The fatwa placed on Larry David during the season premiere of Curb Your Enthusiasm has been the overarching plot for its ninth season, showcasing Larry’s struggles to undo and come to terms with it. However, the latest episode gave Larry a break from his paranoia, with the fatwa pushed to the side.

CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM SEASON 9, EPISODE 5 RECAP

David begins the episode talking with Sal, the relatively new gatekeeper at his local golf club. Sal’s jovially demonstrating two accents to a visibly impatient Larry, asking him which voice sounds more accurate. We cut to Larry in the club’s restaurant with Jeff Green and Richard Lewis, with Larry confiding to them how tiring it is to talk with Sal, wishing he could hit a reset button on their relationship.

The waiter arrives to take their orders. Although Larry was concerned over how the chef “made a face” upon hearing his request to broil his meal, Larry decides he still wants it broiled. Larry more overtly annoys a fellow golf aficionado when he informs him that, while his infant daughter is cute, she “looks a little Asian.” Later, Larry’s back at home, conversing with his mailwoman, Jane. Larry jokes that she’s a stickler, spurring her to quip how that might be why she’s still single.

That night, Jeff and Susie are hosting a party for their daughter and her fiance, Victor, a former soldier. Jeff makes a passing mention of his exploits with his realtor to Richard and Larry, causing the latter to talk about his attractive mailwoman. “We don’t care about what they do, we care about what they look like,” Larry asserts. Richard concurs, noting how he dated a garbage woman once. Larry, displeased with that revelation, moves over to Susie, where the two discuss the merit of “Save the Date” cards. (Larry believes it’d be easier to just send a wedding invitation from the get-go, Susie insist “this is how it’s done.”) Shortly thereafter the happy couple arrives, though they don’t stay long. Whereas everyone else thanked Victor for his service, Larry said it was nice to meet him. Larry subsequently departs after an irate Susie, displeased with how her delicious salmon will go to waste, forces him out.

Larry and Jane are purchasing snacks at a movie theater, and while Larry’s apprehensive over her tendency to meld Reese’s Pieces with popcorn, he agrees to go along with it. Jane saved their seats as Larry paid for their food, though it takes Larry a considerable amount of time to find where she was. They bicker over whether Larry’s disturbance made a scene or if Jane should have gestured at Larry more discernibly. Consequently, Larry asked if they could hit a reset button that night as he walked her to her door. He insists how he needs to psyche himself up when seeing his partner, and it’s challenging to do that when he sees her six days a week. She makes a face, reluctant to reset their relationship.

Likewise, Larry tries to reset his dynamic with Sal next afternoon, which ends with him visibly angry. Once inside, Jeff informs Larry how Victor is obsessed with Larry’s refusal to thank him. Victor, a Seinfeld fan, was hoping to become friends with Larry, who wants to make amends. Fortunately, he has a perfect idea: Sal’s Revolutionary War reenactment. Jeff gleefully confirms Victor would love to take part in that.

The reenactment goes poorly. Larry and Victor are both donning blue coats, prepared to play their part. However, Sal spots Larry after they start marching, and retaliates by shooting cannons at him. Victor begins showcasing signs of PTSD upon being attacked, and the two run off in the chaos. They emerge into the parking lot, spotting the golf club’s owner with a younger woman – inspiring Larry to boast how he correctly thought that baby looked “a little Asian” – and he convinces Victor to join him in a few games of golf. “Come on, it’ll be fun.”

Randy, the new guard, greets Larry, commenting how Mr. Takahashi told him Larry’d be coming. Larry casually waves, refusing to strike a conversation. Victor, still shellshocked from earlier, begins chasing after the valets, believing them to be dangerous red coats. A worn out Larry – still in the blue coat he obtained in the war reenactment – walks home as his mailwoman drives by him, throwing his mail at him as she does so. Leon walks out, taking their mail as he thanks Larry for serving.

All in all, “Thank You for Your Service” was another solid entry of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Not conforming to the season’s fatwa plotline was a refreshing change, and Larry’s rapport with his costars, recurring members and this episode’s newcomers alike, remains strong. Moreover, it was nice to finally meet Victor, and I expect his misfortune to be brought up again in a later episode. 

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