An Analytical Episode Guide to :
Season 3, Part 4
Today we conclude our look at Season 3 with six episodes.
There was a certain style to the episodes of the first three seasons, and here
we see the last of that style as the show finally takes the form it will be
become famous for. Of course much later it would change again, this time into a
parody of itself, but I am getting way ahead of things. Here are the final six
episodes of season 3 :
Episode 17, Season 3
Plot Summary- Jerry and Elaine decide to fix George up with
Elaine’s friend Cynthia, figuring that they would probably get along pretty
well. The date goes so-so, but a wrinkle is thrown in when it turns out a condom
Kramer gave to George was defective, and Cynthia misses her period.
Best Quote-“My boys can swim!”….George
Nitpick of the episode-I guess the easy question from this
episode is simply, why did they believe fixing George up with anyone would
actually work out?
Seinfeldism of the episode-We learn George likes his women
to have a “pinkish hue”
Deleted Scenes-George explaining how he can’t approach women
outside of bars, Elaine and Jerry discuss cruises.
Episode Fun Fact-The episode is based on a similar incident
which happened to writer Larry Charles, who wrote an Emmy for writing for this
Final Thoughts-Pretty good episode, but the whole pregnancy
scare feels very much like they had five minutes to kill and needed to do
something. Why else is it dropped so fast? However, aside from that it is a
pretty funny episode. It’s too bad Elaine’s friend never appeared again, she
fit in very well. Kramer’s role is strictly to move the plot along, as he appears
with condoms which end up being defective. He also has two great moments when
he breaks up Jerry and George, and later Jerry and Elaine, arguing.
Grade=A-, not half-bad
Episode 18, Season 3
Plot Summary-George’s car dies on his way to pick up Jerry
at the airport. When Jerry arrives they see a limo driver waiting for a
passenger who Jerry knows is not coming. They decide to take the limo meant for
the other passenger, and things spiral down after that. It turns out the limo
was meant for the head of the Arian Union on his way to neo-Nazi rally. After
they pick up Elaine and Kramer they gang ends up with guns pointed at them.
Best Quote-“She’s a Nazi George, a Nazi!”….Jerry
Nitpick of the episode-We learn that leader of Arian nation
was not allowed on the plane, that is how Jerry and George knew they could
sneak on the limo. Here is my question, why would the guy wait so long to call
someone? The flight from Chicago to New York is at least two hours; assume it
was another half hour or so before the call finally comes in at the end. What
did the guy do, get some dinner first? Also, if this guy’s arrival was causing
such a mob scene and media frenzy outside Madison Square Garden and it was
known he was flying in (which the reporter clearly says), then why was there
not one reporter or protestor at the airport waiting for this guy?
Seinfeldism of the episode-When the jig is up, Jerry points
out it was a bad jig to begin with
Deleted Scenes-None for this episode.
Episode Fun Fact-As you can guess, this was not an easy
story to write.
Final Thoughts-This episode starts out great but ends up farfetched.
I mean really farfetched! I give the writers credit for trying to make this
work, and it is a funny episode if you can buy the situation they are in. Unfortunately,
I really can’t. It just doesn’t work for me. However, if I suspend all
disbelief for the half hour and ignore the plot holes and odd coincidences I do
find this to be a funny show. It’s also pretty clear Elaine and Kramer were just
stuck into the script since they basically have no reason to be here. One of
the dumbest Elaine moments happens at the end, when the gang is exiting the
limo with guns pointed at them she stops to wave to a friend. Dumb!
Grade=C-, for a totally implausible episode it’s kind of an enjoyable
Episode 19, Season 3
The Good Samaritan
Plot Summary-Jerry witnesses a hit and run outside his
building, but when he confronts the driver he ends up dating her. Elaine stirs
up a married woman with a hot story, and after George causes a fight by saying
god bless you to the wife he winds up having an affair with her. Kramer has
mysterious seizures. When Jerry discovers who the owner of the car that was hit
was, he tries to hit on her.
Best Quote-“How do you know it’s not John Tesh?”…..Kramer
Nitpick of the episode-Sorry, but the lengths Jerry goes through
for the girl who hit and ran is just ridiculous. Even after the woman basically
threatens him, he not only covers for her but pays the bill out of his own
pocket. Really Jerry? There is nothing attractive about her (I hate her every
time I see this episode).
Seinfeldism of the episode-saying “You’re so good looking”
after someone sneezes rather than “god bless you”.
Deleted Scenes-George obsessing about seeing a married
Episode Fun Fact-Kramer’s story about getting seizures after
hearing Mary Hart’s voice was based on a real news story. Julia Louis-Dreyfuss
is clearly pregnant in this episode.
Final Thoughts-This episode leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The
only time Jason Alexander directed, and boy can we see why. This episode is
oddly paced and just isn’t funny. I mean, at all. Even the catchphrase is
silly, does telling someone they are so good looking after they have sneezed
really seem like a good idea? Not funny. Kramer having seizures? Not funny.
George having sex with a married woman? Not funny. Jerry and George being
threatened with physical violence? Not funny. The worst part is none of these
stories gets resolved.
Grade=D+, I think I pointed out this episode isn’t funny.
Episode 20, Season 3
Plot Summary-Jerry is dating a woman named Nina who is a
painter. She paints a portrait of Kramer, is jealous of Elaine, and sells George
an ugly painting. When she and Jerry brake up she writes him letter, which it
turns out was plagiarized right out of Neil Simon’s Chapter Two. At a baseball game, Elaine is thrown out for
wearing an Orioles cap while Kramer gets hit in the head by a foul ball.
