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The Seinfeld Chronicles

An obsessive-compulsive viewer's guide to every episode

The ''Seinfeld'' chronicles: Season Two

EPISODE 6

THE EX-GIRLFRIEND

FIRST AIRED 1/23/91 WRITERS David/Seinfeld DIR. Cherones SYNOPSIS Jerry develops a ''psychosexual'' need for George's ex, Marlene (Tracy Kolis). Elaine gets into the first of many paranoid confrontations, this time with a neighbor who has stopped saying hello. HISTORIC MOMENT Our first glimpse of Jerry in his car. (These people regularly drive in Manhattan? They truly are nuts.) Kramer inaugurates two trademark obsessions: fresh fruit and golf. CRITIQUE The series' most multifaceted (if not most engaging) narrative so far — a sign of things to come. B

EPISODE 7

THE PONY REMARK

FIRST AIRED 1/30/91 WRITERS David/Seinfeld DIR. Cherones SYNOPSIS At his elderly cousin Manya's 50th-anniversary party, Jerry makes a disparaging remark about people who had ponies as kids. When Manya, a former pony owner, takes offense, then proceeds to drop dead, Jerry is racked with guilt. INTRODUCES Barney Martin as Jerry's father, as well as the delightfully cantankerous Uncle Leo (Len Lesser), avid fan of cousin Jeffrey (someone whom, along with much-mentioned Kramer bud Bob Sacamano, we will never see. Says Seinfeld: ''They've become too large in our imagination for anyone to fill those shoes''). CRITIQUE Seinfeld at its mordant best. A-

EPISODE 8

THE JACKET

FIRST AIRED 2/6/91 WRITERS David/Seinfeld DIR. Cherones SYNOPSIS Almost as inexplicable as Jerry's shelling out countless hundreds for a simple suede jacket is the enveloping sense of confidence it bestows upon him. Both are imperiled by the arrival of Elaine's irascible novelist father, Alton Benes (Lawrence Tierney). HISTORIC MOMENT Establishes Elaine's first job (manuscript reader at Pendant Publishing) but little else about her immediate family. A few things we will learn: She's from Towson, Md., has a sister in St. Louis, and an uncle who worked in the Dallas book depository with Lee Harvey Oswald. CRITIQUE Jerry and George's torturous hotel-lobby meeting with Mr. Benes is a squirm-inducing joy. B+

EPISODE 9

THE PHONE MESSAGE

FIRST AIRED 2/13/91 WRITERS David/Seinfeld DIR. Cherones SYNOPSIS A blown invitation for ''coffee'' and an unreturned phone call from a could-be-girlfriend prompt George's insecurities to run amok. Jerry dates, then is dumped by, a woman because she's a fan of a Dockers commercial (ironically, he gripes, ''They're talking about nothing!''). CRITIQUE The first of two consecutive and classic George angst-fests, as Jason Alexander — master of frantic venom — begins to make the character his own. B+

EPISODE 10

THE APARTMENT

FIRST AIRED 4/4/91 WRITER Peter Mehlman DIR. Cherones SYNOPSIS Jerry offers to hook Elaine up with a dirt-cheap apartment in his building, then immediately reconsiders. George, believing women to be more attracted to married men, sports a wedding band. HISTORIC MOMENTS The premiere of Elaine's patented ''Get out!'' shove, and the much-referred-to ''pop-in'' (unexpected visits — as in, Elaine will be popping in all the time if she moves upstairs). CRITIQUE George's profound self-hatred is now in full bloom (''Please, a little respect, for I am Costanza, Lord of the Idiots!''). Kramer's input, meanwhile, remains limited to off-the-wall, often annoying cameos. Which reminds us: Why in the world has Alexander been denied an Emmy, while Richards has scored two? B+

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