Search This Blog

Archive

favourite Posts

Image

Christmas On Frasier

This year as part of the "Holidays On..." series, we've been covering the classic 1990s sitcom, Frasier.  Truthfully, I was unsure about selecting Frasier for this year's series, knowing ahead of time that there were only two Halloween and two episodes for Thanksgiving.  That didn't matter, though, as my wife and I roared with laughter while we sat watching those four holiday episodes.

I'd like to include a little bit of fun trivia about the Frasier title cards, and here's as good a time as any.  There were 20 different animations and 25 different musical tones throughout the course of 11 seasons.  The color of the word "Frasier" changes with each new season, with the above green being used in Season Three.  While Season One's Christmas episode used the "elevator" animation, each following Christmas episode used the above graphic for its title card.  

We were always big fans of the show and frequently put Frasier on The Hallmark Channel at night while we were getting ready for bed, but seeing it again this time was different.  We focused on the show, without our phones or bedtime routine (or drifting to sleep halfway through), and really, truly belly laughed.  The dialogue and writing on Frasier was so quick, witty, and intelligent.  The chemistry between the cast was perfect, and I don't think I'm going out on a limb to say that David Hyde Pierce stole the show as Niles more often than not.  It wasn't all Niles, though.  Without any one member of the cast, the show just wouldn't be as funny.

It's been a real treat for me to go back and watch each season for this series of posts.  In a way, holidays during my childhood mirrors the way Frasier was written.  We didn't go "all out" for Halloween or Thanksgiving in our home, but Christmas was different.  

We had family stay for several days in either our house or my Grandparent's home next door.  We decorated the houses after Thanksgiving, and Granny would spend weeks baking batch after batch of Christmas cookies.  The table on their enclosed back porch would be covered with fifteen or twenty Tupperware bins full of cookies.  On Christmas Eve, we'd attend the candlelight service at church and then return home to drive around looking for the best Christmas light display.  Christmas day was a full-day affair with a few different rounds of gift-giving, meals, leftovers, and more that, as a kid, seemed to roll into New Year's Eve a week later.

After the first season, in 1993, when Frasier aired its first Christmas episode, the reception by the audience was so great that the show incorporated Christmas seven more times during the remaining ten years!  

With so many episodes to cover, let's get started!  Click "Keep Reading" to see how Frasier Crane and his family spent "Christmas on Frasier!"


"Miracle on Third or Fourth Street" (S1 E12) Originally Aired December 16, 1993

The episode opens as Frasier signs off from his radio show for the year, planning to spend the holidays with his family.  Bulldog, the wacky sports host, comes in and begs Frasier to cover for him on Christmas.  Frasier quickly says no, that his son Frederick is flying in for Christmas, and he wouldn't miss it for the world.  

Frasier and Roz exchange gifts, but when he opens a beautiful leather briefcase, he realizes his gag gift of a toy microphone doesn't compare.  Frasier has been chosen to drive the amorous (and intoxicated) Bonnie, the auto show host, home this year because he's the newest employee.  Bonnie walks in and says she's ready to go home and downs a drink before she lifts Frasier over her shoulder and carries him away.

Frasier's ex-wife Lillith calls to say their son Frederick will not be flying to Seattle for Christmas as planned.  He has won a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe to see the filming locations of his favorite movie, The Sound of Music.  He'll also stop to visit Euro Disneyland (now called Disneyland Paris), and Frasier has no choice but to let him go.  Frasier fights Martin over his gaudy Christmas decorations, and, without Frederick, Frasier decides to fill in for Bulldog on Christmas. 

The following day at the radio station, Frasier wears markedly different clothing than usual; ripped jeans and a dirty sweatshirt.  Roz is upset because her Mom flew halfway across the country to be with her on Christmas and mentions that Christmas day on a call-in show is so depressing.  After all, the only people who call in are the lonely people with really sad stories.  

As the show rolls on, Frasier is already begging for an upbeat caller.  One caller says he has a feel-good story because yesterday when he left the gym, he left his shoes on the roof of his car and saw them fall off in front of a homeless man.  Frasier and Roz were unamused.  The callers continued to get worse and worse until, eventually, one caller said he once received a puppy from Santa that wouldn't wake up when he opened the box.   This really sad caller was played by the comedic legend Mel Brooks.  

I'd like to take a break from the episode here to briefly touch on the callers to Frasier's show.  The callers often were big-name celebrities, from stars like Mel Brooks and Ben Stiller (both appear in this episode) to John Lithgow and Christopher Reeve.  These A-listers lined up to participate in the show often because they weren't required to appear on camera, and a big deal was never made of their appearances, making celebrities happy to be a part of the show.  I suppose I should have known this was a thing because they ran a brief "thank you" credit at the end of every season with the celebrity participant names, but I didn't know this until recently.  

Back to the episode, the show finally ends, and Frasier goes out to eat.  The only thing open is a diner, and he sits next to a homeless man.  As they begin talking, Frasier unloads about fighting with his father and not being home on Christmas.  The man says he's upbeat about things because a pair of gym shoes fell off a car yesterday, and now he has nice warm feet.  

Feeling better after a while, Frasier leaves but has lost his wallet.  Looking at Frasier's dirty, torn outfit, the waitress assumes he can't afford to pay.  The homeless men at the diner take up a collection of the other patrons to pay for Frasier's meal, who is touched by their kindness.  One of the men responds by saying that the rest of the year is for the rich with fancy clothes and expensive foreign cars, like the one parked right outside.  Frasier is embarrassed, and as he exits, he waits for everyone to turn around and crawls to his expensive foreign car.... only to find that he left his keys inside the diner.

Returning to look for the keys, the men further engage him in conversation and give him a quarter to call home and settle things with his Dad.  Frasier is genuinely touched, thanks them, and plans to smooth things over with Martin immediately.  He leaves the restaurant and walks home. 



"Frasier Grinch" (S3, E9) Originally Aired December 19, 1995

At their favorite coffee shop, Cafe Nervosa, Niles hopes that he and Maris might be together again by the end of the New Year.  Previously in the series, Maris had flown off to New York without telling Niles, worrying him.  When she arrived home, she kicked him out of the house for asking for an explanation and apology. 

Frasier is excited that Frederick will be arriving in a few hours.  In a good mood, Niles offers to pay for everyone but finds that his credit card was declined because Maris has closed his account.  

As the Christmas party rages on behind Frasier, he sends Roz home early because he will read his annual "inspirational Christmas fable."  As a nice touch, you can see Frasier still uses the briefcase Roz purchased him in the first Christmas episode two years prior.

Frasier arrives home and sees that Martin has decorated the apartment with the gaudiest, tacky decorations he had, complete with a dancing Santa, giant reindeer, and blinking lights.  Marty claims it's for when Frederick arrives, but Niles and Frasier can only remember when their mother would tell them, "shut up, or you'll hurt his feelings."  

Frasier pulls out a giant box that contains the presents he ordered for Frederick:  a chemistry set, globe, and other educational gifts like one toy called "The Living Brain."  He's been waiting to open the box, but when he does, it's all dollhouses and Barbie dolls meant for someone with a similar-sounding name from Kennebunkport, Maine.  Frasier is devastated, but Martin thinks he should have bought Freddie the toys he wanted at Christmas, not some educational toys that Fraiser wanted him to have, like the "Outlaw Lazer Robot" that was the number one selling toy that year. 

Frasier and Niles run to the mall for last-minute shopping before Freddie's plane arrives.  Fraiser gets laughed at by a child and a woman for wanting "The Living Brain."  Niles tries to get Frasier to give up finding educational gifts and suggests writing his son a check because that's what he plans to do.  Frasier reminds Niles that his check would bounce because Maris closed the account.  

A man walks in with a gift bag full of educational toys purchased at another store.  When Frasier asks to buy his entire bag, the man holds him up for $1,000.  Frasier scoffs at the high price and only has $300 cash with him, so he offers a personal check to make up the difference.  When the seller accepts, Frasier tells Niles to cut him a check for his personal account and runs off with the bag.

Martin is still decorating back at home, and Frasier discovers that one of the boxes contains every gift he's given him over the past few years, most still with tags in the original gift wrap.  Martin explains that Frasier only gets people what Frasier wants, not what the people he's giving the gift to would like.  

Just then, Frederick pokes his head in to say goodnight.  He mentions he can't wait to sleep so that Santa can bring him the "Outlaw Lazer Robot" he wants so badly.  Frasier is devastated because he once again bought someone something HE wanted, not what THEY wanted.  It's too late to go out and get the Robot, so he sulks at the table.  Deciding to give Martin his present because it's another gift he would like for himself, Martin opens a "dressing gown."  Martin hands him a present to open, and when Frasier unwraps it, he begins to cry.  Martin had purchased the "Outlaw Lazer Robot," saving Frasier's Christmas with his son. 



