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, “Thank You for Your Service.”
A lot went wrong for Larry David this week; in other words, it was a pretty typical episode of Curb. Let us list the many social miscues of LD in Week 5:
- He may have offended the chef at his golf club for wanting to order his sole broiled rather than sautéed, the chef’s recommended preparation. However, Larry’s not totally sure he committed a fish faux pas because the waiter might’ve downplayed the exasperation on the chef’s face at the time of the request.
- He accidentally offends fellow golfer Ken by saying that his new baby “looks a little Asian.”
- He asks to hit the reset button on his relationships with the golf club’s annoyingly chatty parking attendant, Sal (Joe Regalbuto), and his new mail carrier, Jean (Katie Aselton), who he goes on one very awkward date with.
- Worst of all, he draws the ire of Susie for not thanking Sammi’s future husband, Victor, for his service in the military. (Larry’s defense: Three people just thanked the guy.) Plus, his attempt to reconcile their relationship at a Revolutionary War reenactment goes horribly awry when Sal shoots actual cannons at the two of them, triggering Victor’s previously undiagnosed PTSD.
However, despite all this chaos, Larry still ends up as this week’s winner. First of all, his golf membership is probably safe for the rest of his life. Turns out he was right about Ken’s baby looking a bit Asian—because Ken’s wife is having an affair with the club owner, Mr. Takahashi. And when Larry catches them red-handed, he’s immediately reinstated as a club member.
Now, while the proposed relationship reset with Sal is a disaster—how badly do you have to piss off a guy to get a cannon shot at you?—by episode’s end, there’s a new parking attendant, and he’s very anti-chatter. Minimal human interaction at perhaps his favorite place on the planet—this might be the closest thing to paradise Larry ever gets. All he had to do to get there was trigger an ex-soldier’s PTSD and lose all his future mail after a crappy date. I doubt he’ll lose much sleep over either.
Best Larryism: “The whole system’s screwed up. You don’t need to send me something to tell me you’re gonna send me something, just send it. If I’m saying something to you, I don’t say to you, ‘I’m gonna say something to you,’ and then say it. I just say it.”
Sautéed or Broiled? Trick question: You go with the chef’s recommendation, which means Larry should’ve ordered the sole sautéed.
Best Movie Theater Snack Combo: Salted popcorn with light butter, add Reese’s Pieces. It’s sweet, it’s salty, and literally every snack on the planet is improved with a touch of peanut butter. Everyone agrees on this, except for one person.
Come back next week to see Larry’s latest petty grievance: FDA regulations.
Disclosure: HBO is an initial investor in The Ringer.