[4.22]Are You Being Served?


Are You Being Served?                 Written by William Lucas Walker
                                      Directed by Gordon Hunt 
=====================================================================
Production Code: 4.22
Episode Number In Production Order: 93
Original Airdate on NBC: 13th May 1997
Synopsis written on 1st July 2000
Transcript written on 14th July 2000
Transcript revised on 13th September 2002

Transcript {Iain McCallum}

Act 1

Scene 1 — KACL.
Frasier is finishing his show.  There is a crowd of people outside in 
the corridor.

Frasier: Well, that's our show for today.  But before we close I'd like 
         to invite you all to join us here at KACL in wishing a fond 
         farewell to our Happy Chef, Leo Pasquale, as he bubble-wraps 
         his crepe pan and heads south towards sunny Santa Fe.  Leo, 
         you stirred us with your passion; melted us with your charm; 
         added spice to our lives.  Now as you whisk yourself away 
         let's not say goodbye, but rather "tartar" for now.  This is 
         Dr. Frasier Crane, KACL 780.
    Roz: [coming into the booth] Well, at least you stopped short of 
         saying, "I'll be fricasseeing you."  You ready to go to 
         Leo's party?
Frasier: Oh, dear God, there is nothing I detest more than a KACL 
         goodbye party.  They're all the same — twist-top wine with 
         a bunch of people standing round awkwardly trying to summon 
         up some affection for someone they hardly even know.  It 
         always ends up reeking of insincerity.

Bulldog enters the booth, practically in tears.

Bulldog: What are we gonna do, Doc?  He's leaving us.
    Roz: Bulldog and Leo were tight.
Frasier: Well, Bulldog certainly is.
Bulldog: I love that guy, man.  He'd give me all his leftovers.
    Roz: I warned Leo: you keep feeding him, he'll keep coming back.
Bulldog: You going to his party?
Frasier: Well, actually I think I'm going to pass.
Bulldog: Oh come on Doc, you gotta at least have a drink, give him a 
         hug.
Frasier: That is precisely what I'm trying to avoid.  Since when did         
         we become a society of huggers?  We hug for everything 
         nowadays.  "Hello" - hug; "Congratulations" - hug; "Nice 
         haircut" - hug.  It's absurd.  I mean, if we want to express 
         real emotion for someone - I mean, where is there left to go?
Bulldog: I've had good luck with the storage closet.
    Roz: You know, I think you're way too uptight about this.
Bulldog: No, no.  I see the Doc's point.  We all have different ways 
         of saying goodbye.  Me?  I prefer this method: Get out! 
         [blows his horn] Come on! [blows horn] I got a show to do!

Frasier and Roz are forced out into the corridor amongst the obvious 
party.

    Roz: Well, I think hugging is very healthy.  I read somewhere that 
         if you have physical contact on a regular basis, it can 
         actually extend your life.
Frasier: Well, in that case you should outlive Styrofoam!

Leo the Happy Chef comes up to them.

    Leo: Frasier, you made it!
Frasier: You know I wouldn't miss saying goodbye to you for the 
         world.
    Roz: [hugging Leo emphatically] Oh Leo, we're going to miss you so 
         much!
    Tom: [going to shake Leo's hand] We sure are.  Oh, what the heck. 
         [he hugs Leo instead; Leo turns to Frasier expectantly]
Frasier: [obviously uncomfortable] You have no idea how hard this is 
         for me. [Frasier hugs Leo also]

