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The Bookstore

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"The Bookstore"
The bookstore
Season 9
Episode 173
Air Date April 16, 1998
Writer(s) Spike Feresten
Director Andy Ackerman
The Burning · The Frogger

"The Bookstore” is the seventeenth episode of the ninth and final season of Seinfeld, and the 173rd episode overall. This episode first aired on April 16, 1998.

Plot

Kramer "hangs out" more than usual at Jerry's place. At the beginning of the episode, Jerry leaves Kramer alone in his apartment. Kramer immediately jumps up and starts to make a smoothie and spills juice all over the counter, then uses Jerry's couch cushion to clean it up. Kramer is then seen riding Jerry's bike around his apartment, yelling down at people on the street, and doing a Jerry stand-up impersonation. He also hosts several dozen people over for tea. Later at night when Jerry returns, Kramer has put everything in the apartment back to normal, except for a glass of soda on the coffee table without a coaster. Jerry exclaims, "I don't believe this!" He then places a coaster under the glass.

Jerry and George are at a bookstore, Brentano's, where George hopes to meet women and Jerry spots Uncle Leo shoplifting. George takes a large book into the bathroom with him; the bookstore then makes George buy the book. Elaine is at the annual Peterman party, where everyone is anxious to know if she is going to dance again. Elaine didn't dance at the party; instead, she and a man named Zach got drunk and made out at their table. George suggests that she tell everyone that she and Zach are dating (so that she won't be known as the "office skank"). Kramer and Newman plan to implement Kramer's idea for running a rickshaw service in the city. They are getting a rickshaw from Hong Kong; now they need to find someone to pull it. Jerry confronts Uncle Leo about the stolen book. Uncle Leo claims it is a right as a senior citizen. Elaine catches her man with another woman. Kramer and Newman attempt to interview potential rickshaw pullers from a collection of homeless men; however, one of the candidates takes off with the rickshaw. George tries to return his book, but is told the book has been "flagged" as having been in the bathroom. Jerry rats out Uncle Leo at the bookstore.

Jerry talks with his parents about Uncle Leo's theft and finds out about his prior, the crime of passion of which his mother will not tell him the details. His parents also inform him of the senior approach; it is not stealing if you need it. Elaine plans to use the cheating angle to protect her reputation. Jerry tries to talk with Uncle Leo, but the only thing Uncle Leo tells him is that he never forgets when he's been betrayed. George discovers his book has been "flagged" in all the databases as a bathroom book. Elaine's plan goes awry when J. Peterman demands that she help Zach get off the "yam yam" by helping him to quit cold turkey. Jerry has a nightmare about Uncle Leo. Newman and Kramer discover where the rickshaw is and Kramer loses the contest to determine who will pull the other. George tries to donate his book to charity, but even they won't take the marked book. When Kramer gets tired pulling Newman in the rickshaw up a hill and lets it go, the results are disastrous as the rickshaw runs over Elaine's "boyfriend" Zach. George plans to steal a good copy of the book, so he can return it to get his money back. Just as Jerry finds out from the manager that the manager has been told that the store needs to make a good example out of a shoplifter, any shoplifter, as long as they catch him in the act. Jerry then points out that George is shoplifting, and he gets caught.

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