Season 2 Episode 3

The Jacket

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Feb 06, 1991 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (7)

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  • Jerry purchases a brand new jacket, with pink interior lining. He and George are having dinner with Elaine and her father, but she is late, and the two are stranded with the grumpy old man. Jerry's jacket is ruined when Elaine's father makes him wear it i

    The first three seasons of Seinfeld can often best be described as “under construction.” The pace is sometimes slow; the plots are not as thoroughly polished and complex as shows in later seasons; and the gang is still trying to establish the idiosyncrasies of their character.

    Nevertheless, season two’s “The Jacket” deserves to be included among the classics, particularly considering the semi-identity crisis the production team was facing.

    The episode centers on Jerry’s newly purchased and apparently expensive jacket (the price is never mentioned – though by the antics of the rest of gang, viewers can assume it’s rather expensive). The suede jacket is a piece Jerry always wished to own, and is convinced to purchase is despite the – dare I say – hideous pink interior lining. Folks, let me say this – the jacket’s lining is comically frightful, and it sets up a great scene when Jerry wears it along with George to meet the rather intimidating – and rather homophobic – Alton Benes.

    Elaine’s father, Benes, is a famed author with an extremely grumpy disposition, and his introduction is played out nearly to perfection. Jerry and George do a fantastic job of sustaining the inevitable awkwardness created by Mr. Benes when they meet in a hotel lobby and wait for Elaine. The scene is one of those situations that are easy to relate to – trying to kill time with an unfriendly acquaintance and only creating an implausible stir of silence and awkwardness.

    Feeling more like an encounter than a meeting, Jerry and George try to duel the awkwardness by hastily ordering drinks, dashing to the restroom, and creating small talk that is less fruitful then the fig tree. Finally, when they choose to meet Elaine at another locale and Jerry adorns his brand new, pink-lined overcoat, Benes – who mistakenly perceives Seinfeld and Costanza as being gay, lambastes Jerry and forces him to don it frontside-out in the snow. The suede jacket is ruined.

    What separates this episode is how the show takes advantage of longer-cut scenes by providing unique depth in the encounter between Jerry, George and Mr. Benes. Viewers have time to soak in the nuances of the measurable discomfort experienced in the scene, whereas other scenes of this type can be drawn out by conversation and become emotionless. Instead, these scenes are based on feel for the moment, with a distinct edginess about what is going to happen next.

    Benes, played by Lawrence Tierney, was suburb, but because of his off-camera antics (which can be explained on the extras section of the season two DVD), was never invited back. It is a shame, because his character could have had a profound part in the series. Regardless, his one appearance in “The Jacket” is good enough to set the episode apart in the series’ early stages.
  • …with an unblemished record of staunched heterosexuality

    'The Jacket' is a great episode full of wonderfully written jokes and less emphasis on plot that the previous shows tried. Although still lacking in some areas, and not quite hitting the nail on the head with the gags, the show is nevertheless evolving, taking form into something witty and intelligent.

    The plot of the episode is notably thin, but as a result leaves lots of room for drawn-out uncomfortable scenes where such is needed, which strengthen it as a whole. Perhaps the best example of this is during Jerry and George's meeting with Alton Benes (Elaine's father) in which the two are completely out of their comfort zone; intimidated and frightened by the man's passive-aggressive nature. Jerry and Jason both play the parts wonderfully, being utterly convincing and hilarious in their awkwardness. Tierney completes the triangle and delivers a performance both utterly amusing and yet convincingly threatening all the same.

    The limited scenes with Kramer and Elaine work well, using both characters but I'm starting to get a little tired of Elaine's usual shelving to mere dialogue recaps rather than anything visual. I understand that there simply isn't enough time in one episode to show everything that she talks about, but it's undeniably frustrating when it happens over and over. As usual though both cast members do a great job with what they're given, with Richards as usual stealing any scene that he's in- check out that curious desire for Jerry's old jacket!

    In the end, a strong episode from season two; not quite as funny as some previous episodes, but is certainly memorable and distinct from the rest. With great performances, a wonderful guest character and the lots of Jerry's mundane every-day life philosophy, 'The Jacket' is great entertainment.
  • Highlight from the Second Season

    In this episode; Jerry buys a classy suede jacket before a big meeting with Elaine's intimidating novelist father. When Elaine doesn't show up; Jerry and George spend a painful amount of time with the scary Alton Benes until it's time to leave up then it starts snowing and with Jerry's jacket being suede.........

