Wait… When did the last Seinfeld episode air? 1998?… Okay, so we’re about 20 years late with this one, but that’s the way the black and white cookie crumbles. You see, we have been throwing around some crackpot theories lately, and one of the more recent ones we came up with involved everyone’s favorite foursome of horrible people, Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer, or at least it involves their ultimate fate in The Finale Part 1 and Part 2. Now, we’re not going to start saying it might be like the last season of Lost, but we are saying that the gang may actually dead and facing a hell of their own making.
Yada Yada Yada… Eternal Damnation
Okay, so stay with us here, and also SPOILERS ahead, but seriously if you need a spoiler warning for a sitcom that ended two decades ago, than we don’t think we’re the ones with the problems here. There is a statue of limitations, after all.
Maybe it is just us, but there always seemed to be something off about the last Seinfeld episodes. Now, we get it. The point was that a show about ‘nothing’ finally ended up being about ‘something,’ and if you don’t remember, let us recap. The pilot of Jerry and George’s sitcom, Jerry finally gets picked up by NBC. So the gang is given a small private plane to fly out there, but thanks to water in Kramer’s ears, the plane ends up going down. They land in a small town where the four witness and video tape a car jacking. Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer not only don’t help the man, but in typical Seinfeld fashion go about mocking him and the situation. This leads to a trial under a new Good Samaritan Law, where the four are forced to sit through a parade of guests that basically recap the highlights and horrors of all nine seasons. At the end of the trial they are found guilty and sentenced to prison.
However the whole concept of the two-part finale always seemed a bit forced, and that was unfortunate for a series that built its fame by exploring wacky -yet foreseeable- consequences of everyday annoyances and situations. After all, the judge’s name was Art Vandelay, every person they had ever met was trotted up to give testimony, and even Geraldo Rivera was there. Its the kind of strained concept and contrite episode that can ruin a good show, but we might be able help with that. The Finale doesn’t feel like a Seinfeld episode. It feels more like hell… Or at least the waiting room before you enter hell.
That’s right. We are saying, that Jerry, George, Elaine, and Karmer are actually dead. Their plane, which was traveling from New York to Los Angeles, goes down. We are even treated to scene where the entire gang is convinced they are about to die. The plane is literally plummeting toward the Earth. The screen turns as the plane goes into a nosedive. Yet it miraculously levels off and in the next scene they are on the ground, unscathed, and saying that the plane only needs some minor repairs. That’s a little unbelievable. So, what if that is only what they think happened? What if the gang is, in fact, dead and doesn’t know it yet? This theory is further bolstered by the fact that they find themselves in Latham, Massachusetts, which is a town that does not exist anywhere, or on any map.
There are a lot of cultures that believe that when we die we will be given one final test. In Ancient Egypt, the god Osiris weighs your heart to see if it is lighter than a feather. In the Aztec belief system the dead went to Mictlan, where the souls faced a multitude of trials. Even in Catholicism, if a soul enters purgatory they must be purified and tested before being allowed entrance to heaven. What if that is what the gang is faced with in Latham, Massachusetts? -Because if there is a purgatory it’s probably in rural Massachusetts- Now, the Seinfeld characters are not bad people. They don’t kill or… rape or… or kill. Right? However, they aren’t really good people either. They are selfish, judgemental, cheaters who have hurt a lot of people along the way. So, in death they are given one final judgement, one final test. They fail the carjacking test and are then brought for final judgement. In Greek myth, a dead soul is judged by King Minos, Aeacus, and Radamanthus. In, Babylon the soul was judged by Ereshkigal. In Christianity a soul is judged by God or St. Peter, but in Seinfeld, the soul is judged by Art Vandelay, because, really, who else would be the god of that culture?
To the gang this suddenly seems like the court case of the century, even attracting celebrity news coverage, because of course it would seem that way to the damned. This is the trial of their lives, the trial of their eternities. So, every person they have ever wronged is brought up and paraded before them, to relate how Jerry, George, Elaine, and/or Kramer has negatively affected their lives. The trial paints a very clear picture that most people the gang has interacted with would have been better off if they had never met our main characters. This litany of past memories, which includes everyone from Bubble Boy to the Soup Nazi, is further proof of the gang’s death. According to Researchers from Hadassah University in Jerusalem, one of the things that happens when we die is that we actually do relive the standout memories of our life, and that is true for both the characters and the audience. We are literally witnessing and reliving the standout moments of Seinfeld, as the show dies.
These Hell Fires are Making Me Thirsty
In the end, Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer are all found guilty. What does that mean?
Let’s take a step back. Realistically, Good Samaritan Laws are meant to protect people who attempt to help other people and fail, such as a person who gives CPR to a dying man in a restaurant. The good Samaritan is protected from being sued by the dead man’s family. These laws are not meant to punish people who just fail to help, even if those people are also horrible people. The gang even filmed the carjacking and -despite their recorded hurtful-fat-shaming comments- that in itself would have realistically been enough to help identify the thief and satisfy any kind of “Required to Help” law. Thus, a jail sentence seems pretty extreme and cruel in the real world, but as we have established the group is not in the real world. They are dead. So they are not just sentenced to jail, but eternal damnation.
We even get a glimpse of Jerry’s own personal hell as we watch him struggle to do standup in front of a literally hostile crowd of people for all of eternity. We are left to wonder what perdition looks like for the other members of the group. Perhaps George will have to live with his parents in a job he hates for all of eternity. Maybe Elaine will be regulated to having one unsatisfying relationship after another as she struggles at being under appreciated. Maybe Kramer will be forced to sleep in a room with a giant red neon sign outside the window, as he moves from one fruitless scheme to another… And if you are going, “Wait, isn’t that just their normal everyday lives?” Then congratulations, that may be the point.
Remember how the episode ends? The four are sitting in a jail cell and Jerry begins a conversation about George’s shirt buttons. The conversation perfectly mirrors the one had in the very first episode. If, we consider that the the show is implying that the gang is dead and being sentenced to an eternity of hell, then maybe it is also worth considering that they are begin sentenced to repeat their lives over and over again. After all, isn’t that what happens to sitcoms once they are ended. They are basically doomed to live in syndication and reruns with the plots and the characters forever fixed and repeating the same mistakes from now until the sun burns itself out. Maybe, the writers are implying that our favorite Seinfeld characters already were in a sort of 22-minute hell, and now their fate is that they will never be allowed to escape it.