Friday, August 30, 2013

Season 2, episode 10: The Statue

“Just keep making love to that wall, pervert!” - Kramer

This is a landmark episode for the Kramer character. Kramer has been evolving since the very first episode, more so than any other character on the show, but until now he hasn’t had that breakout scene where we see just how far he can go. The character has already had moments here and there, most notably in the Pony Remark and The Baby Shower but he’s always seen playing off one of the other three. In The Statue we see him break out on his own in a scene that belongs completely to him.

The action begins with Jerry and Kramer bringing an old box of Jerry’s late grandfather’s belongings up from storage. Kramer takes the old clothes which resemble in style something that may have been worn by Joe Friday. Of particular interest to George, who is also there, is a statue identical to one that belonged to his parents that he broke as a child. George and Kramer fight over possession of the statue and they resolve their battle in the most childish way imaginable – inky-dinky, which is also exactly like einy-meany-miny-moe. George wins but he decides to leave the statue at Jerry’s so he doesn’t have to carry it around the city.

Jerry is also having his apartment cleaned by the boyfriend of a woman who’s book Elaine is editing. The boyfriend, Ray, does an A+ job, Jerry can’t stop raving about it. But later, at the woman’s apartment, Jerry sees the statue. And, when he returns to his own apartment, he finds his version missing. The only conclusion he can see is that the boyfriend stole it.

Kramer is immediately keen to confronting him. “Let’s go get ‘em.” Jerry first tries the police, but it’s his word against Ray’s. Next they talk to him in Monk’s, but he claims that he bought the statue at a pawn shop and insists he’s innocent. After these avenues to recovering the statue fail, Kramer takes matters into his own hand.

Taking the clothes from Jerry, Kramer dresses as a detective and confronts Ray at his apartment. No description of this scene could do justice to Michael Richards’ performance. Anyone could read the lines off a page but he performs them with such flair and nuance - The force with which he bursts through the door after Ray opens it. The little turn of the head he gives Ray while telling him, “Just keep making love to that wall, pervert.” His raising his voice in just the right places to be just the right level of intimidating. The smoothness of his exit after he locates and retrieves the statue – just the little things that bring this masterpiece to life.

Proud of himself, Kramer brings everyone together at Jerry’s to show them the statue. As George is holding it, Kramer pats George on the back. The statue flies out of George’s hands and shatters to a thousand pieces on the floor.

No comments: