The Conversion (season 5, episode 11)
written by Bruce Kirschbaum, directed by Tom Cherones
original airdate: December 16, 1993
George goes through the process of converting to the Latvian Orthodox religion for a girl. Jerry spots a suspicious ointment in his girlfriend’s medicine cabinet.
Elaine inadvertently convinces George to convert to Latvian Orthodox, and he resorts to using crib notes to cheat on his conversion test when being tested by Jerry. Jerry and George discuss the possible meaning of the fungus cream in Tawni’s apartment.
Jerry discusses the possible fungus Tawni may have with Elaine and Kramer. Sasha ends up breaking up with George even after his conversion, as she is moving to Latvia for a year.
La Boite en Bois
75 W. 68th St., New York, NEW YORK (map)
nearest subway: 66th Street – Lincoln Center (1)
Sasha breaks up with George due to the fact he is not Latvian Orthodox…but then still orders a lobster dinner anyways.
129 W. 81st St., Apt. 5E, New York, NEW YORK (map)
nearest subway: 81st Street – Museum Of Natural History (B,C)
Jerry discovers a mysterious fungal cream in his new girlfriend Tawni’s apartment, which he obsesses over its purpose. Tawni is shown as living in apartment 5E (which, according to Jerry, she is subletting from “Carol” for a month), which later in the series is shown as Newman’s Apartment.
Latvian Orthodox Church (actually Russian Orthodox Cathedral Of The Transfiguration Of Our Lord)
228 N. 12th St., Brooklyn, NEW YORK (map)
nearest subway: Bedford Avenue (L)
George wants to join the Latvian Orthodox Church, in part due to the hat, which conveys that “solemn, religious” look you want in a faith. He discusses that he knows the basic “plot”: the flood, the lepers, the commandments, etc. Sister Roberta falls for Kramer, because of his “kavorca,” the lure of the animal.
Elaine offends her podiatrist boyfriend by telling him that he’s not really a doctor. He later discovers the fungal cream tube in Elaine’s medicine cabinet, making him question his relationship with her.
George studies Latvian Orthodox theology in the bathroom, in the hopes of converting, nearly prompting another “Contest” incident. He later likens himself to King Edward VIII, to which Jerry rebuts with “but King Edward didn’t live in Queens with Frank and Estelle Costanza.” Frank later tells George he believes that the church is the group “that goes around mutilating squirrels!”
Brooklyn, NEW YORK (map)
In a deleted scene, Tawni asks Jerry to drive her to Brooklyn so Bonkers the cat can get new fungal cream. An alternate episode ending shows them stopping at Elaine’s Apartment to “check” if she has the same cream, where Tawni busts Jerry for checking her medicine cabinet: “I just nudged it a little!”
Jerry stops by Kramer’s, after smelling the stink of the “kavorca” remedy (of garlic and vinegar) coming from the apartment.
Delancey Street – Essex Street Station
Delancey St. and Essex St., New York, NEW YORK (map)
nearest subway: Essex Street (J,M,Z)
Kramer gets off at this subway stop (by the entrance to Bate Records at 140 Delancey St.) to get to the Latvian Orthodox Church in time to stop Sister Roberta’s final vows. This station is accessible on the F, J, M or Z lines.
George’s girlfriend Sasha reveals that she is moving to Latvia for a year, and thus can’t get back together with George, even after he’s completed his conversion to the Latvian Orthodox Church.