Seinfeld: The PTBN Series Rewatch – “The Limo” (S3, E18)

Welcome to Seinfeld: The PTBN Series Rewatch! On a regular basis, Justin Rozzero, Aaron George, Andrew Flanagan and Jordan Duncan 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!

7-seinfeld-the-limo

Best Character

Justin: I thought everyone was great in this episode, but George and Jerry have to share the award for sure. They were both brilliant and played off each other tremendously. I loved watching them lie their way through the episode, calibrating on the fly and acting completely in synch, especially as they stakes grew higher. My favorite moment may have been when George goes from panicking to calm dressing down Tim and throwing him out of the limo, completely in character and then goes right back to freaking out. This may be the best both have been in the same episode since the show started.

Aaron: Eva was the only one who didn’t annoy me in the episode but Kramer had a great fall into a pile of garbage. She was cute for a Nazi so I’ll give her the nod here.

Andrew: I think it has to be George; after all, it’s his bright idea to take O’Brien’s limo. I enjoyed his argument over the watch, and the “You know we’re living in a society!” line is applicable in all sorts of situations. His chemistry with Jerry is top-notch as always, and I like his ability to look for love even in a potentially life-threatening situation. Best of all is the way he starts throwing his weight around after he realizes O’Brien is a leader of the Aryan Union; there may not be a more confident liar than George.

Jordan: I’m leaning towards Jerry here. No one was particularly great, but George and Jerry dominated the screen time so I am choosing between the two of them. I enjoyed how Jerry played off George in this one, giving him wide eyed looks and the usual Jerry jabs. George wasn’t bad either, with the watch scene at the beginning and his interaction with Tim and Eva, but Jerry just played off everything so well. I think my favorite part was complimenting Eva on her Luger gun.

Best Storyline

Justin: Easy one here with the limo riding dominating the episode. It was well crafted from start to finish, with everything slowly unraveling as the ride goes on. Kramer slowly piecing things together was good too. The writing was just super strong the whole way through and involved everyone. Jerry and George being forced to lie and riff on the spot played greatly to their strengths and made this a really strong outing.

Aaron: The only part that got a chuckle out of me was Kramer piecing together that Jerry was in fact the leader of the Aryans and that he and George probably know who killed Kennedy. So I’ll go with Cosmo Kramer: conspiracy theorist.

Andrew: There’s no real competition, but the O’Brien storyline is a deserving winner. I usually prefer the true “nothing happens” storylines, but this one is a lot of fun, and has enough plausibility to fit in with the rest of the series. The tension escalates at a good pace, as George and Jerry dig themselves deeper and deeper and information is slowly revealed.

Jordan: There’s no real choice here as the entire episode is one story. This is a different change of pace for the show, as even in past episodes with one dominant storyline, we’d have something else in a bit part. They went sink or swim with the limo.

Ethical Dilemma of the Week

Justin: Should you ever take someone’s limo? Especially if you know they aren’t coming anytime soon? Sure, why the hell not? Especially in the early 90s when there was no chance that the driver was going to ask for ID. I mean, sure you could end up hanging out with a couple of Nazis with guns and also run the risk of being beaten up by an angry mob, but a free limo ride home from the airport is probably worth the risk.

Aaron: Why do hotels feel the need to make the sheets so tight that we have to kick them out and potentially face a hamstring injury? Surely there must be some sort of middle ground we can all agree on. Something that doesn’t make us feel like we’re being placed in a tomb. There is absolutely no need for this level of discomfort and the hotel industry needs to be exposed for the fascists that they are.

Andrew: Is it OK to date someone if you don’t agree with her political beliefs? In the abstract, sure, but obviously there are limits; if you can’t respect those beliefs, it’s a problem. Attractiveness is part of the equation, too, but “white supremacist” is probably an insurmountable character flaw.

Jordan: OK, that guy at the beginning who wouldn’t even look down to check his watch was a real butthole. I know we are supposed to laugh at George’s over the top reaction, but I think I may have the same one. Someone asks you a question, and the answer involves you LOOKING DOWN SLIGHTLY FOR THREE SECONDS, and that’s too much of a hassle? Screw you, Eyebrows McGee!