FADE OUT

TIES THAT BLIND
Scene 2 — Café Nervosa Frasier and Niles are sitting at their usual table having just ordered. Frasier: I must say, Niles, that is a striking tie you're wearing. Niles: Thank you. It was a gift from Maris. She had it made for me to commemorate the end of that dreadful winter she had her obesity scare. Frasier: Oh yes. I remember her struggle to lose that holiday pound. Niles: After she'd restored her figure she had Yoshi set fire to a hippopotamus topiary she felt had taunted her. Then, as a visual reminder never to let herself go again, she had this tie made for me out of the legs of her fat pants. [the waiter brings his coffee] Thank you. Frasier: You know, I would think wearing a tie that Maris gave you might make you feel a little bit melancholy. Niles: On the contrary. I have every reason to believe Maris and I may be on the road to reconciliation. Frasier: Really? Niles: We met for lunch today. I told her I couldn't stand to be in separation limbo anymore, and unless she wanted the marriage to end we simply had to get into counseling. Frasier: And she agreed? Niles: Her exact words were, "I'll think about it." But I saw a twinkle in her eye I have not seen since the neighbor children discovered our new electric fence. Frasier: Congratulations. Niles: Thank you. [they clink cups; then, examining his coffee] The foam is a tad listless today. Frasier: [examining his coffee also] Yes. I can tell without looking that they've got Chad back on steamer duty. Niles: [looking over] You are good. A messenger comes over with a package. Messenger: Excuse me. Dr. Niles Crane? Niles: I am. Messenger: Here. [hands him a letter] Niles: [opening the letter] Who's sending me this? [reads the letter] "Notice: Petition... For Divorce." Messenger: Sorry, man. Cool tie. [leaves] Frasier: I don't know what to say. Niles: Oh... it's all right. Would have been nice if we'd given therapy a try, but, uh... so be it. Frasier: I know this is little consolation, but you're to be applauded for the way you're handling this. A lesser man would panic. Niles: [grabbing for his mobile phone] Oh, oh, wait, wait, wait! I'll get her back. Frasier: [grabbing the phone out of Niles's hands] You have too much dignity to let yourself beg! Niles: Please give me my phone back. Frasier: No. Niles: Please. Frasier: Sorry. Niles: Please! Frasier: Stop it. By now Niles is leaning across the table in a desperate bid to wrestle the phone off Frasier. Frasier: Now listen. I know you're upset, but let's remember why you left Maris in the first place: you were tired of groveling. Niles: Yes, but I'm rested now. Frasier: [handing the phone back] Fine! Go ahead and toddle on back to Maris. Let her grind you under her boot heel for another twelve years, rob you of whatever self-respect you've still retained, then we can have this conversation all over again! For a moment, Niles is about to do it... then he puts his phone away. Niles: I was unhappy, wasn't I? Frasier: You were miserable. Niles: I'm sorry. It's just a lot to take in. Twelve years of my life - gone. Frasier: Don't think of it as a loss, but rather an opportunity for growth. It's not an ending, it's... Niles: Frasier - no offense, but I'm familiar with all the platitudes. I've just been served divorce papers. I need a little time to let it sink in. If you don't mind, maybe we could not talk about it for a while. Frasier: Of course. Waitress: [coming up to the table] Hi, can I get you guys anything? Frasier: No, thank you. We've already been served. This is the final straw for Niles and he nearly bursts into tears. Frasier: Sorry. FADE TO: Scene 3 — Frasier's Apartment. Daphne comes out of Martin's bedroom with a box full of stuff and makes for the front door. As she reaches the door she hears the key on the other side and rushes back, dropping the box on the sofa. Martin comes in. Daphne: Ooh, you're back. Martin: Yeah, I never should have left. The park was a disaster. You remember that outfit Mrs. Foster knitted Eddie for Christmas? Well, I bumped into her in the lobby and she said that she was going to be going to the park and I thought, well it would be rude if I didn't at least have him wear it one time, you know? Eddie, get in here. Eddie walks slowly, head bowed, into the apartment wearing possibly the most ridiculous looking ensemble ever — a multicoloured bunnet and a similar checked jacket to match. Martin: Look at the poor guy, he's