Best Quote-“I always thought there was something funny about
Nitpick of the episode-The big argument in this episode is,
should Elaine have been told to take a Baseball cap off at a Baseball game?
Problem is she was in the Yankee owner’s box and her hat had an Orioles logo on
it. This is a case of Elaine making her own trouble. I hate to admit it but I
agree with Nina, who may be a rotten person, but Elaine didn’t pay for the
ticket and as an invited guest then she should have just taken the cap off. Sometimes
she picks the wrong battles to fight, and we’ll get even better examples as we
dive into the next season.
Seinfeldism of the episode-It’s not really a “seinfeldism”,
but the scene where Jerry, George, and Elaine are sitting on the couch flipping
around the TV is a prime example of what Seinfeld does best. Little moments in
life that other programs never show.
Deleted Scenes-The speech by the elderly couple about the
painting, and Jerry and Nina’s fight, was originally longer. We also saw the
couple buy the painting, and Nina confesses to copying the letter. Jerry dumps
her by quoting “Plaza Suite”.
Episode Fun Fact-The painting seen in the episode was
scanned and copies had been sold in stores for years. The incident with Elaine
at the ballgame was based on a real incident involving Larry David.
Final Thoughts-I am amazed this was a season 3 episode; it
sure doesn’t feel like it. However while it may feel like a season 4 episode,
it certainly isn’t a great episode. I am surprised Jerry puts up with Nina as
long as he does. Kramer’s story also has no real payoff, after getting hit in
the head he messes up George and Elaine’s names but that’s all that comes of
it. As for Elaine’s story, I already commented on that. She also worried that
her boss will realize she missed his son’s briss to go the game, but there is
no resolution to that either. The only cute moment is the couple who buy the
Kramer painting; it makes for a cute scene.
Grade=B, parts of this feel like classic Seinfeld but Jerry’s
girlfriend is totally unlikable (though not nearly as bad as the horrible girl
in the previous episode).
Episode 21, Season 3
The Parking Space
Plot Summary-Jerry is preparing to have some people over to
watch a fight on TV. Kramer is mad at George and Elaine for going to a flea
market without inviting him. Elaine causes George to damage Jerry’s car, and
then when George tries to back into a parking space, another man tries pulling
in to the same space. The two fight over the spot for the remainder of the
episode while others debate the issue.
Best Quote-“Because I’m like ice buddy. When I don’t like
you, you’ve got problems”…..Kramer
Nitpick of the episode- Kramer getting upset at George and
Elaine for not inviting him to go with them to the flea market seems kind of
strained. I agree with George on this one, what’s he supposed to do ask
everyone he knows if they want to do whatever he’s doing every time he leaves
his apt? We see the gang doing lots without Kramer, especially prior to this
episode. What’s so special about this time?
Seinfeldism of the
episode-Jerry is called a phony by Kramer’s friend Mike
Deleted Scenes-None for this episode.
Episode Fun Fact-This was a hard episode to film since it
was mostly outdoors. Bleachers were set up for the studio audience, which didn’t
work very well. It took all day to shoot, in fact at one point the shot changes
and it goes from day to night in between the shots.
Final Thoughts-This is the last episode to have that “early
episode” feel. But let’s discuss this episode specifically. I may not live in a
big city but I can understand how relatable this situation must be, people
fighting over parking spaces. This episode starts out pretty good, but as the
second half starts to unfold the story kind of gets boring. You can almost feel
the writers trying to stretch it long enough for it to be long enough and the
gag of the gang saying inappropriate things is kind obvious filler. Elaine’s
fake account of what happened to Jerry’s car is the highlight of the episode.
Grade=B-, starts out strong but just kind of fades toward
the end (and there is no resolution which always bugged me).
Episode 22, Season 3
Plot Summary-When Kramer abuses his key privileges at Jerry’s;
he proceeds to take the keys away. Hurt and upset, Kramer runs to Los Angeles
to try to make it into acting. George is invited to go but he turns Kramer
down. Jerry then locks himself out of his apartment and needs George to get
Elaine’s copy of his keys. Meanwhile, Elaine is taking a hand at writing a
script for Murphy Brown…on which Kramer ends up as the secretary of the week.
Best Quote-“What you call wasting I call living, I’m living
Nitpick of the episode-Jerry has to run to George and Elaine
when he is locked out of his apartment. Doesn’t Jerry’s building have a super? Actually,
in a later episode Kramer is locked out of his apartment so I guess the answer
Seinfeldism of the episode-Jerry hears Elaine say “something”
when she uses obscenities about him under her breath.
Deleted Scenes-None for this episode.
Episode Fun Fact-The episode ends with a scene which is
remarkable even for today. We see Kramer has become part of the running secretary
gag on Murphy Brown, in a scene set on that set! Murphy Brown was a completely different
studio, production company, and network so the fact they were able to do this
is amazing. It’s also a real great scene.
Final Thoughts-This episode is……not completely horrible? It’s
hard to put into words, but the whole thing about Jerry and Kramer having a
fight is kind of a stretch. Is Kramer really over Jerry’s apartment more than
he used to be? Then we get the contrivance of Jerry forgetting his keys while
Kramer makes his way to California. The idea that Jerry would forget his keys
is too much of a coincidence. This episode is clearly meant to set up the next
one, which is OK but by itself it doesn’t stand out. The only good thing is the
great Murphy Brown scene at the end, the brilliance of making Kramer part of
that show’s secretary gag was sheer genius and I am raising the grade for the
episode just based on that.
episode with a great finish!
With the ending of season 3 it was clear the show had truly
found its identity. It’s no wonder the next season would be, in my opinion, the
best of the entire run with classic, well written episodes that would be
remembered for years. We will begin out look at Season 4 next week.