Season 9 Episode 24

The Finale (2)

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

Episode Fan Reviews (39)

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  • Who in their bug-sized mind would end a show with main characters winding up in prison for eternity?!

    Like "Roseanne", (that also ran for nine seasons), this wasn't exactly a good way to end a show. I've seen series finales that are good and bad, and this one is particularly one of the worst ever made.
  • One of the

    One of the worst finales ever. Its basically a all star episode, seeing Clips from all the "bad" Things the 4 has done towards everyone else. And they end up convicted and in a jail cell. Bad ending.
  • sienfled

    I think is good move
  • Totally an to fans.

    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 Hell.
  • Just really stupid

    What a bad episode, I really think it was the worst of the whole series. It just didn't come off, we're meant to beleive that the four of them got sent to prison for not helping in a robbery/holdup situation? It just didn't seem true. And it also didn't ring true with the way the characters were acting. The episode was so completely different from all of the rest of the series, the show was meant to be about nothing for goodness sake, it should not have ended like this. I lot of criminals don't even get sent to prison for a first offence, so I really doubt anyone would get sent to prison for not helping a robbery victim.
  • we say goodbye the senfeld. as they all go to prison

    in the final season of seinfeld this is one of the best i have seen. while the four of them are away on a trip they come to this town and see a fat man been car jacked. they stand there laughing. then they get arrested. at there trial which is very good we see all the people who have been on the show. and we get flash backs of each episode. one line that i found funny is when jackie looks at jerry and says you have a nick name of eveyone dont you. its good to see them all back again a great farewell to a great show.
  • If there's ever an episode of anything that needs no introduction; it's the final, one - hour long episode of Seinfeld.

    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.
  • 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.

    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...
  • 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...

    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.
  • The first bad episode? not likely, but the loudest, definatly.

    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.
  • A very disappointing end to a top rate show.

    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.
  • The Show about nothing ended with a whole lot of nothing happening

    I thought this finale was good, to a point.

    After the plane lands in the small town, it pretty much went down hill from there.

    So they witness a mugging and don't do anything about it. That I understand.

    but the part that doesn't make sense, is how big they make the case.

    It was a simple mugging, the guy lost a few bucks and maybe had to stop payments on a few credit cards.

    So why did they bring in all these people that have known the 4 characters to testify against them?
    All their testimonies had nothing to do with the case at hand.

    In the end, this finale was pointless and lame.

  • 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.

    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.
  • You have got to be kidding me.

    This has got to be a joke. This has got to be the worst episode in the entire series. I am not just saying that because it is the last episode. I am saying that because it had the worst plot I have ever seen in this series. Also this ending was absolutely terrible. This was an awful way to end one of the best television series in existance. This episode is nothing but an insult to Seinfeld. Hopefully when this episode comes out on DVD, the other ending will be available. Then, I will be able to see how the series should have ended.
  • It was ok they could have made a better ending to the show but it was alright

    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
  • Great idea, poor execution.

    Larry David's idea of having all the characters put on trial for their various transgressions against society was typical of his genius. However, the script he wrote didn't do his idea justice. It's little more than an overlong, unfunny clip show. Aside from some choice lines by Jackie Chiles and the penultimate scene in the jail cell where Jerry and George reprise the pilot episode's "shirt button conversation", there's aboslutely none of the clever, unpredictable wit for which this series is celebrated. If the episode seems more watchable now, it's only because the initial disappointment has dissipated over time. But that doesn't change the fact that it remains one of the few episodes I'll never watch again.
  • Nothing really happened. But i guess that was always the basis of the show, wasn't it?

    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.
  • Not the best way to end the series

    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.
  • Not the worst episode, but not the best, either. It was OK.

    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 perfect resolution for the show. Read on...

    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.
  • It's logical, ... sort of.

    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.
  • 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.

    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.
  • Hope u had the time of your life

    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, 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
  • It's hard to say good-bye!

    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!
  • The end

    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.
  • "Bye, bye Seinfeld!"

    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! =)
  • 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.
  • How to go out the Seinfeld way.

    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.
  • great series finale

    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
  • Contriversial. I liked it.

    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.