“The Wait Out”
Filmed: Wednesday, March 27, 1996
Aired: April 25, 1996
Nielsen rating: 20.4
Audience share: 33
Directed: Andy Ackerman
Writers: Peter Mehlman (story and teleplay) and Matt Selman (story only) (Selman was a program consultant at the end of season six. He moved to The Simpsons where he has been ever since.)
The darkest side of Elaine's and Jerry's self-centeredness comes out in this episode. At the coffee shop, they introduce George to a married couple, Beth the doctor and David the insurance salesman. George jokes to Beth, "You could've done a lot better than him!" To George's horror and guilt, this remark leads to the couple getting separated. Jerry and Elaine, however, are delighted:
JERRY: Yeah. I've been waiting out their marriage for three years.
ELAINE: Yeah, me too. Well, I've been waiting out two or three marriages, but this is the one I really had my eye on.
As Beth and David's marriage crumble, Jerry and Elaine swoop in. Elaine suggests she will call David and Jerry will call Beth to let them know they are "there for you." "Then," Elaine explains, "after a period of being 'there for you,' we slowly remove the two words 'for you' and we're just 'there.'" When their plan works and they have begun to date the divided couple, Jerry congratulates Elaine on her successful plan. “I’ll tell you," he says, "that ‘there for you’ crap was a stroke of genius."
Neither Jerry nor Elaine confesses to anything more than a crush on Beth or David. Neither curses the stars for the Beth-David marriage thwarting their chances at being with their true love. Jerry and Elaine just have "a little thing" for Beth and David, and they'd like to satisfy that little thing. In doing their best to break up a marriage purely for their own romantic interests, Jerry and Elaine act as despicable in this episode as any Seinfeld characters acts in the whole series.
For once, George is a bit better behaved. His guilty conscience sends him on a quest to bring Beth and David back together, a goal Jerry and Elaine do their best to stop. Eventually though George gets sidetracked. David runs into George with Susan at the restaurant. For spite, David tell Susan, "You could've done a lot better than him!" To George's delight, Susan seems to take this comment very seriously. Ultimately, though, Susan says nothing more about it and the wedding plans proceed for one more week.