humiliated. And then of course she didn't even show up there but you know who was there? Duke and two guys from the old precinct. "Oh Marty — glad to see you've got something to do now you're retired"; "Hey Marty — if I buy you some wool will you knit something for me?" Daphne: Well, it could have been worse. You could have been wearing the hat she made for you. Martin pulls out a slightly larger, similarly-colored bunnet with a scowl on his face. Daphne: Oh, dear. Martin: Would you take that off him? He just looks so pathetic. Daphne: [helping Eddie] Oh, come here you poor little fella. Martin: [noticing the box on the sofa] What's in the box? Daphne: Oh, nothing. Just some old stuff I was taking down to the storage bin. Martin: Oh, great. Why don't you take this with it? [holding out his bunnet] Daphne: Yeah, just set that on top. Martin: No, no. It'll fall off if I do. [opens the box] Hey, this is my stuff! Daphne: It's a box of junk. Martin: It's not junk. Daphne: Oh, rubbish. It's a bunch of useless gadgets you haven't used in years. Like this remote control to God knows what — useless. Just like this, [pulls out some unidentifiable object] whatever it is. Martin: That's the SteamMaster 2000! Like on TV, "Live life wrinkle free!" It even comes with an attachment that cooks Chinese vegetables. Daphne just rolls her eyes. Frasier comes through from the bedroom as the doorbell rings. Frasier: That would be Niles. I'm taking him to lunch to get his mind off his troubles. Daphne: Is that something we shouldn't talk about? Martin: No, there's no reason why we shouldn't talk about it. Frasier: Dad, I'm sorry, I don't think he's ready to talk about it so we're not talking about it. Niles: [from behind the door] Would you mind not talking about it a little less loudly? Frasier: [opening the door] Niles. Daphne: Hello, Dr. Crane. Martin: Hi, Niles. Niles: Afternoon, all. I appreciate your concern but I'm really doing quite well with all this. Everything is going to be fine. Martin: Ah, well that's good. I just hope you've got a good divorce lawyer, because you've been married a long time, and you gotta make sure you get your fair share. Niles: Well, according to the terms of our prenuptial agreement, I believe I'm wearing my fair share. Martin: Well, take a tip from your old man. You get over there and take possession of your personal belongings before they [at Daphne] box them up and toss them out! Daphne: When will you just admit that this junk belongs in a dustbin? Martin: You know, I was on a case once where the wife constantly nagged the husband like this. "You never put anything in the garbage. Why don't you ever put anything in the garbage?" Daphne: Well, he should have listened to her. Martin: Oh, he did. And that's where we found her! Daphne and Martin head in separate directions leaving Frasier and Niles alone. Frasier goes over to examine the box on the sofa. Frasier: You know, I think Daphne's fighting an uphill battle with this little project of hers. [pulls a journal out of the box] Niles: What's that? Frasier: It's a journal. Niles: Isn't that mother's handwriting? Frasier: These must be notes from one of her research projects. [Frasier begins reading the book] "It's hard to imagine two male siblings who could be more different than Frasier and Niles." Niles: Good heavens. It's about us. Frasier: [continuing] "Though both are highly intelligent, Frasier is clearly the more dominant of the two while Niles remains extremely passive." [turning to Niles] Fascinating! Niles: [reading from the journal] "Frasier never seems to get enough at mealtime. He's nearly twice the size of Niles and often, when he thinks I'm not looking, steals his brother's food." Frasier: [continuing] "What Niles lacks in assertiveness he makes up for in an abnormally fussy grooming regimen." Niles: [continuing] "Frasier is exhibiting clearly anti-social tendencies. In fact, he is extremely uncomfortable with touch, seeming to recoil from all human contact." Frasier: Where does it say that? Niles: All right, I added "extremely," but it's right there. Frasier: Good Lord. This cuts rather close to the bone. Just yesterday Roz was accusing me of the same thing. I always thought it was just an aversion to social hugging but apparently it goes deeper than that. You know, maybe this is something I should work on. What do you think? Niles does not answer. Instead he is just staring into the journal. Frasier: Niles? Niles: [reading from the journal] "April 3rd. Niles remains as docile as ever. He constantly allows himself to be cowed and dominated, especially by females." [drops it] Frasier: Well, you shouldn't let that upset you. You've broken that pattern. You could have knocked that under and gone groveling back to Maris but you didn't. You know Niles, I don't think I've ever been more proud of you. Frasier tries to hug Niles but just looks awkward as he hugs him at practically arm's length. Niles: Oh Frasier, this is awful. Frasier: Well, pardon me for trying. I am new at it. Niles: No, no, no. You don't understand. I did go groveling back. Frasier: What? Niles: I sent the divorce papers back unsigned, along with a letter begging her to take me back. Frasier: Niles, you didn't. Niles: Of course I did. You read the journal. It's who I am. Frasier: Well, how did she respond? Niles: Well, she hasn't yet. I just messengered it to her this morning. It's her spa day. She won't be home until... [checks his watch] I still have time to get that letter back. Frasier: I'm going with you. Niles: You're a good brother. This may be my last chance to prove once and for all that I'm not the sort of man who... who... whatever mother said. Frasier: "Constantly allows himself to be cowed and dominated, especially by females." Niles: I might have known you'd memorize it. Frasier: You're right. That was harsh. Come here [Frasier holds out his arms for a hug] Niles: Oh, get away from me. End of Act 1 Act 2
THANK GOD TUESDAY ISN'T SOUP DAY
Scene 1 — Maris's house Frasier and Niles are outside Maris's back door. Frasier: Niles, I'm still a little uneasy about this. What if one of the servants sees us? Niles: Impossible. They always use Maris's spa day to play hooky. I just hope she hasn't changed the locks. Niles puts his key in the door and it opens. Niles: What do you know? [they both creep in] You know, this is sort of exciting. Even as a child I always fancied I might make a first-rate society cat burglar. I think I'm right. Frasier: Yes! All it takes is stealth, cunning and a key to the door! Niles: [heading for a nearby desk] The letter should be over here with the rest of Maris's unopened mail. [picks it up] Yes — here it is. Let's go. Just as they go towards the exit there is loud barking and two German Shepherds come bounding up to the door. Niles: Frasier, look, it's my puppies! Oh, I've missed you. Hello, Gestalt! Hello, Gerhardt! Frasier: Niles, don't they look just a bit agitated to you? Niles: Well, that's because they're excited to see that the Lord has returned to the manor. [goes to open the door] Hello, boys! There is a lot of snarling and biting and Niles quickly closes the door in shock. Niles: Oh my God. She hasn't changed the locks. She changed the dogs! Quick, maybe we can make it to the front door. Frasier: Right! Frasier and Niles both run away from the back door and head off stage, only to be greeted by the same barking as the dogs greet them at the other side. They come down to the back door again where the dogs are waiting for them. Frasier: They're toying with us! Niles: What are we going to do? Frasier: Well I guess we're just going to have to wait until Lady Baskerville comes back from the spa! Niles: And explain our presence how? Frasier: Oh. I do see your point. Niles: We have to find some way to distract those beasts and make our escape. [thinks for a second] Wait. Tuesday is Swedish meatball night for the staff. Cook always keeps them in the refrigerator. Frasier: No, Niles. We can't feed them raw meat, it'll only stimulate their bloodlust. Niles: Just listen: one of our old dogs used to be spooked by thunderstorms. The vet told us half of one of Maris's green pills would allow him to sleep safely right through the storm. You get the meat, I'll get the pills. Frasier: Right! They run off in separate directions, but Frasier halts and runs back. Frasier: Wait! What if Maris is out of pills? Niles laughs at the absurdity of the suggestion and Frasier sees the joke also. Frasier: [chuckling] Oh, I see. Niles: Thank you, Frasier, I needed that. DISSOLVE TO: The scene switches to later. Frasier is down at the back door looking exasperated. Beyond the waiting dogs, a meatball plunks into the koi pond. Frasier: Niles, that's three meatballs in a row right in the koi pond! Stop trying to throw! Just drop them, you can drop straight, can't you?! Finally a meatball falls past the door and next to the