The Marine Biologist

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"The Marine Biologist"
Seinfeld episode
Episode no.Season 5
Episode 14
Directed byTom Cherones
Written byRon Hauge & Charlie Rubin
Production code513
Original air dateFebruary 10, 1994
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"The Dinner Party"
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"The Pie"
List of Seinfeld episodes

"The Marine Biologist" is the 78th episode of the American sitcom Seinfeld. It is the 14th episode of the fifth season. It was originally broadcast on NBC on February 10, 1994. Jerry Seinfeld considers the episode to be one of his favorites.[1]

Plot[edit]

While having a conversation with Elaine about his favorite T-shirt, "Golden Boy" (which, due to its age, is "dying"), Jerry tells her the novel War and Peace was originally called War, What Is it Good For? (a reference to Edwin Starr's hit song "War"). Kramer gives Elaine an electronic organizer. He has acquired a stash of 600 Titleist golf balls from a driving range and decides to hit them into the ocean.

Jerry runs into George's college crush Diane (Rosalind Allen), and tells her George is now a marine biologist. Intrigued, she asks Jerry for his number. George is upset because he thinks he can't convincingly pretend to be a marine biologist.

Elaine shares what Jerry told her with renowned Russian author Yuri Testikov (George Murdock), who is being courted by Pendant Publishing, her company. This causes an argument between Elaine, Mr. Lippman, and Testikov. When Elaine can't shut off her electronic organizer's beeping, Testikov angrily grabs it from her and tosses it out of the window of the limousine they are sharing. It hits a woman named Corinne (Carol Kane) in the head. She finds Jerry's phone number in the organizer and calls him. Corinne says she won't return Elaine's organizer until she is compensated for her hospital bill. Since Elaine destroyed her contacts book upon getting the organizer, she needs it back, but feels Testikov should pay for Corinne's bill. She and Jerry meet him in his hotel room with a tape recorder hidden in her bag. They record a confession, but Testikov is irritated by the noise of the tape recorder and digs it out of Elaine's bag. He throws it out the window, hitting Corinne in the head while she waits outside to return the electronic organizer.

Kramer returns home in humiliation, having missed every ball except one, and gotten sand in his clothing. While trying to get sand out of his shoe, he accidentally drops it out of his apartment window, hitting Newman. At the beach, George is called upon to use his nonexistent marine biology skills to save a beached whale. Motivated by love for Diane, George approaches the whale, realizes its blowhole is obstructed, and reaches in to pull out Kramer's golf ball.[2] George is hailed as a hero and confesses to Diane that he is not really a marine biologist. She dumps him in response. Jerry tells Elaine that in its latest run through the washing machine, Golden Boy "didn't make it", but has been replaced by its son, "Baby Blue."

Production[edit]

George's climactic whale monologue was not in Ron Hauge and Charlie Rubin's original script; it was a rewrite that show creators Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld came up with in a burst of late night inspiration.[3] Because the monologue was written at the last minute, there was no time to rehearse it. Despite this, actor Jason Alexander's delivery on the first take was so satisfying to the show's producers that no further takes were shot.[3]

The production crew wanted to use the animatronic whale from the then-recent film Free Willy for the scene at the beach. Due to miscommunication, the owners of the animatronic whale thought the Seinfeld crew wanted the real whale, and declined the request.[3] The crew resorted to crafting a CGI whale. Larry David was pleased with how real the CGI whale looked, but decided that the scene would be more effective if the whale were kept off-camera.[3]

Sequences which were filmed but deleted prior to broadcast include George giving an in-depth account of his made-up visit to the Galapagos Islands and Newman finding a mentally unhinged Kramer vacuuming non-existent sand.

Critical reception[edit]

Rick Kushman of The Sacramento Bee listed this as one of the Top Ten Seinfeld Episodes: a "brilliantly plotted story that weaves together all kinds of silliness".[4]

In 2009, a New Hampshire Union Leader columnist speculated that one could ask "people to name their favorite living marine biologist... and the most likely answer is George Costanza."[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Season 5 extras. inside looks # 7
  2. ^ Hauge, Ron and Charlie Rubin (February 10, 1994). "Script: Episode 78 – The Marine Biologist". Seinology.com. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d Seinfeld Season 5: Inside Look - "The Marine Biologist" (DVD). Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. 2005.
  4. ^ Kushman, Rick (May 10, 1998). "Nothing But the Best – BEE TV Columnist Rick Kushman Chooses The TOP 10 Seinfeld Episodes". The Sacramento Bee. p. EN16. Retrieved April 30, 2013.
  5. ^ Clayton, John (October 26, 2009). "NH woman pulls plastic from the Pacific". New Hampshire Union Leader. p. 1. Retrieved April 30, 2013.

External links[edit]