Curb Your Enthusiasm S09E06 Recap: 'The Accidental Text On Purpose'

I feel like "The Accidental Text On Purpose" is the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode we've all been waiting for out of this revival. Of course, I've loved much of the season, but I can't help but feel as if the general reaction to Larry's renewed antics since bringing the show back have been met rather tepidly. Larry has been adamant about not evolving with the times. No one should be surprised about that, that's how Larry's always been, and it's the damn premise of the show.

But it's something that people have seemingly forgotten, and that's something that's only been exacerbated in the last 24 hours, ever since David made a few interesting jokes about the Holocaust hosting Saturday Night Live this week. That being said, I fully intent to avoid another fiasco of a review like my rambling diatribe about what Curb means in a 2017 world from last week.

And that's because "The Accidental Text On Purpose" is pretty much the most we can ask of Curb in this new world. The episode hits a lot of familiar marks from the show's past, almost like a greatest hits of Curb gags. Larry invents terms, he gets into multiple confrontations with women, he has an encounter o a plane, on the golf course, shopping for pants, he gets kicked out of a dinner party, he even brings back his long-missed, signature staredown. With "Accidental Text", David makes almost no attempt to say anything different or now, and it actually kind of works to the show's benefit.

Which is odd to say, considering the show's all-time best episode, "Palestinian Chicken", is also one of its most inventive and risqué. This one is pretty much the exact opposite, taking the easy route out of every joke and telegraphing the entire plot of the episode, but that's weirdly the one thing that's been missing from this season and the thing that a lot of the season's detractors have been mentioning. "Accidental Text" solves that problem by bringing back the classics and having the show culminate to a handful of gratifying moments.

While there's so much to marvel at here, like Larry inventing and owning a new term that spreads like wildfire, to the greatest hits of plane annoyances, to refusing to heed the call in a comedy emergency, my favourite thing about this episode is those little moments of self-awareness. Like how Larry has two of his friends break up with him over girls and takes it really well, but you don't know if it's because he doesn't really give a shit about either Marty or Richard, or if it's because he knows it'll only be a matter of time before they're single again. And all of that culminates in a moment at that event they attend at the golf club where Susie very matter-of-factly calls Larry out on his accidental text bullshit and points out how Jeff's the only person in the room who can keep a woman. This is hilarious for two reasons: first of all, it's not that Jeff is able to keep Susie, it's that Susie won't let go of him. Secondly, Susie has always been the show's best character for a much more low-key reason than how she and Larry get into yelling matches; she's amazing because of how well she knows Larry. She points out how long she's been around, and that's important because she's completely privy to the shit Larry and Jeff get up to. Nothing gets passed her unless she's purposely careless enough to let it slide. Larry's friends laud him for coming up with something as amazing as the accidental text, but Susie knocks it the fuck down the first chance she gets. She's consistently the only adult in the room, and it's probably the second best thing about curb, outside of those little moments when you realize that Larry isn't the only asshole around, just the only one who's upfront about it (and there are plenty of examples of that in this episode).

The episode really is a non-stop hit list of Larry David classics, so I'll save you from another repetitive diatribe about how much I liked it and just get to the good stuff like the quotes. Just know that this is probably as good as the show is going to get in these late stages, and for that, "The Accidental Text On Purpose" gets 10 pairs of spare laces out of 10.

Notes & Quotes:

  • Another great array of guest stars in this episode: Ed Begley Jr. as the doctor who doesn't heed the call, June Diane Raphael as the annoying flyer, Elizabeth Perkins' as Marty's over-sensitive girlfriend, Andrea Savage as Richard's, Ben Koldyke's as Larry's car vandal.
  • I think I watched the few seconds of Larry pushing the perfume spritzer at least a dozen times.
  • Larry Tackling The Issues of Today:
    • Federal flight laws vs. the Golden Rule.
    • Annoying airline passengers
    • Selective call heeding.
    • Washing your car.
    • Seeing someone off.
    • The premature honey vs. the honey parade (and eventually the premature girlfriend).
    • Clinking glasses.
    • Unfiltered water.
    • A perfume spritzer invading your personal space.
    • Changing room etiquette.
    • Keeping extra shoe laces around.
  • Airline Worker/Larry: "There's the plane right there." "But really it's as if the plane's not there." "Are you a magician?"
  • Larry: "You're not Golden Rule-ing it. You're not doing unto others as they would do unto you."
  • Larry: "You're not going to heed the call?"
  • Larry: "One day you're going to really have to go to the bathroom and no one's gonna let you."
  • Larry: "I'm happy to play with a reprobate if he has a good personality."
  • Larry: "I'd rather play with a fast Manson than a slow Funkhauser."
  • Richard: "Goldfish would commit suicide in this water."
  • Larry/Marty's Girlfriend: "I'm surprised you don't have a filter." "You have no filter." "It's a good thing for me, it's a bad thing for water."
  • Larry/Jeff: "I got an idea. Accidental text on purpose." "Please explain."
  • Leon/Larry: "Vagina always wins. I lost a brother to vagina." "He's quite a feminist, isn't he?"
  • Larry/Richard's Girlfriend: "So you're saying your penis is like the Titanic?" "In some ways they're comparable."
  • Larry: "She was quite taken with my water stance the other night."