The Betrayal

"The Betrayal" is the 164th episode of the NBC sitcom Seinfeld. This was the 8th episode for the 9th and final season. It aired on November 20, 1997.

The episode is colloquially referred to as The Backwards Episode.


Jerry, George, and Elaine return from their trip to India that they don't want to talk about. Sue Ellen Mischke calls her wedding off, and Nina doesn't want George or Jerry. George finds out that Jerry slept with Nina and Elaine slept with the groom. Kramer and FDR (Franklin Delano Romanowski) settle their score, a snowball with something extra. Jerry "schnapps" Elaine to find out why George is so bitter about him. Kramer tries to out-wish FDR. Elaine, Jerry, George, and Nina arrive in India, where Elaine discovers that the groom is a man whom she has slept with and that they are the only people from the U.S. who are attending the ceremony. Kramer is angry with Newman because he didn't use his birthday wish to save Kramer from FDR. George "schnapps" Elaine to find out the secret Elaine is keeping about Jerry and Nina. Elaine buys tickets to India to spite Sue Ellen by showing up at her wedding.

Kramer tries to get Newman to use his birthday wish to protect Kramer from FDR. Elaine finds that Jerry and Nina have just slept together. Elaine meets the parents of Sue Ellen's fiancée who try to convince her not to go to India for the wedding; after all they aren't even going. Jerry and Nina suffer an awkward pause in their conversation. Kramer confronts FDR about his birthday wish. Elaine's mail from India is an "unvitation" to Sue Ellen's wedding in India to someone whose name seems familiar to her. George asks Jerry to call Nina about setting them up on a date and realizes he must wear his Timberlands every time he sees her. Jerry and George are walking down the street and they run into Nina, an old girlfriend of Jerry's whom he never slept with. Kramer attends FDR's birthday and FDR gives him the evil eye right before blowing out the candles on his cake. Elaine receives an item in the mail from India. Two years earlier, Jerry tells George and Susan that Nina might be the one; Kramer nails FDR in the back of the head with a snowball; Elaine is dating an Indian man named (Peter) Pinter. Eleven years earlier, new resident Jerry tells his neighbor across the hall, whom he calls Kessler (the name on the mailbox), that "What's mine is yours".


  • Susan Ross, despite having died at the end of Season 7, makes a return appearance in this episode. She appears during a brief flashback to "two years earlier", during the time when she and George were engaged.
  • This was the only episode to use Castle Rock Entertainment closing logo twice: once during the start of the episode (since the episode goes backwards), and another to end the episode.
  • The episode makes several references to the play "Betrayal" by Harold Pinter: aside from the title, both the play and the episode use reverse chronology to tell their stories. Also, the groom in this episode is named Pinter, after the playwright.
  • Jerry mistaking Kramer's name as "Kessler" is a reference to the pilot episode where Kramer's character was originally named Kessler. The episode may also give us a clue as to why Kramer always helps himself to anything in Jerry's apartment in the final scene of the episode when Jerry insists that "what's mine is yours."
  • This episode's inclusion on the Seinfeld Season 9 DVD is accompanied by a special feature that allows the viewer to watch the episode front-to-back with normal chronology, preceded by a brief introduction from writer David Mandel.

See also

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