Flashback Reviews: Seinfeld: The Stake-Out

The gist of the episode is that Jerry and Elaine have recently broken up and they never talk about men or women that they are interested with each other. It is also the first appearance by the adorable Elaine Benes.

The episode opens (not counting Jerry’s stand-up) in a video store as Jerry and Elaine make some wise cracks about the adult movie section and adult movie stars in general. Elaine eventually invites Jerry to go to a party with her while Jerry accepts under the condition that Elaine accompanies him to a family wedding.

Jerry and Elaine then arrive at the dinner party; Elaine present in hand while Jerry, as he empathically states, “Didn’t bring anything.” As soon as Jerry is seated, he spots a beautiful woman whom he is instantly attracted to. She is sitting awfully close to a man who Jerry hopes is not her boyfriend while Jerry hopes the woman doesn’t get the wrong idea about Elaine and himself.

Elaine interrupts Jerry and the woman to tell Jerry about a dream she recently had involving him. Jerry (very noticeably) acts very uncomfortably the entire time Elaine is talking to him. The man sitting next to the woman that Jerry is into reminds the woman that they have to leave early. Jerry is upset and Elaine (having picked up on Jerry’s weirdness) is very upset as well.

Jerry’s father in this episode is played by a different actor than the one we’re all used to seeing. He definitely plays the Morty Seinfeld character more subtle and nowhere near as broad. Jerry reveals to his parents that the reason the relationship between Elaine and himself did not work was because there was a problem with their physical chemistry and that they were always fighting. This is certainly surprising and quite revealing (at least the former) as you always wonder throughout the years why these two weren’t together. Another surprising thing in this episode was the fact that Jerry never talked about women with Elaine as well as the fact that this was the first time Elaine saw Jerry flirt with anyone. They’re surprising facts since we know how many times throughout the series these two things do happen.

George makes a very brief appearance in this episode as he joins Jerry for the stake out at the law firm where they stalk the woman Jerry met at the party. In the brief exchange between George and Jerry, George first reveals his aspirations for wanting to be an architect and it’s also the first time the name Art Vandelay is mentioned. George mentions to the woman that he is an architect and designs railroads.

By the end of the episode as Jerry and Elaine prepare for the wedding, they workout the situation and agree to allow the other to talk about feelings for other men and women. Jerry ends the show with some stand-up and believes couples who become friends are like two magicians trying to entertain each other but already know all the tricks.

Overall: A very stand-out episode and a very different one than what will come in later seasons. Then again, the first two seasons have a much different tone than the rest. Either way, this episode hits all the right notes. This is only the second (or third, depending on whom you ask) episode of the series and well, it’s easy to say that it’s the first great episode in Seinfeld history.

Best lines:

“I’m wearing short sleeves and I don’t want to expose my tattoos.”

Jerry: “I was listening. You had wooden teeth.” Elaine: “No!! No!! You had wooden teeth. I didn’t have wooden teeth.”

Jerry: “Do you date immature men?” Woman: “Almost exclusively.”

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