    As far as plot goes; this episode is very skeletal with the episode revolving around Jerry and George being stuck with the tough guy until Elaine finally arrives; her story of why she was so late would've made for a fine sub - plot but it was only told through the fleeting words of Elaine as so many of her stories have been in the early seasons.

    The episode is definitely funny with Kramer stealing the few scenes he's in, the running gag of George and the song "Master of the House" but overall watching the triangle of terror between Elaine's Dad, Jerry and George is side - splitting. If none of that appeals to you then you can take time in guessing exactly what the price of the jacket was; their reactions to it should give you some clues.

    This episode is jam - packed with good performances; Jerry and George give convincingly terrified performances (apparently their fear was genuine as Lawrence Tierney was a threatening presence on set) and do a great comedy duo - type routine. Lawrence Tierney appears slightly uncomfortable in the show as comedy was never his thing but after a few minutes you mirror the feelings of Jerry and George. Julia Louis - Dreyfus and Michael Richards are given basically cameo roles but they both light up in them.

    This episode isn't the best of the series or even the second season but it contains hilarious moments and is a breakthrough for the show so can safely be called a classic.
  • Jerry buys an extremely expensive jacket with pink lining in the inside. Although he feels confident in meeting Elaine's father with her and George, his confidence quickly fades when Elaine is late. Jerry's jacket also faces the snow, which ruins his expe

    Great episode for the 2nd season! George's small predicament was funny: obssesing over a song. I loved watching the ending too, when Elaine's father started to sing it.

    Jerry buys the expensive jacket that turns out to be ruined in the snow: another great storyline! When Jerry decides that he's goanna turn it inside out when it starts to snow, there's pink lining! I knew that Mr. Benes was not going to be seen with a man with pink strips all over him.

    Elaine showing up late was funny, too. It was great that before hand we knew what Kramer wanted (someone stay in his car for "two minutes"), so we wouldn't be surprised that Elaine was late when she told the story.

    Overall, this was a good episode with a great storylines and funny jokes. For being only in the second season, this was good writing.

  • superb

    What I liked: Lawrence Tierney as Elaine's dad, George having that song from Les Miserables stuck in his head, Elaine's dad singing the same song at the end of the episode, Elaine telling Jerry her dad thinks George is gay because he "thinks everyone's gay her dad not letting Jerry wear his new jacket inside out because it was pink, etc.

    Pretty funny episode from the show's second season. I laughed at a lot of things and thoroughly enjoyed it. B+/A- as my final grade
  • A great episode showing the stark difference in generations. Elaine's father is old school; strong and gruff; Jerry and George are intimidated out of their skin.

    I love the intimidation of the WW II veteran--a Man's Man--and the metro-sexuals Jerry and George. Great stuff. A great episode showing the stark difference in generations. Elaine's father is old school; strong and gruff; Jerry and George are intimidated out of their skin.
    Jerry and George hiding in the bathroom and being afraid to go back out and encounter the man is super. Wish this character had been in a couple of more episodes. He is right up there with Jack Klupkus but for entirely different reasons. "Pipe down chorus boy" is a great line and it stops George right in his tracks.
  • My all-time favorite episode

    Most started watching "the Show About Nothing" in the series' middle years, but I believe that 'Seinfeld' was at its best in the begining, although it remained the greatest sitcom of all time until its end.
    'The Jacket' is a great example of the overall greatness of the first few seasons. 'The Jacket' is my favorite episode for many reasons. First of all, it introduces us to Alton Benes, Elaine's dad, an imitading presence whose effects are felt by the veiwer as well as Jerry and George.
    Second of all, who hasn't been able to relate to Jerry's story about getting something new and not being able to put it down or take it off?
    Now, this is a sitcom, so comedy plays an important part in this as well. It's full of funny moments, both obvious (like George's constant singing, another relatable story) and subtle (like Geroge grabbing Jerry's sleeve, only to have it yanked away). Kramer's story plays a part in the main story in typical 'Seinfeld' fashion, and the ending is just hilarious.