Friday, November 2, 2012

SEINFELD - Season 8, Episode 13 - The Comeback

“The Comeback”

First Script Read:  December 5, 1996
Filmed: Sunday-Wednesday, December 8-11, 1996
Aired: January 30, 1997
Nielsen rating: 22.0
Audience share: 33
Directed: David Owen Trainor (Last episode directed by someone other than Andy Ackerman)
Writers: Gregg Kavet and Andy Robin

There are many times when Seinfeld seems to take place in the state of nature as Hobbes (the philosopher, not the cartoon stuffed tiger) described it, consisting of "continual fear and danger of violent death, and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

Kramer is struck by his fragile place in the world when he watches The Other Side of Darkness, a movie about a woman in a coma. He quickly puts together his own living will, and then chooses Elaine over Jerry as his executor because, as he tells Elaine (she takes it as a compliment), "You're a calculating, cold-hearted businesswoman. And when there's dirty work to be done, you don't mind stomping on a few throats." He immediately regrets his decision when he sits down to watch the rest of the film and discovers the main character wakes up from her coma. All suffering aside, Kramer wants to live as long as possible.

Jerry finds himself caught in what George describes as a "medieval sexual payola" scheme. He discovers Milos, the salesman at his tennis club, is a terrible tennis player. In exchange for Jerry's silence, Milos sends his wife to Jerry's apartment to seduce him.

GEORGE: So, details?
JERRY: Well, I didn't sleep with her!
GEORGE: Because of society, right?
JERRY: Yes, George, because of society.
Jerry is always a man who finds comfort in the order imposed by societal norms and expectations. George laments the same set of unwritten rules but is himself too cowardly to break them.

He does, however, stop at nothing for revenge. In the opening scene George is mocked by a co-worker, Reilly, for stuffing himself with shrimp. "Hey George," says a smirking Reilly. "The ocean called. They're running out of shrimp!" After he settles on a good comeback ("The jerk store called. They're running out of you!"), George calls another meeting at the Yankees, making sure to order extra shrimp cocktail. Unfortunately, his nasty, brutish scheme is foiled when he discovers Reilly has changed jobs. Still, he doesn't stop there. He arranges a meeting at Reilly's new job in Akron, Ohio and sets up his nemesis for the line, only to be one-upped again. Mano e mano, George comes out the loser.

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