The season finale of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” resumes with a bang and a boom (no, sorry, that was “F-Troop”). This episode had vintage Seinfeld and vintage Larry David in a combination that was pleasingly sharp and entertaining.
We begin at the rehearsal for the Seinfeld reunion, where George tells ex-wife Cheryl: “I’ve been dreading telling you about this whole Madoff thing- but look at me, I’m living with Jerry.”
Cheryl thinks she’s not fantastic.
“Why does George have tinted windows on his car?” Larry asks.
“Well he’s a big star,”
“He’s not George Clooney.”
Larry confesses to Jeff that his secret plan is working. “Your whole plan is coming true. Make a move,” Jeff says.
“Whenever I make a move you can see it a mile away. It’s like a poker tell.”
The gang meets at Julia’s house for a book warming party for Jason Alexander’s new book: “Acting Without Acting.”
“Not so much a book as a pamphlet,” Larry says.
“It’s annoying that everyone says “Having said that” after everything,” Jerry tells Larry in the comedic musing that spawned their legendary partnership.
“You could tell an audience- you’re all a bunch of idiots. Having said that, I’m very happy to be here,” Larry replies.
In another dig to Jason, Larry comments on the book: “It’s very concise. I’ll read it with dinner.”
Julia accuses Larry of putting his glass down leaving a water ring stain on the wooden table “that has been in the Louis Dreyfus family for years.”
Larry confronts Mocha Joe, the coffee man, who Larry asked to deliver jumper cables to his office. “I understand you’re upset that I didn’t give you a tip.
“Not upset, disappointed… If you do me a favor, then we’re even.”
Driving to pick up the beans for Mocha Joe’s coffee (which is closed) makes him late for his “date” with Cheryl and she cancels on him.
“Mocha Joe has nothing to show for your attempted favor.”
“What happened to E for effort? Larry asks.
“It’s C for coffee!” Jerry says.
Cheryl winds up calling Jason to come over and review lines.
Jason and Cheryl have great chemistry. “This is the best relationship George has ever had. I’m watching Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss,” Jerry says.
“Who knows what goes on behind tinted windows?” Larry asks Jeff about Jason and Cheryl.
“You sound crazy,” Jeff replies.
Julia asks Larry for the $500 to repair the table.
“I didn’t do it. I respect wood,” Larry says, and is determined to find the culprit.
“Do you respect wood, Susie?” Larry grills Susie about the ring stain.
“I respect wood so much that if I had a piece of wood in my hand I’d beat the s**t out of you! Now get the f**k out!” (the finale would not be the same without one more f-bomb from Susie).
Now Cheryl has gotten her own car windows tinted.
Larry wants to change the blocking on the scene to keep Jason away from Cheryl.
Larry seeing Jason’s car rocking back and forth suspects the worst. He opens the door, only to reveal Jason’s dogs who bolt out and attack Mocha Joe. Mocha Joe’s complaint will have the dogs put down, unless Larry intervenes.
“Your heart bleeds for wood but not for actual life,” Jerry says. “When you go to a funeral do you feel sorry for the coffin?”
“They’re going to be put down,” Larry pleads with Mocha Joe.
“I know. If I could I’d do it myself.”
Larry pays Mocha Joe off for a “stay of execution.”
Larry confronts Cheryl about why she likes Jason.
“He’s sensitive, he’s neurotic.”
“That’s me! I wrote that character!”
Larry tries to rewrite the script to keep Jason and Cheryl apart.
“Larry, we already screwed up one finale,” Jerry says.
“We didn’t screw up the finale. That’s was a great finale.”
When he sees the changes Jason quits.
“I’ll play George,” Larry says.
“You’ll play George’s butler?” Jerry asks.
“There were two Darrins on Bewitched.”
“Look, we are all icons. You’re a no-con,” Jerry tells Larry.
Larry is actually great as George, but the cast does not like it.
Larry quits, but not before Cheryl overhears him (through tinted windows) say that he only undertook the show to get Cheryl back.
Larry watches the final show (now with Elizabeth Shue re-cast as George’s ex), when Cheryl appears at his door, with two cups of Mocha Joe’s coffee. As the two are about to reconcile, Larry realizes that it was Cheryl who left the cup ring on Julia’s table.
“Having said that…”
The mini-Seinfeld show was terrific- funny and true to all the characters. While the series can go out on this high note, I would welcome another season. I would also welcome an actual Seinfeld reunion on NBC. The four still look great and have the same superb chemistry that made them television icons.
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.