Seinfeld

Season 9 Episode 8

The Betrayal

1
Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Nov 20, 1997 on NBC
8.5
out of 10
User Rating
228 votes
14

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
The Betrayal
AIRED:
In this unique, "backwards" episode, Jerry, George, and Elaine go to India for Sue Ellen Mishky's wedding. Meanwhile, Kramer stays behind in New York and tries to "out wish" a friend who wants him to drop dead.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

Today
6:00pm
TBS
6:30pm
TBS
7:00pm
TBS
7:30pm
TBS
11:00pm
CW
12:30am
CW
Thursday
6:00pm
TBS
6:30pm
TBS
7:00pm
TBS
7:30pm
TBS
11:00pm
CW
12:30am
CW
Friday
6:00pm
TBS
7:00pm
TBS
7:30pm
TBS
11:00pm
CW
SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Episode Seinfeld kind-a-of-one a....

    8.0
    "The Betrayal" is a one-of-a-kind episode of Seinfeld - and a good one at that. As usual, every character has their own thing going on in this film (Jerry, George and Elaine's story lines are all intertwined while Kramer has his own set of problems that are removed from the rest of the cast) but what is unusual about this episode is that the story is played linearly - backwards! Jerry, George, Nina (Jerry's ex who George is now dating) and Elaine go to India for the wedding of Elaine's hated arch-nemesis Sue Ellen Mishky - one can only guess how well that turns out - and Kramer seeks every superstitious way out of FDR's death wish. While the episode is presented in a unique fashion - you can see that it's a typical story for our Seinfeld crew.moreless
  • Here it is,the famous backwards episode!

    9.0
    I know you most likely have heard about the famous "Backwards Episode". But if you haven't, or are wondering if it is a good episode, let me be the first to tell you that it is. To start with Elaine's situation isn't the only storyline. In fact, I beleve that Kramer vs. FDR (Franklin Delono Romanowski) is better. Now I don't want to give away that much about either of the extremely funny, and very cleaver storylines but rest asured you won't be disapointed when you watch it. You might be wondering, "Dosen't this storyline sound a little tacky?" you should know that they execute it very well. Finally, if you haven't been inticed already, all the backtracking eventually leads to a big suprise!moreless
  • Epsiode that plays backwards, making it very interesting and funny to watch the story unravel...or de-ravel...or something like that

    9.9
    This episode is amazing! the pieces of the episode are backwards so you never get the whole picture until the end, and what I really loved about this episode is that not only the story is backwards, but it even starts with the credits and ends with the opening (Seinfeld logo). What was also great was the extra flashback, unrelated to the episode itself, but a great wink to the show in its totality; it shows Jerry and Kramer on the day Jerry moves in 10 years earlier; Jerry: "Come in, do you want some coffee?" Kramer: "No I couldn't intrude" Jerry: "Oh come on, we're neighbors, whats mine is yours". And the rest we all know.moreless
  • The show starts in the present and goes backward, all the way back to where Jerry moves in next door to Kramer years ago. Three themes weave together -- the wedding in India, Kramer getting hit by a snowball and Newman dating a model.moreless

    10
    May be the greatest TV show ever, what an idea by the writers. Each of the backward plot lines is clever and the key idea is to find out the why about what we know has already happened. I thought the best plot line was the smallest, how did Newman get the beautiful model to go out with him. The answer is that he is on an incredible great run of birthday wishes. Kramer's problems with his friend, "F.D.R." are brought to light in the past. A tip of the hat to the writers who came up with this great idea. Works all the way, can't be missed.moreless
  • A truly original episode...

    9.1
    This episode was a truly magnificent and unique piece of art. At a few moments for me it felt a bit off, but otherwise it was hilarious. Elaine's unvitation to the wedding, the love triangle was the best with Jerry sleeping with Nina, and Elaine sleeping with the groom, everything fit into place so well. Kramer also had a funny part in this episode. He starts a whole rally of wishing and unwishing, the evil eye was also really funny. I really liked how it showed Elaine drunk, and everyone took advantage of her when she always told the truth when she would get drunk. So it was a good episode, season 9 the last season... so many memories.moreless
Michael McShane

Michael McShane

FDR (Franklin Delano Romanosky)

Guest Star

Justine Miceli

Justine Miceli

Nina

Guest Star

Bart Braverman

Bart Braverman

Zubin

Guest Star

Brenda Strong

Brenda Strong

Sue Ellen Mischke

Recurring Role

Wayne Knight

Wayne Knight

Newman

Recurring Role

Heidi Swedberg

Heidi Swedberg

Susan Ross

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (17)

    • Elaine tells Elaine that "Jugdish" is how to say Jerry in "Indian". However, there is no language called Indian. Furthermore, most languages do not have direct translations of English names.

      I think a lot people would call Hindi "Indian" when they're as drunk as Elaine was.

