Seinfeld

Season 9 Episode 24

The Finale (2)

5
Aired Thursday 9:00 PM May 14, 1998 on NBC
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (36)

8.0
out of 10
Average
276 votes
  • Silly ending to one of TV's greatest sitcoms. The entire group end up going to jail for failing to come to the assistance of a robbery victim. Doesn't make sense, and a sad way to end.

    1.0
    The entire group stand trial under a "Good Samaritain" law that requires you to render assistance to people in the event of a hold up or robbery. They end up going to jail for failing to come to the assistance of a robbery victim, and the jury is horrified at the callous attitude of them all as they laugh and make jokes -- the whole thing being recorded on videotape unfortunately.


    It's out of character for them to make fun of such a serious situation. It's a silly way for it all to end, and you'll always remember them as being locked up in jail. If you can at all help it -- skip this episode, and remember Seinfeld for the great sitcom it was.
  • If there's ever an episode of anything that needs no introduction; it's the final, one - hour long episode of Seinfeld.

    7.0
    Jerry and George's show "Jerry" has been picked up and the network's given them a big deal and their private plane and the gang decide to go on a final trip to Paris. When (thanks to Kramer) the plane is forced to land in a small Massachussets town. They're jailed for not helping someone in need because of the Good Samaritan law. When the "New York 4" are in court; they face time in prison and it's up to testimony from everyone from each of Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer's past to decide their fate.

    While the avid Seinfeld fan in me relishes anything churned out from the great series; there's no denying that this episode is high on padding and budget but low on coming up with a proper send - off for the finest sitcom ever.

    There are some funny scenes at erratic moments but so much time is dedicated to tying up every loose end there's not much time for jokes. The "Good Samaritan Law" twist comes off a little forced and the whole inflated trial just seems so contrived with the fact that every possible side character appears but not one of them offers any testimony to keep their friends from prison.

    The budget is obviously gigantic with an abudance of sets, scenes and props that most movies can't boast but by doing so the low - key charm from the early seasons that relied on only the four main characters to make it work is really obscured.

    Speaking of which; the performances from Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer are all scene - chewing as there's the sense that every second counts and they can't waste one but Kramer just gets painful over time. The long list of guest stars from their past is a very effective touch but there are some very noticable omissions from the 180 episodes which could've, should've and would've been rectified.

    All in all; this cop out of a finale leaves a bitter taste in our mouth meaning watching any repeat episodes after this is hard when you think of how abrubtly and chaotically it ends but once you get over the initial shock you just enjoy what this has to offer.
  • I think it was an almost perfect ending.

    8.5
    For all that say this was a bad ending to a great show, they are somewhat wrong. Seinfeld ended its great run in the same fashion as when it began: odd, not like all the others, against the grain. This is what made it possibly the greatest TV show of all time. This is the reason that we never actually know if Elaine did or did not always love jerry. this is the reason there were 2 totally different episode endings. A "Regular" show would have had the two love interests fall for each other, be voted not guilty, and live happily ever after. this is what is "Normal". The finale was not normal, and neither was Seinfeld. this is always how it will, and should be.
  • Hope u had the time of your life

    10
    this show was awesome...the episodes were always funny cry out loud funny...they were always original...Larry David is a comic genious.... Jerry and Elaine are my 2 fave characters...jerry has the funny quips..:thats a shame"... everything about this show was funny...this episode was great the gang was on trial for standing by while sum1 got carjacked....

    all the charcters from the past came to be witnesses against them,...it was fun seeing old faces again

    everything was just so funny..i loved the end..

    it was funny how at the end they found the gang guilty and sent them to jail for a year. they end with them in jail
  • great series finale

    8.0
    so this episode was the series finale
    it was sad to see the cast go after a great run
    the plot was alright i think it was kinda stupid in a way but i guess it was pretty good
    i didn't like how they had to go to jail for a year at the end but if thats how larry david wants it to end, his choice
    i did like how they brought back alll these old characters from past episodes
    i didn't even remeber some of them
    but the soup nazi
    one of my favorites
    so that gave me a good laugh

    goodbye to one of the best comedies ever made
  • Series Finale

    8.0
    To me this wasn't the greatest series finale. I thought they could of put some more effort into the finale. Nothing aganst the wrighters of Seinfeld but they ended way to soon like whats up with ending it off with Jerry George Kramer and Elaine all going of to jail and just ending it right there but at least they ended it like a classic with Jerry's stand up comedy from inside prison just everyone hates it. But Newman gets what he want he gets rid of "Seinfeld"
    "Jerry Seinfeld".

    To A Classic Show!
    Bring Seinfeld Back!


    FinderP ! !
  • It's hard to say good-bye!

    10
    the final epiosde of the series has all four of the main cast of "Seinfeld" standing trial and a lot of friends and enemy of the four began to make their appearnce. It's way out fun as form friends of the four all made their case against them. almong them the soup Nazi I'm glad to see him again. by the end of the trial the four were founf guilty and were give a jail term of one year. One Year! Might as well be a life term. this is the final episode of the series. It's hard to say good-bye!
  • How to go out the Seinfeld way.

    10
    All right, let's face it. What did America expect for the Seinfeld series finale? A bunch of mushy crap with hugging and kissing, maybe one of the gang leaving as everybody cries when they walk out the door -- despite the "no hugging, no learning" rule that the writers instituted. What did we get? One of the most original and innovate series finales in television history, where the (despicable) main characters actually get what they deserve and there's none of that BS which television sitcoms are riddled today. And thank god for that. Seinfeld managed to keep up its bitter, dry, sarcastic edge up until the very end. There was only one way that a show like this one could have gone out -- kudos to Larry David for successfully capturing that.
  • just another good episode

    10
    ok people this episode is good because it is the only way larry david couldve bought everyone back for the final episode and you all fail to realise it. he even bought back the virgin and there was no other way to bring her, the bubble boy, etc back was there. so lay down on larry because unless you can write a better episode and fit everyone else who has been on the show. than do it
  • The end

    9.0
    The final episode of Seinfeld was much more than an ending; it was a summary of the greatest sit-com known to man kind. The fab' four were sent to jail after a great court trail, it was a classic ending to a classic show.

    I love the final episode because of the ending. The ending was great for every one the watched Seinfeld, I think because it sums up the whole show. It's not like other shows that just end. Also, the Judge being named Vandelay was a superb idea. The very ending when Jerry and George are having a conversation about the button on the shirt is perfect (because that was the exact same conversation that started the whole show). The final episode left me breathless, not only because of laughter but also because it was just so perfect. The End of the Greatest sit com ever.
  • Contriversial. I liked it.

    9.0
    After finally striking a deal with NBC over their sitcom pilot, Jerry, Jerry and George are faced with having to leave New York City for California. Before doing so, they decide to take NBC's private jet to Paris with Elaine and Kramer, for one "last hurrah". Unfortunately, Kramer causes engine troubles by hopping up and down on the plane while trying to get water out of his ears, nearly killing the four friends in a crash. Upon what looks to be their final moments of life, George reveals he cheated in "The Contest", and Elaine tells Jerry "I've always loved you" but realises the pilot regains control at the last second in mid-sentence, and adds, "-nited Airlines. They make an emergency landing in the small, fictional town of Latham, Massachusetts.

    While killing time in Latham, waiting for the plane to be repaired, they witness an overweight man getting carjacked at gunpoint. Instead of helping him, they crack jokes about his size while Kramer films it all on his camcorder, then they proceed to walk away. The victim notices this, and tells the reporting officer. The four main characters are then arrested for violating a fictional Good Samaritan law that requires bystanders to help out in such a situation.

    A lengthy trial ensues, bringing back many characters from past shows as character witnesses testifying against the group for their "selfish" acts from throughout the series. The Virgin, the low-talker, the Bubble Boy, Babu Bhatt, the Soup Nazi, Susan Ross' doctor from the night she died, and several others are called to the witness stand, among many more enemies and acquaintances. The four are found guilty, and sentenced to a year in prison, with Judge Arthur Vandelay (Art Vandelay is George's fictitious alter ego) proclaiming: "I can think of nothing more fitting than for the four of you to spend a year removed from society so that you can contemplate the manner in which you have conducted yourselves."

    In the final scene before the credits, the four main characters sit in a jail cell - strangely unfazed by what has just happened to them, still concerned mostly with the minutiae that preoccupied them beforehand. Jerry receives a page on his beeper, telling him that the plane's been repaired. He then begins a conversation about George's shirt buttons, using lines from the very first episode of the series ("The second button is the key button. It literally makes or breaks the shirt..."). George then wonders if they have had that conversation before, and they both examine that possibility. Also, Kramer is ecstatic about finally getting the water out of his ears which was the cause of the plane crashing in the first place. The camera then pans away from the group in their small holding cell, presumedly representing their self-centered isolation from society - implied throughout the show's later years, now shown quite literally.

    In a last bit of comedy during the credits, Jerry is seen wearing an orange jumpsuit, performing a stand-up routine of prison-related jokes. "So what is the deal with the yard? I mean when I was a kid my mother wanted me to play in the yard. But of course she didn't have to worry about my next door neighbor Tommy sticking a shiv in my thigh." He is eventually threatened by a heckler/fellow prisoner (voiced by Larry David). The final line of the series is Jerry, being yanked off stage, saying "Hey, you've been great, I'll see you in the cafeteria!"

    The rest of their adventures after that incident are unknown to all but the directors.
  • "Bye, bye Seinfeld!"

    8.6
    The finale... I don't know, nothing special, I think Seinfeld should end like this. Why, you maybe ask yourself? I think Seinfeld was just running out of ideas, maybe this was the best way to end the show.

    But, it's weird, you know. When the judge said that they are very bad person, because all they do is teasing someone... and I realized... they really do! But, that's funny, ha ha ha! =)
  • I thought it was a great way to end the show, cause if they ever want to pick it back up and start again they can.

    8.5
    I though it was so funny when they watch that fat guy gettin robbyed and they were makin fun of him and then when they playted it back when they were in court it was still funny. I like at the end when they were talkin bout the pirson phone call makes up for all the times u dont call. My fav part was when she was like it is better to rob a fat person cause they cant chase after u. But it was so sad to watch the last epoded. cause u know it was overa it was one of the best shows ever.
  • Strange, Somewhat Satisfying, Yet Somehow Sad

    8.5
    And I do NOT mean "cry your eyes out" sad, or even "sniffle" sad. I mean sad as in, "why exactly did they do that?" sad (as well as the obvious "dammit, Seinfeld's over" sad). As always, there are the memorable looks, mannerisms, and quotes that make the show timeless. And the return of Jackie Chiles was a welcome surprise ("The Soup Nazi? You got pet names for everybody?" Hilarious.), although he was not utilized enough in this overly grandiose ending. I think they tried too hard (and half-failed) to deliver a "watercooler" ending (or, for George's sake, a "coffee-maker" ending). And as I've already noted, this was a very strange way to end a series. It is an original concept, but it's not the way to end a milestone sitcom, one of the last of a dying kind (Two and a Half Men? What a joke!). It brought to surface how serious some the previously comedic exploits of our well-known and -loved characters (one glorious example of this is in the flat 'supposed to be funny' line by Susan's parents: "He killed our baby!") On the whole, I wish it could have ended differently, because frankly, I feel like it just can't be over.
  • Not the best way to end the series

    6.9
    Seinfeld, the classic show about nothing, almost never fails to make me laugh but when it comes to the finale, while having its moments, such as the guest stars and the Judge being called Art Vandelay, it could have been much more entertaining.

    Parts that I didn't like in this episode was Jackie because he wasn't as good as he is in previous episodes and I didn't find him hooking up with Jerry's ex as all that funny and the lack of jokes that the show is known for.

    The end was pretty funny but also could have been improved though Newman, as always, was a great addition to the show as you see his joy of Jerry going to prison.

    Overall, I expected a funnier series finale but it is till watchable with a few laughs here and there.
  • For a show held in such high regard as one of the best sitcoms of all time, i was disappointed with this ending. It comes out of nowhere, and never gives Seinfeld a true conclusion...