"Perspectives on Christmas" (S5,E9) Originally Aired December 16, 1997

This episode opens as Martin is getting a massage.  He tells the masseuse it's been the worst Christmas ever, and it all started the day before.  We flashback to Martin, Frasier, and Niles decorating the tree amidst slightly toned-down decorations compared to the previous season.  Martin confesses to Frasier that Eddie and himself have befriended a Priest down the street and have agreed to be in the Christmas pageant.  

He asks Frasier for help rehearsing his song, and that night, Niles and Frasier watch as he croaks out a very off-key version of "O Holy Night."  Martin is embarrassed and doesn't want Daphne to know he's in the pageant because he'll be even more nervous if she was in the crowd.  

We flash forward to see Daphne getting a massage, and she begins telling the story from her point of view.  We flashback to the same scene as before, except when Frasier and Martin go into the kitchen, Daphne and Niles remain in the living room, where she mentions that Eddie keeps going into the church on walks.  She's worried that Martin has begun attending church because he's seriously ill and wants to get his final affairs in order.  

The next day she walks into the apartment, and Martin is on the phone asking, "what I'm supposed to say when I meet Jesus for the first time?"  She breaks down in tears as he makes several out-of-context comments that affirm her worries, like "I can die a happy man" and "I don't have much time; I'm on my way out."  When she asks him how much time he has left, he responds, "20 minutes."  She's confused but then realizes he's not dying.  The two friends start to argue because he thinks it's hysterical, but she's upset that she has been so upset all week just because he didn't want her to know that he was in the church pageant.  As they argue, Niles walks in, looking like he was in a car wreck, and passes out on the floor.  

Flashing forward, Niles dreams about Daphne giving him a massage, but he awakes to find a male masseuse rubbing his legs.  We flashback to Niles in an elevator with a giant Christmas tree and three other people.  The elevator breaks down, and Niles is forced to climb out of the ceiling escape hatch to use the release switch.  The doors open, and everyone runs out, leaving Niles alone on the elevator.  Soon the elevator begins operating normally, and when Niles finally emerges all bruised, bloody, and battered, his expensive Italian suit is torn and covered in grease and tree sap.  While he's telling his story, Roz bursts open the door and throws her gift to the ground.   

Roz is now on the massage table and says she felt restless.  Earlier that day, Roz showed up at Cafe Nervosa, already annoyed with Frasier for getting her involved in a charity event.  Her mother calls and Frasier takes over the phone call while Roz gets a coffee.  Frasier takes the opportunity to warn Roz's mother that Roz has put on a few pounds in pregnancy weight and to be careful with what she says.  When Roz returns, she apologizes to Frasier for being so crabby lately; she's just nervous about telling her mother she's pregnant, much to Frasier's shock.  With how he starts acting, Roz figures out that Frasier spilled the beans and is still fuming mad hours later when she shows up at Frasier's apartment.  

Martin comes through the door dressed as a wise man and yells about how much he hates Christmas and everyone and everything.  Eddie ruined the pageant by grabbing baby Jesus and running off with it to chew on.  Soon, the entire family yells at one another until Frasier yells loud enough to get everyone under control.  He tells them he will give them their gifts right now, which is to sit down and tell everyone personally how he feels about them.

The group starts complaining about such a terrible gift, and Frasier quickly offers to have a masseuse come to give everyone massages.  During the closing credits, everyone is in a much better mood singing Christmas carols and drinking hot cocoa in their pajamas.  



"Merry Christmas, Mrs. Moskowitz" (S6,E10) Originally Aired on December 17, 1998

Once again, Frasier's son Frederick can't make it to Seattle for Christmas.  This time he's on a last-minute archeological dig with his own set of old bones, Lilith.  Frasier and Roz are in the mall shopping, and Frasier purchases a menorah for Frederick since he's half-Jewish.  When Roz's attention is diverted, he asks a salesman for a yellow sweater, but the salesman blows up his spot and shows it to him right in front of Roz.  

