The Summer of George
|"The Summer of George"|
|Episode no.||Season 8
|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.
George discovers he has a severance package from the New York Yankees that should last him about three months, so he decides that he is going to take full advantage of three 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 (Molly Shannon), a co-worker 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 (Amanda Peet), only to find out that she lives with a man (a "dude") with whom her relationship is unclear, much to Jerry's dismay. While filling a seat for a nominee who has stepped away, Kramer is accidentally whisked to the stage by excited Tony winners moving through his row. 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 had planned, George becomes incredibly 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 co-worker Sam talks to Elaine about how she (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 proceeds to trash Elaine's office and leaves her threatening phone messages, leading the men in Elaine's life to excitedly say that she is now involved in a "catfight".
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 Welch is because they are 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 does fire 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 the "dude", 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 played by 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 Season 7's "The Invitations". In the wake of George's accident, the gang meet 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 not being healthy. 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 is being taught how to swing her arms.