dogs. Niles: Was that a splat or a splash? Frasier: A splat! Do it again. [more meatballs rain down] Excellent! They're eating it! All right that's enough. [speaking to the dogs] Good boys. Yes, that's right, eat hearty. Oh, you missed one right over there in the garden by the tulips. Oh, there's a few more over there in the koi pond next to the... sleeping koi. Frasier wanders around waiting for the pills to take effect. As he does so his eyes are drawn towards a painting on the wall (looking at the camera, so we can't see it). Frasier: Niles? Niles, this painting here in the living room — have you always had this? Niles: [coming down the stairs] The one of Maris and me in the garden? Yes, we had it commissioned on our third anniversary. Frasier: No, no, it must be a different painting. This is Maris next to a really big tree. Niles: No, there's no tree in that painting, it's... [notices the painting] Oh my God. She's had me completely painted out! I don't think I can take much more of this. Frasier: In that case, I wouldn't look too closely at the face of that skunk in the flowerbed. Niles face goes to one of horror as he examines further. Niles: [ruefully] Well, I suppose it's only fitting that I be commemorated in this household as a laughingstock. She's always run roughshod over me. Look around. This entire room is a monument to my spinelessness! Frasier: How so? Niles: [pointing at an ornament] This Dresden Shepherdess? A peace offering I made to Maris when I was foolish enough to point out an extra syllable in a Haiku she'd written. [motions around the room] Choose another item. Anything. Frasier: [pointing] Oh, that candelabra? Niles: Louis Quatorze! What better way to apologise for the time I attempted to grow a moustache? Frasier: I think you owe us all a candelabra for that. [noticing outside] Niles, look. It seems to be working. The dogs are getting drowsy. Niles: You know, if just once Maris had given in, in all those years, I might think there was hope for our marriage. But she never budged an inch! Even on those rare occasions that I reported back to you that I had prevailed...? Frasier: I knew. Niles: I don't know why I thought I could convince her with that couples' therapy idea. Well... [heads over to the desk] I'm not going to be her whipping boy anymore. Frasier: What are you doing? Niles: I'm signing the divorce papers. She wants to initiate proceedings. Let's proceed. Frasier: Niles, you know I'll support any decision you make, but are you sure? Niles: [pauses, then] Absolutely. He takes a moment to sign the papers before putting them back in the envelope, making sure to remove his groveling note. Niles: That's done. Frasier: Are you OK? Niles: I will be. [looks outside] Looks like the dogs are asleep. Shall we go? Frasier: Oh, I don't know. Maybe they're just playing possum with us. Niles: Frankly, I don't care. After what I've just done you think I'm going to let a couple of dogs frighten me? This is the last time I'm leaving this house. I'm going to walk through that door with my head held high. Frasier: Good for you. I'm going to run like hell out the front door. Niles: Wait up! Both make a bolt for the front door while the dogs are still sleeping. FADE TO: Scene 2 — Frasier's Apartment. Martin is introducing Daphne to yet another one of his ridiculous gadgets. Martin: Now the beauty of the "Hot & Foamy" is the ultra-quick heating action. You just plug it in and two minutes later, presto, guess what comes out? Daphne: [sarcastic] Well, the obvious answer would be shaving cream, so I'll go with - music? Martin: You had a lot of sassy things to say about my clothes steamer too. But didn't those snow peas taste delicious? Martin takes the Hot And Foamy into the bathroom. Meanwhile Frasier and Niles come in. Daphne: Where did you two slip off to? Niles: Oh, I just had some papers to sign. Frasier: Yes. Niles has decided to begin divorce proceedings. Daphne: I'm sorry, Dr. Crane. Niles: It's OK. I feel good about it. Frasier: Now we thought it might be nice to have a family dinner this evening at Chez Shea, so we stopped by to invite the two of you to join us. Daphne: Oh, that would be nice. I'll just go freshen up. [heads to her bedroom] Martin: Yeah, sounds great. And Niles, I'm proud of you. I know this isn't easy, but in the long run I know you'll be happier. I'm damn sure I will be. He heads off to his bedroom. Niles: I can't believe it. It's really over. Frasier: If