An older woman says the sweater was for her as a gift to her daughter and asks Roz's opinion on color and size.  When Roz leaves, Frasier thanks the woman for saving him and discovering what Roz really wants.  The woman wants to be repaid by setting her daughter up on a blind date with a wealthy doctor like Frasier, who agrees.

At Cafe Nervosa, Frasier arranges for an "escape call" with Niles.  Faye, the daughter, walks in, and Frasier is immediately attracted to her.  She's a lawyer turned pastry chef who happens to work at Frasier's favorite restaurant.  Daphne shows up at the coffee shop as Niles watches the date, and she asks him to direct her club's Christmas musical.  Niles places the escape call, but Faye calls Frasier out on it.  When he asks how she knew what his call was, her phone rings with her own escape call, and the two laugh.

Days later, Faye and her mother arrive at Frasier's apartment, but Faye panics when she sees his Christmas decorations.  Her mother thinks Frasier is Jewish because she saw him in the mall with the menorah.  Frasier convinces Niles to play along, using funny but probably cancelable jokes and catchphrases to play up his sudden "Yiddish-ness."  Niles teaches Martin that to act Jewish, you just answer every question with a question covered in guilt.

Faye tries to get her mother to leave before the secret is blown, and a delivery man shows up with a pre-decorated Christmas tree.  Martin hides him in the bathroom, but lo and behold, moments later, Niles shows up dressed as Jesus from Daphne's play.  The manger scene hay has elevated his allergies, and he hides in the bathroom searching for his nasal spray.  Faye's mother uses the bathroom before heading to the airport, and there stands Niles/Jesus snorting nasal spray in front of a Christmas tree.  

Faye confesses to her mother that Frasier isn't Jewish, and the two get into an argument.  They start with yelling before moving to crying and end with laughter and hugs.  Martin and Frasier stand slack-jawed in awe of what transpired before them and, after Faye leaves, have a few laughs about their fighting style.  Martin says it must be good for relationships, and he suddenly finds himself yelling in anger with Frasier over Christmas decorations.  The two end up telling each other they hate living together and begin crying.  When the laughter and hugs don't appear, they both agree they never should have tried fighting like this since they aren't Jewish and hug it out.  



"The Fight Before Christmas" (S7,E11) Originally Aired December 16, 1999

Paramount Plus, and perhaps the original airing, show a brief recap of the past few episodes.  Daphne finally discovers that Niles has secretly loved her for years while giving a massage to Frasier, who is loaded up with painkillers after hurting his back and doesn't realize he has let the secret out.  

Martin is busy tinkering with his dancing Santa Claus that just doesn't seem to work anymore when Roz drops off a punch bowl for Frasier's party.  Here, we get the first of many mentions of Cam Winston, Frasier's nemesis and upstairs neighbor.  Daphne catches up to Roz in the hallway and says she knows about Niles, who just happens to arrive moments later.  He calls them a "Christmas tableau" of Naughty and Nice.  

Niles drops off a stack of Christmas carol books for the party but says he's off to spend the evening with his ex-wife Maris because their gardener has died.  He canceled his date with his current girlfriend, Mel, to do it, and Frasier warns him not to tell Mel that he's really spending the night with his ex-wife.  As Niles leaves, Martin announces he got the dancing Santa working again, and we discover that at the end of each Christmas, the boys try to destroy it so it can't be used any longer.

A "Christmas in Mexico" themed party at the radio station is underway.  Mel shows up at the party, having been a guest on a medical show during the year.  When Mel asks how dinner with Niles went, Frasier responds that he hadn't seen Niles the night before because he was busy planning his party.  Mel figures out Niles was lying and storms out.

Niles chases her down and tells her he only lied because he was buying her Christmas presents, which she accepts.  She heads over to the punch bowl, where Frasier sticks his foot in his mouth again and mentions Maris, causing Mel to leave the party. 

At Frasier's apartment, Daphne and her fiance Donnie are playing the piano to an empty apartment.  The doorbell rings, but it's only Niles who announces that he and Mel are finished.  Donnie offers to fix him up with old friends, or perhaps Niles can find an old flame.  Daphne gets very upset and uncomfortable at the thought of Niles and an old love.

Meanwhile, Frasier finds out that everyone in the building has gone upstairs to Cam Winston's party.  Daphne tells Roz that Mel broke it off with Niles, and Roz says that it confirms the rumor at the radio station party, and she heard it was because he's "in love with someone else."  Daphne assumes it's herself he loves.

