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 thought we had a few good choices here and I was really close to going with Katie because she cracked me up a few times, but George was great top to bottom. His original Sugar Ray comment wasn’t too far off base but probably not the wisest thing to say to someone like Mr. Morgan (someone that is stoic and serious, I should clarify!) His roaming the streets looking for a black friend that crested in the restaurant and closed with a top notch payoff kept him rolling the whole way through.
Aaron: Aaron would probably pick George, because the more pathetic he gets the funnier he gets. If his wife were writing this (because Aaron is deathly ill and she thought it would be fun to pinch hit for him), she would pick Kathy, Jerry’s booking agent. She slowly drives Jerry insane, like a dripping faucet in the middle of the night. At first you try to ignoring it, hoping it will resolve itself until you build yourself into a rage, ripping out the whole sink and then trying to find a plumber at 4 am.
Andrew: No one really jumps out at me, so I’ll go with Mr. Pitt. That closing montage really hit home how much absurdity he packed in his limited screen time. All he asks for is a decent sock that’s comfortable, that will stay on his foot, and I hope someday he finds it.
Jordan: I liked Jerry here. All the poor guy wanted to do was get through his set so he could hook up at the Diplomats Club, and he’s thwarted every step of the way. Katie getting under his skin throughout the episode was a lot of fun, as he desperately wanted to snap at her but knew he would look like a real jerk if he did. Suppressed rage Jerry is the best Jerry.
Jason: George steals the show here. His search for a black friend is an underrated Costanza moment. Showing up at Joe’s place with popcorn and a movie, sucking up to black guys on the street and calling Carl the exterminator/ line backer.
JT: I am going to go with a tie and say all four were pretty equal this time around. They all had their ups and downs and each produced at least one laugh out loud moment. COME ON ITHACA!
Aaron: Mr. Pitt and his lawyer becoming increasingly paranoid that Elaine is trying to kill him. I love how she goes from “I’m marching!” to kissing the top of Mr. Pitt’s head the second there is something in it for her. And this storyline leads to a touching montage of Pitt’s Greatest Hits, including some delightful prancing and Hitler.
Andrew: I like George’s storyline the most. This is the first time I can remember anyone doing the “But I have black friends!” thing, which is pretty notable. And it follows a classic George template: a well-meaning comment gets taken the wrong way, and his obsession with making up for the faux pas just makes things worse.
Jordan: The saga of George trying to find a black friend was awesome, and I wonder if it was a response to people who complained that there were no black people on Seinfeld. He literally only seems to know three black men – Mr. Morgan, the exterminator and of course Joe, his “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” pal. It starts with an off handed comment and turns into a fiasco that is perfectly suitable for George.
Jason: Lots to chose from here. Mr. Pitt thinking Elaine is trying to kill him. George’s search for a black friend. Jerry trying to make it back home to bang Bridget. All are great, but I’ll go with Kramer and Earl betting on plane arrivals. Much like George’s search for a black friend is an underrated plot, Kramer gambling on planes was brilliant!
Ethical Dilemma of the Week
JT: Should the pilot of your plane be allowed to watch you perform comedy? I don’t see why not. He flew you 10,000 feet in the air and landed you safe and sound. The least you can do is give him a few chuckles to relax his mind.
Aaron: Are you a racist because you think one black man looks like another black man? As a white man I refuse to answer that question, because I’m actually the white man’s wife and I don’t want my husband to seem racist. Everyone is a beautiful rainbow of uniqueness.
Andrew: Should Elaine allow Mr. Pitt to put her in his will? On the one hand, it’s his money, and he’s free to do with it what he wants. But she has to know how that is going to look. As long as she’s OK with people assuming she’s taking advantage of a lonely, wealthy bachelor, I say go for it.
Jordan: Should Kramer be penalized because he knew someone on the Ithaca flight? This is the age before cell phones and wifi – he was probably in the room the whole time. There is no way he knew the flight would be or had been delayed. The Texan (did he have a name? I forget.) was a sore loser.
Jason: Is the mailbag of a serial killer enough to pay off a $3,200 gambling debt? Should you have to prove that you’re not racially bias by proving that you have friends of another race?
Relationship Scale (Scale 1-10)
JT: Bridget. Relationship Grade:10/10
Aaron: Jerry just wants to get laid. Not much of a relationship, but she’s a model in town for six hours. Get it Seinfeld. Relationship Grade:5/10
Andrew: Jerry is dating a supermodel who travels the world with other gorgeous people, but will make a stopover at La Guardia for a 30 minute quickie? That must be some move he’s got. Relationship Grade: Kavorka/10
Jordan: Jerry and Bridget is probably the most solid, mature relationship he has been in during the entire run of the show so far. It’s hard to picture old Jerome having women meeting him in Diplomats Clubs all over the US, but that’s probably what he’s got happening. Relationship Grade: Leering Pilot/10
Jason: Jerry has every right to be in a panic about making it back to the airport to get with Bridget. What a catch! Relationship Grade: Mexico City/10
JT: Elaine is looking quite good in this episode and it was funny when she buckled after finding out about the will; George is so awkward with Mr. Morgan and the Sugar Ray Leonard bit was fantastic; The return of Joe and Remy was tremendous, especially considering the reason; Kramer knocking over the display and then Mr. Pitt asking Jerry about the medication was funny too; I love how Jerry and Mr. Pitt have never met so it sets this storyline up so well; Katie battering Jerry into pissing before takeoff; Kramer and Earl betting on the planes is tremendous; Lenore’s face when she sees Elaine with the pillow; Katie fucking with Jerry by mentioning the pilot is so random and it was great that it got in his head; George working the streets for black friends; Newman being the collateral man; The pilot tossing Jerry off the plane as revenge; Katie is fantastic, asking all the questions about the flights and rental cars; The ongoing saga with Elaine and Lenore was really well done; Newman’s ice breaker joke and Earl’s reaction; “Road is a major detail!”; “The Exterminator”; The news story on Jerry & Katie in the pool was well done and the way it paid off the Lenore stuff was golden; Newman and Berkowitz double dating; The farewell Mr. Pitt montage is sad, closing out a great run throughout season six; Bridget, hache mache; Double payoffs that killed it here with the pilot watching Jerry make out and the waiter thinking Morgan was Sugar Ray
Aaron: I have to bring up Kramer’s gambling addiction. At one point, if you watch the background, everyone in the Diplomats lounge is watching the landings with anticipation and holding betting slips. I love how Jerry is somehow involved in both a murder conspiracy and a gambling hustle. George on the hunt for black friends, trying any strategy he can.
Andrew: George going through past guest stars to find a black friend is pretty funny. If you told me this was some meta commentary on the show’s lack of diversity, I’d like it even more, but I’m probably reading too much into it. I enjoy all the circumstantial misunderstandings leading to Mr. Pitt thinking Elaine is trying to poison him, especially Jerry being mistaken for a drug store clerk (although that’s a good sign he needs to reevaluate his wardrobe). Kramer’s gambling problem being brought out by the Texan is fun. I like what they’re going for with Katie slowly driving Jerry insane, especially the way her telling Jerry not to “freak out” directly causes him to freak out. And the Mr. Pitt montage is solid.
Jordan: I haven’t even mentioned Elaine and Mr. Pitt yet. A great storyline, starting with Elaine ready to quit (“I’m marching!”) and she immediately caves when she hears she is being put in the will. A fun series of coincidences leads Lenore to thinking Elaine is trying to off Mr. Pitt, who winds up firing her at the end. Really well done. George is awesome trying to make friends, and I liked Jerry’s analysis that he doesn’t even have that many white friends either. Kramer demanding Newman’s bag as collateral was stupid, but in a good way. Katie is awesome in her diligence, and Jerry getting rattled by the pilot, then being booted from the plane was funny. I liked that we got two good payoffs here, but the waiter claiming Sugar Ray Leonard eats for free was the best.
