Seinfeld: The PTBN Series Rewatch – “The Wink” (S7, E4)

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 everyone was solid here but there were no real home run hitters. Jerry was really funny but he was also really annoying and could have avoided most of the issues here by telling Holly he was dieting instead of lying like a pussy. I will choose Elaine to take it home as I thought she was the most consistent overall and had some quietly hard hitting zingers. Kramer was a close second thanks to his work with Bobby.

Aaron: Future serial killer Bobby takes this one for me here. You just know that if he ever gets out of that bed and walks again he’s going to start killing/eating people by the time he’s twenty. The spiteful malice he displays as he deprives Kramer of his juice until AFTER Paul O’Neil’s first homerun is shockingly contrasted with pure joy as he watches his hero round the bases. He’s here, he’s there, he’s everywhere. Soon he’ll be in your house with your wife…and your kids…

Andrew: I started out thinking this one was wide open, but after going back over the episode, Jerry has to win on dialogue alone. He really cuts to the heart of the matter with “So what? Your genitals are still lined up.” His professed willingness to maim others in the pursuit of healthy eating is a bold stance. And while George has the most famous line of the episode, Jerry declaring 95 percent of the population “undateable” is the one that always sticks with me. This was a much stronger performance than I initially would have thought.

Jordan: This one is really tough, because while everyone was good, nobody was great. I guess I will go with George just because it led to so much of the episode’s storylines, and I enjoy him mentioning that he had some pulp in his eye. But really, you could pick any of the four here and I wouldn’t argue with you.

Jason: This is another episode that is loaded with plenty of choices. George was great with all of the winking stuff. Kramer killed it trying to get the card back from Bobby. My favorite Yankee of all time, Paul O’Neill was incredible as expected. However, Jerry is my choice. His one-liners had me laughing throughout the episode. One of his best performances in awhile.

Best Storyline

JT: Cheating here, but I am going with the thread that took us from Jerry stuffing his pockets with chewed meat all the way to George landing Mr. Morgan’s job after Big Stein shitcanned him. It was beautiful storytelling that all made sense and was fun watching the dominos all fall down.

Aaron: Elaine versus dogs has been a favorite of mine since the start of the season. The crazed chain of events that follows her flight from the dogs is a thing of beauty.

Andrew: For me, it’s the birthday card. It’s usually a good sign when a storyline features George unintentionally sabotaging himself and those around him, and I’m impressed they managed to pull off joking about sick kids requesting things from ballplayers. Most importantly, the guest spots for this one are off the charts. Bobby is really funny, Paul O’Neill is perfectly incredulous about the two home run promise, and the Steinbrenner scene to close the episode is epic (“Billy Martin, Scott Marrow, Billy Martin, Bob Lemmon, Billy Martin …”).

Jordan: Paul O’Neill just wants to play ball. He just wants to go out and try his best. So what happens? A crazed man puts the weight of the world on his shoulders, letting him know a dying boys life hangs in the balance, and all he has to do is hit TWO home runs. How will Paul get out of this situation? Will Bobby live to see another Yankee game? And who DID let Kramer in there, anyway?

Jason: Again, lots to work with here. The title plot played out nicely. Everything with Jerry, Elaine and Holly was full of laughs, mainly thanks to Jerry. However, I have to go with everything with Kramer, Bobby and the birthday card. Kramer was excellent not giving a shit that Bobby was sick.  All he cared about was getting the birthday card back and doing whatever it took to do so.

Ethical Dilemma of the Week

JT: I feel like a lot of nonsense could have been avoided with a little honesty this week. Jerry should have told Holly he was on a diet, George should have explained the grapefruit wink and what happened with the card, James… he still sucks.

Aaron: If a dog eats up your coat are you permitted to shoot it in the head? I guess it depends on where you live. In some parts of the world homosexual dogs are still shot for simply being themselves. In others dogs are prosecuted if they kick other pregnant dogs in the stomach. It’s a crazy world. But it’s also a cold world. If a dog steals your coat may your aim be as righteous as your intentions.

Andrew: Is it OK to judge a person for ordering a salad? Nah, man. You don’t know what’s going in his life, leave him alone. Side note: I ordered a salad on a date once. That didn’t go over well, either. End salad prejudice!

Jordan: Should Paul O’Neill blame himself if Bobby dies? I say no. I don’t even blame Kramer. I blame Bobby. It was his own manipulative greed. TWO home runs? Come on kid, do you want to walk again or not? In my mind, Bobby still lives, as Paul’s one home run was enough to sustain him, but he remains bedridden, incapable of standing on his own. Not even some kind of fancy robot legs would work. Why? Because he HAD to have two homers, didn’t he? DON’T GET GREEDY IF YOU WANT TO WALK.

