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Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: ‘Vow of Silence’

August 8, 2011
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I wrote two weeks ago about the fact that Jeff and Susie’s kid Sammy has grown up, and this time we see (well, not actually “see”) the aging of another character: the Greens’ semi-beloved dog Oscar, who’s got to be getting up there, having been around since at least season 3, when he sniffed out a potential corpse buried beneath the restaurant. Now, Oscie-boy’s finally put down, and his last meal of Pinkberry ice cream is denied when Larry and Jeff eat it in progressively larger bites on the trip back to the vet’s.

The real-time aspect to Curb has always seemed weird to me. The show’s consistent with it, but it’s never seemed necessary—in the show’s 11 years, Larry, Jeff, Susie, Cheryl, Marty Funkhauser, and many others don’t appear to age. Maybe it’s because the ones who do (evidently that’s only Sammy and Oscar) aren’t explored too often, whereas someone like Richard Lewis defies age—he’s heading into his mid-60s, yet he still lands these girls in their late 20s to early 30s. And what about Nat? Will we ever see him again?

In any event, Oscar’s put down, Larry and Jeff eat his last meal, and they lie about it to Susie, saying that Pinkberry’s was closed for a Korean holiday (it’s the specifics that make the lie). Of course that little lie is observed by Larry’s friend Vance, who, despite having taken a vow of silence, nevertheless is both willing and able to communicate via mouthing his words (and I’m on Larry’s side regarding that: It’s just making it more difficult to talk; the whole idea of maintaining good/preventing evil pretty much goes out the window).

That’s one of the plot points that you wait for to come back and bite Larry in the ass. Another is the “chat and cut”—chatting with a friend or even vague acquaintance and using your conversation to ease into an undeserved place in line. And with this one I felt the setup was better than the payoff—largely because it was nice to see someone else take Larry’s side for once.

The last one is “pig-parking,” or parking over one of the lines in a parking space, thus taking up two spaces and forcing everyone else to do likewise, depriving the last of a space. We’ve all seen it and experienced it, and I’m glad there’s a term for it.

All three feel slightly rushed into the plot, but it’s worth it to see a slow-mo flashback of Larry smirkingly devouring some ice cream. Toss in the triumphant return of Michael McKean as the obnoxious TV director “Tessler” and the closing shot of Lewis looking pissed off at having been once more stood up by Larry for lunch, and I’m sold.

And we finally, finally, get Larry to New York. A season arc I’ve been harping on since the season began (and yet, I’m not sure why—is New York really that different from LA? Maybe I’m just hoping for the hinted Renny Harlin cameo).

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One Response to “ Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: ‘Vow of Silence’ ”

  1. Michael on August 20, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Hah. Renny Harlin’s apartment suits perfectly for the show as Larry David’s new place to live :) What an honor for Mr. Harlin and a great way to respect one of the best action directors in the world (like Venice Magazine said: “think Michael Bay before Michael Bay).

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