Jason: Elaine caving on quitting after Mr. Pitt tell her that she’s in his will. George’s bit about marching on Selma if it was on Long Island. Kramer looking at the picture of George and Morgan; “Pepper Johnson?” Jerry’s, “Outside of us you don’t have any white friends.” George bumping into Remy in the lobby. Mr. Pitt mistaking Jerry for a Pharmacist; “Take an antihistamine.” Katie: “You found the airport ok?” Jerry: “Yes, I followed the planes.” Kramer breaking the ice with Earl; “Oh, I’m happy right here.” Kramer caving on his 3 year gambling dry spell; “You’re on cowboy!” George starting small talk with the black guy at the newsstand . Katie’s knowledge about lighting guy Lou in Ithica; “He has a birthday next week.” Kramer calling Newman to help with his debt; You weak, weak man!” The pilot kicking Jerry and Katie off the plane; “I’M FREAKING OUT!” Newman taking over Berkowitz’s mail route; “We once double dated.” George calling Carl; “Funny white guy.” Mr. Pitt giving Elaine the boot after he see’s Jerry on the news. George bringing Carl to dinner to meet Mr. Morgan; “I’m the exterminator.” Jerry losing his focus while making out with Bridget after seeing the pilot. The black waiter thinking Morgan was Sugar Ray Leonard was a brilliant payoff!
What Didn’t Work
JT: Kramer wanting to bet on the Sugar Ray identification was funny but it was a bit over the top how suddenly his gambling addiction just bubbles out of nowhere; Why does Mr. Pitt need appetite suppressants?; Do pilots get breaks in between flights and then fly the same plane back to where he originally came from?; I hate how Jerry says detail; There is a reason Mr. Morgan eats alone; Why does Carl being an exterminator mean he can’t be George’s old friend?
Aaron: Well, borrowing a camera to take a picture is so obsolete, it jumps out at me. And having someone else take your picture? Weird. I didn’t love the pilot showing up at the end and ruining his “date”.
Andrew: Kramer having a gambling problem that we’ve never heard about, but everyone on the show is familiar with, is pretty clunky. Beyond that, I just have a general unsatisfied feeling about the episode; there are ideas I like in all the storylines, but I never felt particularly interested or invested in any of them.
Jordan: While I mostly liked Katie, I thought her driving off the road and not waking Jerry was a bit much. Why would Carl eat at the restaurant if he knew it was infested with rats?
Jason: Katie is a royal pain in the ass. George making the Sugar Ray Leonard remark was a bad move while trying to get good with him.
Key Character Debuts
Iconic Moments, Running Themes & Memorable Quotes
– “I’m marchin’ in.” – Elaine “I’ve done the march in. Best feeling in the world.” – George “How ’bout the march out?” – Jerry “Not as good. That’s when you realize all the money you’re losing.” – George
– “Anyone ever tell you you look a lot like Sugar Ray Leonard? Yeah, you must get that all the time.” – George “I suppose we all look alike to you, right Costanza?” – Mr. Morgan
– “Boy, that is so unfair. I would’ve marched on Selma if it was in Long Island.” – George You’d have marched on Great Neck?” – Jerry “Absolutely. I still might. I always hated those girls. They would never date me.” – George
– “Come on, come on. Not salt, but…?” – George “What, Pepper Johnson?” – Kramer “No. Sugar Ray Leonard.” – George
– “You found the airport all right?” – Katie “Yes, I followed the planes.” – Jerry I see you’re having coffee. Just so you know, they also have decaf as well. Along with a selection of cocktails and soft…” – Katie
– “You?!? What are you doing here?” – Remy “Well, I got another Audrey Hepburn movie.” – George “Remy, is that you?” – Joe “Daddy, that man is here again.” – Remy “Remy, I want you up here instantly.” – Joe “You know, Remy, I was thinking. Last time we were together, you…” – George
– “Okay, how much?” – Kramer “How ’bout 200?” – Earl “You’re on, cowboy!” – Kramer
