Larry David doesn’t care about your thinkpieces, and thank God for that.

For its last eight seasons, Curb Your Enthusiasm pushed limits, challenged notions of political correctness and in a lot of cases straight up offended any and every group imaginable. Problematic humor is Larry David’s métier and he’s a master instigator, pushing uncomfortable social idioms of race, gender, sex , you-name-it, for decades before Curb even, as co-creator of Seinfeld (albeit within the limits of Standards & Practices/FCC). But in the six brutal years in which Larry took an unnerving, maybe-it’s-really-over sabbatical from Curb, the world has, ahem, awakened, expecting pop culture to follow suit and taken it to task when it hasn’t. With Curb’s impending return, one wondered how Larry’s new material would fare in the Woke Era, when his old buddy Jerry comes under fire for perceived sexist comments and Dave Chappelle’s grand return is marred by bits deemed insensitive. No one wants to see Curb get torn apart in essays deeming him a Problematic White Male, but we can all agree we’d rather season eight be the last hurrah than be faced with an LD defanged. Thankfully, Larry doesn’t give a fuck.

By the end of the first act of Sunday’s excellent, super-sized season premiere “Foisted!” we’re barraged with a slew of bits and exchanges that insensitively engage with LGBT, African-Americans (and our slang), military vets (PTSD jokes), the disabled, all with a pedophile punchline on top. It only gets more gleefully holy-shit-is-he-serious cringeworthy from there, which is to say, it is glorious. Again, none of this is new Earth for Curb to scorch—season one ended on a pair of episodes titled “Affirmative Action,” which, you can guess, and “The Group” finds Larry drawn into an incest survivors group with predictable results.

Speaking with Susie Essman—whose Susie Greene is the profane bully known for putting Larry in his place—shortly after screening the premiere and a later episode which continues the veteran jokes, I asked her about the show navigating its typical territory in a more politically correct climate, and she defended David's insistence on pushing buttons: "Political correctness is not comedy's friend. I understand political correctness, and sensitivity to things. But comedy needs air, comedy needs to breathe, comedy needs to not censor itself. Larry is equal opportunity politically incorrect. Nothing is sacred to him; there is no group that he has not insulted. Whether it's Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Gays, handicapped, stutterers, Tourettes, I mean I could go on and on."

The genius of Larry is the self-awareness with which he funnels his Old White Male bemusement, indignation, and insensitive commentary into a comeuppance. You can laugh at him problematically suggesting which woman fits the traditional bride aesthetic in a lesbian wedding because if you’ve seen one episode of the show before you know some way, somehow his venturing an opinion no one asked for will come back to bite him, hard. And hilariously. And if it's not for you, or worse, you feel insulted, well, Essman confirms Larry doesn't care. What's more, she warns against the dangers of calling for comedic tones to be, well, curbed: "In any kind of dictatorship, or totalitarian regime, one of the first things that goes is comedy. Because it's always questioning the status quo. And comedy is the truth teller. So it can be dangerous to people who don't want to hear the truth. If they just want to yell out, "oh it's fake news, blah blah!" when it's the truth. As a matter of fact, this entire presidency that we have right now—in term, I don't even like to call it that—is predicated on a stand up routine. Because Barack Obama did the Washington Correspondents Dinner, and ripped Trump apart and it was very funny, and Trump got all huffy, thin-skinned offended, thus, we're stuck with what we're stuck with right now."

Strong political feelings among the cast aside though, don't expect an uptick in politics-related storylines, the one lane Curb has never really swerved into. If there’s anything that seems different about the energy this season, it’s the apparent renewed interest in plot. Certain seasons have had loose story endeavors that thread the episodes, like the restaurant opening, Lewis needing a kidney, or Larry starring in The Producers. But after season seven’s Seinfeld reunion arc, eight found Larry once again rudderless with no discernible bounds save for a fun mid-season pivot to his native New York City.

Some of the series best episodes were borne out of the Manhattan arc, standalone notwithstanding. But in “Foisted!” we’re back in L.A., and the plot wheels appear to be spinning. It’s unclear if Larry producing a play, or his newfound death sentence will continue, but I’d bet a $150 haircut Sammi’s new engagement will foster many situations in episodes to come, a hunch Essman encouraged while staying true to her NDA. ("Remember 'The Bat Mitzvah," was her only tease, referring to Sammi's titular rite of passage, which closed season six.) You can’t tell me LD’s about to pass up the opportunity to put this gang at a wedding, maybe even in the season finale. And how interesting that Cheryl returned just to offer Ted Danson—whom she’s had a long-standing flirtation with to Larry’s chagrin—an opportunity to announce his separation. If there’s one person to make Larry care about what his ex-wife is up to, it's Becker. A love triangle, or even trapezoid (Mary Steenburgen please!) sounds like comedy gold.

The only other episode I've seen from this season is five, it's equally great if not better than "Foisted!" because it's less busy. Essman, meanwhile, maintains that four, which is set to feature Bryan Cranston as Larry's therapist, is an instant classic. Off the strength of the two I've seen, I'm inclined to believe her. Larry's back like he never left, in terms of quality and content. And if anyone expected the Social Assassin to soften his approach because of 2017, well, Essman's curt dismissal puts it best: "I guess they're just going to be a little bit thrown by this, aren't they?"