‘Curb’ 8.10 Recap: “I’ll Be Back in Two Shakes”

I realize that I’m quite delinquent with this. My trip to the Toronto Film Festival and then my attempts to keep up with all the new fall TV premieres sidetracked me for a bit. Nonetheless, I covered most of this past season of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ (minus a couple of episodes), and I feel that I need to close that out with a recap of the finale.

Season Eight was arguably the best season of ‘Curb’ yet. It’s rare for a comedy to stay this fresh and funny after so many years, but Larry David and company knocked out a bunch of hilarious episodes. The finale may not have been the best of the season, and may not have had a major show-stopper like Larry’s performance in ‘The Producers’ or the ‘Seinfeld’ reunion, but it was a pretty good episode all the same, with plenty of the show’s patented offensiveness.

The episode title ‘Larry vs. Michael J. Fox’ explains a lot. Fox (as himself) is Larry’s upstairs neighbor at his new apartment. They keep running into each other in the building, and Larry is convinced that they’re feuding, even though Fox insists otherwise. Although he’s well aware that Fox suffers from Parkinson’s Disease (who isn’t?), Larry becomes convinced that Fox is using body language to insult him, under the guise of exaggerated Parkinson’s shaking. “Was it pissed or Parkinson’s?,” he asks when Fox appears to shrug him off. Later, Larry takes Fox’s stomping around in his apartment (he has to wear special shoes, even indoors) to be a passive-aggressive attempt to annoy him. Everyone else is aghast that Larry would even consider such a thing, much less say it out loud. Of course, Larry is so conceited that he believes everything is about him. And it’s quite possible that Fox may be playing into this on purpose.

Meanwhile, Larry has a new girlfriend (‘SNL’ alum Ana Gasteyer), whose 7-year-old son Larry believes is gay, or “pre-gay.” The mother is completely blind to her son’s behavior, and gets offended when Larry buys the boy a sewing machine for his birthday, even though the kid loves it.

Larry also has an annoying habit of doodling on magazines, and drawing Hitler mustaches and swastikas on the photos of famous people, which he thinks is very funny. In doing so, he introduces the girlfriend’s son to the swastika symbol, which the young boy (completely naïve to history) thinks is a fabulous design. Larry does a painfully insufficient job of explaining what the swastika or Hitler were. That of course will come around to bite him in the ass later.

Larry attempts to mend fences with Michael J. Fox by attending his charity event, only to inadvertently appear to mock his shaking. Mayor Bloomberg himself demands that Larry leave New York. That’s funny, of course, because Larry is only in New York in the first place because he offended too many people and had to leave L.A.

Eventually, Larry and Leon head to Paris, where Larry immediately gets into a fight with a French “pig parker.”

Will there be a ninth season of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’? I doubt anyone knows at this point when or if that will happen. As I understand it, the show is thrown together in seat-of-their-pants fashion. Even the cast and crew typically have no idea whether there will be another season until Larry David calls them up one day and says that he’s ready. If they can make another year as funny as this one, I’m all for it.

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