"The Bat Mitzvah"



One of the great things about Curb Your Enthusiasm is its completeness. With the exception of the first season, each season of the show is self-contained in a way that is more common with TV dramas rather than TV comedies. Yes, the characters (for the most part) remain the same, and many of the themes (Everyone's An Asshole, Including Larry David, But Can You Blame Him?) are consistent throughout the series, but each season follows its own whole, complete, unique arc: The TV Show, The Restaurant, The Producers, The Kidney. Basically, Curb is The Wire of sitcoms.

What this means is that each season finale is a finale in the true sense. It's an end, a culmination, a period on the end of the sentence that is that season. Each season finale of Curb gives the audience the feeling that the show could end right here. There are no cliff-hangers, no major loose ends left untied.

In other words, even though the rumor might be that there are a few more seasons of Curb yet to come, as far as we're concerned, this is the end: Larry is with Loretta, he and The Blacks are a real family, and they're the loudest people at the movies. I, for one, couldn't be more happy with this conclusion. After all, could a season that began with the adoption of a family of hurricane refugees have ended any other way?

Of course, this ending is slightly more open for interpretation than previous season finales. The montage at the end could be seen as happening in Larry's imagination. (Though, that's a cop-out I don't really see Larry David taking.) And then there's Cheryl. Could Larry really go from "Mopey Dick" over her in the beginning, to ignoring her on the dance floor because he's head-over-heels for Loretta at the end? I say yes. I mean, you heard John Legend singing Ray Charles in that scene, right? That is some powerful stuff. With a soundtrack like that, who wouldn't forget all about their annoying (Have I mentioned that I find Cheryl annoying? I find Cheryl annoying.) estranged wife, and fall for the sassy hurricane refugee? Larry David always seemed like the kind of person who would have an ex-wife, anyway. Should the series continue (and I hope it does) I think Cheryl would fill that position very nicely.

Elsewhere in the episode, we were treated to Larry's impression of a retarded person, his adept flirtation techniques ("How am I doing with the flirting?") , many uses of the phrase "tickle in my anus" (which is far superior to the played-out "hemroids"), and more of his long-standing feud with the medical community at large. In terms of supporting players, both Jeff and Richard were great in this episode, as was Michael McKean, but, as always, Leon and his various uses of the word "motherfucker" were hilarious. Hopefully, there will be room for him and his tiny grey half-shirt next season.

Grade: A-

Stray Observations:

--Other powerful uses of music in the episode: the soft, romantic song playing underneath Larry's flirtation at the doctor's office. "Do you have some terrible medical problem that brought you here?"

--"He probably read Gerbil Magazine, and you're fucking on the cover!"

--From the gargling bet to Ben Laden to "Mopey Dick," there were some great, clearly improved exchanges in this episode.

--Did Cheryl look jealous at the end, or just curious?