The Summer of George
|"The Summer of George"|
|Directed by||Andy Ackerman|
|Written by||Alec Berg & Jeff Schaffer|
|Original air date||May 15, 1997|
"The Summer of George" is the 156th episode of the sitcom Seinfeld. It was also the 22nd and final episode of the eighth season. It originally aired on May 15, 1997.
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George discovers he has a severance package from the New York Yankees that should last him about 3 months, so he decides that he's going to take full advantage of 3 months off and become very active. Jerry and Kramer are going to the Tony Awards: Jerry as an invited guest, Kramer as a seat filler. Elaine mocks Sam, a coworker who walks without moving her arms (as if "she's carrying invisible suitcases", as Elaine puts it).
Jerry picks up his date to the Tonys, a waitress named Lanette, only to find out to his dismay that she lives with a man named Lyle (a "dude") with whom she has an ambiguous relationship. While filling a seat for a nominee who's stepped away, excited Tony winners moving through Kramer's row accidentally whisk him to the stage. As a result, he receives a Tony Award for the fictional musical Scarsdale Surprise (based on the killing of Dr. Herman Tarnower), in which Raquel Welch is the star.
Meanwhile, instead of living a very active lifestyle as he'd planned, George becomes extremely lazy. He never changes out of his pajamas, and feels too weak to even come to Jerry's apartment, asking Jerry, Elaine and Kramer to instead visit him or talking to Jerry on the phone to know what's going on over at his apartment.
Elaine's coworker Sam talks to Elaine about how Sam isn't fitting in at work, to which Elaine mentions her arms never move and inadvertently mocks her by comparing her to a caveman. In a rage, Sam later trashes Elaine's office and leaves her threatening phone messages, leading the men in Elaine's life to excitedly say that she's now involved in a "catfight", and refuse to help.
Kramer uses his Tony as a ticket into Sardi's, where the producers of Scarsdale Surprise have a proposition for him - he can only keep his Tony award if he fires Raquel Welch, who like Sam, also doesn't swing her arms when she moves; the reason the producers ask Kramer to fire Raquel is that they're terrified of her ("I heard from someone that when they cut one of her lines, she climbed up the rope on side of the stage and started dropping lights on people's heads," as Kramer quotes). Kramer fires her and she responds by attacking him and destroying his Tony as well. While walking down the street afterwards, Raquel sees Elaine describing Sam's walk to the police; thinking that Elaine is mocking her, Raquel attacks her, too.
Meanwhile, Lanette begins to wear Jerry out with her busy lifestyle after leaving Lyle, and George suggests that perhaps they team up, with George acting as Jerry's dating assistant. When Lanette needs invitations to a party, George picks them up, but on the way back to his apartment he stops to play "frolf" (frisbee golf) with some people. (The man who invites him to join the game is David Mandel, a Seinfeld writer.) At his apartment, an invitation falls out of the box and lands on the stairs. When George leaves again to deliver the invitations, he slips on the invitation and falls down the stairs, sending him to the hospital.
The final scene pays homage to the ending of "The Invitations". In the wake of George's accident, the gang meets up at the hospital where the same doctor who informed them of Susan's death informs them that George may never walk again due to being unhealthy. The others respond with the same callous reaction as they did the year before. The end credits show George learning to walk again through physiotherapy, along with Sam, who's being taught how to swing her arms.