Welcome to Seinfeld: The PTBN Series Rewatch! On a regular basis, JT Rozzero, Aaron George, Andrew Flanagan, Jordan Duncan and Jason Greenhouse will watch an episode of TV’s greatest sitcom and provide notes and grades across a number of categories. The goal is to rewatch the entire series chronologically to see what truly worked, what still holds up today, what feels just a bit dated and yada, yada, yada it will be a great time. So settle into your couch with the cushions flipped over, grab a Snapple and enjoy the ride!
JT: I am going with George because he was tremendous with his timing and scheming but I need to give a big shout out to Helen Seinfeld. Her digs were unreal throughout this one and all of her punchlines landed with savage precision. She was the perfect snapshot of the entire community as she fretted at every move Jerry and Morty made. Fuck it, I am going with Helen. You lose again Georgie Boy.
Aaron: While the odds of him being someone’s type are probably somewhere in the range of astronomical, the odds of him taking this episode are pretty good. Pretty… preeetty… pretty good. His bungled reactions to being caught watching Marisa Tomei movies are wonderful and the image of him falling out of a fantasy and making out with a pillow is one of my favorite images from the show. The man did not deserve two punches in the face he worked damn hard on that lie. His shrew of a fiancé should have respected the lengths he went to to deceive her.
Andrew: I enjoyed Elaine the most. Seeing her shamelessly flirt with someone has always cracked me up. And she’s even better in the second half, between acting put upon by George’s process for crafting an alibi, and her inept lying to Susan. Even without much of a storyline of her own, Elaine was great in this one.
Jordan: I really wanted to go with Morty Seinfeld here, but George beats him out. It’s Steph Curry vs. Lebron James all over again! Marty comes out blazing and wows everyone, then George has to sternly remind us who the greatest is. He’s making out with pillows, making up lies, dropping the Art Vandelay name. It’s a vintage Costanza performance. King George is unbeatable when at his best.
Jason: I’ll go outside the box here and pick my man, Jack Klompus. This old prick was on fire with his disbelief that Jerry can’t afford the car for his parents and that Morty has sticky fingers. Anytime Jack shows up, we’re in for a treat. No disappointment here. All topped off with Mable overhearing Jack calling her an old bag and her having flashbacks to Jerry robbing here.
JT: I am going with the Cadillac here. Mainly because of the absurdity of all the Phase II residents. They all destroyed it with their dialogue and delivery and the way everything spiraled into absurdity paying off with Mrs. Choate exacting revenge on Jerry was tremendous writing. Plus, the Nixon spoof at the end was the icing on the cake.
Aaron: Kramer vs. Plaza Cable. Kramer is great as the power-mad client holding the cable guy’s life hostage over what I can only assume is a weekend. The absurd foot chase is only heightened by the guy clearly losing his mind on the keyboards. By the time we get the tearful cable guy confession we’re almost feeling compassion for this cracked and clearly broken man.
Andrew: I wouldn’t say you’re wrong for picking any of the storylines here, but I think The Cadillac was the best. Helen and Morty are tough to top, and the petty politics of the condo association board are more entertaining that it might sound.
Jordan: Here’s where Morty gets his consolation prize: The impeachment storyline was pretty fantastic. Jerry tries to do something nice for his parents and winds up getting them shamed beyond belief. Morty trying to secure votes, Klompus celebrating in the upheaval, and of course the swing vote being the lady Jerry stole a marble rye from. Really fun stuff.
Jason: There’s lots to chose from here. George wanting to hook up with Marisa Tomei all played out fun. The stuff with Kramer and the cable guy is something that everyone can relate to (more on that in a minute), but, I’ll go with the title plot. Jack thinking that Morty is embezzling funds from the condo office is tremendous. His theory that Jerry can’t afford to buy his parents a Cadillac because his comedy act sucks is brilliant. Jack bumping into Helen and Morty grabbing dinner at a regular time, while Jack has to settle for the early bird special and the impeachment stuff topped off an underrated plot from the series.