    • When Sue Ellen is pleased to see Elaine, Elaine cites the reasons why they "hate each other", namely that Sue Ellen doesn't wear a bra and is tall. Sue Ellen's previous appearances were in Season 7's "The Caddy" and "The Bottle Deposit (1)", and in Season 8's "The Abstinence". Although "The Caddy" deals with Sue Ellen's habit of not wearing a bra and how this infuriates Elaine, neither in that episode, nor in either of the other two, is there any references to Sue Ellen's height being a source of annoyance for Elaine.

    • At the end of the episode, upon just moving into his apartment, Jerry, having read his name on the mailbox, calls Kramer, "Kessler". This is a reference to the fact that Kramer's name was originally going to be Kessler, and that Jerry even calls him by that name in the pilot.

    • On the plane, George says that he and Jerry have been friends since the fourth grade; however, in "The Outing," they explain that they met in high school gym class. CORRECTION: Actually, in "The Outing," they explain to the NYU reporter that they met "in a gym locker room" (which plays into the theme of the episode) not a high school gym class. The meeting could easily have taken place in fourth grade, according to their description.

    • It doesn't make any sense that Newman would pick up a Vogue magazine just as he's sitting down to blow out his candles. EDIT: I think it does. He's about to blow out the candles to make a wish and his wish was to go out with the model in the cover. So eventually, he got his wish.

    • In the end we learn where George got the line "You can stuff your sorries in a sack, mister" that he's been using on Jerry throughout--Susan had used it on him two years earlier. But where did Susan learn it from? Perhaps she saw episode #98 of "The Odd Couple" where both Felix and Oscar use it on each other. (God, I hate when True Classic Television isn't given its proper credit!)

    • When Kramer tells George and Jerry that FDR had been giving him a dirty look, they ask if it was the stink-eye or crook-eye. These are references to Season 8's "The Van Buren Boys." In that episode Kramer tells that a guy at Lorenzo's Pizza was giving him the stink-eye, and that he had countered with the crook-eye.

    • We never learn the real reason Elaine was invited to the wedding.

    • On the plane to India, George and Nina are sitting next to each other and Elaine is sitting near them, but across the aisle. Jerry is sitting by himself elsewhere on the plane. If Elaine bought all four tickets, why are the seats scattered and not all together?
      Probably Elaine got an extra ticket for Jerry because he does not like to fly in the economy class.

    • It seems odd that Elaine would have bought four tickets to India without knowing if anyone else is going to come with her.

    • Viewer Tom Smith notes that when Elaine enters Jerry's apartment, indignant because of her late notice "nonvite / unvitation" to Sue Ellen Mischke's wedding, she wonders, "if Pinter Ranawat is related to that guy I dated, Peter Ranawat." Jerry replies, "Ah, it's probably like Smith over there." OVER WHERE?? Elaine hadn't yet mentioned that the wedding was in India.

      EDIT: We assume Jerry knew Ranawat was an Indian name. So he said over there, cause that's where he was named...in India.

    • It could just be because Elaine's completely drunk, but she asks Jerry, "You know what 'Jerry' is in Indian?" There is no such language as Indian; she should have said
      "in Hindi."

    • I don't think the Mad About You episode necessarily contradicts the fact that Kramer moved into the building before Jerry. Paul and Kramer seemed friendly, and it's not unreasonable that they kept in touch, in which case Kramer would have to had mentioned Jerry at some point.

    • In the scene where Elaine enters the apartment with the "unvitation/non-vite," Kramer (already freaked out by the idea that FDR might wish him dead) makes a noise as the opening door almost hits him. The shot then cuts to Elaine -- Kramer is no longer behind her, but he couldn't have left the room that quickly.

    • On a side note: Paul Buchman's Uncle Arnold on Mad About You (Citizen Buchman) was played by none other than Len Lesser, aka Uncle Leo. Does this make Jerry and Paul related somehow? haha.

    • This episodes establishes that Kramer already lived across the hall when Jerry moved in, but on "Mad About You", Kramer was subletting from Paul, and asked "if that guy Jerry still lived across the hall who was trying to make it as a comedian". This implies that Jerry had moved in before Kramer since he was already living there when Paul lived in Kramer's apartment.

    • Syndication edit: The ending where Jerry and Kramer first meet is edited to remove Jerry accidentally calling Kramer "Kessler".

  • QUOTES (19)

    • Elaine: (drunk and peering through the slats in Jerry's door) Goodnight, Jugdish!

    • Elaine (drunk): What if I got myself a nose piercing? That'd be pretty freaky!

    • George: So, how come nothing ever happened between you and Nina? (suspicious) Is there a problem with her? Is she a man?
      Jerry: Are you?

    • Elaine: The wedding is in one week. I got this (Holds up invitation) today.
      Jerry: So you think it's a "non-vite"?
      Elaine: It's an "un-vitation"!