– “By the way, Jerry, I don’t want you to freak out, but the pilot is going to be in the audience.” – Katie “Who?” – Jerry “Remember the plane we took here? The pilot is gonna be sitting out there watching the show.” – Katie “I don’t care, why are you telling me this?” – Jerry “I just didn’t want you to freak out when you saw him.” – Katie “Why would I freak out?” – Jerry
– “I’m not surprised. I really let him have it, Jerry. He has no business being in your audience if you didn’t want him there.” – Katie
– “Son of Sam. The worst mass murderer the post office ever produced.” – Newman “Where did you get this?” – Earl “I took over his route. And boy, were there a lot of dogs on that route.” – Newman “Any of ’em talk to you?” – Earl “Just to tell me to keep off the snacks!” – Newman “Your buddy’s a helluva guy.” – Earl
– “Oh we lost the road a half hour ago.” – Katie “What? Why didn’t you wake me up?” – Jerry “You told me not to bother you with minor details.” – Katie “No, road is a major detail!” – Jerry
– “Seinfeld? Oh yeah, funny white guy, right?” – Carl “Jerry? Yes, I suppose he is white. You know, I never really thought about it. I don’t see people in terms of color.” – George
– “I’m the exterminator.” – Carl “That’s… what we used to call him in high school, the exterminator. He’s a linebacker.” – George
Oddities & Fun Facts
– Joe & Remy were last seen in The Couch (S6, E5) where George crashed their viewing of Breakfast at Tiffany’s
– Katie is portrayed by Debra Jo Rupp, best known as Mrs. Forman in That 70’s Show
– Mr. Pitt’s attorney Lenore is portrayed by Kim Zimmer, best known for roles on Guiding Light and One Life to Live
Overall Grade (Scale 1-10)
JT: I really enjoyed the majority of this episode and it cruised along nicely thanks to all four storylines being solid quality. The guest stars all nailed it too, from Katie to Carl to Morgan to Joe to Earl… to Bridget’s…well, you know. The running storyline of Elaine trying to kill Mr. Pitt was well done and didn’t linger too long either as every scene advanced it perfectly. Katie was tremendous in her constant nagging and you could feel Jerry’s frustration mounting minute by minute. Earl and Kramer betting on plane arrivals and Newman being his bank was inspired stuff and George was really good too. This wasn’t an all time classic or pantheon episode but to me it easily slots in that next tier down due to how steady and effective the writing and performances were. Final Grade: 7/10
Aaron: I’ve been rewatching some of these alongside Aaron and this isn’t my favorite. It’s solid but there weren’t too many laugh out loud moments for me. I do love Mr Pitt, he is such a fantastic character, just a genuine weirdo disguised as a gentlemen. I’ll miss him. Also, I wonder what he was leaving Elaine. I bet it was something super weird, with no value. Like all his baby teeth. Final Grade: 7/10
Andrew: I’m not a fan of this one. Maybe it just hasn’t aged well. The “But I have black friends!” joke was a great idea, but has been done much better since. And the boisterous Texan tycoon character feels less impressive after having seen it taken much farther (there’s even a funnier example coming up in this series). And maybe it’s the downside of making a “show about nothing”: it puts all the focus on the jokes, which is great, but when the jokes aren’t landing for you, it’s an even bigger letdown. Final Grade: 5/10
Jordan: This one is more fun than funny. Nothing really sticks out as terrible, but I didn’t find myself laughing much except for the line at the end from the waiter. Kramer gambling was fun and Elaine and George’s story lines were well done, but Jerry’s was one that would never happen with modern technology, which makes the episode feel dated. Final Grade: 6/10
Jason: Not too many laughs here, but all of the plots came together very well. The debut of Earl, Katie and Mr. Morgan, plus the return of Jr and Carl and the departure of Mr. Pitt. The race stuff was a little over the top, but there’s no barriers for anything in the series. Final Grade: 7/10