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Rob Cesternino and Akiva Wienerkur continue their journey to watch every Seinfeld episode as they discuss Season 4, Episode 15, “The Visa.”
Rob Cesternino and Akiva Wienerkur avoided being very bad men this week by continuing their quest to recap every Seinfeld episode. This week they covered “The Visa”, which first aired January 27th, 1993 as part of season four.
Akiva as always had some Seinfeld news. He and Rob discussed how it’s remarkable that every week there is plenty of relevant Seinfeld news. A YouTube clip of Jason Alexander was getting a lot buzz this week, and it was a topic that Akiva had an early scoop on the podcast weeks ago. Jason talked about Heidi Swedberg, who played Susan, being a bad fit for the show. In other news, Julia Louis-Dreyfus was on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee with Jerry.
Akiva noted that the Entourage movie did quite poorly in the box office, lining up with what they both expected. Lastly, Rob mentioned how Jerry was on Colin Cowherd’s sports talk radio sharing his view on political correctness getting out of hand and could lead to the death of comedy.
Jerry’s opening standup is a bit about lawyers, tying into the storyline of Cheryl Fong, the lawyer helping Ping the delivery biker. The episode opens with George talking with an attractive woman named Cheryl at Monks while waiting for Jerry and Elaine to show up. He is hitting it off well, making her laugh the whole time. She asks George if his friends are as funny as he is, to which he blanches and says no.
Elaine and Jerry come in, talking about how she still needs to bring Jerry his mail she picked up while he was away for a few weeks. George ends up with Cheryl’s number, but scoffs at the win since he was so funny, he can only lose ground going forward. Jerry notices Babu busing tables, and we learn that Jerry got him the job, plus a place to live in his building.
Jerry and Elaine invite George and Cheryl to double with he and Elaine, but George declines, not wanting Cheryl to see how funny Jerry is. Jerry shares that Kramer didn’t pick up his mail because he has been at a baseball fantasy camp. George thinks this is ridiculous, since Kramer’s life is a fantasy that people would want to live like him for a week. Rob asked Akiva if he’s ever thought of going to a baseball fantasy camp. Akiva hasn’t had interest, while Rob has, but questioned if he would be good enough at baseball to partake, thinking he’d be perfect for a Mets announcer fantasy camp.
In the next scene, George and Cheryl are eating at Isabella’s, the restaurant Jerry had said he didn’t want to go to. As they are toasting each other, Jerry and Elaine walk in, much to George’s chagrin. At dinner, each time Jerry cracks a joke, George gets more defensive. When Elaine learns Cheryl’s a lawyer, she asks about the lawsuit from Ping she’s facing. Cheryl shares that she is Ping’s cousin, and is the lawyer on his behalf. When Cheryl leaves the table, George demands Jerry stop being funny, but Elaine thinks Jerry can’t not be funny.
When Cheryl comes back, Jerry is acting very serious, which only intrigues Cheryl more. Next, at Jerry’s apartment, Elaine is telling Jerry how Cheryl decided she was so nice that she dropped the lawsuit. Kramer ends up back from fantasy camp early, since he started a bench clearing brawl where he accidentally punched out Mickey Mantle, causing them to cancel the camp. There is a ruckus in the hallway, and we hear Babu being taken away by immigration because he didn’t renew his visa in time. Rob and Akiva thought Jerry should have fudged the story to lessen the blame on him.
When Jerry starts going through his mail, he notices the letter from immigration was accidentally delivered to him. George comes up, and Jerry asks him to have Cheryl help clear Babu. George agrees, as long as Jerry continues to not be funny until George consummates the relationship. When Jerry does meet with Cheryl, he keeps up the dower act, and Cheryl agrees to help Babu.
Jerry and Elaine go down to the detention cell to visit Babu. He tells Babu the whole story, angering Babu when he learns Jerry had the letter. Meanwhile, George is in the car with Cheryl, who is telling him she’s developed feelings for Jerry. George loses it, telling Cheryl his whole setup to keep Jerry from being funny, which turns her off from them both.
Back at Jerry’s, he and Elaine are talking when they overhear noise coming from Babu’s apartment. It turns out to be his brother, who shares that Babu has been deported back to Pakistan. Before leaving, the brother turns down the Snapple Elaine offers because it’s too fruity. Ping shows up with some delivery, and they learn that Cheryl has reopened the case and is doubling the damages. Kramer had gone to Mickey Mantle’s restaurant in the city to apologize, but security threw him out.
The episode ends with Babu in Pakistan telling his friend that he plans on saving his money so he can go back to America and plot revenge on Jerry, a very, very bad man. Jerry’s closing standup is a bit about the slogan for Ellis Island.
In 2015, a few things would be different about this episode. Stricter immigration laws would pose a problem for Babu, Cheryl doesn’t need to use a payphone to call her aunt, and there would be better security at the fantasy baseball camp. In ranking the episode, Akiva felt this was a solid, but not spectacular episode. He ultimately ranks it right in the middle at 90, to which Rob agrees.
There were a few emails this week. Johnny De Silveira commented about how Brian George (Babu) spans the emotions in his arc on the show. He also asks the guys who they think is at fault for not getting Babu the immigration letter. Akiva and Rob definitely thought it’s not Jerry’s fault. Amir emailed to ask why George wasn’t upset about Elaine getting the mail and not him. Akiva thought George would have been terrible at the job. He also wanted them to ask fake Jerry the beginning of the corduroy joke.
Chester, who was very down on “The Visa”, had three questions for thex`m. First, he wondered why they wouldn’t call the episode something other than “The Visa” since Jerry was a spokesman for Amex. Next, he wondered if the final scene with Babu was a precursor to “The Finale”. Both agreed that they would not have planned the ending that far ahead. Third, Chester asked if Cheryl’s appearance on the show was to counter the theory that Seinfeld’s casting wasn’t diverse. Akiva felt that it wouldn’t have played a factor in 1993.
Tune in next week as the guys will recap “The Shoes”, where Seinfeld makes a huge jump in the ratings, as it’s scheduled to follow Cheers on Thursday nights. . 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.