    6.0
    For a show held in such high regard as one of the best sitcoms of all time, i was disappointed with this ending. It comes out of nowhere, and never gives Seinfeld a true conclusion... we are left with a highlight reel of the shows funnier moments, and thats about it. They are left to sit in jail in a podunk town for a year.... I like the last comment about the button that makes or breaks the shirt as that is the first line ever in the show... Other than that..I expected more.
  • Terrific series, Pathetic ending.

    3.4
    Seinfeld had such a great run and was always a great show and i had high hopes for the series finale but it was simply awful. The writers had so many great ideas so how did they fail so badly in the last episode. One of the few bad episodes in this series.
  • So many people say that this was the wrong way to end the series. I, however, have always seen it as the perfect way to end the show. It brought back the best characters of the series and ended the characters' storylines in an appropriate way: in jail.

    10
    So many people say that this was the wrong way to end the series. I, however, have always seen it as the perfect way to end the show. It brought back the best characters of the series and ended the characters' storylines in an appropriate way: in jail. They were not good people, and bringing back the best characters proved that. The series was brought full circle with the button comment at the end, and the series ended with standup, just as it started. The episode was never meant to be just another episode of Seinfeld, because it was the finale. It was big, exciting, and, most importantly, funny. I felt it was the perfect send off for the greatest sitcom of all time, and perhaps even my favorite episode overall. For those who disagree, you probably never loved the show that much to begin with...
  • It was ok they could have made a better ending to the show but it was alright

    8.0
    I wish they could have made a better ending to a great show. but i watch the re runs but there not as good know that i have seen them a million times because i just wish they could make a new one it would make me and alot of people happy
  • It's logical, ... sort of.

    8.0
    Comedy series finales are notoriously difficult to get right. Often they become too serious for a comedy, too soppy or just plain confusing. There are even times when you feel cheated.(Roseanne, anyone?)

    A good finale celebrates the essence of the show. This one does that by including as many cameos as possible, offering the viewer the chance to reminisce. (Although, there are always a few missing. Where was Sue Ellen Mishkin?) The danger exists that some characters do not get enough attention. (Puddy was underused.)

    The big problem is what to do with the main characters. Larry David chose to punish them for their essentially asocial behaviour. Original, but I felt that there was something wrong. Finally I realized that the four New Yorkers reacted to the crime in the way only George would normally. Jerry, Elaine and Kramer were unrealistically brought down to George's level. That may be why some people felt uncomfortable with this finale.
  • This really was painful to watch. When it originally aired, we had parties just to watch the Finale. It had its moments, but mostly was not that funny.

    7.7
    This episode, if you call it that, was not as funny or as well thought out as we are used to. What makes it good though, is the bringing back (trotting out) of all the great guest characters in the series. It seems to me that Jerry (the real Seinfeld) probably wanted to go out with a bang. He must have known it would be watched by a huge audience and therefore made it into a spectacle, rather than a funny episode.
    What made the show great in the first place was it's irreverance, it's daring, and it's willingness to take chances with subject matter that is not necessarily funny.
    The only thing that saved this story is the witnesses (ie; all the great guests). If you take that away, the four main characters don't really do much. In other words, what made the show great is missing here.
    Still, I love it for the reminders of all the characters, and definitely not for the absurd ending.
  • Good show, sad ending.

    7.2
    In this two-part finale, the four friends go on a trip in a private NBC jet intended to arrive in France. However, Kramer gets water from the ocean stuck in his ear, and when he stands up and tries to get it out, he causes the jet to almost crash. They are forced to make an emergency landing in some unknown town of Massachusetts. As they get out, Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer see a fat man having his car stolen, but do nothing to help the crime. In fact, they catch it on a video camera and make cracks about his obesity.

    Unfortunately, the gang is arrested for a new "Good Samaritan" law, which charges people for not helping out when they could have. The second part of the finale mostly takes place in the courtroom, where the prosuction brings about many previous Seinfeld characters such as the virgin (from the Contest) and the "Soup Nazi," who show through their dilague what terrible people all of them are. In a surprising ending, the four are convicted and have to serve a year in state prison.

