Thursday, September 12, 2013

Season 3, episode 3: The Dog

“You can’t tell someone how you feel about their girlfriend until after they stop seeing them.”
“I tell you.”
You. I’m talking about people.” – Jerry and Kramer

I remember not really liking this episode much when I was younger, but upon reviewing it now, I’m much more receptive to it. It’s not close to making my top episode list, but there’s some good bits and pieces and I like how the Elaine/George relationship evolves in this episode.

The Dog starts out with Jerry flying home, presumably from a west coast trip based on making an emergency landing in Chicago. He’s in first class but stuck next to a WASPy drunk Englishman, Gavin Polone, who goes on and on about his dog (currently enjoying the trip in the baggage compartment. Gavin falls ill, prompting the emergency landing, and Jerry is asked to take care of the dog, Farfel.

Three days later and Jerry is having a miserable time with Farfel, who chews up Jerry’s shoes, ruins furniture and generally makes a mess of everything. We never see Farfel in action, aside from Jerry and Elaine trying to pry articles of clothing away from the dog who is kept hidden. We only ever here him barking, and shockingly (to me anyway) Farfel’s voice was NOT provided by Frank Welker. Another voice actor, Tom Williams won the role.

Jerry is hoping to escape for the night with Elaine and George to watch Prognosis Negative (this was a real unproduced screenplay that Larry David wrote. I had no idea!) while Kramer watches the dog, but Kramer backs out in order to break up with his girlfriend (whom we also hear but never see). Kramer is excited to break up with her, as are Jerry and Elaine. “If you see her personality it would be like one of the Elephant Man exhibits where they pull off the sheet and everyone gasps,” Elaine tells him. Jerry adds, “I can’t believe anyone hasn’t killed her yet.”

Without a dogsitter, Jerry backs out of the group outing. Elaine doesn’t want to go alone with George and the feeling is mutual. Both are of the opinion that they don’t have anything in common without Jerry. George and Elaine decide to watch a different movie, but it’s sold out and they end up at Monk’s instead. Over coffee the two engage in really trite small talk and it isn’t until they turn the conversation to Jerry that it picks up and they start laughing and having a good time.

[There is one continuity error here that bugged me. Elaine mentions that she moved to New York in 1986. And George asks Elaine if she’s ever seen Jerry throw up, which she has. But in a later season, Jerry mentions having not thrown up in 18 years (a record I remember very vividly because I was pleased when I surpassed it myself) which would be impossible if she moved to New York in 1986 (and I’m assuming that she didn’t know Jerry before that).]

Kramer breaks up with his girlfriend (How could I be with someone like you?) and gets back together with her is the very same scene (I can’t live without you. I’ll do anything).

Fed up with Farfel, Jerry decides he’s going to take Farfel to the pound. He tracks down the hospital that Gavin Polone was in and learns that he checked out several days ago. This seals it for Jerry to take Farfel to the pound but Elaine talks him out of it, at least for one more day. Elaine even offers to watch the dog so Jerry and George can go see a movie. Kramer tells Jerry and Elaine that he got back with his girlfriend. The two back track from their previous comments but Kramer has a good memory and removes some of his belongings from Jerry’s apartment.

Elaine fights with Farfel and almost decides to take matters into her own hands when Gavin calls Jerry’s apartment. Jerry and George end up seeing Prognosis Negative without Elaine after the other film is sold out.

Gavin, possibly still drunk and recovering from a fit of Bell’s Palsy, picks up Farfel. Elaine wants to go see Prognosis Negative but Jerry, having now seen it and not liking it, is trying to back out claiming he ‘heard from George’ it was terrible. Elaine says George didn’t mention anything. Jerry asks why Elaine and George got together. “I wanted to talk about how we have nothing to talk about.”

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