The Handicap Spot
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (November 2010)|
|"The Handicap Spot"|
|Episode no.||Season 4
|Directed by||Tom Cherones|
|Written by||Larry David|
|Original air date||May 13, 1993|
"The Handicap Spot" is the 22nd episode of the fourth season and the 62nd overall episode of Seinfeld. It aired on May 13, 1993.
The group travels to a mall in Lynbrook to buy a big-screen television as an engagement gift for their friend, "The Drake" (Rick Overton). George, who has borrowed his father's treasured car (a 1978-1980 model Mercury Monarch), parks in a handicapped parking space after being urged by Kramer to do so since they couldn't find any spaces. The four assume they will only be a few minutes. However, they are mistaken and are in the store for much longer. When they return, they find an angry mob plotting to trash the vehicle because a disabled woman, who had to park in a distant spot because of their illegal parking, has been injured in a wheelchair accident. After sneaking away for a time, they try to come up with a plan to divert the mob's attention and blame both George and, especially, Kramer. They later return to find the car completely demolished.
George invents a preposterous story about being cut off in traffic to explain the accident. While visiting Lola (Donna Evans Merlo), the injured handicapped woman, at the hospital, Kramer falls in love and feels compelled to replace her wheelchair. George and Kramer go on to buy a used wheelchair which is much cheaper than a brand-new, top-of-the-line model. Jerry and Elaine go to have lunch with The Drake after missing his party and discover that he and his fiancée have broken off their engagement. When they later talk to The Drake's ex-fiance, she tells them that she donated the TV to charity.
George's father Frank Costanza receives an award for outstanding service in helping the handicapped. In the middle of receiving the award, he is arrested for George's parking in the handicap spot, as Frank is the registered owner of the vehicle. As a result of the accusation, Frank's award is taken away from him. Amusingly, George's father forces him to become his butler as punishment, which was initially an idea for the pilot episode that George is writing with Jerry.
Lola breaks up with Kramer (telling him that he's not good looking enough for her and to drop dead) and is later seen screaming and rolling down a hill in the used wheelchair, which she cannot stop due to faulty brakes. George's first job as his father's butler is to retrieve the big-screen TV at The Drake's house, so that it can be donated to charity. George and Kramer retrieve the TV from the ex-fiancée's apartment, then reunite with Jerry and Elaine to return it for a refund. In the final scene, the gang is once again looking for a parking space at the mall, and Kramer tries to talk George into parking next to a fire hydrant, using near-identical rationales as he had at the handicapped spot.
- This is the first appearance of George's father Frank Costanza, played by John Randolph. After this episode Randolph was replaced with Jerry Stiller, who would play Frank for the rest of the series. In 1995, the scenes in which Randolph appeared were re-shot with Stiller. The re-shot version is shown in syndication in the United States. The original version, with Randolph, can be seen outside the U.S. and on DVD.
- Upon parking, Kramer says, "Make sure we don't forget where the car's parked." This prompts Jerry, George, and Elaine to exasperatedly assure him that they will remember. This is a callback to the memorable Season 3 episode "The Parking Garage", chronicling the gang's fruitless efforts to locate Kramer's car in a parking garage. Jerry would later make a similar comment—"remember where we're parked"—in the season 9's "The Puerto Rican Day", after his car has been tipped over on the sidewalk by an angry mob.
- While at his parents' house, George sits on the couch and reads Glamour, the magazine that got him in trouble in "The Contest".
- Jerry mentions to George that he is considering "getting a yoyo". This is a reference to "The Junior Mint" (Ep. 60), where Jerry is found to play with a yoyo in the hospital. First he does it to non-verbally allude to the possibility that a formerly obese person who had recently slimmed will gain weight again ("yo-yo effect"). Later, he attempts to impress a physician with it.