Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Season 2, episode 12: The Revenge

“So if anybody leaves anything here, you can just take it. You have a license to steal. You are like the James Bond of laundry.” - Jerry

The DVD for this has two versions, the original and the syndicated. The only difference in the two is Newman’s voice. The Revenge introduces us to Newman, although he is only heard. He was supposed to be a one off character until Larry and Jerry decided to cast Wayne Knight as a neighbor of Jerry’s. So the scene with Newman for The Revenge was cut and Larry David provides the off camera voice for him in the remaining scene. The syndicated version replaces David with Knight.

The main thread of The Revenge is about George quitting his job in a rage, realizing he has no other prospects, and going back to work as though nothing ever happened. This is based on Larry David’s one season as a writer on Saturday Night Live when he quit midway through the season and came back the next day as though nothing had happened.

At the apartment, Jerry is gathering laundry and Kramer enters to complain about their neighbor Newman, who is suicidal, and threatening to jump off the roof. “I told him to jump,” Kramer says rather casually. “At least I’d respect the guy for accomplishing something.”

Kramer also asks Jerry to take some of his clothes to get laundered. Jerry is hesitant. “My guys don’t know your guys. You can’t just lock them all in the same machine together, they’ll start a riot.” George meets Jerry at the laundromat and tells him the whole story of how he quit. “What are you going to do now? Are you going to look for something else in real estate?”

“Nobody’s hiring now, the market’s terrible.”

So what are you going to do?” To which George looks vacantly at the floor.

Back at the apartment, the two brainstorm job ideas. “I like sports, I could do something in sports,” George says to which Jerry politely nods. “Uh-huh, uh-huh. In what capacity?”

“You know, like the general manager of a baseball team.” George also suggests TV color man (They usually give those jobs to ex-ballplayers, Jerry tells him. “That’s really not fair,” George replies), watching movies (do they pay people to watch movies?), talk show host. It never occurs to George how completely unqualified he is for any of these suggestions. And Jerry’s reactions are spot on. George finally realizes he may have made a mistake in quitting. Jerry is the one who suggests that maybe he could just go back. “You’re an emotional person. Nobody takes you seriously.”

So George returns to work at the weekly staff meeting. But George’s boss calls him on it and fires him leading to George enlisting the help of Elaine to get revenge by slipping the boss a mickey.

In the Newman story, Newman jumps. Kramer told him “to wave to me when (you) pass my window.” Jerry can’t believe it. “Did he wave?” is the follow up question. But Newman only jumped from the second floor and he’s still alive (obviously).

In the laundry story, Jerry remembers that he had a large sum of money in his laundry bag and forgot about it. He realizes it was still in the bag when he took it to be laundered. So he and Kramer return to the laundromat to ask the owner for the money, but the owner claims he never saw it. So Kramer decides to extract revenge for Jerry by ruining one of the washing machines by dropping a 50 pound bag of concrete in it. Michael Richards insisted on using an actual 50 pound bag to make the pratfalls legitimate. METHOD ACTING!!! And we’re getting more and more classic Kramer scenes in the second half of the season with the last three episodes.

At a bar where George’s now ex-co-workers are gathered, Elaine springs into action by charming George’s ex-boss long enough to distract him while George slips him the mickey (So I’m going to a nudist colony next week, Elaine tells him). George is successful but Elaine is so successful that the boss decides to forgive George and hires him back. Then he drinks the spiked drink.

Back at the apartment…

“I like history; the civil war. Maybe I could be a professor or something?”

And Jerry’s money was in Kramer’s laundry.

And Newman is on the roof again…

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