Jason: Would you rather date the blind or the deaf? I’m with Jerry here.  The blind are probably a little messy around the house. I have no room for a slob. What percentage of people are actually undateable? Go to any Wal-Mart on a Saturday afternoon. 95% seems about right.

Relationship Scale (Scale 1-10)

JT: James is a fucking whacko who belongs to be alone with his dogs forever. What kind of weirdo takes napkins from someone else’s jacket pockets and immediately uses them as accessories for his annoying mutts? That is not normal behavior. Holly should force feed him fatty meats until he needs an angioplasty Relationship Grade: 0/10

Aaron: I think I’ve made it clear by this point that no one’s going to be good enough for season seven Elaine so let’s not even bother. As for Holly I guess you have to weigh the pros and cons. The big con is that she talks constantly about Grandma Memma. Constantly. Probably so much that you picture the old bag while you’re banging Holly. That’s bad. BUUUUUUUT. She constantly wants to make you meat. I guess if you can get her to shut up about her Granma (maybe kill a dog in front of her to show her you’re serious…I don’t know…) she’d be a pretty good catch. She probably has a decent inheritance at worst. Relationship Grade: 6/10

Andrew: Holly seems like a real downer. If she’s openly carrying on about family grudges on the second date, I shudder to think of what would come out later in the relationship. Relationship Grade: I bet she took them just to spite me/10

Jordan: I like to imagine that Holly is kind of like a Norman Bates type, as in her spare room was the stuffed corpse of Grandma Mema. In fact, as I type this, I change my theory. The mutton WAS Grandma Mema! She’s clearly a cannibal. Relationship Grade: ANGIOPLASTY/10

Jason: James ranks towards the bottom of Elaine’s dudes. Same goes for Holly for Jerry. The man is trying eat healthy and she has a problem with that? Her and her mutton need to take a hike. Relationship Grade: Pork chops/ 10

What Worked:

JT: Elaine flirting with the wake up call guy is perfect Benes storyline; Jerry randomly eating healthy is odd but the grapefruit squirt is tremendous; George inadvertently bagging Morgan with the winking; Jerry’s stats on the ugly people always makes me laugh; Pulp can move!; The winking troubles continuing into Kramer giving away Big Stein’s birthday card and making Morgan’s wife thinking he was hitting up a rub ‘n’ tug; Elaine’s “phew” when James is good looking; Grandma Memma; Morgan’s subtle fist pump demonstrating sex is a great hidden gem; The random noises Kramer makes during his gestures never cease to amaze; Jerry feigning interest in the mutton; “Thanks for mutton” is a killer line; The way Jerry being a bitch with the mutton ties into Mr. Morgan getting fired and George getting promoted is flawless; Kramer’s meeting with Paul O’Neill is real good thanks to O’Neill’s disregard for everything he says; Kramer being able to randomly show up in the Yankee clubhouse is perfect Kramer; Kramer drinking the orange juice will never not be funny; O’Neill getting the triple + error home run was a nice way to cap the nonsense with Bobby and Cosmo; Poor Mr. Morgan, George finishing the burial of his career by trying to help him one less time was a perfect end to the episode

Aaron: This episode is a perfect example of how to use Jerry correctly. He’s not the main focus but he throws just enough curt one liners to make it work. His comparison of dating someone by their voice to whales is inspired as is his feigned joy over the prospect of mutton. The wink stuff was great but I expected it to be a little more at the forefront. Who would have guessed that something as innocuous as a grapefruit would lead to a man’s life being torn apart on every conceivable level. Poor Morgan. His wife’s face screamed divorce as George winked at her. All of Kramer’s stuff was great. His scenes with the kid were endearing/scary. His scenes with Paul O’Neill were scary/endearing. O’Neill is wonderful as the poor guy who wants to help but is practically asked the impossible. Of course the payoff of the wake up guy missing the calls which leads to Morgan missing his meeting all because of Elaine and the meat is the kind of writing I’ve lauded since the beginning of this re-watch. I don’t know why but Jerry’s line about genitals being lined up has ALWAYS stuck with me. It’s the sole reason I’d never sleep head to toes. What’s the God dammed point?

Andrew: I like to see that flirting with strangers is a 24/7 deal for Elaine. She’s the greatest. I enjoyed how eager she and George were to join in on Jerry’s unprompted “date the blind or the deaf?” discussion topic. And I love the implication that dogs have an instinctual distrust of Elaine after the dognapping incident. The storylines are really solid in this one, and I especially liked the crossover of Jerry’s meat-hiding habits led to Mr. Morgan being late to work. Jerry successfully bluffing his way through the butcher conversation is great (“That is so Franco”). Kramer is excellent playing off of Paul O’Neill and the sick kid. And George’s involuntary winks get funnier as the episode goes along.

Jordan: Elaine is gorgeous and yet she just hits on random dudes she has never laid eyes on. I LIKE MY ODDS. I enjoy the grapefruit juice causing so much miscommunication. The blind or deaf debate rages on, only the blind and deaf communities have neither seen nor heard of it. HOW BOUT IT? I like George NOT wanting a promotion at work because it means he has to put in more effort. Paul O’Neill was awesome, even though Bobby was really creepy. Morgan being the unknowing victim of George’s pulp filled eye was fun. Jerry hating meat and mocking Holly for it without her even realizing it was good. I like Elaine’s feigned innocence that head to toe sleeping prevents any tomfoolery, and Jerry astutely pointing out that genitals match up just fine that way. I also like that dogs now hate Elaine. But my favorite part is probably Kramer referring to George as Mr. Weatherbee twice. That made me laugh more than it should have.

Jason: James hitting on Elaine as she’s waking up. The dating the blind or deaf bit. Elaine thinking James is good looking bases on his voice; “You’re going by sounds? What are we? Whales?”; Leper colony. People getting together because of alcohol. PULP CAN MOVE, BABY! Kramer greeting the gang; Archie, Veronica, Mr. Weatherbee. George’s misinterpreting wink getting Morgan in trouble with his wife and Wilhelm; “Of course, your massage.” Grandma Memma; “I think I would have remembered Memma.” Jerry wanting to prove to Holly that he’s manly and will eat meat; “I’ll be there and I’ll be packing an artery.” Jerry’s reaction to Holly serving mutton; “Hope you didn’t cut the fat off.” Kramer selling the birthday card to Stubs. Bobby wanting Paul O’Neill to hit two home runs in exchange for the card back. Elaine getting chased by dogs because of the mutton in Jerry’s jacket. Elaine mushing her feet in James’ face. James falling back asleep and forgetting to wake up his clients, including Morgan. Kramer sneaking into the Yankee clubhouse to chat with Paul O’Neill about Bobby’s wish in order to get the birthday card back; ” It’s hard to hit home runs. And where the heck did you get two from?” Franco the butcher. Holly cooking pork chops for Jerry; “I usually like mine with an angioplasty.” Elaine being surprised to see Holly at Jerry’s apartment; “What everyone does here; cooking pork chops.” Kramer finally getting the card back from Bobby and telling George that O’Neill has to catch a fly ball in his hat during the next game. The card getting framed before Morgan can sign it. Big Stein naming off all of the managers that he’s canned over the years.

What Didn’t Work

JT: Who the hell says “mysteriouso”?; The Archie comparisons are funny but Jerry starting it off felt super forced; Jerry always has to go over the top, you can eat healthy and still have a steak at a nice restaurant; What hospital lets a random dude walk into a kid’s room alone?; Jerry is a real pussy in this episode, just eat the fucking lamb!; The overdub of Elaine yelling while being chased by the dogs annoys me as most Seinfeld overdubs do; What kind of psycho steals shit from someone’s coat pockets and uses it as dog accessories?; Who makes pork chops in a pants suit?;

Aaron:  A wake up call guy? Do people really need that? I’m not usually one to judge others on personal appearance but a guy who looks like Jerry Seinfeld really shouldn’t be declaring that 95 percent of the population is undateable. Come on Jerome glance in a mirror without the rose colored glasses once in a while.

Andrew: George saying “mysterioso” is such a 90s dipshit move (“Did you call moi a dipshit?”). Holly recognized those napkins pretty quick; had it already occurred to her that some random dude would use them as dog kerchiefs? Does this happen more than I think?

Jordan: Holly sucks pretty bad. Also, you suck pretty bad at waking people up if a foot in your face is enough to keep you awake, and render you unconscious once you finally drift off. Jerry had funny lines about meat eating, but at the same time, just eat a freaking pork chop.

Jason: Where are Bobby’s parents and who’s allowing Kramer to visit Bobby? Holly is a stuck up bitch. Choke on a pork chop, honey.

Key Character Debuts


Paul O’Neill

Iconic Moments, Running Themes & Memorable Quotes

– “At least I’ve spoken to my guy. You’re going out on a deaf date.” – Elaine “I think I’d rather go out on a deaf date than a blind date. The question is whether you’d rather date the blind or the deaf.” – Jerry “Ah…” – Elaine “Now you’re off on a topic.” – George “You know, I think, I would rather date the deaf. Because I think the blind would probably be a little messier around the house. And lets face it they’re not going to get all the crumbs. I’d possibly be walking around with a sponge.” – Jerry “You see I disagree. I’d rather be dating the blind. You know you could let the house go. You could let yourself go. A good looking blind woman doesn’t even know you’re not good enough for her.” – George “I think she’d figure it out.” – Elaine

– “I’m not worried. It sounds like he’s really good looking.” – Elaine “You’re going by sound? What are we? Whales?” – Jerry