Ethical Dilemma of the Week
JT: Susan has to understand it is Marisa Fucking Tomei. George should have told her to hit the bricks as soon as his date went well. Susan can hitchhike her ass back to the cabin with her drunken mom and angry father and annoy some other guy. MARISA TOMEI.
Aaron: Is coffee cheating? Are you banging the coffee? Then no.
Andrew: Should Jerry have just gone to dinner at 4:30? He’s a guest in their home, seems like the polite thing to do would be to go along with your hosts’ schedule. On the other hand, I get resisting your parents’ frustrating behavior, even if just for your own sanity. I’ll give him a pass here, despite the consequences.
Jordan: Should Elaine sleep with Jerry just because she knows how much money he makes? I’m not sure, but I would like Ms. Benes to know that I have made more money in the past two months than in the previous six months combined. Please pick me up from the airport.
Jason: Should we be able to troll the cable company like Kramer did? ANY CHANCE WE GET! These careless piles of crap think that they can just show up whenever they want and have us the paying customer sit around and wait for them. Screw them and their four hour windows. Kramer did us all a favor by living out something that should happen more often. Also, if you’re engaged, is going out to grab coffee with an A-List celebrity considered cheating? YES! As much as I can’t stand Susan, Georgie Boy is an asshole throughout the entire episode for even considering this.
Relationship Scale (Scale 1-10)
JT: Marisa Tomei. Hache mache. Relationship Grade: 100/10
Aaron: I’m unsure how Morty Seinfeld has lasted this long without the warm embrace of suicide. Helen nags and nags and doesn’t let a damn thing go. Let the man eat the cookies in whatever order he wants. Sometimes you just want a Chip Ahoy! Relationship Grade: 4/10
Andrew: I feel like we underrate how dark George’s storyline is. His obsession with what might have been causes him to throw his whole life into disarray, with almost zero chance of a happy ending. This storyline does not fill me with warm feelings about the human condition. Relationship Grade: Going steady, engaged, it’s all just stuff you say/10
Jordan: Marisa Tomei likes short, stocky bald men with a sense of humor? SEE YA LATER, ELAINE, I’VE ALREADY GOT A RIDE FROM THE AIRPORT. Relationship Grade: I hope my wife doesn’t read these/10
Jason: Like I previously mentioned, the cable company vs. the customer is something that we’ve all been through and Kramer nailed it screwing around with them. A cat and mouse game at it’s finest. Everything with George and Marisa felt uncomfortable and creepy at times, but the payoff with George getting punched twice was well deserved. I’d love to see Morty and Jack go at it like Peter Griffin and the chicken. Just let these two old bastards beat the hell out of each other. Elaine getting lust for Jerry again just because he’s bringing in some good coin was another uncomfortable situation, but on a different level than with the George situation. Relationship Grade: You know what that costs after 6/10
JT: Jerry’s dead pan “No” about giving to charity and the comment about God gets me every time; Pipi Longstocking; Katy torturing George about Marisa Tomei was just cruel; The callback to the Seinfelds’ fold out couch was great as was the full lips line and the pact; Jerry saying the pie was no good after prepping it during the whole scene; Marisa Tomei was amazing in My Cousin Vinny; George’s cover for yelling with the judge line; Elaine getting horny for Jerry because of his wealth and then keeping count as he runs through the cash; George blowing off the fact that Katy is in the hospital to ask about Marisa and then later talking to her while she is in the coma; Awesome first scene for the Seinfelds; Klompus!; Kramer putting the phone down and leaving Nick on hold and then driving by in the cab; The random “Elevator” sign hanging in Kramer’s apartment; Jack trashing Jerry’s comedy; Morty losing a vote because a guy was pissed he get thanked for giving up his aisle seat; George’s face when he comes up from making out with the pillow is so great, as is Susan’s reaction; Art Vandelay!; Helen’s “You wanna drive a Cadillac? Expect to pay the consequences.” is fantastic; Another great callback with Mrs. Choate being the marble rye woman; “You ever go to Camp Tiyoga?” made me laugh out loud too; The argument over going to dinner and Helen’s “it’s unheard of”; George recycling his manure material; Elaine’s reaction to Susan asking her about sleeping with George; The pay off to Jerry stealing the marble rye being Morty getting shit canned as president was a brilliant piece of business and the last scene was beautiful
Aaron: The single funniest moment was when Elaine straight up laughed in Susan’s face when she suggested, SUGGESTED that she was having an affair with George. It wasn’t even a chuckle either, she ROARED. As much as Susan has proven herself to be unbearable I did enjoy her seeing through George at every possible turn. Elaine and George arguing over who has more agency over the lie is great but George’s sheer contempt as he speaks aloud Elaine’s contributions is priceless. The cable guy’s descent is pure justice. He just looks so hurt by the end. The Seinfelds and their neighbors set a new bar for pettiness as they argue over the Early Bird special. It’s all wonderfully topped with a bitter Jack Klompus ahhing and bahing at the slightest suggestion. Extra props for the rye and back bar callbacks. Perhaps this never actually happened but I love that Susan punched George straight out of his own house then probably proceeded to go to bed in New York Yankee sheets.
