The Junior Mint
First Aired: 25/2/1993
Written by: Andy Robin
Directed by: Tom Cherones
An episode written by the (then) little known Andy Robin, The Junior Mint was something of a departure for Seinfeld at the time. Instead of being centred around Jerry Seinfeld’s own observational style, or Larry David’s obsession with the minutiae of modern life. Based around a rather absurd premise (see below), it foreshadows the surreal direction that the show would eventually take.
Jerry has met an attractive woman in the produce section of the green grocers. They go out, but to Jerry’s consternation, he cannot recall her name. After much probing (both metaphorically and literally), he finds out that her name “rhymes with a part of the female anatomy”. He enlists George’s help in thinking of possible names, to no avail, searches through her purse and even tries introducing both George and Kramer to her. He repeatedly tries the name “Mulva”, claiming she reminded him of his (probably fictional) aunt. She eventually figures out his peculiar behaviour, and storms out on him. He finally guesses she is called “Dolores”. He is also deeply entangled in Kramer’s Story.
Elaine finds that an artistic ex-boyfriend (who’s work consists primarily of triangles) is in hospital awaiting a spleen operation. Jerry agrees to tag along pretending to be Elaine’s partner, so as not to encourage him, and Kramer comes along in search of gloves (more later). She had broken up with him on account of his weight, a “fat starving artist”, and upon seeing his new, slender build, she is flattered to discover that he lost the weight because of her. She asks him out, although Jerry tries to intervene, playing his role as the boyfriend. Later, when he recovers, he is putting weight on again, and she tries to back out, and Jerry takes great delight in turning the tables on her.
Kramer essentially has two stories that segue from one to the other. Firstly, Kramer wishes to stain his floor and put up fake wood wall paper, giving the impression of a “log cabin”. Dissatisfied with the “dish washing” gloves Jerry has provided for the job, he accompanies him and Elaine to the hospital. After securing a stash of sterilised medical gloves, story number two comes along. When visiting Elaine’s friend, he quizzes the doctor on abdominal retractors, and the doctor asks him if he wishes to observe the operation. When his date stands him up, he asks Jerry along. Eating Junior Mints while watching the operation, he offers one to Jerry, and then forces it on him, and it is knocked into the operating theatre, and then into the patient himself. Kramer and Jerry are the only ones aware of this, and when the artist takes for the worse, they fear they may be implicated in murder. Jerry wishes to confess, but Kramer urges him not to. They are relieved when they find that the patient is recovering, and that the stray peppermint snack may even have played a role in staving off the infection.
George receives an unexpected $1900 from a dormant bank account he opened in high school. Upon finding out that Elaine’s artist may be dying, he decides to invest in his art, reasoning that it might increase in value. When Jerry calls to inform the hospital of the Junior Mint incident, George tries to talk him out of it, and is devastated when he makes a recovery. He is told that his purchase of “The Triangles” inspired the patient to get better, and is given an unwanted kiss on the cheek for his efforts. In an unrelated incident, he cries watching “Home Alone”, much to Jerry’s disgust.
Jerry: “Lets go and see them slice this fat bastard up.”
Elaine: “Prognosis negative.”
Kramer: “You know I need a lot of wood around me Jerry. Wood, Jerry. Wood.”
George: “Where’s the luck? There’s no luck.”
Air date information courtesy of www.tv.com