Seinfeld: Season 9, Episode 8

The Betrayal (20 Nov. 1997)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
9.0
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Ratings: 9.0/10 from 796 users  
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The famous "backwards episode". Elaine decides to spite her old college roommate Sue Ellen Mischkie by taking her, Jerry and George to India to attend Sue Ellen's wedding. Elaine repeatedly... See full summary »

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
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...
...
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FDR (as Micheal McShane)
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Nina
...
Zubin
...
Pinter
Heidi Swedberg ...
Noor Shic ...
Usha
Jocelyne Kelly ...
Model
Brian Kaiser ...
Postman
...
Usher
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Storyline

The famous "backwards episode". Elaine decides to spite her old college roommate Sue Ellen Mischkie by taking her, Jerry and George to India to attend Sue Ellen's wedding. Elaine repeatedly reveals secrets about her past when Jerry discovers the combination to Elaine's "vault". Jerry runs in to an ex-flame - Nina, who is a "great conversationalist". George wears boots that alter his height to impress Nina and doesn't use the bathroom the entire time they are in India. Meanwhile, Kramer has a nasty encounter with a man named Franklin Delano Romanowski who tells him to drop dead. Written by halo1k

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Comedy

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Release Date:

20 November 1997 (USA)  »

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4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The backwards episode "The Betrayal" is based on a Harold Pinter play, "Betrayal", which also uses the same gimmick. Sue-Ellen Mishkie's fiancée in the episode is named Pinter in tribute to the playwright. See more »

Goofs

When the airplane they are flying to India on is "Somewhere between New York and India" the aircraft shown is clearly a Boeing 747. However, during the interior shots of the aircraft, it is clearly a Boeing 737 or a similar airframe. See more »

Quotes

Elaine Benes: Your son is marrying my friend, Sue Ellen Mischke -
Usher: You're not going to the wedding, are you?
Elaine Benes: Well -
Usher: Don't go. India is a dreadful, dreadful place.
Zubin: You know, it's the only country that still has the plague.
[laughs]
Zubin: I mean, the plague - please.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Because of the backwards nature of this episode, the Castle Rock logo appears at the beginning with the lighthouse spinning the other way. Additionally, all the credits show in backwards order. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pineapple Express (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Lohengrin - Bridal Chorus
(uncredited)
Music by Richard Wagner
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User Reviews

 
A very clever parody of Harold Pinter's movie "Betrayal."
10 April 2007 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

This episode is based on the movie "Betrayal" by Harold Pinter (winnerof the Nobel Prize for Literature, 2005). The movie starred Jeremy Irons and Ben Kingsley as long-time friends and business associates. As the movie opens, Irons's character meets with Patricia Hodge, the wife of Kingsley's character, to reminisce about an affair they'd broken off about a year earlier. The movie then moves backward in time until the closing scene that occurs just before Irons and Hodge embark on their affair. At every moment, the audience knows more than the characters do, which gives the story a compelling poignancy.

Seinfeld takes this conceit to hysterically funny levels by continually introducing "prior" information that makes what we just saw happen "later" all the funnier. The episode incorporates some inside jokes as well: there are several "love triangles" going on (Elaine, Susan, Pinter form one; Jerry, George, and Nina the other) and of course, the character of Pinter is an homage to Harold Pinter. The fact that they all go to India for the wedding may be a nod to Kingsley's heritage (he's half Indian).

Very creative and very funny, this episode proved that "Seinfeld" could be fresh and innovative even in its 9th season.


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