– “Elaine, what percentage of people would you say are good looking?” – Jerry “Twenty-five percent.” – Elaine “Twenty-five percent, you say? No way! It’s like 4 to 6 percent. It’s a twenty to one shot.” – Jerry “You’re way off.” – Elaine “Way off? Have you been to the motor vehicle bureau? It’s like a leper colony down there.” – Jerry “So what you are saying is that 90 to 95 percent of the population is undateable?” – Elaine “UNDATEABLE!” – Jerry “Then how are all these people getting together?” – Elaine “Alcohol.” – Jerry

– “You must have squirted a piece of pulp in it too.” – George “Pulp couldn’t make it across the table.” – Jerry “Pulp can move, Baby! Why didn’t you eat a real breakfast?” – George “Hey, I eat healthy. If I have to take out an eye, that’s the breaks.” – Jerry

– “Elaine must have mentioned Grandma Memma.” – Holly “No, I think I would have remembered Memma.” – Jerry

– “Maybe his dogs heard about how you tried to kidnap that other dog. These muts like to gossip.” – Jerry

– “I don’t know. But I’m sure it had, . . . parents. Call her up. She won’t mind if you come.” – Elaine “Oh, don’t worry. I’ll be there and I’ll be packing an artery.” – Jerry

– “I was not winking you idiot. That was the grapefruit. It’s like acid. I need that card back. It’s Mr. Steinbrenner’s. I was responsible.” – George

– “Um, mutton! Hope you didn’t cut the fat off.” – Jerry

– “Would he hit two home runs?” – Bobby “Two? Sure kid, yeah. But then you gotta promise you’ll do something for me.” – Kramer “I know. Get out of this bed one day and walk again.” – Bobby “Yeah, that would be nice. But I really just need this card.” – Kramer

– “I wish I could take credit for it. It’s actually the line my butcher uses when we’re chewing the fat.” – Jerry

– “It’s cold out, and I didn’t bring my own. Jerry! God forbid I should borrow one from Holly. It might have belonged to grandma Memma. Thanks for mutton.” – Elaine

– “What exactly is mutton?” – George “I don’t know and I didn’t want to find out.” – Jerry

– “Reversed positions?” – Jerry “Yeah, you know, head to toe.” – Elaine “So what your genitals are still lined up.” – Jerry “No, because I slept with my back to him.” – Elaine

– “Well, after you scarfed up my mutton I had the irresistible urge to make pork chops for you. I said hello to Franco for you.” – Holly “Franco?” – Jerry “Your butcher, down the street.” – Holly “I bet he acted aloof like he didn’t know me.” – Jerry “A little.” – Holly “That is so Franco.” – Jerry

– “So, is the chop the way you like it?” – Holly “I usually like mine with an angioplasty.” – Jerry

– “You know as painfull as it is I had to let a few people go over the years. Yogi Berra, Lou Pinella, Bucky Dent, Billy Martin, Dallas Green, Dick Houser, Bill Virdon, Billy Martin, Scott Marrow, Billy Martin, Bob Lemmon, Billy Martin, Gene Michael, Buck Showalter… George, you didn’t hear that from me.” – Steinbrenner

Oddities & Fun Facts

– Buck Showalter actually resigned from the Yankees on October 27, 1995, shortly after this episode aired

Overall Grade (Scale 1-10)

JT: There is a lot to like in this one but there was also many little annoyances that piled up and took this down a notch for me. Most are probably unfair but as we have established, Seinfeld is graded on an unfair curve and that is all we have to work with. Paul O’Neill and Bobby were real funny in their scenes and I dug all of the stories but James and Holly were both super annoying and I thought Jerry was a dope. I know the shows thrives on minutiae and misunderstanding, but these were a bit tough to get on board with because the truth could have been easily explained each time, so the situations felt a bit forced instead of organic, as the great episodes do. I feel bad going this low here, because it has always been a favorite of mine, but for some reason the little things stood out an bothered me more than in the past. Final Grade: 6/10

Aaron: Top to bottom fun episode with some great writing, a fun cameo and a child who will either die or one day lead to YOUR death. What’s not to love? Final Grade: 8/10

Andrew: I enjoyed this one more than I thought. The plots were solid and interacted with each in a satisfying way. The dialogue was funny, the main cast were all solid, and I love the guest stars in this one. The dogs/mutton stuff isn’t my favorite, but it didn’t drag anything else down for me. Final Grade: 8/10

Jordan: This one is really underrated to me. Everything clicks, nothing drags and it has some good laughs in a few varieties-storyline payoff, random lines and Kramer’s signature physical comedy. I thought this was great. Final Grade: 9/10

Jason: This was a lot of fun. I really liked how everything tied together well. Paul O’Neill’s cameo was hilarious. Gotta love The Warrior! As for the rest of the episode, lots of laughs, especially from Jerry and definitely worth a watch. We’re at a point of the series that might be the best ten episode stretch. Final Grade: 8/10