The Foundation (Seinfeld)
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"The Foundation" is the 135th episode of the American television sitcom Seinfeld. This was the first episode of the eighth season. It was originally broadcast on the NBC network on September 19, 1996.
|Episode no.||Season 8|
|Directed by||Andy Ackerman|
|Written by||Alec Berg & Jeff Schaffer|
|Original air date||September 19, 1996|
The season opens at a cemetery, where we see the gravestone of George's late fiancée Susan in full view. While George wishes to move on from Susan's tragic demise, her parents want to keep her memory alive by creating a foundation in her honor, inspired by a Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan reference Jerry told them about Susan, which ruins George's newfound happiness as the Rosses want George to sit on the board of directors. George also sees a large portrait of a smiling Susan at the well-appointed foundation headquarters.
Jerry breaks his engagement with Jeannie Steinman and reunites with Dolores (aka Mulva) from "The Junior Mint." However, Dolores had figured Jerry would mature because of his advanced relationship with Jeannie and thus breaks up with him when it turns out he hasn't. Jerry, in need to prove that he has matured, makes up a relationship questionnaire in order to see where he stands with other women.
After a nervous breakdown, J. Peterman runs off to Burma and leaves Elaine in charge of his catalog. Kramer becomes a dominating martial arts expert at a karate academy for kids and convinces Elaine that she can run the company, which she does by putting her idea for an "urban sombrero" on the cover. She then finds out Kramer was fighting kids and that his inspiration came from Star Trek III: The Search for Spock; realizing her disastrous mistake, she angrily shoves him, causing the kids (who were earlier defeated easily by him) to be in awe. Kramer later gets beaten up by the kids in an alley. Elaine later finds out her urban sombrero has destroyed some people's lives, further ruining her confidence.
George finds out he would have inherited some of Susan's millions had they been married, but now he is stuck at the foundation as they are all auctioned off to the highest bidder to benefit various charities. The same portrait of Susan which hangs in the foundation's boardroom now seems to be sneering at George from beyond the grave as he looks back at it in shock.
Jerry Seinfeld took over the role as executive producer following the departure of Larry David (although he continued to voice the character of George Steinbrenner for the remainder of the series) beginning with this episode. As a result of his added duties with the show, his traditional stand-up comedy segments were scrapped. The episode was dedicated to Marjorie Gross, a writer for the show who died of ovarian cancer in June 1996.
This episode makes several references to Star Trek. Jerry's line to Susan's parents ("She's not really dead if we find a way to remember her.") is very similar to a line said at the end of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan ("He's really not dead. As long as we remember him."). Kramer mentions his Katra, the Vulcan spirit introduced in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Finally, when George learns of the foundation, he yells, "Khaaaaaaannnnnnn!!!" while the camera pans above him, much like Captain Kirk in Star Trek II. This upward-panning camera technique is repeated by George in "The Dealership" and also by Elaine in "The Susie". One of the things being auctioned off at the foundation is Susan's doll collection, seen in "The Doll." The scene in which Kramer is beaten up by the children in an alley, pays homage to a similar scene in Season 7's "The Sponge" where Kramer is beaten up by angry AIDS-walk participants.