|Episode no.||Season 7
|Directed by||Andy Ackerman|
|Written by||Larry David
|Original air date||February 8, 1996|
|Running time||42 minutes|
"The Cadillac" is an hour-long, two-part episode of NBC sitcom Seinfeld. It was the 124th and 125th episode and 14th and 15th episode for the seventh season. It aired on February 8, 1996. This was the last episode to be co-written by Jerry Seinfeld.
Jerry comes back from a high-paying gig and awes Kramer with his earnings. Jerry surprises his parents by buying them a new fully loaded Cadillac Fleetwood; learning about his financial situation, Elaine becomes infatuated with Jerry once again (The Fleetwood base model cost $36,995 at the time).
The Plaza Cable company wants to meet with Kramer, who makes sure he isn't at home when they arrive, to retaliate for their lateness when his cable was installed.
Meanwhile, as The AV Club describes it, "Back in New York, we're treated to a whole ethical dilemma where George wrestles with the news that he's Marisa Tomei's type and could have been introduced to her if he was still single." George reconsiders his engagement to Susan when Katy, Elaine's friend, reveals that she is friends with actress Marisa Tomei:
- KATY: I actually would've set you up with a friend of mine.
GEORGE: Oh-ho, yeah?
KATY: You'd be perfect for her. She loves quirky, funny guys.
GEORGE: Bald... uh?
KATY: Loves bald.
GEORGE: Loves bald? (laughs) Wow. Who is she?
KATY: Marisa Tomei.
GEORGE: (taken aback) The actress?
GEORGE: You're friends with Marisa Tomei?
KATY: That's right.
GEORGE: That's, that's incredible. My Cousin Vinnie, I loved her, she was fantastic!
KATY: Yeah, I know.
GEORGE: You were gonna fix me up with her?
KATY: Yeah, she's just been sitting home.
GEORGE: (fever pitch) Marisa Tomei's sitting home, Elaine!
Hearing all this, George develops an obsession for Marisa.
Jack Klompus accuses Morty of embezzling funds from the office of condo president to pay for his new Cadillac (Jack doesn't believe Jerry has enough talent to earn so much money, and convinces the rest of the Condo Board of this).
George wants to meet Marisa for a cup of coffee, even when Elaine tells him "it's cheating!" on his fiancée, and he insists on getting Marisa's phone number, to the point of harassing Katy when she is in the hospital with a heart condition.
Elaine calls Jerry in Florida and tells him she wants to come and join him, but Jerry demurs. Kramer continues to avoid the Plaza Cable worker.
George's obsession with Marisa Tomei makes Susan suspicious when she comes home and finds him on the couch watching My Cousin Vinny and again, later, when she finds him watching Only You (specifically, scenes in which Tomei is on screen). George obtains Marisa's phone number and works with Elaine to create a cover story involving Elaine and her fictitious "boyfriend", Art Vandelay. In a scene that is a nearly exact inversion of the walking date in The Soup, George meets Marisa Tomei and they have a similar date in the park. Marisa is initially enchanted by George, but when he tells her, "Well, Marisa. See, the thing is, I'm sort of engaged," she is furious with him, decking him and storming off. Susan suspects George is having an affair with Elaine and questions her regarding his whereabouts. Controlling herself (having initially burst out into spontaneous laughter), Elaine answers the questions. The answers follow the cover story they agreed on earlier, but Susan trips her up on one of the questions and is still suspicious and asks another question they hadn't anticipated. After Susan leaves, Elaine frantically tries to contact George so he will be able to give a matching answer to the question. George returns to the apartment and is met by Susan, who asks the same tricky question. George gives a wrong answer and receives his second punching that day.
Morty is relying on the vote of Mabel Choate to save him from impeachment. Mabel is coincidentally the same woman from whom Jerry stole the marble rye ("The Rye"). The vote is reversed when Mabel hears Jack Klompus refer to her under his breath as an "old bag," triggering her memory of the incident when Jerry had used that same epithet on her. Having lost her vote, Morty is unanimously impeached. The cable guy repeatedly tries to confront Kramer, but he always gets away, in scenes which reference Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo. The cable guy finally concedes defeat and apologizes on behalf of cable guys everywhere, promising better service across the board. Kramer appears and has an emotional reconciliation with the cable guy and the two embrace. Morty and his wife leave the condo in a scene referencing Oliver Stone's Nixon.
The AV Club community gave the two-part episode an A- grade. David Sims discusses Del Boca Vista politics at length:
The Cadillac is a cautionary tale—Jerry means well to surprise his parents with a new Cadillac bought with all the money he's making as a comedian, but it only raises suspicion in the condo community. Later, he stops them from going to the early-bird special because he doesn't want a steak dinner at 4:30, but that just ostracizes the poor Seinfelds from their snippy friends.
[From the Script by David and Seinfeld:]
- JERRY: (bewildered) Four-thirty? Who eats dinner at four-thirty?
MORTY: By the time we sit down, it'll be quarter to five.
JERRY: I don't understand why we have to eat now.
HELEN: We gotta catch the early-bird. It's only between four-thirty and six.
MORTY: Yeah. They give you a tenderloin, a salad and a baked potato, for four-ninety-five. You know what that cost you after six?
JERRY: Can't we eat at a decent hour? I'll treat, okay?
HELEN: You're not buying us dinner.
JERRY: (emphatic) I'm not force-feeding myself a steak at four-thirty to save a couple of bucks, I'll tell you that!
HELEN: All right (sitting on the couch), we'll wait. (pointedly) But it's unheard of.
Much like The Pen, this Seinfeld-and-David-scripted episode's message is simple: don't fuck with these crazy old people. Sure, much of what Jerry says is rational. And sure, even the old people have a certain logic to them from time to time. But there's an element to the retirement community that Jerry just simply can't understand, nor should he want to, and his efforts to fix the problems he's caused only make things worse. "You could put a fence around these condos and call it an insane asylum and nobody would know the difference!" he cries. Even though, in reality, Jerry could easily produce documentation showing he bought his dad the car and Morty wasn't stealing anything, the audience accepts that that's not how things work around here. Klompus' accusation snowballs quickly, and there's nothing Morty and Helen can do about it once that Cadillac is parked in their driveway, a monument to arrogance in their neighbors' envious eyes... Of course, Jerry isn't helped by the fact that he actually assaulted and robbed one of the condo board members on a New York City street in The Rye. Sure, all he took from her was a marble rye, but that was not his finest hour.
Sims was less impressed by the George/Marisa subplot, saying, among further comments, "This is George at his worst—he's not just being a bad person, he's also not very good at it. Sometimes, his deviousness is pretty impressive, but this is not one of those times, and it's amazing it takes Susan so long to figure out he's lying about something. Ultimately, Tomei's appearance and everything around it ends up disappointing—it's a glorified B-plot when it shouldn't be, and it wraps up too quickly with George just getting his comeuppance from both ladies with none of his usual deviousness."
- Sims, David (September 15, 2011). "The Cadillac (season 7, episodes 14-15)". The AV Club. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
- Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld (February 8, 1996). "Script: Episode 124 - The Cadillac (1)". Seinology.com. Retrieved May 1, 2013.
- Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld (February 8, 1996). "Script: Episode 125 - The Cadillac (2)". Seinology.com. Retrieved May 1, 2013.