Relationship Scale (Scale 1-10)

Justin: George and Eva had instant chemistry. What man wouldn’t have melted when she looked deep into his eyes and professed her willingness to do anything to please him. It is nearly 23 years later and she won me over with that one line and sultry look. Despite the guns and Nazi ways, George would have been best served riding out the O’Brien charade as long as possible if it could have landed him some uninhibited Eva time. Relationship Grade: Eva

Aaron: I’m sure had Jerry not been there George would have had sex with Eva so I’m going to count them as a couple. You could taste the sex in the air when she laid eyes on George and I’ve got to imagine with all the hate in her heart she must be one hellcat in bed. Relationship Grade: 10/10

Andrew: Fanatical devotion can be hot, and Eva was “kind of a cute Nazi”. Having a gun drawn on you usually means the end of sexy times, but that might just be foreplay in a hate group. Relationship Grade: 2/10

Jordan: Eva had a real WWE Lana vibe going for her. She’s evil, but she’s hot, so is she worth it? For George, absolutely. We’re only a few episodes removed from him dating his unemployment agency worker’s daughter to get an extension. To go from that to having a gorgeous woman claiming she will do anything to please him, it’s turning into the Winter of George! Yes, things end with guns being drawn, but that’s not too bad of a breakup for Costanza. Relationship Grade: 8/10

What Worked

Justin: George arguing with the guy at the airport over his watch was a good random laugh out loud moment; The premise is great from the start, especially with Jerry’s inside information about O’Brien being stuck in Chicago; George’s limo call to his mother was fantastic; The moment when George and Jerry realize they are in deeper than just a limo ride home is well done as the fear washes over them; Jerry waking up George when he realizes the Nazis don’t know what he looks like was good, but I loved the look of disdain Tim gives George when he realizes what a mess he is; Kramer doing the 360 dunk was a bit overacted but it works because it’s Kramer; Kramer trying to piece together the mystery while Elaine just accepts it pretty much sums up their personalities at this point in the show; George reading the script as everything comes together is one of my favorite moments of the season; Kramer assuming Jerry and George are actually O’Brien and Murphy was awesome; The final scene was good too, with the chaos in the limo and the wild mob outside and eventually George on the news.

Aaron: I really love the idea of them stealing someone’s limo and getting caught up in a Nazi rally. In fact as a typed that I laughed. The execution was just off for me here. Eva and Tim were solid guest stars, and I did enjoy Kramer piecing together Jerry’s secret life as O’Brien.

Andrew: The plot is really well constructed and thought out: Jerry knowing O’Brien didn’t get on the plane, finding out Tim and Eva don’t know what O’Brien looks like, etc. Jerry and George fighting over who gets to be O’Brien/Murphy is great, especially when they continue the argument after they realize they’re in trouble. Even when the plots have less of a connection to reality, the characters retain their obsession with mundane details, and I really enjoy that. I also enjoy how quick Kramer is to believe Jerry is head of the Aryan Union, especially when he uses Jerry being “clean and organized” as evidence. (Quick side note: could this be a reference to Jerry’s “gay men are neat” stand up bit? I kind of hope it is.)

Jordan: My absolute favorite part was that Kramer figured out the O’Brien thing before Elaine. Granted, he went too far with it and thought Jerry was REALLY O’Brien and it became a crazed conspiracy, but I like that his wheels were turning faster than hers. It shows that he’s eccentric, and not a moron. The watch bit at the beginning was funny, and that guy was a total jerk, George was totally justified in his anger. I liked George wanting to be O’Brien, then getting upset because Jerry had a better sounding name. The twist that they had to pick up others was funny, and the reveal that O’Brien is a white supremacist is one you wouldn’t see coming.

What Didn’t Work

Justin: Jerry is back to being a bit of a pussy about the limo heist; It is a little weird that the limo driver doesn’t question why they only have one bag between the two of them.

Aaron: It just felt flat. There were next to no laughs in this one for me, and it’s sad because this was a concept teeming with potential. I like seeing Jerry and George scared, but not when the stakes are their actual lives. I want to see George panicking over his mother coming to dinner and not have to worry about him getting shot. Kramer and Elaine are just waaaaaaay too far on the periphery of his one.

Andrew: It’s unlikely that O’Brien is famous enough to draw angry protestors, but not famous enough for people in his own organization to know what he looks like. But I’m just nit-picking now.

Jordan: Elaine was basically useless in this episode, which is a real step down for her. I almost feel like she would have been better served with a secondary story, say trying to get to the Garden but stuck in the middle of the protest or something.

