"The Finale, Part 2” is the final episode of Seinfeld. It is also the twenty-third episode of the ninth and final season of Seinfeld, and the 180th overall. This episode first aired on May 14, 1998. It was written by Larry David and was directed by Andy Ackerman.
Picking up where Part 1 left off, the New York Four are arrested for making fun of, and videotaping, a robbery and doing nothing to help the victim. As they are in jail, they get Kramer's lawyer, Jackie Chiles, to help them.
The trial is covered by Geraldo Rivera and Jane Wells. At the Latham District County Court, the trial is attended by Jerry's parents Morty and Helen Seinfeld, George's parents Frank and Estelle Costanza, Newman, Uncle Leo, Babs Kramer, Jacopo Peterman, David Puddy, Mickey Abbott, Kenny Bania, Susan Ross' parents Mr. Henry Ross and Mrs. Ross, Rabbi Glickman, Matt Wilheim, George Steinbrenner, Jay Crespi, Stu Chermak, and Keith Hernandez and is presided over by Arthur Vandelay (George smirks at his name since he has used that alias very frequently in the past). Officer Vogel shows Kramer's video and Howie, the overweight victim, tells his story as the trial.
The trial soon gets heated up when most of the characters start to tell their story such as Mabel Choate, Marla Penny, Donald Sanger, Lola, Dr. Wexler, Sidra Holland (who Jackie gets attracted to), Joe Bookman, Robin, the Parking Garage Officer from "The Parking Garage," the Detective from "The Wig Master," Leslie, George Steinbrenner, Marcelino, Mr. Hoffman, Fred from "The Pick," Justin Pitt, The Soup Nazi (whose full name is revealed as Yev Kassem), and Babu Bhatt.
As the jury goes over the evidence, Geraldo Rivera and Jane Wells recap to those watching their show about what was heard during the trial. Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer hope that Jackie Chiles would get them acquitted. Estelle enters Judge Vandelay's office in order to get him to reduce the punishment for her son by doing something for him. Everyone else is seen killing time in different ways:
- Mabel Choate, Justin Pitt, Marla Penny, Marcelino, Joe Bookman, and some other people are in the halls of the courthouse.
- Rabbi Glickman is reading something from his book to Jerry's parents and Frank Costanza.
- J. Peterman, Keith Hernandez, Kenny Bania, and Mickey Abbott are playing pool for money at the bar.
- David Puddy is lying under a tree using a tanning mirror on his face.
- Matt Wilhelm is trying to break up an argument between George Steinbrenner and a waiter.
- Newman is eating food in his car while lying down in his back seat.
- Yev Kassem is seen outside a building serving some of his soup to Babu Bhatt, Robin, Mr. Lippman, and Poppie. When Poppie is seen asking for some salt for his soup, Yev Kassem does his "No Soup for You" gesture and takes away his soup and spoon.
- Henry Ross is seen buying a gun.
- Jackie Chiles makes out with Sidra until he gets a call that the jury has reached a verdict.
The next day, it is determined that the gang is guilty and will spend a year in jail. As everyone starts to leave, Elaine tells David not to wait for her to which he says "Alright." Frank tries to wake up Estelle from her fainting so that they can beat the traffic as Uncle Leo comforts Babs in the background. Before leaving with Sidra, Jackie Chiles tells the four that he may have lost the case, but he did get satisfied with Sidra while commenting "And by the way: they're real, and they're spectacular!"
As the four are led to their jail cell, Jerry and George talk about their first words about a button in George's shirt that was mentioned in "The Seinfeld Chronicles". The gang talks about this as the show ends.
The final scene is of Jerry performing a comedy act for the prisoners at the Latham County Prison. Kramer is the only one laughing at his jokes, as the rest of the prisoners are booing him. Larry David (albeit offstage) is one of the haters. He yells to Jerry, "You suck! I'm gonna cut you!" The prison guard (portrayed by Jon Hayman) gets the penultimate lines as he escorts Jerry offstage, "All right, Seinfeld, that's it. Let's go." Appropriately, Jerry gets the last line, "You've been great! See you in the cafeteria!" as the audience jeers and Kramer gives him a standing ovation, wrapping up the episode and the show.
Characters Testifying Against the Gang
The following characters testify against the Gang when called to the stand by District Attorney Hoyt in order of appearance:
- Officer Vogel
- Mabel Choate
- Marla Penny
- Donald Sanger
- Lola (Wheelchair Woman)
- Dr. Wexler
- Sidra Holland
- Joe Bookman
- The Garden Valley Shopping Mall Security Guard from "The Parking Garage"
- The Detective from "The Wig Master"
- George Steinbrenner
- Mr. Hoffman
- Fred from "The Pick"
- Justin Pitt
- The Soup Nazi (Yev Kassem)
- Babu Bhatt
There were also others who testified in deleted scenes:
Notes About Nothing
- This is the fifth most-watched television finale of all time.
- It cost $1,000,000 to have a commercial in this episode.
- When this episode originally aired on NBC, another television station that often showed classic shows, TV Land, paid tribute by not programming any shows opposite it, instead just showing a still shot of a closed office door with a hand written note that said, "We're TV Fans so... we're watching the last episode of Seinfeld. Will return at 10pm et, 7pm pt."
- This episode was criticized by many for portraying the main characters as bad people with no respect for society, and for mocking the audience who tuned in to watch them every week.
- The U.S. West Coast airing of the finale of Seinfeld coincided with the death of Frank Sinatra. Sinatra's ambulance was able to make it to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in 10 minutes in very light traffic, due to many in Los Angeles being indoors to watch the show.
- The conversation in prison, about the "second button being the most important", is exactly the same conversation that begins the pilot episode. This causes George to remark, "Haven't we had this conversation before?" To this, Jerry responds, "Yeah, I think we have."
- This is the only Seinfeld episode to bear the Seinfeld URL during the Castle Rock logo.
- Elaine is the only character not to be in the pilot episode and the last scene (as she could not have logically been present in a men's prison).
- Before NBC announced it was officially ending the sitcom of Seinfeld, it was close to achieving the title of longest-running prime-time TV sitcom, which is currently held by ABC/CBS Family Matters.
|Season Nine Episodes|
|The Butter Shave | The Voice | The Serenity Now | The Blood | The Junk Mail | The Merv Griffin Show | The Slicer | The Betrayal | The Apology | The Strike | The Dealership | The Reverse Peephole | The Cartoon | The Strong Box | The Wizard | The Burning | The Bookstore | The Frogger | The Maid | The Puerto Rican Day | The Chronicle | The Finale, Part 1 | The Finale, Part 2|