Friday, September 21, 2012

SEINFELD - Season 7, Episode 8 - The Pool Guy

“The Pool Guy”

First Script Read: Thursday, October 19, 1995
Filmed: Wednesday, October 25, 1995
Aired: November 16, 1995
Nielsen rating: 22.0
Audience share: 33
Directed: Andy Ackerman
Writers: David Mandel (First Seinfeld script)
Awards: Writers Guild of America Outstanding Teleplay

The Pool Guy is Ramon, a man who works at Jerry's pool. Ramon strikes up a conversation with Jerry and then starts leaching onto Jerry, building a friendship that Jerry wants no part of. Eventually, and just as awkwardly as he did it waaaaay back in season one ("The Male Unbonding"), Jerry breaks up with Ramon. This leads to several uncomfortable, even hostile interactions with Ramon at the pool. Roman bothers Jerry with a pool cleaning tool while he's swimming laps until Jerry pulls him in. A moment later Newman does a running cannon ball: "Olly olly oxen free!" He lands right on Ramon. The two pull him out of the pool but neither can get over their homophobia to give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Their inaction gets them banned from the pool for life.

The Ramon story builds on several of Jerry's characteristics: his solitary nature and his related unwillingness to have newer and deeper relationships, his inherent selfishness, and his homophobia. But the funnier storyline in the episode revolves around George and the continuing crisis of his engagement to Susan. Elaine starts hanging out with Susan, causing George to fear his independent side is threatened:
GEORGE: Ah, you have no idea of the magnitude of this thing. If she is allowed to infiltrate this world then George Costanza as you know him ceases to exist! You see, right now, I have Relationship George, but there is also Independent George. That's the George you know, the
George you grew up with -- Movie George, Coffee Shop George, Liar George, Bawdy George.
JERRY: I, I love that George.
GEORGE: Me too! And he's dying, Jerry! If Relationship George walks through this door, he will kill Independent George! A George, divided against itself, cannot stand!

George never does give in to this pressure. When he finds his three friends eating with his fiancee in the coffee shop, he turns around and heads to Reggie's to eat alone. (In a clever touch, this scene is the exact same footage of George eating alone at Reggie's at the end of season six's "The Soup." Director Andy Ackerman just made sure George was wearing the same clothes when he walked into the dinner and found his friends with Susan as we was in the existing Reggie's scene.) Then, when George finds out his friends  went to a movie with Susan, he marches angrily into the theater and begins yelling for them. Unfortunately, he didn't listen to all of the movie information when he called Movie Phone. (He also didn't realize he was talking to Kramer, who, after getting lots of wrong numbers intended for Movie Phone, has made giving movie information his hobby.) George gets tossed out of the wrong theater, still screaming at his friends at the end of the episode. Ultimately, Independent George is saved because Susan decides she doesn't much like hanging out with George's friends:
SUSAN: Well you know, all you guys ever do is sit around the coffee shop talking, sit around Jerry's apartment talking. Frankly, I don't know how you can stand it. I’ll see you.

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