The dancing Santa knocks over Daphne's gift, breaking it, so Martin suggests Niles just give her Mel's gift since it's no longer needed.  Daphne can tell by the shape of the box that it's jewelry and is worried.  Niles gets a phone call from Mel, who has reconsidered and wants to see him.  

Niles asks Daphne to meet her on the balcony, intending to ask for the gift back, but she thinks he's about to tell her he loves her.  When she shivers in the cold air, Niles offers his coat, and it's here that Daphne realizes he truly loves her and that she loves him as well.  He asks for the gift back and leaves, and Daphne pretends quite poorly that she's relieved that was all he wanted.  

Party guests finally arrive, making Frasier's Christmas.  We then find out it's only because Martin called an old friend at the fire marshall's office who forced people out of Cam's apartment for exceeding the limit. 

During the closing credits, Martin is on the balcony enjoying the morning air when he notices the hat of the dancing Santa on the floor.  Looking over the ledge, he sees Santa destroyed down on the sidewalk.  

As an aside, the very next episode is one of my all-time favorite episodes of Frasier, titled "RDWRER," where  Frasier, Niles, and Martin set off in an RV to enjoy New Year's Eve together.  



"Mary Christmas" (S8,E8) Originally Aired December 12, 2000

We find Frasier on the air taking calls at the radio station.  While reading an advertisement for the Seattle Christmas Parade, he lays on a thick syrupy coating of praise for the parade host, Kelly Kirkland, the local morning television show host.  Roz later asks why he's sucking up, and he says that rumor has it that she's looking for a new cohost for the parade.  

Frasier's old protege-turned-nemesis Mary (Kim Coles) shows back up at the radio station, now known as "Dr." Mary, a graduate of the school of hard knocks.  She's been hosting a successful advice call-in show on a competing station and now has a number one best-selling book that she gifts a jealous Frasier for Christmas.  Kenny, the station manager, walks in, bragging that Dr. Mary is coming back to K-ACL.  Frasier is perturbed but agrees to coexist until Kenny mentions that he's given her the coveted morning drive slot.

Back at the apartment, Marin is upset that he can't find his favorite beer, Balentine's, anywhere and worries the company has gone out of business.  Niles arrives as Frasier is busy sprucing up his apartment because Kelly Kirkland is coming over for dinner, so he can try to impress her further.  Niles wants to know why the parade is so important to his brother.  Frasier responds that when they were kids, they'd all stay up late to watch the holiday hosts, and he was so impressed with Bob Vernon and Sergeant Michelle, the traffic woman.  Niles reminisces about how much he loved Sergeant Michelle while Frasier gets busy cooking some dishes from Kelly's show, including her "hobo casserole."  

Daphne, obviously putting on weight, prepares to go out for dinner with Niles.  This is during the time that Jane Leeves, the actress that plays Daphne, was pregnant, and they created a whole storyline about food addiction and her leaving for a weight loss clinic to cover for the real-life pregnancy.

When Kelly arrives, she is wowed by Frasier's preparations, including his "potato chip salad" and "hobo casserole," but then cuts the cute act to ask Frasier how badly he wants the job.  He's desperate to get the job and has even written a script with some playful light banter to use at the parade.  She really enjoys it and grants Frasier the opportunity, which he announces the next day on the air.

After the show ends, Kenny tells him there's been a change to the parade lineup, and Frasier gets irate immediately, thinking that Kelly has gone back on her word.  He says he should never have had her over for that "hillbilly buffet" (great line!) and knew he couldn't trust her.  Kenny informs him that she didn't go back on her word and that she can't make the parade because she has food poisoning.  Ooops...

Frasier's new cohost for the parade is, of course, Dr. Mary.  Frasier is livid because Mary grew up in Seattle but never even watched the parade, and he's desired to be the host for decades.  The parade is an institution of old-fashioned good times, full of pride and pageantry.  He writes that line down to use later during the parade.

Martin is still sulking over the loss of Balentine's beer, and Niles convinces him to exchange one gift a little early.  Martin is elated to unwrap a 6 pack of his favorite beer!  When Niles opens one of Daphne's presents, he accidentally opens just the batteries first, so they all agree to open one more, but... just one more!  We later find out they opened every gift and are forced to rewrap everything before Frasier comes home.  

