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Rob Cesternino and Akiva Wienerkur continue their journey to watch every Seinfeld episode as they discuss Season 4, Episode 20, “The Junior Mint.”
Rob Cesternino and Akiva Wienerkur couldn’t get Mulva or Bipple to make a guest appearance, but they had plenty to say about “The Junior Mint”, which was this week’s episode covered on Seinfeld Post Show Recaps. “The Junior Mint” first aired March 17, 1993 as part of the iconic season four.
In Akiva’s weekly Seinfeld news breakdown, he brought up how he could use a news jingle to bring in the segment. He first talked about an article he read about the show’s popularity, and how an attempt to bring Seinfeld to Germany didn’t work out well in translation. He speculated this could be why the rights were bought by Hulu rather than Netflix, since Netflix has a wider reach internationally. In the Seinfeld Scene It trivia segment, Rob pulled a question about this week’s episode, so Akiva extended his win streak to three.
Jerry’s opening standup is about committing adultery, which Rob and Akiva agreed had nothing to do with this episode. The episode starts with Jerry telling George how he met this woman in the produce aisle, which Jerry contends is the most sensual part of the grocery store. The only problem is he can’t remember her name. George mentions how he’s come into $1900 from a childhood savings account he had long forgot about. Instead of saving it, he wants to make a big score since it’s found money.
Kramer swoops in to pick up some gloves Jerry got him for staining his floors, but it turns out they are too thick. George meanwhile asks Jerry if he can watch Home Alone at his apartment, since it makes him feel like he’s out and about if he watches it there. Akiva and Rob enjoyed the bit, but both agreed it didn’t tie into other storylines of the episode. Elaine comes in to the apartment to a huge standing ovation from the audience. She asks Jerry to come to the hospital and pretend to be her boyfriend, so she can visit an old boyfriend who is having surgery. She had broken it off with this artist because he was overweight. Kramer decides to come with, so he can pick up a bunch of latex gloves for the staining.
At the hospital, Elaine and Jerry go to see Roy, Elaine’s former boyfriend. She immediately notices he has lost a bunch of weight, causing her to abandon the plan of Jerry acting as her current boyfriend. Meanwhile, Kramer routes around the hospital, finally finding a large stash of rubber gloves. When the doctor comes in to go over the surgery details, Kramer questions him about retractors, since he saw a news segment about them the night prior. The doctor invites him to observe the surgery, to which Kramer eagerly accepts and tries to get Jerry to come along, since it’s so exciting to see inside bones and guts spilling out. Rob mentioned an email from Thomas, a listener in medical school who has offered to be the SPSR medical correspondent.
Jerry makes his way back to his apartment, where he sees George is crying while watching Home Alone. Jerry tells him to pull it together, or they’ll have to stop being friends. He tells George how Elaine wants Jerry to buy some of Roy’s art to cheer him up, then suggests George use his $1900 to purchase some.
In the next scene, Jerry is sitting on his couch with the woman from the grocery store, and he’s trying to figure out her name by talking about how kids used to make fun of his name in school. She mentions that her name rhymes with a female body part, but doesn’t reveal what the name is.
George and Jerry are at the diner going over any words that rhyme with female body parts, with “Mulva” the closest thing to a real name they come up with. They decide Jerry can just search through her purse for a license or credit card. Kramer comes in and asks Jerry to come with him to the surgery, since his date for it fell through. Jerry agrees to go, saying, “let’s go watch them cut this fat bastard up”. Rob mentioned how Jerry was delighted to have this mean spirited line stay in the episode to highlight how despicable they all really are.
Jerry and Kramer are at the surgery, and Kramer has brought a box of Junior Mints like he’s at the movie theater. Akiva and Rob both agree that they are too squeamish to actually watch a live surgery. Kramer insists that Jerry share in the candy, since they are so refreshing. While forcing some Jerry’s way, Jerry pushes Kramer’s hand back at him, causing the candy to fly up in the air and right into the open incision of Roy.
Afterward, Jerry is telling George about the Junior Mint during the surgery, and Kramer comes in to further discuss. Elaine walks in and tells them that surgery went well, but something is wrong with Roy that the doctors can’t figure out. Kramer and Jerry argue whether to tell Elaine, but Kramer says they can’t squeal. Hearing of Roy’s troubles, George realizes his artwork could become valuable if he dies, so he decides he wants to buy some after all.
Back at Jerry’s, his nameless girlfriend is giving him a massage, and he tries out the name Mulva, but it didn’t work. He tries to look through her purse when she’s in the bathroom, but can’t find out in time. When Kramer comes in, Jerry tries to get him to find out the name, but she doesn’t give it up. When George comes in, they try the same thing, which also fails. When Jerry decides he has to tell the surgeon about the Junior Mint, George tries to dissuade him so Roy can die and he can get rich off the artwork. When Jerry calls the hospital and learns that Roy has made a full recovery, he’s relieved, but George is disappointed.
Back at the hospital, Roy is praising George, telling him he recovered due to George buying his paintings. The doctor comes in and tells them that something miraculous “from above” happened during the surgery to help stave off the infection. Roy asks Elaine if they are still going out for dinner, all while wolfing down a plate of spaghetti. This turns Elaine off, so she tries to use Jerry as the boyfriend again to get out of it.
Jerry and Mulva are at his apartment, and she is telling him about getting Olympia Dukakis’s autograph at a play. Jerry thinks he can find her name out from this autograph, but it’s made out to her uncle. She finally realizes Jerry doesn’t know her name, and storms out. Jerry finally realizes what it is, and shouts “Dolores” out the window. Jerry’s closing standup is a bit about how candy is everything to a kid, to which Akiva confirmed that remains a constant with kids today.
In 2015, Dolores’s name could easily be found out through Facebook, a text, or other types of online programs. Akiva felt that this episode was another strong one, so he slotted it at 35, to which Rob agreed.
There were several emails for the guys to go through this week. First, Travis asked if crying at Home Alone or shrinkage from the pool is worse. Both Rob and Akiva strongly believed shrinkage is worse. Travis also pointed out several examples from the episode proving Akiva’s sitcom theory where things are said but not acknowledged. Craig emailed in stating that the Junior Mints product placement might be the biggest of all time, since he thinks of this episode and not the candy when he hears about it. He also pointed out someone in Milwaukee was fired for talking about this episode at work with a female coworker.
Amir brought up that Larry David had a similar storyline about watching a sequel before the original in Curb Your Enthusiasm. He also thought that the episode name was no good, but Rob and Akiva thought it was just fine in comparison to other titles. Johnny De Silveira emailed in to add that this episode was almost called “The Artist”. He also asked if either of them have seen a sequel before an original. Akiva saw the X Files movie without having ever seen the show, and Rob saw The Dark Knight before Batman Begins.
Finally, Chester emailed in with some comments. He mentioned how his wife who’s in medical school hasn’t watched the episodes with him in a while, but she had some notes on this one pertaining to the surgery scenes. She thought the attending surgeon would never retract the patient, there would not be an observation gallery for the surgery, the hospital operator wouldn’t disclose information about a patient just like that, and that surgeons would never wear stethoscopes. Lastly Chester points out that this is the same doctor who deals with Susan with the poisoned envelopes.
Tune in next week as the guys will recap “The Smelly Car”. Send in your questions by emailing [email protected]. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast by going to postshowrecaps.com/seinfeldITunes where you can rate and review the podcast. And as always, you can follow them on Twitter @robcesternino and @keev26.
Special thanks to Mike Moore for this episode recap.