Because Larry David’s world is certainly one full of judging, slights, and winners and losers, each week during Season 9 of Curb Your Enthusiasm we will be applying a keen eye to all of the show’s social chaos to effectively answer this question: Who won the week? We’ll also be handing out a few other stray awards, much as we did while ranking every episode of the series. Let’s get started with Sunday night’s episode, “Running With the Bulls.”
It’s another Funkhouser funeral for Larry to upend in “Running With the Bulls.” Kenny Funkhouser, Marty’s nephew and the prized jewel of the Funkhouser family tree, was killed at the running of the bulls in Pamplona, during a European getaway with the prostitute he became enamored with back in Episode 2. In a way, Larry’s partially responsible for Kenny’s death, having set the two up in the first place, so the fact that Marty invites him to the memorial is a tad surprising—especially given Larry’s history at Funkhouser funerals (see: Season 4’s “The 5 Wood” and Season 6’s “The Ida Funkhouser Roadside Memorial”).
Despite Larry’s encouraging talk with his fatwa comrade-in-arms and last week’s Curb winner Salman Rushdie, the paranoia of a fatwa attack gets to him at the funeral. The sight of what Larry believes to be an armed Iranian hitman—in reality, just a funeral attendee with his arm in a sling—sets off a chain reaction that ends like Kenny’s experience with the bulls (with some twisted symbolism, his funeral portrait is trampled by frightened guests).
There are no winners at the chaotic Funkhouser funeral, nor from Larry’s sessions with his newest therapist, Dr. Templeton (Bryan Cranston—sadly, not the lecherous dentist Tim Whatley from Seinfeld), who is apparently in need of a more comfortable chair for his patients.
To find a winner in “Running With the Bulls,” we have to go to Curb’s B plot, in which Susie makes the best out of another instance of Jeff cheating on her.
This time, Jeff has the hots for a realtor, who has sex with him at several open houses with real-estate-heavy dirty talk in tow (“Oh yeah, close that deal!”). Susie’s suspicions are warranted, obviously, but Jeff’s excuse that he’s looking for a new house backfires when Susie, Jeff, and the real estate agent tour a chic home that Susie’s very interested in buying. The agent, of course, is stoked about making a huge sale.
Revenge is a dish best served exorbitantly. Jeff sleeps around; in return, Susie gets a new house. That’s one way to get back at, as Susie eloquently calls him, her “fat fuck” of a husband. Enjoy the new digs.
Best Larryism: “Well, that’s not so shocking. You’re running with the bulls. It’d be shocking if he didn’t die. That’s the shock.”
Best Richard Lewis Painting: Evolution.
Best Short Fly Solution: The tiddlywinks approach. I’ll let Leon take it from here. “Index finger. Take it, you go down, put it in your zipper, press down on the shaft, allows your head to pop up.”
Worst Potential Therapy Chair: You can’t have a rocker in a therapist’s office; that’s just strange.
Come back next week as Larry tries to get The League’s Katie Aselton, who is apparently his mailwoman, to drop a book off for free. That’s illegal!
Disclosure: HBO is an initial investor in The Ringer.