you choose you never have to see Maris again. Niles: Oh, please. Half the time I couldn't see her when she was standing right in front of me. Both laugh at this joke. However, Niles's laugh quickly begins to turn to hyperventilation. Niles: [still laughing] I can't breathe. [Frasier points and laughs] No, really, [getting serious] I can't breathe! Frasier, I signed divorce papers! What was I thinking?! Frasier: Oh God, you're not having second thoughts? Niles: I don't know. When I was caught up in the adrenaline it all seemed fine, but now in the clear light of day... Frasier: Now, now, Niles. It's only natural for you to feel a little bit shaky, but believe me, you made the right decision. Niles: How do I know that? Frasier: [picking up the journal] Let's just check what prompted us to it. [begins reading the journal] Here: "Niles is incapable of asserting himself, especially in front of females!" Niles: Keep going — this is helping. Frasier: [continuing] "As I write this he lies, staring out the window, licking himself!" [Frasier looks up strangely] Niles: [confused] What? Frasier: "He's become so subservient lately that when he's finished grooming himself he often begins licking Frasier." Niles: [puzzled] I have no memory of that! Frasier: "April 14th. The day I've dreaded for weeks: Frasier died this morning. I never would have guessed that my heart could ache so over the death of my beloved lab rat. My only consolation is the knowledge that I will soon give birth to my first child." Niles: [taking the journal off him in shock] Frasier... do you know what this means? Frasier: Our mother named us after rodents. Niles: No. It means I have ended my marriage to the woman I love based on the case history of a spineless rat! [realizing] Oh My God! Frasier: Niles... Niles: Oh my God! Maris has seen the papers. It's too late to take it back. Frasier: Niles, your reasoning was still sound. Niles: [becoming hysterical] My reasoning?! My reasoning was based on my mother's obsession WITH VERMIN!!! He throws down the journal in disgust. His shouting brings Martin and Daphne back into the living room. Martin: What the hell's going on here? Frasier: Niles is just a bit distraught. Niles: [hysterical] Distraught? MY LIFE IS OVER! Frasier: Niles, don't talk that way! My God man, you've got to calm down. Niles: [struggling into the bathroom] All right. I-I'm going to splash some cold water on my face. [closes the door] Martin: Is he going to be all right? I've never seen him like this. Frasier: Of course he'll be all right, Dad. [banging on the bathroom door] Niles! Just remember to keep breathing. And trust me — this is not the end. Your life is not over! [no response] Niles! NILES! From inside the bathroom a sound like a GUNSHOT is heard. Frasier, Daphne and Martin all look horrified. Frasier: Oh my God! Frasier timidly opens the door. This is where writing cannot express the true hilarity of this visual joke. Suffice it to say it is one of the funniest scenes ever seen on Frasier. Niles is covered head to foot in shaving foam, as is the entire bathroom. Niles walks slowly out with a look of shock on his face (or what can be seen of his face under the foam). Frasier just looks completely bewildered. Daphne: Dr. Crane! Are you all right? Niles: [calmly] I'm fine. Just a little hot. And foamy. Martin: You know what must have happened? My Hot & Foamy must have exploded! Daphne: [looking at Martin in stupidity] He was a detective, you know! Niles's cell phone rings. Niles digs deep amongst the foam and pulls it out. Niles: Hello? Yes, Maris. You are? You do? You will? That's wonderful! I'll be right over! Goodbye. [turning to the rest] The divorce papers were a bluff. When I signed them it completely threw her. She's willing to go into counseling! Frasier: Oh Niles, I'm so happy for you! Niles throws his arms around Frasier with a loud squelch, which obviously leaves Frasier's suit covered in the Hot & Foamy. Frasier just cries. End of Act 2 Credits: Mrs. Foster is back and is speaking to Martin at the door. She pulls yet another suit (matching) for Eddie and himself out of her bag. Martin thanks her and says goodbye. He turns round and shows them to Eddie who buries his head under the nearest pillow. Martin decides the best answer is to just throw them into the cardboard box with the rest of the junk. However just to make sure, Eddie goes into the box, pulls them out and proceeds to rip them to shreds.