    This ending was very sad, in my opinion, because it's really not something you would normally see in Seinfeld. Sure, a lot of the episodes end where something mildly bad happens, like Jerry losing his car, but having them go to prison seems very uncharacteristic.

    Before the two-part finale, there was a two-part clip show, which was also very uncharacteristic of Seinfeld. So all in all, the last 4 weeks of Seinfeld were very disappointing, even though the finale contained some good material.
  • Jerry Seinfeld, George Costanza, Cosmo Kramer, and Elaine Benes are in court. Various people from other episodes, like Babu Bhatt, the Soup Nazi Marla, Sidra, etc. tell about their worst experiences with all four main characters. Stuff couldn't be worse.

    7.0
    This was an okay episode. I hate how Jerry, George, Kramer, and Elaine end up in prison in the end. However, despite my disappointment for this episode, I did like how a lot of minor past characters returned for the trial. I liked Babu Bhatt being present, as well as the Soup Nazi and the stunningly hot babe Sidra, showing up in court. I'll never forget Sidra's saying, "They're real and they're spectacular." I hate how Elaine ruined the Soup Nazi I knew she'd pay for that someday. He was funny. He yells, "No soup for you!" However, the episode left out other minor people who had bad times with the main cast. For example, Toby, Elaine's rival from Pendant Publishing, briefly lost her pinky toe because of Jerry's heckles, and George into a bedroom where he saw Jerry's main girlfriend from Season 5, Rachel, while she was naked. Also, I wouldn't mind if Lloyd Braun appeared again, explaining about how he ended up in the asylum for his breakdown after the mayor's campaign. However, I like Peter Keleghan as Lloyd Braun. Matt McCoy stinks. I don't know why they switched actors. Oh, and Tony, Elaine's "mimbo" boyfriend getting into a rock-climbing accident because of George, the book store owner catching George with a book in the bathroom and then discovering him stealing another book thanks to Jerry. Let's not forget the doorman incident with the stolen couch, the chauffeur with the deaf feud with Elaine, and the Hamptons cop who caught Kramer illegally capturing lobsters in the ocean. I would've also liked to see Bob and Cedric complain again about Kramer not wearing the ribbon for the AIDS walk. The Miss America contestant for Rhode Island telling about how Jerry killed her pigeons would've been nice. Let's not forget about the time when George slipped his boss, Rick Levitan, a mickey. That would've made a sweet case in court. And don't forget the time when Peterman's mother died after George told her his secret bank code, Bosco. The calzone shop owner telling how he thought George tried to steal from the tip jar would've also been cool, as well as many others on the show that weren't there. Even so, it was okay.
  • A very disappointing end to a top rate show.

    3.0
    I was so disappointed in how this show ended. The only good thing about was that we got to see so many of the extra Seinfeld characters. I truly felt like I was cheated after all the years of watching this show, it wasn't very funny or entertaining. I remember looking around the room with my family when the show ended thinking "What?" I guess if this is all they had left, the best that they could give us then it was a good thing they ended the show. I will always miss Seinfeld, and will always feel cheated by this finale.
  • Totally an F.you to fans.

    1.0
    I think a better way to have ended it would be that the gang is found NOT GUILTY, the courtroom erupts into an angry mob. They chase our "heroes" (a term I use loosely.) out of the courthouse, to the air port, where their plane is read. They get in and take off before the mob gets them.



    As they are flying they drink champaign, and celebrate. The Pilot announces for everyone to take their seats because they are flying into some fog. As they do, the continue drinking. Jerry Holds up his glass to make a toast, and says, "NOTHING CAN STOP US NOW!!!" Cut to the plane crashing into the side of a mountain, (LIke in the movie "Sweet Dreams." ) Silence, show a card thanking the fans.



    During the closing credits, Jerry is doing his stand up...in Hell.
  • The perfect resolution for the show. Read on...