At the parade, Dr. Mary continues to get under Frasier's skin as he tries to take the event seriously.  While Frasier tries to show off his intellect, she continues to ad-lib silly jokes and has fun with the audience.  Fraiser attempts to regain control of the parade by going solo with the big Santa Claus interview, but Santa only wants to talk to Dr. Mary.  Frasier accidentally knocks out Santa Claus while yelling off Mary, ruining the parade and likely his chance to ever host again.

After the parade, Frasier apologizes to Dr. Mary for being disrespectful and sits in the grandstands reflecting on the evening.  While thinking about his poor performance, Bob Vernon, the original host, appears and compliments Frasier on a solid performance.  He consoles him by saying that he and Sergeant Michelle didn't get along well in real life and that she wasn't even a real Sergeant!  Frasier is starstruck and requests Bob read a little banter with him.  Bob is happy to comply, and the two read the script Frasier had written for Kelly.

During the closing credits, we see Frasier and everyone else "reopen" their presents.



"We Two Kings" (S10,E10) Originally Aired December 10, 2002

At the coffeehouse, Roz tells Frasier she's working as an elf at the toy drive for extra money.  Frasier offers her some extra money, and he "generously" offers her several of the odd jobs and chores around the house for extra cash.  Thinking of her childhood, Roz fondly reminisces about seeing Santa at the mall as a kid and that seeing him now reminds her of feeling safe, protected, and happy.

Niles and Daphne ask Frasier to come to their home to celebrate Christmas, but he immediately bristles at the idea because it's tradition to hold Christmas dinner at his place.  Upset, Niles causes a scene until Martin decides that they will go to one house in the morning and the other in the afternoon.  After another argument, the boys ask Martin to choose who gets which time, so he decides to take a few days to think about it.  When he slyly mentions that he likes to think with a beer, the boys race to the kitchen to get him a cold one.  

At the mall, Roz is competing with a teenage girl for the attention of the man playing Santa.  Two days later, Roz and Frasier are at Cafe Nervosa, and Frasier sees Niles buttering up to his Dad once again.  He tells Roz that he's been so angry at Niles because he feels like Niles just keeps taking things from him one way at a time.  First Daphne, then Thanksgiving dinner, now Christmas, and even Martin.  He worries he'll end up alone, as an old bachelor "sipping tea in his balmy 78-degree apartment."

Niles starts another fight with his brother by telling his father that Frasier threw the dancing Santa from the balcony two years earlier.  Disgusted at the constant fighting, Martin decides to volunteer to work on Christmas because he wants someone else to be home and happy with their family since he's so unhappy with his.  

His two sons later arrive at the office he works as a security guard, and they apologize to him, but Martin has already agreed to work a 12-hour shift on Christmas morning.  When Marty gets up to do his rounds, the boys decide to surprise him on Christmas morning by switching the fake presents under the office Christmas tree with their real ones.

At the cafe, Roz and Daphne are approached by a very handsome young Dean Cain.  Roz doesn't recognize him, and he says he's Rick, the guy playing Santa at the mall.  She had previously told Daphne she's fallen for him, and now that she's seen him out of his Santa outfit, he's absolutely perfect.  He's wealthy, charming, friendly, and polite, but Roz doesn't care for him without the suit.  She prefers him with a beard and booming laugh and some jelly in his belly.  Daphne points out that she's in love with Santa Claus, not Rick.

Frasier and Niles are attempting to swap the presents, but Martin spoils their plans and causes quite a bit of humorous confusion about which gifts belong where.  Eventually, everything is squared away after a long night and expensive bribes to the night shift security guard at the office.  The following day, as the boys get ready to visit their father, Martin appears behind them, having been given the day off by his boss, who felt guilty making him work.  Everyone is dismayed as they go down to the office to look at their gifts through the window.  

During the closing scene, everyone is joyfully opening gifts around the tree.  As the camera slowly zooms back, we see a busy office scene as people go about their business around them.



"High Holidays" (S11,E11) Originally Aired December 9, 2003 

At Cafe Nervosa, Martin refuses to eat Roz's Christmas cookies because he's trying to lose a little weight, but he's been really struggling with his diet.  Natalie, a member of the Seattle tourism board with a heavy French accent, shows up to interview Frasier for a new tourism ad campaign.  Frasier agrees to work the campaign, but his insecurity makes him ask if he was the second choice.  Natalie flatly says, "No, you weren't second."  Frasier's happy until he realizes he was likely third or fourth...  Eddie jumps onto Frasier's lap, and Natalie asks for Eddie to be in the commercial too.

