Friday, May 4, 2012

SEINFELD - Season 4, Episode 5 - The Wallet

“The Wallet”

First Script Read: August 19, 1992
Filmed: August 24-25, 1992
Aired: 9:00 pm, September 23, 1992
Nielsen rating: 12.6
Audience share: 17.5 million viewers
Directed: Tom Cherones
Writer: Larry David

Jerry's parents are in town so Morty can visit a back specialist, where he loses his wallet. George tries to play hardball with NBC by rejecting their initial offer for their television show. And Elaine returns from traveling Europe with her therapist/boyfriend trying to find a way to get out of the relationship.

"The Wallet" is technically episode five, but it has been preceded by two hour-long airings of Seinfeld, "The Trip: Parts 1 & 2" and "The Pitch/The Ticket." "The Wallet" is the first half of another hour-long story, although this time the second part was aired a week later.

As discussed in the post for "The Pitch/The Ticket," Seinfeld was increasingly referring to past episodes. Seinfeld used cliffhangers more than most sitcoms did in this time, although now they are more common in the genre. Season three ended with the cliffhanger of Kramer moving to California. Season seven concludes with Jerry getting engaged. Still, the show was never one to play up the tension of an unresolved storyline. Indeed, when Seinfeld resumes in season eight, Jerry is no longer engaged, and the end of the relationship is explained in a brief flashback.

While storylines continued across several episodes, time never changed Jerry, George, Kramer, and Elaine. The irony of Seinfeld's memory is that its characters never learned any lessons. They never matured. They never overcame their faults. They never developed. The show deepened, but the characters never did.

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