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Rob Cesternino and Akiva Wienerkur continue their journey to watch every Seinfeld episode as they discuss Season 4, Episode 6, “The Watch.”
Rob Cesternino and Akiva Wienerkur both had Jimmy Sherman fix their watches down on Columbus and 85th so they’d be on time to recap the latest episode in their run through the entire Seinfeld series. This week, they tackled “The Watch”, which is the conclusion episode to the storyline from last week’s “The Wallet”. “The Watch” first aired on September 30, 1992 as part of season four.
Akiva had a bit of Seinfeld news to share this week. The rapper Wale, who’s album reached number one on the charts, had Jerry Seinfeld as a guest on it, since the album is titled “The Album About Nothing”. Jerry speaks the intro before each track, and there are clips of the show throughout the songs.
After an extensive “previously on”, which Rob thought was way too long, Jerry had a standup bit about terrible gifts people give. The episode picks up right where “The Wallet” left off, with Jerry out to dinner with his parents and Uncle Leo. Helen keeps trying to get Jerry to pick up their waitress, arguing that she’s beautiful, while Jerry argues that she’s just pretty.
Meanwhile, George, on a date with Susan, learns that Russell Dalrymple said the hell with them for passing on the first offer. George wonders what kind of maniac would just say no, and throws Jerry under the bus, citing it was his idea to pass. Rob felt, just like in Survivor, you always say yes at first, even if the answer changes. Rob and Akiva also concluded that passing on NBC’s offer could not have been part of Larry and Jerry’s real pilot story.
In the next scene, we see Kramer’s apartment for the first time. He and Elaine are prepping to meet with Dr. Reston, since he is pretending to be her boyfriend to get her out of dating the doctor. He calls Dr. Reston to confirm their dating, but he is quickly manipulated into going to see Reston at his office. Jerry is still at the restaurant, prompting Rob to wonder how all the side stories develop over time, while time stands still at the restaurant. Morty is trying to pay for the dinner, despite not having his wallet. Jerry calls him on it, very curious how Morty will pull this off.
When Jerry heads to the bathroom, he tries to make a deal with Uncle Leo for the watch. Akiva and Rob commented on how terribly every negotiation in this episode went. George meanwhile is outside Russell’s building, desperate to talk to him before Monday. Back at the restaurant, Jerry ultimately pays for the dinner, even though Morty tries to say he’ll pay the restaurant later.
Back at Russell’s, he is having dinner with his wife Cynthia, and neither is pleased that George is there. George explains that Jerry gave him Russell’s address when asked. When Cynthia is looking for the TV Guide, George mentions he could tell her what’s on any station at any time. Rob and Akiva questioned when the fall of the TV Guide magazine was, deciding that the internet and the cable/satellite menus all played a part in phasing that out.
George desperately pleads to get the original pilot offer back on the table, but learns that another writing team has accepted an offer from NBC instead. He ends up talking the price down to $8,000, which Russell reluctantly accepts. Rob felt that Russell probably thought $8000 was so cheap, there’s no risk in giving them the opportunity.
Kramer is at Dr. Reston’s office to discuss his relationship with Elaine. Elaine is down on the street waiting for Kramer, when Joe Devola walks up singing a show tune, and she starts to sing along with him. They flirt a bit, with her having no idea that he is actually the crazy person who kicked Kramer in the head. Akiva and Rob both thought there was no way that Elaine wouldn’t know who Crazy Joe Devola is.
Back at the restaurant bathroom, Uncle Leo is driving up the price on the watch, ultimately taking $350 for it. Rob and Akiva quibble over how there are many cheaper options for Jerry to replace this watch, but decided that it doesn’t work for them to be too nitpicky.
After a thorough shrinking, Kramer walks away from Dr. Reston having agreed to let the doctor have Elaine back, admitting that he isn’t with Elaine anyway. He goes as far as lighting some cigars for them to share. Back at the restaurant, Jerry finally decides to give his number to the waitress, and learns that she has a terrible laugh when he makes a corny joke about fish.
As Kramer leaves the office, he narrowly misses running into Crazy Joe Devola, who is on his way up to meet with Dr. Reston, where he tells him all about the woman he just met (Elaine). There is a Jerry standup bit about how psychiatrist visits are only 50 minutes and not an hour. Akiva always thought that the time was for the doctor to use the bathroom or write up notes.
Jerry now has to come clean to his parents about throwing the watch out after getting caught handing the money to Leo. George comes in and shares that the deal is back on, but has to admit that it’s for $5000 less than the original amount. When Akiva tried to argue that it would be easier to just tell Jerry the details later to save embarrassment, Rob came up with an idea for a term to use when easy logic would solve the episode dilemma, but it was left in as is because it’s funnier. He invited the listeners to post ideas in the comments.
Jerry wastes no time admonishing George for his miscalculation of this whole process, causing George to admit that he’s wrong. Jerry gives his dad a new wallet, which he’s loaded with cash. When they walk away, Morty realizes that it’s Velcro, so he throws it in the same garbage can that Jerry threw the watch. Leo walks by after and snatches it up. The closing standup is a bit about the difference between men and women’s wallet. Rob referred to it as a classic bit.
A few things would be different if this episode were to air in 2015, and all because of the internet. Akiva thought that Elaine could just check out Joe Devola on Facebook, and Jerry would be able to go online and search for the same watch his parents bought him. Rob felt Dr. Reston would be able to see Kramer and Elaine tagged in pictures on Facebook as well.
Akiva had a hard time coming up with the ranking of this episode, since it was squarely tied to last week’s “The Wallet”, which ended up fairing better than this one. While Akiva put “The Wallet” at 93 last week, he settled in on 138 for “The Watch”. Rob agreed, since there was nothing too interesting from the second half of the two-part arch.
There were several emails to go through this week. Amir commented about their list of hero characters, and how he would add Lena from “The Sponge” to the list. Akiva quibbled with it since she dumped Jerry for lying about his jeans size. Amir also added that he enjoyed the idea of how bad Jerry is about appreciating gifts he receives.
Johnny De Silveira checked in with some work from the inflation calculator. Jerry would have paid Uncle Leo $585.58 for the watch, and the wallet he bought for his dad would have $669.20 in 2015. Akiva thought that they should update Jerry’s “even” ledger, since he’s down over $10,000 from the calculations so far. Johnny also thought that Uncle Leo must be the luckiest person in the world, finding all this free merchandise in the trash. Akiva and Rob felt there were plenty of examples of Leo finding hard luck, particularly when he had his eyebrows singed off.
Lastly, Chester had some “musings” about this episode. He wondered where he could find the lamp in Kramer’s apartment. He also was curious why Jerry’s mom wouldn’t just pay for the dinner, but Akiva felt Morty is so old fashioned, he would rather have Jerry pay than his wife. He thought that Dalrymple doorman was dressed fancier than the Queen of England’s doorman, and also noticed how angry Dalrymple got when his wife didn’t use a coaster. Chester also wondered why Jerry would go from $200 to $350 when negotiating for the watch with Leo. It reminded Rob of the strategy of the Survivor auction, which he and Josh Wiggler recently discussed on the Evolution of Strategy audiobook. Chester also argued that George should forfeit the whole $5000 from his cut from NBC. Lastly, he remarked on how Morty feels like every present Jerry ever gives him is the greatest of all time.
Tune in next week as the guys will recap “The Watch”. Send in your questions by emailing [email protected] . Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast by going to postshowrecaps.com/seinfeld
Special Thanks to Mike Moore for this week’s episode recap