Seinfeld: Season 9, Episode 8

The Betrayal (20 Nov. 1997)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Comedy
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The gang goes to a wedding in India.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
FDR (as Micheal McShane)
Heidi Swedberg ...
Noor Shic ...
Jocelyne Kelly ...
Brian Kaiser ...


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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20 November 1997 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


In the first episode Jerry calls Kramer "Kessler". The character's name was subsequently changed to Kramer. In the episode "The Betrayal", towards the very end when we see the scene from "Eleven Years Earlier", Jerry is moving into his apartment, and Kramer comes over to welcome him. Jerry says, "You must be Kessler, I saw your name on the buzzer," to which Kramer replies, "No, it's Kramer." See more »


In the pilot episode Michael Richards' character is named "Kessler" (it would be changed to "Kramer" in the second episode) and Jerry refers to him by that name. Continuity error, possibly intentional. In episode 9.8 there is a flashback to the first meeting between Jerry and Richards' character, which occurs prior to when episode 1 takes place. Jerry says something like, ". . . you must be Kessler," and the reply is, "Actually, it's Kramer." If the conversation portrayed in episode 9.8 took place it's unlikely that Jerry would have referred to him as "Kessler" in the pilot episode. See more »


Nina Stengle: George, I've used the bathroom; it's fine.
George Costanza: No, no, no, no - I can walk it off. It's 120 degrees in here: I'll sweat it out.
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 »


References Betrayal (1983) See more »


Lohengrin - Bridal Chorus
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.

29 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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