Seinfeld

Season 3 Episode 5

The Library

6
Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Oct 16, 1991 on NBC
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Episode Fan Reviews (9)

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9.3
out of 10
Average
372 votes
  • Combines flawless editing, writing, acting and humour. The Perfect Episode of Seinfeld.

    9.5
    In The Library; Jerry is under investigation for not returning the book "Tropic of Cancer" to the Library for 20 years and is pursued by the Library Cop Mr. Bookman. Jerry recalls High School to remember where he left the book and tracks down an old classmate to assist him. George recalls the same time at High School when the Gym teacher gives him a wedgie and is later fired. Kramer starts a relationship with the Librarian and Elaine fears that she's on the verge of being fired from her job at Pendant Publishing. At this point we've yet to see Jerry, George, Elaine and Kramer really come together as a group; this episode as well as others all go in different directions and don't rely on their companionship but the individual plots are so great it doesn't matter.

    This episode subtly channels "Citizen Kane" as the answer to the mystery is told through flashbacks with different characters pointing ironically towards the changing, subjective nature of memory and the final revelation of the plot's main object. This is a brilliant plot device and the way it involves George's story makes for just a great script. Although Kramer's and Elaine's are brief they contain some of the best elements of the episode, especially with Kramer's relationship with Marion the Librarian. But when it comes to laughs there's nothing surpasses the exchanges between Jerry and the tough as nails Bookman; they're just classic. Jerry's monologues were also great even though the first one was a little weird. The flashbacks were also good but the lack of budget is VERY evident. This is the only episode directed by Joshua White which is sad since his cinematic direction combined with the sharp writing from Larry Charles contributed to this episode's classic status as did the acting. While Jerry and George both are very well acted by Jerry Seinfeld and Jason Alexander; there's no real development to their character while Elaine is shown to have a neurotic side and Kramer shows signs of suaveness and thoughtfulness that is a good growth on the zany neighbour character. Phillip Baker Hall makes for the most memorable guest appearance so far with his brilliant send - up of Joe Friday from Dragnet and Harris Shore debuts as Elaine's boss Mr. Lippman but he's immediately replaced by Richard Fancy in the next episode based at her work.

    The Library is just a sensational episode of Seinfeld; go see it now!
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