Guest Appearances

 Guest Starring
 ALAN WILDER as Leo
 MICHAEL McFALL as Messenger
 LUCK HARI as Waitress
 GERRY GIBSON as Tom 

Synopsis {mike lee}

Scene One — KACL
As Frasier finishes his show, a going-away party is being thrown in 
the hallway for a retiring employee.  Frasier says he doesn't want to 
go out, because he'll be expected to hug the guy.  Roz scolds him for 
his aversion to hugging; she says she even read somewhere that 
physical contact extends lifespans.  "Well, in that case," Frasier 
quips, "you'll outlive Styrofoam."  She pushes him out into the hall, 
where he reluctantly hugs the retiree.

Scene Two — Café Nervosa
Frasier meets Niles at the Café, and compliments him on his tie.  
Niles proudly says that Maris gave it to him as a gift—she had it 
made from her "fat pants" when she had her obesity scare.  

Frasier wonders if wearing a gift from Maris will make Niles 
melancholy.  Niles confidently says he will be reuniting with Maris 
soon; he called her to ask if she'd go into couples' therapy with 
him, and she said "I'll think about it."  

Then a courier comes in and hands Niles an envelope: divorce papers.  
He offers his condolences, but also compliments Niles's tie.

Scene Three — Apartment
Daphne sneaks a box of stuff towards the door, but runs into Martin 
returning with Eddie.  He's annoyed because an old lady they keep 
running into knitted Eddie a ridiculous tartan sweater that he had to 
put on just to please her.  Daphne says at least she didn't knit 
anything for Martin—who then produces an identical hat.  

Noticing the box, he realizes Daphne is throwing away all his old 
stuff.  Daphne says it's useless junk.

Frasier and Niles come back.  Also noticing the box, they root 
through it and find an old journal with their mother's name on it.  
Frasier flips through it and realizes it's about them as children.  
Among other observations, their mother records that "Frasier seems 
intimidated by physical contact," and "Niles is obsessively neat and 
easily cowed by females."  Frasier wonders if his aversion to hugging 
is a deep-seated condition.  

Niles is stung by his mother's words; Frasier suggests that he has a 
chance to assert himself by signing the divorce papers.  Niles says 
there's a problem: he already sent them back (unsigned), along with a 
groveling note begging Maris to take him back.  Niles says it's not 
too late—it's Maris's spa day, so all the servants are playing 
hookey.  They can sneak into the house and steal the papers back.

