Thursday, October 17, 2013

Season 3, Episode 7: The Cafe

“Maybe the test was gender biased. You know, a lot of questions on hunting and testicles.” - Jerry

After two rather unconventional episodes we see a return of the familiar formula. George’s story is about his new girlfriend’s IQ test that she’s created and wants to try on George, which he is not enthusiastic about because she’ll find out he’s a moron. “People think I’m smart, but I’m not smart.”

“Who thinks you’re smart?” Jerry asks. His story is an obsession with a new restaurant that’s just opened up in the neighborhood run by Babu Batt. Jerry, in a fit of compassion, is troubled that he’s never seen anyone go into Babu’s establishment.

Kramer, meanwhile, is hiding from a man whose jacket he’s been wearing for the last two years. In fact, he was wearing the jacket in the previous episode, The Parking Garage. The story here, as explained in The Parking Garage, is that a man left it at his mother’s house and Kramer took the jacket.

Elaine, explaining that she has a high IQ, helps George cheat on the IQ test.

This is another episode that is a lot funnier than I remember it being when I was younger.

So Jerry watches Babu’s from his apartment through binoculars, like a scene out of Rear Window. Elaine asks why he’s obsessed with this restaurant. Jerry likens it to watching a “spider in the toilet struggling for survival.” George enters with an SAT book. He’s still nervous about the IQ test and what it will mean for his relationship with Monica. After Jerry reminds George of a time in college when he cheated on a test and Elaine mentions her high IQ, George gets the idea to cheat again via the same method. He’ll pass Elaine the test out of a window.

Jerry has lunch at Babu Batt’s Dream Café. He’s the only one there. Jerry, thinking he’s great guy helping out a struggling restaurateur, dishes out superlatives and heaps praise upon Babu to make him feel better. He even has an internal dialogue about how no one else does things for other people.

George started the IQ test with Elaine pacing back and forth outside the window waiting for George to pass her the test. After Monica leaves the room and George locks the door he passes the test to Elaine who takes it to Babu’s. Then Kramer joins them and explains his situation. He doesn’t want to give it back. “Anyway, it’s been two years. Isn’t there a statue of limitations on that?” he asks.
“Statute,” Jerry says with emphasis on the ending of the word.
“Statute of limitations,” he elaborates. “It’s not a statue.”
“No. Statue.” Kramer is sure.
“Fine, it’s a sculpture of limitations,” Jerry concedes.

Kramer bothers Elaine about this. “Statute,” Elaine says. “Well, I really think you’re wrong.” Kramer continues to bother her about the IQ test, not really understanding why she would take a test for George. George meanwhile reads The New Yorker as he waits for Elaine. She comes back with the test but it has pasta stains all over it from Babu spilling the plate on Elaine’s table. When Monica comes to collect the test George concocts the best George story ever. Monica asks what happened to the test. George, in the most smooth and casual manner, answers, “Oh, I spilled some food on it.”
“Food? What food?” Monica asks.
“What are you talking about?”
“Where did you get food?”
“From my pocket.”
“From your pocket?”
“I had a sandwich in my pocket.”
“And coffee?” she says examining the paper.
“Yes, had some coffee,” he nods.
“Where did you get the coffee?”
“Where did I get the coffee? Where do you think I got the coffee? At the grocery store.”
“How did you get there?”
“I walked.”
“How did you get out of the apartment? I didn’t see you leave.”
“I climbed out the window.”
“You climbed out the window?”
“Of course.”
“Why didn’t you go out the door?”
“The door?” he asks as though only a lunatic would think to do that. “The window’s right here.”

Jerry tells Babu that he might have more luck with the restaurant if it were Pakistani themed. He’d be the only authentic Pakistani restaurant in the area, an idea that appeals to Babu and he agrees to renovate immediately.

Turns out all the distractions led to a poor test from Elaine, George’s IQ is only 85. Elaine agrees to cheat again to prove the first test was a fluke. “You should have seen her face,” George says of Monica. “It was the exact same face my father gave me when I said I wanted to be a ventriloquist.”

Elaine takes the second test at Jerry’s while he eats at the new Babu’s. Jerry doesn’t catch on at first but Babu is not pleased to see Jerry; he stares a hole through him while he’s eating. After Jerry mentions his shrimp is stringy. This sets Babu off who blames Jerry for the restaurant failing. He hasn’t had any customers since he rebranded as a Pakistani restaurant. “You bad man. You very, very bad man.”

While Elaine is taking the test Kramer bursts in and locks the door behind him. The man who used to own his coat has found him and won’t leave until Kramer returns it. Elaine has to get back to George but Kramer won’t let her leave. Her tardiness causes Monica to catch the two of them cheating on the test and when Elaine finally arrives Monica is waiting for her. “Let’s hope you do better the second time.”

The gang watches Dream Café shut down and we see where they’ve ended at. Kramer doesn’t have his jacket. Elaine’s IQ is 151. They discuss where to have dinner. Mexican? Italian? Chinese? Jerry finishes with, “you know what’d be great…”

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