When Frasier arrives home, Martin has done his annual over-the-top decorating.  Frasier has a funny line: "the Great Wall of China and my apartment are the only two man-made things visible from outer space."  Frasier's excited that Frederick is on his way and tells Martin that he's planned a bunch of family outings like whale watching and attending a garlic festival.  

Niles and Daphne arrive home from the airport and appear shell-shocked.  Frederick walks in after them, dressed all in black, and his face is covered in black mascara and thick black lipstick.  Frasier is speechless, and Daphne informs him that Frederick is "a goth" now.  Seeing Freddie look like a vampire, Martin suggests moving up the visit to the garlic festival.  

Unhappy with his welcome, Freddie storms off to the bedroom, upsetting Frasier.  Daphne tries to smooth things over by bringing up her rebellious youth stage, and Frasier starts to reminisce about his one moment of indiscretion.  Martin tells Niles he never had one of those moments and that he and his mother were always waiting for it to happen, but he was too much of a "good kid."  

Later, Fred says he's going out to see a movie with a friend named Andy, who is in Seattle visiting family, too.  Andy turns out to be a girl dressed all in black as well.  

Natalie tells Frasier that everyone loves his new ad campaign, and the city is ready to roll it out.  After she leaves, Niles looks very nervous.  Frasier asks what's going on, and Niles responds that Martins's comment about never rebelling got under his skin, and he's decided to rebel today, right under his father's nose.  He announces that he plans to "get high on reefer!"  He's excited for the "devil-may-care crotch-grabbing brazenness of being a criminal," but of course, he'll have a nurse on speed dial just in case things go sideways.  

Just as Frasier asks how he plans to "get the goods," Roz appears and drops a pot brownie in his lap.  When his car alarm goes off, Niles runs to turn it off and leaves his brownie behind.  Frasier won't touch it, but Roz has a date, so she hands it to Martin to give to Niles.  In an excellent connection to the previous season, her date arrives dressed as Santa Claus.  

Martin struggles with his diet as he looks at the brownie but succumbs and devours it all.  He quickly purchases a new brownie from the coffee shop and gives it to the unsuspecting Niles.  

When Fred and Andy return from the mall, Frasier asks them to sit and watch the new commercial.  Putting the tape into the VCR, he is horrified to find that they dubbed his voice onto a computer-animated version of Eddie and completely cut Frasier out of it.  Frederick tells Frasier he's leaving again, intending to spend the night with Andy, causing a giant fight between them because he's spent no time with his father during this visit, but Fred leaves anyway.  

Niles enters the apartment, acting high as a kite.  We discover he's only taken a small nibble of his brownie when he says he's done enough research to know that he will soon get the munchies and start mixing wild food combinations.  He's prepared, so he intends to mix Chilean Sea Bass with a "cheap Zinfandel" wine.  Call the cops; that's a crime!  

Martin comes home, laughing hysterically, carrying an open bag of BBQ potato chips and an open bucket of dip.  Martin begins talking about how streets and turns are weird, and Niles giggles uncontrollably.  Martin sits down to watch TV, and when he turns it on, Frasier's commercial plays, and Martin freaks out when he sees a talking Eddie.  

Later, Frasier finds his father pantless with a bucket of vanilla ice cream and realizes he's stoned.  Martin admits he cheated on his diet and ate the brownie Roz gave him.  Frasier tells him what happened and sends him to his bedroom to lie down.  Martin heads off to bed and calls for Eddie to follow, and Frasier says he'll be in to check on him in a few minutes.  Thinking Eddie is talking again, Martin responds, "suit yourself, Eddie."  

Niles is disappointed to find he's sober but takes solace in getting his police officer father stoned.  Freddie comes in, having decided to not spend the night with Andy.  Frasier notices his mascara is a little runny, and after some prodding, Fred reveals that Andy ran into a "friend" and ignored him for the rest of the night.  Father and son begin to reconcile as Frasier tells him stories about the times he was left by a woman for another man.  

Frasier opens the door to a pizza delivery man with a tall stack of pizzas during the closing credits.  Martin still has the munchies and pushes him out of the way, grabs the boxes, and marches back into his bedroom.  





Comments