END OF ACT ONE

ACT TWO

THANK GOD IT WASN'T SOUP NIGHT
Scene Three — Mansion Frasier and Niles enter the drawing room of the mansion; Frasier is surprised Maris hasn't changed the locks. Niles finds the envelope on the coffee table. As they are about to leave, two snarling German Shepherds appear outside the door. Niles greets them fondly, but they snap at him. "She didn't change the locks," Niles realizes, "she changed the dogs!" They are trapped. Niles gets a brainstorm: it's Swedish Meatball Night—they can slip a handful of Maris's relaxant pills into the meat and feed them to the dogs from the upstairs balcony. Niles runs upstairs to the medicine cabinet while Frasier runs to the kitchen. Frasier: Wait, I just thought of something! What if Maris is out of pills? Niles: [laughing hysterically] Thank you, Frasier, I needed that. Scene Four — Mansion After several meatballs plunk into the fountain, Frasier yells up at Niles to stop trying to throw. "You can drop straight, can't you?!" Niles does, and the dogs eat it up. As they wait for the pills to take effect, Frasier notices a large painting of Maris on the wall (looking at the camera, so we can't see it). He asks if it's recent. Niles says no, he and Maris had it done a few years ago. Frasier says Niles isn't in the picture—just Maris standing next to a large tree. Niles is outraged—she's had him painted out! Frasier gently tells him to check the face of the skunk in the bushes. Niles bitterly admits that it's only right for him to be depicted as a laughingstock in that house; just look around, the room is a "monument to his spinelessness," full of gifts he gave Maris to "apologize" for things—like a golden candelabra for his attempts to grow a mustache. Frasier says, "I think you owe us all a candelabra for that one!" Well, Niles decides, no more. He takes a pen, signs the divorce papers, and drops them back on the coffee table (after removing his groveling note). Frasier asks him if he's sure. Niles says he is. Then the dogs nod off. Frasier suggests they take the back door out, just to be safe. Niles says no, one last time he wants to walk out of the house with his head held high. Frasier bolts out the back door anyway; Niles says, "Right behind you!" Scene Five — Apartment Martin takes his shaving-cream warmer from the box and goes into the powder room to plug it in, to show Daphne how useful his "junk" is. They just have to wait five minutes. Frasier and Niles come back, telling Martin and Daphne the news; Niles is on the road to divorce. They offer their support; Martin says that in the long run, Niles will be much happier, "I know I will!" Frasier suggests they all go out for a celebratory dinner. Martin and Daphne go to their rooms to change. Frasier tells Niles it's finally over—if he wants, he never has to see Maris again. Niles says he could barely see her when she was standing right in front of him. They laugh, but then Niles starts hyperventilating—he's just ended his marriage! Frasier rushes to reassure him it was the right decision. To help, he rereads the entry in their mother's journal. But as he reads on, he realizes that it's really a scientific journal, and "Frasier and Niles" were their mother's two favorite lab rats! The last entry chronicles her sadness as "Frasier" passes away, comforted by the fact that she's about to give birth to her firstborn child. Now Niles has a full-blown panic attack. Niles: Do you realize what this means?! Frasier: Yes . . . our mother named us after rodents. No, Niles shouts, he's made a terrible mistake! Frasier says his judgment was sound; Niles says his judgment was based on his mother's opinion of household vermin! Martin and Daphne come back to see Niles stumbling into the powder room in a daze, saying he needs some water on his face. As he closes the door, Frasier shouts that his life is not over . . . then everyone jumps at what sounds like a GUNSHOT! Frasier slowly opens the door and sees . . . Horror! Niles is covered head-to-toe in foamy shaving lather. Martin: Hey, you know what happened? My shaving cream can must have exploded! Daphne: [sarcastic] He was a detective, you know! Frasier: Niles, how do you feel? Niles: Well . . . hot . . . and foamy! Then he gets a call on his cell phone. It's Maris. Niles is ecstatic—the divorce papers were a bluff to scare him into coming back to her. Instead, his signing them frightened her so much that she's now willing to go into couples' therapy with him. Frasier says how happy they all are, and Niles throws his arms around him—thus resolving exactly how Frasier feels about hugging! Scene Z — Apartment Martin reluctantly slips Eddie into his tartan sweater with matching hat, just long enough to greet the proud old lady at the door. As soon as she's gone, Eddie throws off his hat and starts chewing it.

Thanks To...

Transcript written by IAN McCALLUM
Edited by NICHOLAS HARTLEY
Revised by MICHAEL LEE
Synopsis by MICHAEL LEE

Legal Stuff

 This episode capsule is copyright 2000 by Nick Hartley & Mike Lee & 
 Iain McCallum. This episode summary remains property of Frasier, 
 Copyright of Paramount Productions and NBC. Printed without 
 permission. 

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