‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Series Finale: How Larry David Wrapped Up the Show by Rewriting the Ending of ‘Seinfeld’

SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses plot points from the series finale of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

After nearly 25 years of Larry David’s disagreements, feuds and outbursts, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” aired its final episode on Sunday.

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The appropriately-named “No Lessons Learned” — the 10th episode of Season 12 — wrapped up a season-long arc that started when Larry was arrested in Atlanta for giving water to Auntie Rae (Ellia English) while she was in line to vote, violating local law. Through the season, he became something of a pop culture hero for doing the right thing, even though had no idea he was breaking any law, let alone making any sort of statement.

Of course, Larry’s entourage heads to Atlanta for the trial, including Cheryl (Cheryl Hines) and Ted Danson (playing himself), Jeff (Jeff Garlin) and Susie (Susie Essman), and Leon (J. B. Smoove) and Richard Lewis (playing himself). Richard headed to Atlanta early to meet up with his old flame Cynthia (Allison Janney), who of course alienates Larry before even meeting him when she won’t let his car into her lane on the highway and gives him the finger.

As the trial begins, Larry and his lawyer Sibby Sanders (Sanaa Lathan) brace for a tough battle against district attorney Earl Mack (Greg Kinnear) in the courtroom of Judge Whittaker (Dean Norris).

Yet Larry is obsessed with more pressing issues such as the lack of coasters in court, Ted’s protest of the Election Integrity Act as a move to steal the spotlight, and his belief that Cynthia is lying about a suicide attempt.

In Earl’s opening statement, he says, “Larry David does not respect the law” and proceeds to make his case by calling several of Larry’s key nemeses through the years to the stand, including Mocha Joe (Saverio Guerra), Mr. Takahashi (Dana Lee), Rachel Heineman (Iris Bahr), Bruce Springsteen (playing himself) and more. Real-life Trump whistleblower Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman made another appearance, serving as a witness, and saying he cannot tolerate Larry’s corruption.

The trial echoes the notorious finale of “Seinfeld,” which David co-created, where the core four characters face multiple character witnesses in court and eventually are sentenced to prison time. Leon even mentions said finale to Larry in court, telling him, “I heard some terrible things about it. I heard you fucked it up.”

After outrageous court outbursts from Auntie Rae and Susie put Larry on the ropes, Jerry Seinfeld (playing himself) shows up in Atlanta for support and a less-than-urgent chat about bearded ladies.

Taking the stand in his defense, Larry tries to paint himself as a hero, yet Earl’s cross-examination revisits many of Larry’s trials and tribulations, going back to the series’ first season. Ultimately, Larry is found guilty and given a year behind bars, and is seen in his cell obsessing over his pants tent, much like the first episode of “Curb” — another mirror of the “Seinfeld” finale.

In the end, Jerry springs Larry out of jail after he discovers a juror broke his sequester, causing a mistrial and the sentence being thrown out. The duo then have a meta convo about the “Seinfeld” finale: “You don’t want to end up like this. No one wants to see it. Trust me,” Jerry says, to which Larry replies, “Oh my god, this is how we should have ended the finale!”

There were countless other notable moments: Larry effectively summing up the series with the incredible quote, “I’m 76 years old, and I have never learned a lesson in my entire life”; Leon watching “Seinfeld” for the first time and finding the likeminded Kramer to be rude; and Larry causing a commotion while killing a fly in court.

Yet the final scene — with Larry and all of his friends bickering when Susie opens the window shade on the flight back to Los Angeles — was a perfect summation of what made the series brilliantly obsessive and petty.

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