The Chinese Restaurant was on last night. What a masterpiece! To me, coming late in season two, this was maybe the first true classic episode. (The Deal is also a must-see, to have a knowledge of the Jerry/Elaine relationship, among other reasons.) This episode deals with so many everyday topics, including George's bathroom buffer-zone quandary, and Jerry running into someone who knows him, and talking to her even though he can't think of who she is. (I've done that more than once.) Elaine has an unusual number of good lines in this ep. But these are my favorite two exchanges, both involving Costanza:
George, explaining to Jerry what happened with Tatiana:
G: Well, after dinner last week, she invites me back to her apartment.
J: I'm with you.
G: Well, it's this little place with this little bathroom. It's like right there, you know. It's not even down a little hall or off in an alcove. You understand? There's no... buffer zone. So, we start to fool around, and it's the first time, and it's early in the going. And I begin to perceive this impending, intestinal requirement, whose needs are going to surpass by great lengths anything in the sexual realm. So I know I'm gonna have to stop. And as this is happening I'm thinking, even if I can somehow manage to momentarily... extricate myself from the proceedings and relieve this unstoppable force, I know that bathroom is not gonna provide me with the privacy that I know I'm going to need.
J: This could only happen to you.
G: So I finally stop and say, "Tatiana, I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I think it would be best if I left."
J: You said this to her, after?
G: No... during.
J: Oh, boy. So?
G: So, I'm dressing and she's staring up at me, struggling to compute this unprecedented turn of events. I don't know what to say to reassure this woman, and worst of all, I don't have the time to say it. The only excuse she might possibly have accepted is if I told her I am in reality Batman, and I'm very sorry, but I just saw the Bat Signal.
My other favorite part comes after the Chinese guy gets a call and yells out "Cartwright!! Cartwright!!" Shortly after that, George walks up to him:
"Excuse me, I'm expecting a call. Costanza?"
"Yeah, I just got a call. I yell Cartwright! Cartwright!, just like that. Nobody came up. I hang up."
"Well, was it for Costanza, or..."
"Yes, yes. That's it. Nobody answered."
"Well, was it a woman?"
"Yes, yes. I tell her, you not here. She say curse word. I hang up."
(George walks back to Jerry and Elaine.)
"She called. He yelled Cartwright. I missed her."
"But you're not Cartwright."
"Of course I'm not Cartwright!!" :-D
"Who is gonna come and turn the tide? What's it gonna take to make the dream survive? Who's got the touch to calm the storm inside? Who's gonna save you? Alive and kicking..."