    • Jerry: Well, everybody's a little cranky on their birthday.
      George: Oh, it's a bad day. You got everyone in your house, you're thinkin', "These are my friends?!"
      Jerry: (Sarcastic) Every day is my birthday.

    • Kramer: Franklin Delano Romanowski: I go to his birthday party, and just before he blew out his candles, he gives me this look.
      George: Stink eye?
      Jerry: Crook eye?
      Kramer: Evil eye.

    • Elaine: I'll put it in the vault.
      Jerry: No good. Too many people know the combination.
      Elaine: What combination?
      Jerry: *mimes drinking schnapps*

    • Jerry: Hey, Kramer, wait up. I'll go with you.
      Kramer: I'm goin' to Newman's!
      Jerry: (follows Kramer) Great, I love Newman!

    • Kramer: Does your girlfriend have to be here?
      Newman: Does yours? *camera pans to Jerry*

    • Elaine: Oh boy. There's Sue Ellen. She didn't want me at this wedding, but here I am with a bunch of my idiot friends!
      Jerry: (enthused) This is gonna be great!

    • Elaine: What's that smell?
      Jerry: I think it's the stench of death.

    • Elaine: Would you grow up, George?! What is the difference? Nina slept with him, he slept with me, I slept with Pinter. Nobody cares! It's all ancient history.
      George: (very loud) You slept with the groom?!
      *room goes silent*

    • George: (whispering) Look, we are gonna settle this right now! I demand reparations! I should get to sleep with Elaine. That's the only way to punish you!
      Jerry: That doesn't punish me. It punishes Elaine! And cruelly, I might add.

    • Usha: Don't go. India is a dreadful, dreadful place.
      Zubin: You know, it's the only country that still has the plague? I mean the plague! Please!

    • George: Good one. Very funny. You're very funny, Jerry. That's what I always tell people.(Shouting) Jerry Seinfeld's a funny guy!

    • Newman: I'll tell you a little secret about zip codes; they're meaningless!

    • Newman: (To his new girlfriend) You see, my dear, all certified mail is registered but registered mail is not necessarily certified.
      Girlfriend: I could listen to you talk about mail all day.

    • Elaine: He schnapped me!

    • George: You can stuff your sorries in a sack, mister!

  • NOTES (12)

    • All the producers were credited during the ending credits.

    • For the first and only time, Heidi Swedberg receives the "And" credit.

    • Wayne Knight receives the "With" credit.

    • As the episode continues backward in time, Heidi Swedberg returns as George's girlfriend/fiancée, Susan, even though the character died in the Season 7 finale, "The Invitations".

    • The continuity staff had fun with this one -- in the scenes where Kramer goes back and forth between FDR's and Jerry's apartments, he has a lollipop that starts as a tiny chewed nugget and gradually expands to the giant all-day sucker.

    • The original airing of this episode was done without the time cards. In syndication they were added to lessen confusion.

    • Deleted Scene: A scene not shown in syndication is the one where Elaine says later (or is it earlier?!?) in the episode at Monks': "I think I chipped a tooth" and then you see 5 minutes earlier which IS in the syndicated episodes she rolls her head backwards with a Schnopps bottle held in her teeth.

    • Viewer Rick Marshall wonders why Jerry, the one with the cleanliness fetish, wasn't the character trying to avoid using the bathroom while in India. He also wonders about the name Kessler appearing on the mailbox, shouldn't it have been Buchman? After all, after the broadcast of "The Virgin" we learned that Kramer had sublet his apartment from Paul Buchman in the Mad About You episode called "The Apartment". Did the writer's forget about this little continuity detail? They cleaned up after themselves for the original Kessler reference in "Good News, Bad News" but forgot about the crossover episode!

    • Kyle Westphal notes that the part of the episode that took place two years earlier would have occurred between "The Secret Code" and "The Pool Guy" assuming that Jerry, George and Elaine returned on the air date of this episode.

    • Kent Yoder e-mailed me that Elaine's boyfriend named Pinter is an obvious reference to that of playwright Harold Pinter whose plays frequently reflect a logical nonsense. He said that Pinter's well known drama, "Betrayal," deals with love triangles as the scenes are performed backwards in time.

    • Andy Ackerman won the Director's Guild of America Award for this episode.

    • This episode was shown backwards in the following fashion: all scenes were shown normally, but they were shown in reverse order with a caption indicating the time frame of the scene in relation to the previous scene. Essentially the punch line was delivered and the setup was shown later. The description for the episode reflects the order in which the scenes appear. This was an intriguing concept that forced the viewer to pay closer attention than normal.

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • George: FDR?
      Kramer: Yeah, Franklin Delano Romanowski.

      FDR's name and initials are an allusion to 32nd president of the United States - Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

    • This episode's backward theme is not unique or original. It is actually based on a Harold Pinter play called "Betrayal." Sue-Ellen Mishkie's fiancée is named Pinter in homage to this playwright.

More
Less