Andrew: Watching Kramer turn the tables on the cable company is a really nice bit of wish fulfillment for viewers everywhere. Having Marisa Tomei guest start was a nice touch, especially with all the Oscar mentions. George’s Art Vandelay callback is fun, and the alibi scene between him and Elaine is excellent. Ralph, the “They should lock him up” guy at the board meeting, always cracks me up. The callback to The Rye is funny, and I can’t say I mind seeing Jerry face some consequences for robbing an elderly woman. Referencing Nixon with Morty’s exit is a great closer.
Jordan: One thing that jumped out at me – Kramer’s pasta sculptures in his apartment. Great stuff! Elaine and George’s big lie was really well executed. I like their off the cuff lies of chips, diapers and long matches. I want to get into the business of exporting diapers. Jack Klompus may be the best character in show history that nobody ever seems to talk about-he always delivers and his seething jealousy towards Morty is palpable. I liked the whole Kramer vs. Cable story too, with him making Plaza Cable wait-living out a fantasy we’ve all had. The best part was when Hanrahan called him and Kramer peeked out the window to see a black woman on the pay phone, responding with, “Oh… you’re good.” That one made me laugh out loud. Morty calling it a Chip Ahoy. George watching Marisa Tomei movies, making out with the pillow, being mocked by Susan… it’s all good stuff. His meet up with Marisa was good too, as he goes back to the manure line. Elaine’s defiant laugh at Susan when asked if she was having an affair with George may have been the best part of the episode.
Jason: I loved Jerry’s opening stand-up but about old people and their driving habits. Kramer’s lobster shirt! Kramer’s reaction to Jerry’s pay out. All of the throwback references including the fold out couch with the bar, George’s horse manure bit, the pact and Art Vandelay. George’s, “You know the chances of anyone being my type?” Jerry taking a bite of his pie after dropping that George is engaged. Kramer’s cable company tale from ten years ago. George throwing ‘stocky’ in there. Elaine being taken back by Jerry’s wad of cash. George’s little dance when Elaine calls Katy. No no-selling that Katy is in the hospital. Morty and those damn Chips Ahoy! Helen and Morty bickering over the Cadillac. Kramer’s “GIDDY UP” answering machine greeting and on-hold music. Jack riding in a Cadillac thousands of times. Evelyn the gossip queen flapping her gums about what’s going on with the possible impeachment. Jerry fumbling around from the fold up couch bar. Jerry no-selling that Elaine is trying to flirt with him on the phone. George and Elaine coming up with his alibi; Importer/Exporter. The Vertigo parody with Kramer and the cable guy running through Times Square, Central Park, over walls and on roof tops. Jerry reading a Superman comic followed by his expression when he sees Mable and the marble rye flashback. Morty and Helen sucking up to Mable to get her vote. Jack stirring shit at the restaurant when he bumps into the Seinfelds after the early bird. George nonchalantly telling Marisa that he’s engaged followed by her popping him in the face. Elaine blowing up the alibi to Susan. Susan calling out George about Art Vandelay; “Matches, long matches.” Building A guy and that damn cigar. Mable overhearing the old bag line was so great! Cable guy throwing up his white flag, followed by he and the K-Man hugging it out. The Nixon parody stuff at the end when Helen and Morty have to leave had me in tears from laughing so hard.
