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Curb Your Enthusiasm is over - has Larry David paid for his sins?

The season 12 finale has aired - did comedy's favorite antihero get what he deserved?

Image credit: HBO

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Major spoilers for Curb Your Enthusiasm, season 12, episode 10 follow.

Lose Loki, ditch Dexter, nix Negan - Larry David is TV's favorite antihero. At least, that what 24 years of Curb Your Enthusiasm seem to demonstrate. Across two decades (plus!) of TV-MA comedy, the fictionalized version of show's creator has proven himself to be as neurotic, petty, and self-serving as they come - and we just couldn't get enough. But now, with the finale of the show's 12th and final season having come and gone, it's worth asking:

Did Larry David get what he deserved?

Well, that's what you and I are here to figure out. To do so is going to take some context, so let's start by going over...

What happens in the final season of Curb Your Enthusiasm?

Image credit: HBO

Ironically, this last season of Curb has found Larry on what is, in my opinion, the right side of history. In the first episode, Larry is arrested for for violating Georgia election law, when he hands a woman (fan-favorite Leon's aunt) a bottle of water as she waits in line to vote. After a series of mishaps mostly caused by Larry himself, the comedian lands in court, perfectly setting him up for our purposes. He's pleading not guilty for selfish reasons, of course, but the point stands - Larry is literally on trial by the final episode.

But what begins as a battle against an unfair law, in both Larry's world and ours, takes a turn when the prosecution calls witnesses to speak to Larry's character. Er, lack thereof. What follows is a line of characters stretching as far back as season one, all of whom Larry has somehow wronged.

And the injuries they list off are legion. Through their testimonies, we're treated to flashbacks of Larry destroying a business by fire, killing a rare bird, bribing an elected official, and worse. To be fair, a lot of these wrongs occured inadvertantly, but the fact remains that Larry's actions are at their hearts. So by the end of the episode, Larry David isn't just on trial for breaking the law - he's on trial for being himself.

Is Larry David convicted at the end of Curb Your Enthusiasm?

Image credit: HBO

Faced with Larry's history, the jury goes into deliberation and comes back with a not-so-shocking verdict. Larry is guilty, they've found. The scene cuts and we catch up with Larry behind bars, mirroring the controversial finale of his brainchild, Seinfeld. But just as we think the two finales are about to match perfectly, his cocreator appears.

Jerry Seinfeld hasn't been in this season for very long, but he brings with him the most important news of Larry's case yet. At a bar the night before, Jerry bumped into a man who he later recognized as a juror. This wouldn't be a big deal, except that at the beginning of the case, the jury was sequestered. Jerry takes this information to the judge, who retroactively declares a mistrial. All of a sudden, Larry is free to go.

At this point in the episode, it's looking like Larry's not going to face consequences at all, whether for the one law he broke or the myriad of social niceties he keeps breaking. But there are still a few moments before the final tubas and mandolin sound.

In the very last scene of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Larry is flying home, surrounded by regular cast members who, despite all his inanities, have been in his life across every season. One of them, Susie Greene, opens a window, which shines a little light into Larry's face.

Bear in mind, Larry is a free man, despite having been found guilty by a jury of his peers and publically exposed for all his misdeeds. More than that, Larry is literally surrounded by loved ones, people who came all the way from LA to support him in this trial. But being the neurotic, petty, and self-serving person that he is, he cannot let the window thing go. A massive fight breaks out as the credits roll, and it's here that I believe that justice (comedic if not poetic) has been served.

Because in the end, Larry David's punishment for being himself... is continuing to do so.

Judge Larry for yourself: Curb Your Enthusiasm is currently streaming on HBO Max.

Curb Your Enthusiasm may be over, but you can expect some fantastic upcoming TV shows (streaming and broadcast) on the horizon.