Seinfeld: Season 9, Episode 14

The Strongbox (5 Feb. 1998)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Comedy
8.3
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Kramer buys a strong box because there have been several robberies in the building. He tries to hide the key but Jerry keeps finding it. George is trying to break up with his girlfriend ... See full summary »

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Title: The Strongbox (05 Feb 1998)

The Strongbox (05 Feb 1998) on IMDb 8.3/10

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
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Loretta
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Maura (as Alex Kapp)
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Phil
Nicholas Walker ...
Glenn (as Nicholas Paul Walker)
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Ms. Smoth
Bonnie McNeil ...
Alison
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Wife
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Storyline

Kramer buys a strong box because there have been several robberies in the building. He tries to hide the key but Jerry keeps finding it. George is trying to break up with his girlfriend Maura, but can't convince her to leave. Jerry doesn't recognize his new neighbor, Phil, and won't let him in the building. Elaine is dating a poor man who she thinks is a super hero. Written by Jim

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Comedy

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5 February 1998 (USA)  »

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Trivia

This is the second of only two episodes in which Jerry can be seen using the computer in his apartment; the first was the season five episode, "The Stall". See more »

Goofs

When Kramer bursts into Jerry's apartment to escape the bird, the door slams shut by itself. See more »

Quotes

Glenn: You are the bear claw in the garbage bag of my life.
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References Lassie (1954) See more »

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User Reviews

 
None of the plots are more than O.K.
4 February 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The title concerns Kramer's plot where he buys a strongbox to keep his "valuables" in after learning there have been several burglaries in the building. He wants to hide his key for the box in Jerry's apartment, but Jerry keeps stumbling upon it.

Early on, Jerry and George are entering Jerry's building and Jerry politely tells a man he doesn't know that he can't let him come in because he doesn't know him. The man forgot his key but says he lives in the building. It turns out he lives right next door to Kramer. It wasn't stated that he just moved in, and Jerry feels quite embarrassed about not knowing him at all.

Meanwhile, George has a girlfriend Maura, who he wants to break up with. When he flatly tells her so, she refuses. She just tells him "We're not breaking up," and continues to act like they are a couple. George doesn't know how to react. Then he gets the idea of getting her to leave him by having an "affair" with another woman, one who appears to live in a tanning salon. When he arranges for them to meet, the two women quietly tell George they "can work this out." Elaine has met a man who refuses to give her his phone number and says very little about what he does for a living. When he seems to be avoiding a woman coming down the street, Elaine figures it was his wife. It turns out to be his social worker, as the man has a dumpy apartment and gets his food, well, some of it, from garbage cans. Elaine goes out of her way to improve his life until learning a key fact that I won't reveal here because it comes near the end of the show.

None of the four plots were more than somewhat funny. I don't see how you decline someone's statement that they don't want to date you anymore. Given the burglaries, Jerry had no reason to feel embarrassed about not letting in a potential burglar—if he didn't know him, he didn't know him. Kramer's strongbox appeared to be an easily-portable box that any burglar could easily take and open when he got home—"Hey, thanks for putting all your valuables in one easy-to-carry container for me, pal." The Elaine plot seemed the weakest here. Her character in this episode didn't seem bothered when she saw him finding doughnuts in a restaurant garbage bin and eating them. Pretty much in any other episode, she would dump a boyfriend if she just learned that he HAD done this at some point in his life. She would be totally uninterested in dating a man that poor because he couldn't afford to take her to eat at Monk's, let alone to a movie or a play or, well, anywhere.

Frankly, the depiction of this man's lifestyle seemed unrealistic as well. Since he had a social worker who happily blabbed many details of his life to a woman she just met, you have to figure he was getting food stamps/a bridge card. I don't think too many folks getting assistance in that manner go "dumpster diving" like some homeless people do.

I left off any description of the last few scenes involving Jerry and Kramer's attempt to retrieve the key. They were bizarre but really not funny, and definitely dumb. I think even when reviewing an old movie or TV show, you should not reveal details about the last portion of the show. These are the things many viewers might have forgotten that are better if not detailed in a written review. I give this episode a "5" meaning watchable, but not all that funny. That's attempting to compare it to all comedy shows, making it decent in that regard, but the score I give puts it near the bottom on the list of Seinfeld episodes.


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