Seinfeld: The PTBN Series Rewatch – “The Money” (S8, E12)

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!


Best Character

JT: I thought Kramer was great here, killing it with his quick quips and quickly assimilating his way into married life with Emily. I loved him interjecting his way into Jerry’s career too, piling on with the Bloomingdale’s idea. Shout out to Jack Klompus, who always makes the most of his appearances. His dig about the pen still working was great. He is such a tremendous douchebag.

Aaron: In a bizarre turn of events The Costanzas make an appearance and don’t walk away with the episode. They were just… just… just too happy. I don’t like my Costanzas happy. I need them being the miserable ranting messes that they are. Instead I’ll go with spiteful, no-good Jack Klompus. Bitterly clinging to the idea that his pen is worth bragging about while beings delightful piece of shit.

Andrew: I’ll go with Jerry. His plan to teach his parents a lesson by secretly buying back the Cadillac stretches believability pretty thin, but that level of commitment is funny. His exasperation at his parents and Kramer still works, and I thought the “What about me, I’m practically broke… Not really” bit at the end was quite good.

Jordan: This was a Morty episode for me. He’s selling Caddys, bragging about his raincoat sales experience and storming out of meetings with Peterman because he’s tired. I also enjoyed his stringent workout regimen, which you can tell is doing the job, given his adonis like physique. Adrian Adonis, that is.

Jason: None of the core four had a stand out performance, so I’ll go with Jack Klompus here. He was such a dick making Jerry fly back and forth to Florida to purchase back the car, making Jerry pay for the repairs after he crashes it and not letting Jerry crash at his place after Jerry made the remark about Jack losing the pen in the accident.

Best Storyline

JT: I will go with the Costanzas and their money, just because it involves the Costanzas. This was an episode where I thought the individual scenes outweighed any actual storylines. I also enjoyed the Elaine story once Peterman showed back up. The late meeting scene was a good one.

Aaron: STICKING IT! “And you misinterpreted this how?” was a wonderful line that set in motion an unwarranted dinner and a ridiculously large inappropriate gift. Can’t friends just be nice to one another?

Andrew: I think it’s Jerry buying back the Cadillac. I don’t think it’s a great storyline by any means; I’m incredulous he would so thoughtlessly waste that much money, and it’s frustrating to see him let Jack get away with wrecking a car he doesn’t own. But Klompus is the best part of this episode, and that counts for a lot.

Jordan: Morty and Helen being convinced Jerry is broke is fun enough, especially with Jerry casually writing $14,000 checks to Jack Klompus and flying back and forth to Florida on a whim. Morty getting back into the work force to support his deadbeat son is entertaining.

Jason: I’ll go with the dilemma George has with with parents and their savings. Just as in past episodes when you get the entire Costanza crew together, madness ensues. An honorable mention goes to everything with Jerry and Klompus.

Ethical Dilemma of the Week

JT: If somebody else destroys your car by driving it into a swamp, would you let them get away with it just because they lost their prized pen? Stop being such a punching bag, Jerome, time to lawyer up! I doubt the sale paperwork was formalized at that point anyway.

Aaron: Two things: How in the Hell is Jack Klompus keeping the 14 grand for a car that he destroyed???? Also why is Jerry so upset about his parents giving him six grand. If I go out of my way to get something nice for my parents and their callous enough to sell that item you’d better believe I want my money back. Not taking the six grand is pure hubris and Jerry should know better.

Andrew: Is it OK to blow $8,000, max out your credit cards, and spend a night in your car to prove a point to your parents? Yeah, I could see that.

Jordan: I’m not sure how the company is structured, but can Peterman just waltz back into work after going insane and take his job back? Could Elaine have gone to the board and made a power play here? I feel like she could have taken the company by force.

Jason: Is buying a coffee for your friend “sticking it” to them? Settle down, Georgie Boy. As the king of cheapness, enjoy should enjoy that Arabian Mocha Java.

Relationship Scale (Scale 1-10)

JT: I would fork out a few bucks to watch a Kramer and Emily spin off where they live with the Costanzas. Lots of potential there for sure. Relationship Grade: Jimmy Legs/10

Aaron: I’m happy Kramer found someone that can enjoy a solid burp with him. Relationship Grade: 9/10

Andrew: Sarah Silverman. That was alright. Relationship Grade: You’re not easy, Kramer/10

Jordan: Emily seems pretty good for Kramer, she puts up with his weird personality, doesn’t dump him immediately when he brings up Jimmy legs, and winds up in the Costanzas house as a doting housewife.  Relationship Grade: Giddyup/10

Jason: Emily is way above Kramer’s league. Jimmy legs or not, he’s banging Sarah FUCKING Silverman! Elaine should have seduced Peterman to get those stock options back. Relationship Grade: Slappy White/10

What Worked:

