The Rat Dog
Directed by David Steinberg
Written by Larry David
Larry waits for his unbearably slow toaster while the kids get ready for school and Leon prepares for a job interview. Larry offers some advice: take control, turn it around on the interviewer (1). Leon gets overexcited by the idea and Larry tries to backpeddle but he's interrupted by a call from a telemarketer who, much to his frustration, won't take no for an answer. When he hangs up, Leon notes they have the same cell phone.
Cheryl calls out to Larry from bed. She's very sick and wants some attention (2). She tells him she can't go to Keisha's school production of 'Grease' and urges Larry to get someone to go in her place.
Dropping the kids off at school, Larry runs into Susie who is talking to a black man named Hal and his white, deaf wife, Jean. Susie translates Jean's sign language and Larry is impressed with her fluency. When Larry sees Jean's small dog in her bag, he says it looks "half-rat," and Jean gets insulted and leaves. Larry tries to call out after her that she couldn't hear his tone, that he was joking, but it's too late. In the school restroom, he sees Hal and explains his joking tone about the rat dog comment. Hal suggests Larry stop by their house to make a face-to-face apology (3). As Larry dries his hands under the air dryer he makes a gesture that apparently is insulting, since Hal storms out.
At Jeff's, Larry explains his interest in sick sex (4). He also tells Jeff he's thinking of getting his father a happy ending massage and Jeff provides him with the name of a masseuse. When Susie comes in, Larry recreates the gesture he made to Hal and asks her to translate. "You called Hal a c**ksucker Larry!" she informs him. Then, when Larry mentions he needs a date to see 'Grease' at the middle school, Mike, the Greene's exterminator, overhears and says he'd love to go. Cornered, Larry agrees to the date.
The next morning, Leon reports that his interview went well: "I'm a flipping ass right now!" Today, Loretta has a job interview and Larry's offered to drive her. But first, his father, Nat, stops by and reports that he had a wonderful massage and is now in love with his masseuse Lisa because of the special love she showed him and he wants to buy her a present. Before Larry can set him straight, Cheryl calls out for him. She wants wheat toast. Larry balks, saying the toast will take "a year" and Loretta has an interview but Cheryl insists, accusing Larry of not caring about her. Larry runs down to make toast, pausing Leon's toast to do so (5). When he brings her limp bread instead of toast, Cheryl rejects it but Loretta is shouting for him that she's late and he has to go. He grabs the wrong cell phone as he runs out.
An hour late to her interview, Loretta loses the job and is pissed. Blaming the toaster, Larry insists they buy a new one. At the store, Larry sees Loretta checking out a cute guy and comments, but Loretta claims he's not her shade (6). Larry spots Jean shopping and goes over to apologize. Talking loudly and gesturing broadly, he gets his message across that he was joking about her dog looking like a rat. He also tries to explain the misunderstanding with Hal (7).
She accepts his apology and beats a hasty retreat. But later, when Larry is explaining to his father that he hired the masseuse to give him a happy ending, Jean sees Larry making a yanking gesture from across the store, and is again offended. Larry leaves a message for Hal to call him on his cell so he can explain this latest misunderstanding.
Larry gets a call on his cell phone, intended for Leon, by a man "prepared to make you an offer." Thinking it's a telemarketer, Larry tells him off, and Leon loses the job. Meanwhile, Hal calls Larry's cell to tell him off for offending Jean yet again, and gets Leon. Hal is outraged, thinking Larry is putting on a black guy character to make fun of Hal and hangs up in a rage.
Leon realizes he has the wrong phone and points this out to Larry. But Larry denies that Leon got a call about a job and Leon denies he answered a call from Hal. When Mike arrives to be Larry's date for 'Grease,' Leon questions him at the door like an overprotective father, while the two men wait for Larry. Larry finally comes down and they head off to the play. Larry and Mike take their seats between Nat and the masseuse Lisa, and Susie and Jeff. But before the show starts, Jean stomps up and causes a scene, angrily signing to Susie that Larry made racist comments to Hal on the phone. When Jean's dog escapes in the auditorium, Nat yells "it's a rat!" Mike springs into action to exterminate it, and stomps it to death before Lisa stops him with her screams "It's a dog!" The audience flees, horrified.
Mike drops Larry off at home, the night having been a bust and shake hands at Larry's front door as they part ways.
Using the new toaster, a recuperated Cheryl makes toast for Larry, who is now sick. But Larry would rather feel her breasts than eat toast, much to Cheryl's disgust. "What are you doing?" she demands. "No good?" he asks.
(1) Larry suggests that Leon flip the power dynamic of an interview by asking questions, not just answering them. Leon gets excited by the idea of turning it around on him: "topsy turvey the motherf**ker!"
(2) Because she has a fever, Cheryl wants some liquids - water and juice. Larry comes on to her instead. This isn't the kind of attention Cheryl wants.
(3) Larry believes "they wouldn't want that," meaning "deaf people" because they wouldn't want to be treated differently from other handicapped people, who you can call to apologize to, whereas deaf people require a pop-in apology. Hal disagrees.
(4) Larry is aroused by the idea of sex with Cheryl when she's sick in bed, helpless. Jeff agrees but prefers the reverse: sex when he's sick. Larry admits he likes it either way.
(5) Leon says you can't pause toast: you can't stop making toast and then go back to it. Larry insists you can pause toast. That is until Cheryl says her bread needs further toasting, at which point Larry takes the opposing position to suggest it's too late: you can't pause toast.
(6) Loretta likes them chocolate, not beige. Larry says shade is not an issue for him; he can go from albino to Heart-of-Darkness, Africa.
(7) Larry didn't mean to sign c**ksucker. He was drying his hands.