    10
    Sadly, a great number of people have worked themselves into frenzies of negativity over the conclusion to this legendary series. This response is clearly a reaction to the overwhelming sadness they have felt at seeing characters, to whom they have formed a close emotional attachment, go to jail. Such feelings might be recognised as parallel to those of a parent or other relative who sees their child or relation being taken away and locked up; I mean burning injustice, anger, denial.

    Seinfeld, however, is a TV show, not real life. Moreover, it is not even a regular TV show (like Friends for example), in which we dote on beautiful, funny, kind, sensitive and slightly quirky people. No, Seinfeld is quite different, and it is different for the following reason: the characters in Seinfeld are terrible people. Now I'm not saying I don't identify with them - I do, and quite frequently - but frankly, I'm not a great person myself. The fact is that the 'heroes' of Seinfeld tend to show concern for others only when their own reputations are at stake or if they stand to lose in some way by keeping their distance. And when things don't turn out well despite their best efforts, they can always brush it off with a joke and a shrug of the shoulders. Viewers only complain about the finale because they have become blind to the characters' faults. The writers realised that the only fitting way to end the series was to send Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer to jail, a punishment they deserve, and thereby to send out a message to their viewers that we should not strive to act or behave like these people. Do not regard them as role models; they serve rather, as a critique of particular strata of society, the members of which can be prone to an ugly self-absorption and arrogance (and don't conclude that I have a chip on my shoulder - I myself come from one of the aforementioned strata).

    As for the show itself, the idea was original and well developed, the jokes were up to their usual standard and ultimately, I very much enjoyed what was a profoundly appropriate conclusion to the series and to the stories of those characters which I too love so much.
  • The final episode of Seinfeld was much more than an ending; it was a summary of the greatest sit-com known to man kind. The fab' four were sent to jail after a great court trail, it was a classic ending to a classic show.

    10
    I love the final episode because of the ending. The ending was great for every one the watched Seinfeld, I think because it sums up the whole show. It's not like other shows that just end. Also, the Judge being named Vandelay was a superb idea. The very ending when Jerry and George are having a conversation about the button on the shirt is perfect (because that was the exact same conversation that started the whole show). The final episode left me breathless, not only because of laughter but also because it was just so perfect.
  • Not the worst episode, but not the best, either. It was OK.

    6.2
    They are in court, being testified against by all the people they did wrong to. They are sentenced to jail, and Jerry and George have a conversation about the placement of the button on George's shirt (like in the pilot epsode), and they recall having this conversation before.It was a good way to end season 9, not the entire series. They HAVE to make at least 1 more episode, for the sake of Seinfeld fans everywhere. I do like the fact that it wasn't ended COMPLETELY, and if they did make a 10th season, they had room to. Goodbye Jerry, George, Kramer, and Elaine, we'll miss you.
  • The first bad episode? not likely, but the loudest, definatly.

    3.0
    Seinfeld was very successful in it's time. It spent a couple years discovering itself, and it spent a couple years high on the horse. Millions of people tuned in to see how it ends, even those who didn't see the show itself.

    However the show seemed to come apart in the final two hours. The first hour was a uncharacteristic Clip show, one that most people wouldn't imagine Seinfeld having. Then the finale started, it was interesting. After half an hour we come to the trial portion of the show and sadly this is where the show broke down completely.

    While many recurring characters came to the finale, that wouldn't be a bad thing, except that they just felt like listing many of the bad things they did in the show. Fans of the show remember these events and probably have seen them multiple times, new viewers had a couple giggles but it was mostly a failed attempt at bringing a truely great final episode to the fans of Seinfeld.

    A finale episode isn't the time to give a half assed clip show, and it cheapened the whole closure of the series, there are some good moments, especially when George's mother offers herself to the judge, but for some reason it didn't feel like it was held together that well.
  • Nothing really happened. But i guess that was always the basis of the show, wasn't it?

    6.6
    I guess it's always erked me that Jerry and Elaine never ended up together. I mean there was loads of chemistry there..and it was always in the background for most of the show. I thought that in the finale there would be something other than the pathetic "i love u-nited airlines". Ridiculous. Other than that it was alright. Definately not my favorite episode by any means, and definately not the right way to end a show that was and continutes to be one of the most famous shows in television history.
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