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, “Never Wait for Seconds!”
Larry David’s search for sex in Curb Your Enthusiasm after splitting with Cheryl has been consistently tumultuous, but the budding relationship with Bridget (Lauren Graham) — who was introduced last episode — is something else entirely. She is someone special who, amazingly, liked Larry in all his cranky glory. Larry was so smitten, in fact, he saw the relationship progressing to the point where one day he might “let her sleep in the guest room.”
Unfortunately, “Never Wait for Seconds!” probably means the end of the relationship before they were even able to have sex, let alone the much-hyped “gratitude sex.” Bridget’s mouthy kid Eddie — who may be “on the spectrum,” even if Larry thinks he’s just an asshole — made sure of that by acting as an ever-present obstacle. But Larry didn’t do himself any favors, either. The “gratitude sex” would’ve come had Eddie been accepted to a boarding school — one that Larry donated Seinfeld memorabilia to — but Larry destroyed those chances by letting the repairman, Cesar (Hemky Madera), and his family use the boarding school’s pool as a favor. (Little Cesar befouled the pool, which was a no-no.)
Possibly losing Bridget is a big L for Larry. He still had the best week on Curb, though. Not only did he finally find a way to rid himself of his fatwa — something that’s haunted him since the start of the season — but his petty behavior of years’ past was essentially vindicated. While waiting in line for a brunch buffet, an Iranian man, Morsi (Navid Negahban), cuts the line for a second helping of potatoes as hangry customers lash out at him. Larry comes to his defense, arguing that you should never have to wait for seconds — it’s an American right — and proudly serves the man his seconds.
Turns out, Morsi was considering killing Larry because of the fatwa, but Larry’s good intentions (or, policing of social norms) made him reconsider. Deciding he needs to learn more about Larry’s character outside the context of a frenzied buffet line, Morsi then revisits some of Larry’s pettiest past encounters, including Michael J. Fox, the hooker from “The Carpool Lane,” the nurse with the big vagina, and Krazee-Eyez Killa. Krazee-Eyez gives a killer endorsement.
Morsi concludes that Larry’s past behavior was justified, and a counsel of muftis tell Larry that they’ll make sure the Ayatollah rescinds the fatwa. Fatwa! The Musical, however, can’t happen — unless Larry enlists Lin-Manuel Miranda as its star.
In a way, “Never Wait for Seconds!” is the anti-Seinfeld finale: Instead of being vilified by characters from the past for every tiny grievance, they all return to reward Larry for being a curmudgeon. As we head into the end of Season 9, we’ve got two more episodes to see how Larry enjoys — or complains — about his life, post-fatwa.
Best Larryism: “You know what, I’ve never had gratitude sex, mainly because I’ve never done anything that someone could be grateful for.”
Best Curb Flashback: Courtesy of Michael J. Fox, who offered Morsi a can of Coke, which he wisely denied.
Most Questionable Buffet Etiquette: Larry’s “cutting for seconds” corollary could use a little tweaking. My two cents: Cutting the buffet line for a second helping should be allowed — but only if the person grabs fewer than three foods. Otherwise, the seconds guy has to use the line like everyone else.
Best Ketchup Dispensing Method: Larry believes ketchup lovers will show more restraint if they use packets instead of a bottle.
I’m with Larry here: Packets are superior to the bottle. Plus, you don’t have to share a packet. The advantages are nearly endless.
Come back next week as Larry tries to recruit Lin-Manuel Miranda to star in Fatwa! The Musical and we wait with bated breath to see if Miranda makes a cameo.
Disclosure: HBO is an initial investor in The Ringer.