Curb Your Enthusiasm S09E09 Recap: 'The Shucker'

Over the last couple of weeks, this ninth season of Curb Your Enthusiasm has gone to great lengths to give us the crazy shit we were promised when the long-awaited return of the show was first announced. Last week in particular felt like things had come together in a conclusive way. The episode even invited comparisons to the Seinfeld finale, as the return of several key Curb characters returning to prove Larry's character felt like it had a sense of finality (although the showrunner denied any connection, other than tangential, to the Seinfeld finale or what Larry David feels about it).

But there are two more episodes left in the season with a Fatwa musical to deliver, and "The Shucker" doesn't disappoint. In fact, it may have been just as good as "Never Wait For Seconds!", thanks to a, among other things, handful of phenomenal guest spots and a hilarious sight gag, not to mention the one thing we've been talking about a lot this season; the balance required to ensure that Larry isn't always the biggest asshole in the room.

The crux of the action on the episode involves Larry and Jeff attempting to court Lin-Manuel Miranda to star as Salman Rushdie in the Fatwa musical. Lin is immediately and enthusiastically interested, but as with anything on this show, his interest comes with complications. Before they even meet, Larry has to deal with an oyster shucker (played by the great Steven Weber) he has at his dinner party who overhears Larry say he fell asleep watching Hamilton on Broadway. He doesn't hear the part where Larry had played a bunch of golf the same day, but he doesn't care; he wants Hamilton tickets as recompense for his discretion (as does everyone, it seems, these days). So Larry asks for the tickets and later gets in a tiff with Lin about going to the show himself or giving them away. He winds up having to go himself and, as you might expect, winds up falling asleep again, this time because of some pain pills Jeff had for his sprained dick (a whole other thing from this episode).

Of course that isn't the only tiff Larry and Lin get into, they also fight over the dominating position of being behind a desk at a meeting. Larry has to sit lower like a chump and it leads him tom making a ton of concessions to Lin on writing, casting etc, the type of things he would never do. So naturally there's a scene where they literally fight over seating positions. Lin comes off as a complete prick in this episode, which is pretty much the ace in the hole for Larry David and Curb. Leave it to him to make Lin-Manuel Miranda of all people the asshole, the same way he did with Michael J. Fox.

But if that wasn't enough, the other plot of the episode involves Larry actually going to Judge Judy for possession of a ficus that the nosy former owner of his house stole because he wasn't taking care of it well enough. On the surface, it seems ridiculous, but Larry's totally the kind of person to go to court over something stupid like this, and it allows him to tread over some of the same territory that he did earlier in the season when he had to go to court.

Also Jeff starts wearing a cowboy hat and winds up spraining his dick.

Truth be told, "The Shucker" probably feels like it has one too many subplots, and that's unsurprising considering it comes in at 45 minutes long. But everything comes together in one way or another, and all of this seems like a necessary extension of what's been going on this season. And all of it comes together to prove why this new season of Curb was so necessary. "The Shucker" is another episode for the books, and it gets 10 dick chiropractors out of 10.

Notes & Quotes:

  • The Judge Judy scene was a real greatest hits of the season. Larry "yoohoos" Judy, asks her if his water if filtered or tap, offers her a cough drop, and brings back his "beasts in the field" speech (earlier in the episode Larry also tells Mrs. Shapiro that he's an "Uber 4."
  • Also amazing: Larry's conversation with Leon about do-rags and whether or not they fall into the scarf/ascot/pocket square family
  • I alos loved Larry continuing to prod Ted Danson, trying to get him to retire.
  • This week's guests rival any other episode this season: Lin-Manuel Miranda, America Ferrara, Steven Weber, Lauren Graham, Jerry O'Connell, Alli Larter, and even Judge fucking Judy.
  • Larry tackles the issues of the day:
    • Discretion in general, but notably shucker discretion, receptionist discretion, and relationship discretion as Bridget shares ex stories (Larry winds up being Larry Longballs).
    • People who want to visit the houses they used to own.
    • Plant upkeep.
    • After dinner guest lingering.
    • The dominating position of an office desk chair.
    • Mandy Patinkin vs. F. Murray Abraham (The "F" Is for "Fucking Awesome."
    • Seeing manual labour.
    • Women attracted to cowboys.
    • Reciprocating a dinner party invite.
  • Larry/Jeff: "I don't know what circles he shucks in." "He could shuck and tell."
  • Jeff RE his new hat: "The only downside is I gotta keep fucking my wife."
  • Larry: "I hope you'll exercise receptionist discretion."
  • Larry/The Shucker: "You're quite the prick, aren't you?" "It's the shucker's way."
  • Larry: "Orgasms Galore!"
  • Judge Judy: "Let's get finished with the various tones of Mr. Black."