Gambit”

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Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 2, “The Pickle Gambit”

HBO

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 2, “The Pickle Gambit”

“You’re doing too much,” Leon (J.B. Smoove) says in “The Pickle Gambit,” tonight’s episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. He’s speaking to Kenny Funkhouser (Niall Cunningham), nephew of Marty (Bob Einstein), straight-A student, all-American pitcher, and “jewel of the Funkhouser family tree.” If his SAT performance goes well, Marty gloats, he’ll be off to Stanford with a full scholarship. Kenny may have a lot on his plate, but his hard work seems to be serving him well—even if he hasn’t, Leon presumes, “ever seen a titty.”

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap Season 9, Episode 1, “Foisted!”

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Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 1, “Foisted!”

John P. Johnson/HBO

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Season 9, Episode 1, “Foisted!”

In the uncharacteristically elaborate opening of “Foisted!,” the first new episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm in six years, the camera flies over an upscale neighborhood in Los Angeles, past manicured, ritzy properties, before swooping into Larry David’s (Larry David) home through an open window. Even if this is a series largely concerned with the lives of a city’s golf-playing, fundraiser-attending upper crust, this aesthetic flourish feels out of place. After all, throughout the show’s first eight seasons, more understated camera work, sometimes shaky handhelds, guided us through gilded milieus. But a polished aerial zoom? To use Curb parlance, what a shanda!