JT: I enjoyed Jerry’s mocking “We’ll make the most of it” when Helen says the can only stay for a for four days; I like how Jack Klompus is the one that purchased the car; “The Def Jam is a force”; I love Kramer piling on Jerry about giving up comedy; George not being able to deal with Elaine buying him the coffee is classic George; Aunt Baby; The Jimmy Legs; Kramer pissing off Elaine about not being close to a healthy relationship was great; Frank not being able to quantify how old Aunt Baby would have been today because “she never would have made it” always makes me laugh; Kramer saying he likes the sex as much as strawberry pie; Klompus is such a wonderfully subtle piece of shit; the callback to the pen was awesome; Kramer knowing the number of Bally’s off the top of his head and then not knowing how to spell Seinfeld; Slappy White; Morty saying he can be at work by 4:25; Peterman returns!; Elaine despising German cars; “Coupla Chinamen”; George’s late meeting idea is a great one; Del Boca Vista!; George being angry that Kramer can have a girl over;

Aaron: I really dug all the business with Jerry’s parents trying to get him to have a real career instead of comedy. They have no understanding of what he makes and how successful he is. Only a vague newspaper clipping that everyone who has a career in the arts has been shown by their parents. Kramer going to Elaine for “lady problems” elicits a face from her that can only be described as disappointed disgust. I don’t know why but it always busted me up when Frank Costanza keeps saying family members died of “internal” problems. All the pen stuff is wonderful and Jerry is bang on when he says it was almost worth it to destroy the source of Jack’s pride. George’s “Sophie’s Choice” of what to do about his parents was wonderful as was him attempting to focus Elaine at the coffee shop. We got a hint of insanity at the end as Frank declared that the homeless URINATE in cars. I still use the expression “jimmy legs” to this day and Slappy White is a great fake name.

Andrew: Exasperated Jerry listening to his parents and Kramer declaring his career dead because of an article about “Def Comedy Jam” worked for me. Jack Klompus was a force in this one, and while this isn’t their best work, any episode featuring both the Seinfelds and Costanzas gets a boost. This episode does pretty well with the repeated lines, especially “stickin’ it to me!” and the jimmy legs. I thought some of the best jokes were the smaller touches, like Kramer knowing the number to Bally’s from memory, or the group diner conversation going off the rails without Jerry around.

Jordan: I haven’t talked about the Costanzas yet. It’s funny, we are halfway into Season 8 on this rewatch now, and going in, I thought I would rave every time that Frank was on screen. While I love him, I don’t really find myself singing his praises as much as I anticipated. Maybe it’s because I have such high expectations, or I’m specifically looking for something else to talk about, but I feel like I undervalue Frank. His dismissive talk at the table of family members who wouldn’t make it today is great, as is his stern decision to head back to New York after seeing someone sleeping in the car. I love Frank. George trying to get his parents money is a nice scheme, and that it backfires is par for the course. I would actually be upset if a George plan went successfully, to be honest.

Jason: Jerry being “upset” that his parents can only stay four days; Northstar system; Kramer chatting up about his sex life with Helen and Morty in the room; Def Jam; Bloomngdales’ executive training program; PLO blend; jimmy legs; Aunt Baby, Uncle Mo and Hennie; “internal problems”; Kramer knowing Balley’s phone number and botching the spelling of Seinfeld; “You have a lucky day too!”; Slappy White; Frank’s Pierre Cardin tie; “That was alright.”; Kramer thinking that Morty is a prowler; alligator alley; Jack asking Jerry what took him so long to get there; the water an fish flying out of the car; Jack not paying for the repairs; Estelle refusing to drive in a German car; Kramer crashing at the Costanzas; Harry Altman; George’s advise to Elaine about scheduling late meetings to wear out Morty; George getting pissed that Frank allows Emily to come over; Frank seeing Jerry sleeping in the car and thinking that it’s a homeless man; Kramer and Emily living it up like an old married couple; corn beef at Snitzer’s; Peterman stock rising after Elaine loses her options; George’s buffer zone; Helen and Morty moving into a trailer.

What Didn’t Work

JT: How long was Klompus at the site of the accident that Jerry could get to the airport, fly to Florida and make it across Alligator Alley?; I never really understood how Jerry gets hosed in all of this, why wouldn’t Jack be held liable for the damages to he car?

Aaron: Why are the Costanza’s so happy????? Who calls a guy in New York to save him from Alligator Alley?

Andrew: The Costanzas want to leave New York City for Florida to raise their cost of living? The 90s were a long time ago, but I don’t think things were that different. I guess the joke could be that they are inverting the usual retiree migration pattern, but if that’s the case I don’t think they pulled it off. I don’t know that Elaine’s “PLO blend” about the Arabian coffee was in bad taste, but it didn’t work for me. I also didn’t care for Kramer’s troubles. It might just be that I like him better when he has effortless success with women.

Jordan: Jerry’s a giant pushover and Klompus has his way with him. Doesn’t make you respect Jerome very much.

Jason: None of the storylines really took off and it all seemed rushed. George wasn’t there when his coffee was ready. Someone had to pay for it since he was in the can. For the amount of damage done to the Cadillac, it seemed like a real short time for the repairs to be made.

