This week’s episode began with Larry’s newest pet peeve: Men wearing shorts on airplanes. In the latest entry the plot is still intricately weaved. Larry reminds me of “Q” in the James Bond movies: The gadgets that Q gave 007 at the beginning of each film are like ticking time bombs-we know that they are going to be used at some point. Larry’s Q plants the seeds of idiosyncrasies and new characters who all converge and make his life ever more miserable.
After burning himself on the little hot towel given to him by the Flight Attendant in first class (it could only happen to Larry) and then cajoling his doctor’s (well played by the stoically sardonic Philip Baker Hall) home phone number out of him “just for emergencies” (“I don’t want to be in your wallet,” he tells Larry), Larry calls him by accident and then proceeds to chit chat with him, annoying him even further.
Coincidentally (not that there’s ever one in this world) running into an ex-girlfriend Mary Jane Porter, he gets asked out. “I’ve changed,” he tells her, which is not only a lie, but would be a tragedy.
“She is a ‘big bowl of out of your league” Jeff Garlin tells her.
Larry solicits dating and sexual advice from the slightly less clueless Jeff about how far he can go with a rekindled romance. “Everything you’ve done before counts sexually.”
At Ted Danson’s party, Larry patrols the buffet area, admonishing Christian Slater about taking too much caviar, reminiscent of George Costanza’s double dipping, and then rats him out to Mary Steenburgen.
We learn of yet another life-long aversion of Larry’s-hearing people singing in public. He abruptly curtails Jeff and Susie’s daughter for singing at Ted Danson’s party. He also cuts a singer off at an Italian restaurant.
Larry’s reunion date with Mary Jane is less than successful. While the Seinfeld cast was nowhere to be found this week, there was also a reminder of George’s “switching sides” trick, with Larry’s injured wrist. He has to take off quickly when Mary Jane gets a phone call from the boyfriend she neglected to mention.
The next day, a phone call from Mary Jane that she has given her angry and jealous boyfriend his address and phone number, sends Larry to the streets in his shorts, seeking refuge first at his doctor’s house, who throws him out, then at Susie and Jeff’s who throw him out after he yells at their daughter for singing.
The day after that when he goes back to apologize to the singer at the restaurant, he runs into Mary Jane and tries to run away from her boyfriend, escaping from the restaurant.
And while his escape was about to be successful, he gets busted by Christian Slater, who in complete retribution, directs Mary Jane’s boyfriend to where Larry is hiding. Larry loses again, and we as the audience clearly win.
See you next week.
Eddy Friedfeld is a film and entertainment journalist and the co-author of “Caesar’s Hours” with Sid Caesar and teaches the history of comedy in America at Yale and NYU.