Key Character Debuts

N/A

Iconic Moments, Running Themes & Memorable Quotes

– “Well if you’re gonna be O’Brien, why can’t I be somebody?” – Jerry “Like who?” – George “Dylan Murphy.” – Jerry < George mumbles > “What, now you wanna be Dylan Murphy?” – Jerry “Well I like Dylan.” – George

– I dunno, I’m in a limo. (dials) Hello ma? It’s me. Guess where I am. In the back of a limo. No, nobody died. It’s a long story, I can’t tell you now. Because I can’t. I said I can’t. If I could, I would. Would you stop it? Alright, look, I’m getting off. No, I’m not telling you! How’s this? I’m *never* telling you! I don’t care! No! Fine! Never!!” – George “She happy for you?” – Jerry

– “You’re Murphy!! Look, let’s just jump out of the car.” – George “We’re doing sixty miles an hour!” – Jerry “So we jump and roll, you won’t get hurt.” – George “Who are you, Mannix?” – Jerry

– “…and the Jews steal our money through their Zionist occupied government and use the black man to bring drugs into our oppressed white minority communities.” – George “You’re not going to open with that, are you?” – Jerry

– “Let’s just make a run for it.” – Jerry “I can’t run, I have a bad hamstring.” – George “How’d that happen?” – Jerry “I hurt it in a hotel room. You know where they tuck the covers in real tight in those hotel rooms? I can’t sleep like that so I tried to kick it out and I pulled it.” – George

– “9… 1… 1. She said she’d do anything. Hello, police? Uh, yeah listen, we’re in the back of a limo in Queens — Astroturf? You know who’s responsible for that, don’t you?! The Jews! Ah, the Jews hate grass. They always have, they always will.” – George

– “Don’t you see? There’s always been something very strange about Jerry, always so clean and organized. Do I have to spell it out for you? The limo? The name? The rally at Madison Square Garden? Jerry, O’Brien are the same person. Jerry is the leader of the Aryan Union!” – Kramer “Jerry’s a nazi?!” – Elaine “I can’t believe I didn’t see it.” – Kramer “Listen, you idiot! Just calm down! I know Jerry, he’s not a nazi.” – Elaine “You don’t think so.” – Kramer “No, he’s just neat.” – Elaine

– “What about George?” – Elaine “What about him, he’s part of it. His whole personality is a disguise. No real person can act the way he does. Elaine, I’m telling you they’re with the organization. They’re all part of it. He’s in there with Helms and Hunt and Liddy, that whole crowd. George and Jerry, they probably know who killed Kennedy!” – Kramer

– “Why did you call him O’Brien and him Murphy?” – Tim “No, he was talking to me, he’s cross-eyed.” – Jerry

Oddities & Fun Facts

– Tim the Nazi is portrayed by Peter Krause

– The game George and Jerry believe they are attending was likely the night of February 13, 1992; The Bulls defeated The Knicks 106-85 at Madison Square Garden; Michael Jordan had 17 points.

Overall Grade (Scale 1-10)

Justin: I love this episode. It is so well crafted and the way everything unfolds in real time with Jerry and George being forced to adjust on the fly was brilliant. Having Kramer narrating the whole thing from afar, dropping in additional clues, was really good too. Tim and Eva were great in their roles, with Tim never really trusting George and Jerry while Eva was blinded by meeting her hero. There were at least three or four laugh out loud moments in here too. The only thing it was really lacking was Hall of Fame moments. I also thought Elaine was kind of weak in this one and it feels like a step back for her from recent installments. This one was Seinfeld playing to its strength by relying on its super talented cast to do what it does best: lie, lie and lie. Final Grade: 7/10

Aaron: I’m not trying to cop out by simply stating that this one fell flat. I was bored throughout and this was a chore to watch. I’d almost rather this show be actively bad than boringly mediocre. No one stood out, no one was interesting and it just wasn’t funny. A major step down in my eyes from last episode. Final Grade: 1/10 

Andrew: This is one of the more memorable storylines of the series, and for good reason. As I said previously, it’s very well thought-out, and has a brisk, entertaining pace. The downside of being memorable, of course, is that nothing about it felt new or surprising on rewatch. It wouldn’t be fair for me to say the episode doesn’t hold up, but after some pleasant surprises in the last few, I was underwhelmed. That said, it’s more than solid, and stands out with a unique plot. Final Grade: 7/10

Jordan: Reading the other reviews, I’m torn. I definitely don’t hate it like Aaron did, but I don’t think it was masterful like Justin and Andrew. To me, this episode is just kind of “there”. It’s not terribly offensive, but for me it’s not terribly memorable either. I really think Elaine has been fantastic lately, and to relegate her to standing on a sidewalk with Kramer stunk. On the flip side of that, Jerry really delivered here. His acting was bad in a couple spots, but it was minimal and he really held things together. I think I’ll go right down the middle here. Final Grade: 5/10

Author: Place to Be Nation Staff

Place to Be Nation Staff pieces feature any number of our contributors who are multifaceted when it comes to Pop Culture expertise.