Key Character Debuts

– Emily

Iconic Moments, Running Themes & Memorable Quotes

– “Jerry, we can only stay four days.” – Helen “Well, I’m upset, but we’ll make the most of it.” – Jerry

– “Well, actually, Jerry, we wanted to talk to you about something.” – Helen “Am I finally getting a baby brother?” – Jerry

– “Well, also, Jerry, we read an article in the Sun Sentinel. It says standup comedy is not what it used to be, what with def jam and all.” – Helen “Yeah, that def jam is a force.” – Kramer “Jerry, you know, I hear wonderful things about Bloomingdales’ executive training program.” – Helen “Oh my god.” – Jerry “Y’know you’ve given this comedy thing your best shot. Yeah, you had some good observations, but it’s over. Now, this Bloomingdale thing, that could be the next wave.” – Kramer

– “She treated me to the Arabian mocha java.” – George “And you misinterpret this how?” – Jerry

– “Does your father still eat bacon and eggs every day?” – Jerry “Fortunately, yes.” – George “How’s your family history?” – Jerry “I have an aunt that died at seven.” – George “Really?” – Jerry “Aunt Baby.” – George

– “Yeah. I gotta be honest with you Kramer. You might be more than just a coupla tweaks away from a healthy relationship.” – Elaine “Well you’re not exactly zeroing in yourself, lady.” – Kramer “Alright, get out.” – Elaine

– “What about your side? Your cousin Hennie. She was sickly from the moment I met her!” – Frank “Don’t you talk about Hennie!” – Estelle

– “Done. But, I get to drive it tomorrow, because Doris wants to go to Naples. Need a pen? Still works.” – Jack

– “Well, what d’you mean, he’s not registered? Wha..S, E, I, N, V…” – Kramer “F. F, E, L , D.” – Helen “…F, E, L, D.” – Kramer

– “Well, I can’t stay under my own name. I was registered under Slappy White.” – Jerry

– “Well, for one thing, you live in Florida.” – Elaine “I’m very comfortable working outta the house. I have a phone, we have a Kinko’s nearby. You know, I think that my resume speaks for itself.” – Morty

– “Oh, Elaine, this dry air is curing me like a Black Forest ham.” – Peterman

– “Besides, I think I lost my pen, too.” – Jack “You know, that almost makes this all worthwhile.” – Jerry

– “Your father wanted a Mercedes, but I won’t ride in a German car.” – Elaine

– “A thousand?! I know a coupla Chinamen over there on Forty-third Street, who’ll do it for half that.” – Morty

– “Look, if we’re gonna stay here until all hours of the night, can we at least get some food here?” – Morty “It’s only five fifteen.” – Peterman

– “They don’t nap. They make it their home. They urinate in there!” – Frank

Oddities & Fun Facts

– According to the DVD’s inside look, Sandy Baron was almost unable to guest star as Jack Klompus in this episode, due to a coma he went in only days before production. Producers searched to recur another character, but Baron came out of his coma in time.

– Comedienne Sarah Silverman portrays Emily

– Jack Klompus references a pen that still works, a call back to The Pen (S3, E5)

Overall Grade (Scale 1-10)

JT: As I mentioned before, this was an interesting episode in that the individual scenes and dialogue outweighed the success of any of the storylines that were ongoing. There was also lots of material left on the table as they took multiple story arcs that could have used more time to explore and crammed them into one episode: Jerry dealing with the car, Kramer living with the Costanzas, the Costanzas moving to Florida, Morty working for Peterman… these are all stories that deserved more time to breathe but instead were mashed together, limiting their potential. There were plenty of laughs and some really classic lines (“They urinate in there!”) but as a whole, it was less than the sum of its parts. That totals out to a perfectly middling episode of Seinfeld, which as we have said before, is probably a top tier installment of many other sitcoms. Final Grade: 5/10

Aaron: I thought the writing was tight but the lack of any true hilarious moments hurt this one a bit. Everyone is so on point with their characters though that it’s hard to go low on these. Even when they’re blander than usual they’re still very good. Final Grade: 5/10

Andrew: This feels like a significant misfire. I’m not a fan of any of the storylines: Jerry blowing money feels more frustrating than funny, I don’t care for neurotic Kramer, and Elaine dealing with Morty and a returning Peterman doesn’t add up to all that much. I don’t mind the darker aspects of George rooting for his parents to die and leave him money, but I don’t think it was funny enough to earn that level of depravity. This is one of the episodes I’m least familiar with, and after rewatching it I don’t feel like I’ve been missing out. Final Grade: 4/10

Jordan: Peterman’s return being so rushed was disappointing for me, as was a lot of this one. I know this show doesn’t do story arcs for the most part, but George trying to get his parents fortune could have gone on for three or four episodes, as could Elaine going mad with power. I guess that kind of has, but we could really build to Peterman’s return rather than just have a, “Oh, he’s back now.” payoff like we got. Good for some chuckles, but not great in the history of the show. Final Grade: 4/10

Jason: This episode is a case where a two-parter could have helped, A LOT!  Nothing really took off and there was plenty missing.  It was nice to have Klompus, the Seinfelds and Costanzas pop up, along with Sarah SIlverman who gave a great performance as Emily.  In a rare dweller from this season, I tried to get into this, but all in all it was pretty bad. Final Grade: 4/10