Friday, October 26, 2012

SEINFELD - Season 8, Episode 2 - The Soul Mate



“The Soul Mate”

First Script Read: Wednesday, August 14, 1996
Filmed: Tuesday, August 20, 1996
Aired: September 26, 1996
Nielsen rating: 22.0
Audience share: 34
Directed: Andy Ackerman
Writers: Peter Mehlman

For all of the relationships on Seinfeld, love triangles were almost non-existent. Seinfeld's fellow NBC sitcom monster hit, Friends, is like the Spanish national soccer team; both rely on constantly rotating triangles for their success. Jerry has a couple brief flings with his ex-girlfriend, Elaine, but there are almost never rivalries for romance between the characters. I can only think of two, and both were written by Peter Mehlman. In this episode, Kramer decides Jerry's girlfriend, Pam, is his soul mate. And in the backwards episode of season 9, "The Betrayal," Jerry sleeps with George's girlfriend during an awkward pause in the conversation.

Kramer tries to resist his attraction to Pam out of loyalty to Jerry. Once he hears Jerry isn't gaga for Pam, however, he tries to win her over. In an homage to Cyrano de Bergerac, Newman whispers poetry to help him woo Pam (and to spite Jerry). Jerry, who starts to like Pam even more once he finds out about Kramer's interest, suspects Kramer is starting to win Pam over when he spots her wearing a velvet scrunchie in her hair, just as Kramer said he preferred.

When they find out Pam doesn't want to have children, Kramer and Jerry head to the doctors to get a vasectomy. Newman goes with them, hoping to impress Elaine who has also declared she doesn't want to have children. There they run into Elaine and her new boyfriend, Kevin, who is there to have his vasectomy reversed. That prospect, coupled with the sight of Kramer limping out of the doctor's office, spooks Jerry and Newman into bolting. Pam is never seen again.

George, meanwhile, is involved in one of my favorite storylines. Fearing the other members of Susan's memorial foundation suspect he is responsible for her death, George puts a tape recorder in a briefcase to record what they say when he leaves. When he collects the briefcase, he finds it has been damaged. He spends the rest of the episode using elaborate dioramas and his wild imagination to figure out what happened to the briefcase. Finally, he confronts the board of directors, discovering the truth to be quite dull, and inadvertently revealing that he left a running tape recorder behind in the meeting. In the final scene, George leaves the meeting but the camera lingers behind to find that everyone on the board agrees that they think George killed Susan. The whole story, especially the diorama is paranoid and silly and hysterical.

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