Sunday, May 20, 2012

SEINFELD - Season 4, Episode 12 - The Airport


“The Airport”

First Script Read: November 5, 1992
Filmed: November 9-11, 1992
Aired: 9:00 pm, November 25, 1992
Nielsen rating: 10.2
Audience share: 16
Directed: Tom Cherones
Writer: Larry Charles

Let's see... a criminal, a deadbeat ex-roommate, the gang never sees Jerry's apartment or the restaurant...must be a Larry Charles episode. He appears as the man leaving the stinky airplane lavatory before Elaine has to hold her breath to enter. Story-wise, this episode is somewhat muddled, with the final scenes of Kramer sliding out of the baggage claim ramp and George trapped on an airplane bathroom over-the-top even for Seinfeld's standards.

While Kramer chases his old roommate onto a plan and George tries a scam to get credit card reward points that can't possibly work, Elaine and Jerry navigate the class-differences of their airplane's different classes. Actually, the class examination in the episode begins before boarding when Elaine and Jerry have a run-in with a sidewalk baggage man at the airport. Jerry thinks the tip for the bag man should be higher than Elaine thinks, just as Jerry wanted to be more generous than George when they stayed in a hotel together in the season premiere. Jerry decides to ask the man what he usually gets tipped. Elaine is outraged by his claim of five dollars a bag. She yells at him, and he banishes her luggage to Honolulu after they leave. As is often the case on Seinfeld, a vast gulf of difference exists between the characters and the blue collar laborers they encounter.

Jerry is less generous when it comes to determining who gets the first class seat for their flight home:
JERRY: I'll take the first class.
ELAINE: Jerry!
JERRY: What?
ELAINE: Why should you get the first class?
JERRY: Elaine, have you ever flown first class?
ELAINE: No.
JERRY: All right then, see? You won't know what you're missing. I've flown first class, Elaine. I can't go back to coach. I can't. I won't.
ELAINE: You flew here coach.
JERRY: Yeah, that's a point.

Jerry's argument might be ridiculous and flawed, but its subtext is the benefits enjoyed by the upper class should be exclusive to those who have earned a place there. As Elaine finds out, this rule applies to the classes on the airplane. While Jerry flirts with the model sitting next to him and scarfs down ice cream sundaes, Elaine is jammed uncomfortably in with the masses in coach. She tries to sneak into first class, but she is discovered and evicted.


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