Strip away everything Larry David thinks he knows about himself—is he still the same neurotic, arrogant, narcissistic bald asshole? Season five’s adoption storyline culminates when Larry learns his real parents are two salt of the earth, god-fearing, Christian (!) residents of Bisbee, Arizona. He takes this new development as an excuse to reinvent himself into a kind-hearted Bible Belter, one who attends church, hunts and shotguns beers, and is ultimately moved to put an end to the season’s other ongoing plot: Richard Lewis’ kidney search.
On the flight to Bisbee he’s a neurotic mess, demanding to be re-seated away from the emergency exit, because he “doesn’t work well under pressure.” After his experience with the Cones, he’s pleasant to the same stewardess and completely calm. The contrast is clear: Larry David is a changed man. That is, until his P.I. tells him on his way into the operating room that, of course, the Cones aren’t his actual family. Larry literally tries to hop off the gurney but it’s too late. Flash forward two months, and in exchange for his generosity, Lewis is gallivanting on beaches with models and Larry’s on his deathbed.
Three seasons later we’re fearing the end, but “The End” was clearly intended to be such at the time. There’s even a nod to the Seinfeld series finale when the dying David reminisces about every person he’s done wrong by and run afoul of, by way of a supercut. Then he ascends, but not before witnessing his loved ones quickly devolve into a nasty spat over his will, money Jeff owed Larry, etc. Clearly the series didn’t end here, but season six doesn’t just resume as if Larry never passed away.
The best part about this faux-series finale is that Larry, naturally, lasts about seven minutes in Heaven before his guardian angels (Dustin Hoffman and Sacha Baron Cohen) get tired of him and bounce him back to earth. And has time with the Cones and near-death changed our man full time? The last we see of him he’s abusing wheelchair privileges to flex over handicap amenities. So, no.