“He’s a wonderful guy, but I hate his guts.” - Elaine
The Busboy was the third episode in the production order of the second season but aired as the finale because, according to the ‘notes about nothing’ captions for this episode, the NBC execs didn’t like that Jerry wasn’t really involved in either the A or B story. Hilarious when you think about the later seasons.
In story A, George puts out a fire at a restaurant and innocently tells the manager that the busboy left the menu too close to the candle which leads to the busboy being fired. George feels guilty (for the first and possibly only time in the series?) and goes with Kramer to the busboy’s apartment to apologize. But, while there, they leave the door open and the busboy’s cat escapes. I also want to point out that George’s reaction to the fire is in complete contrast with his reaction to a fire in the season 5 episode titled, uh…The Fire.
In story B, Elaine has a boyfriend staying with her for a week but by week’s end she can’t stand him and has hatched an elaborate plan to make sure he doesn’t miss his flight…which fails.
Both stories converge (a first for the series) at Jerry’s apartment when Elaine bursts in and tells the tale of how she almost got to the airport on time. Right after that the busboy shows up and thanks George. In a strange turn of events there was an explosion at the restaurant and if he hadn’t been fired he would have been killed. The Busboy leaves and runs into Elaine’s boyfriend in the hall. They have an altercation and both tumble down the stairs ending up in the hospital.
Aside from introducing some thematic elements that would become staples of the series later on and expanding on the lives all the characters not named Jerry Seinfeld, nothing really stands out about this episode. It’s not a good sign for the story when my biggest laugh is during Jerry’s stand-up.