What Didn’t Work
JT: I thought the Kramer vs. Cable Guy storyline was funny at times but the chase scene was a bit much and it definitely felt like they wedged the whole story in to fill out the hour time slot; George’s lying is usually air tight, it seemed they made him stumble a bit here to force everything to fall apart which felt against his character
Aaron: I HATED how Elaine became a love sick girl over Jerry’s wealth. Her vanity has never been based on money. Sure she’s shallow, but her transparency is…um… transparent… I just felt that she lost her character there. That being said acting wise she was GREAT at it. Also Jerry shouldn’t be nice.
Andrew: Does the last scene imply that the Seinfelds are moving out of Phase II because of the impeachment? Or are they just taking Jerry to the airport? Not a major complaint, but I think the second option is a lot funnier, and I wish it was more definitive. I think George’s storyline could have been better, too. Either giving him a more devious plan (that might actually have worked), or finding some humor in his hopeless obsession, would have helped. As it is, it ends up just being George doing a bad thing for a bad reason, and I think they can do better.
Jordan: While I liked the cable storyline, I wasn’t a fan of the big rooftop chase. Seemed stupid silly, and not a fit for the show.
Jason: Not much to complain about here. Just a few minor details. Helen and Morty leaving their front door unlocked allowing Jerry just to come barging in seemed a little odd. It seems like Katy name dropped Marisa Tomei just to say that she knows her. Nevertheless, George was a scumbag for even considering the meet up.
Key Character Debuts
– Marisa Tomei
Iconic Moments, Running Themes & Memorable Quotes
– “Well, what’re you gonna do with all that money?” – Kramer “Actually, I was thinking of donating a large portion of it to charity.” – Jerry “Really?” – Kramer “No.” – Jerry
– ” You’re gonna score some big points with the man upstairs on this one.” – Kramer “Oh, isn’t that what it’s all about?” – Jerry
– “Who was Pippi Longstocking?” – Elaine “Pippi Longstocking? Hmm, I don’t don’t know.” – Katy “Did she have anything to do with Hitler?” – Elaine
– “Marisa Tomei’s sitting home, Elaine! Why didn’t you tell me that Katy was friends with Marisa Tomei?!” – George
– “Hu-hu, like I don’t know that? (excitement) My Cousin Vinnie, I love that! I, George Costanza, could be on a date with an Oscar winner! An Oscar winner, Jerry! You know what that’s like? It’s like if fifty years ago, someone fixed me up with Katherine Hepburn? Same thing!” – George “Now there’s a match. You and Katherine Hepburn.” – Jerry
– “You remember what they did to me ten years ago? “Oh, we’ll be there in the morning between nine and one”, or “We’ll be there between two and six”! And I sat there, hour after hour, without so much as a phone call. Finally, they show up, no apology, tracking mud all over my nice clean floors. Now, they want me to accommodate them. Well, looks like the shoe’s on the other foot, doesn’t it?” – Kramer “Boy, I’ve never seen you like this.” – Jerry “Oh, you don’t wanna get on my bad side.” – Kramer
– “I’m aware! I’m aware!! But this is Marisa Tomei, Elaine. An Oscar winner! How can I live the rest of my life, knowing I coulda been with Marisa Tomei? She said I was just her type! She loves short, stocky, balding funny men!” – George “I notice you threw ‘stocky’ in there.” – Jerry “Yeah, what the hell?!” – George
– ” Huh, she’s in the hospital. She has an arrhythmia.” – Elaine “What about Marisa Tomei?!” – George
– “Morty, what d’you have to open this box for? There’s already a box of cookies open.” – Helen “I wanted a Chip Ahoy.” – Morty “I don’t like all these open boxes. Helen puts both boxes of cookies away in a cupboard.” – Helen “Look, I got a few good years left. If I want a Chip Ahoy, I’m having it.” – Morty
– “Hey Jerry, look at this. My seat’s got a memory, in case somebody moves it. I could be in prison for five years. I come out, my seat goes right back to where I like it.” – Morty “That’s what I was thinking.” – Jerry
– “Your son could never afford that car. We all saw his act, last year, at the playhouse. He’s lucky he can pay his rent!” – Jack “Jack’s right! He stinks!” – Herb “It’s his material.” – Ralph
– “Yeah, yeah. I have a thing for Marisa Tomei. Like she would ever go out with a short, stocky, bald man. Hu hu, ha ha. Like that’s her type. Huh. She’s an Oscar winner. He heh. Besides, I don’t even know her. It’s not
like anyone’s trying to fix us up. Who, who would try and fix me up with Marisa Tomei?” – George “What are you talking about?” – Susan
– “He’s voting to impeach.Not because he think you stole the money, but mainly because you never thanked him for giving you his aisle seat at Freddy Roman’s show.” – Evelyn
– “You know, it seems to me that it’s all you, and none of my ideas are getting in. You know, I mean, you just know it all and I am Miss Stupid. Right?” – Elaine
– “You wanna drive a Cadillac? Expect to pay the consequences.” – Helen
– “You look very familiar. Have we ever met?” – Mrs. Choate “You ever go to Camp Tiyoga?” – Jerry
– “Bernie, look who’s eating at six o’clock. Your suddenly well-to-do president. But, you enjoy your last meal in office. Tomorrow, they kick you out, you’ll have plenty of time to drive around in your Cadillac.” – Jack
Oddities & Fun Facts
– George references the pull out couch from “The Pen” (S3, E5) and the pact with Jerry from “The Engagement” (S7, E1)
– Kramer references Chunnel, a callback to “The Pool Guy” (S7, E8)
– George references Art Vandelay, his oft used alter ego
– Ms. Choate was last seen in “The Marble Rye” (S7, E11)
– George discusses manure with Maria Tomei, a callback to “The Soup” (S6, E7)
– Morty and Helen leaving Phase II was a spoof of Richard Nixon’s impeachment
Overall Grade (Scale 1-10)
JT: This was a damn fine episode and the fact that it was super sized didn’t hurt it much at all as it really flew by. I guess the only negative is they had to fill space and did so with a subpar Kramer C-level plot that dragged at times. Everything to do with the Cadillac and the old people was phenomenal, especially Helen accurately predicting all the turmoil that was to come. I can’t get enough of the Seinfelds and Clomps and the Nixon scene always cracks me up too. There were also a ton of callbacks in the episode, both big and small, which made it rewarding for dedicated viewers. Plus… Marisa. Fucking. Tomei. Final Grade: 8/10
Aaron: Kramer had an adventure, George schemed and lied, Elaine was full of contempt, Maris Tomei was a good sport and old people yelled at each other. Final Grade: 8/10
Andrew: This is a really well done two-parter, with storylines that hold up well over both episodes. I enjoyed all the performances, and there are good lines and memorable moments throughout. I still think it still falls below the level of the classics, but a solid 40 minutes is a pretty good achievement. Final Grade: 8/10
Jordan: This one definitely needed two parts as I’m not sure how you can condense all that into 22 minutes. As usual, I would prefer more Elaine – have her show up in Florida, and Klompus spread the word that she’s a prostitute that Morty flew in to help his impeachment movement. Very funny moments with very good storylines and outstanding supporting cast, plus Marisa Tomei! Final Grade: 9/10
Jason: Coming into this I had fairly low expectations. Boy was I wrong. This two part episode was so well put together. There’s a lot going on, but there’s some great payoffs and plenty of laughs, especially with Morty and Jack. Marisa Tomei was excellent and the perfect fit for the role that was given. There was some clever call backs as I mentioned early. This is a good bounce back from last week and is a fun forty minute watch. Final Grade: 8/10