[7.8]The Late Dr. Crane


The Late Dr. Crane                         Written by Rob Hanning
                                           Directed by Robert H. Egan
=====================================================================
Production Code: 7.8
Episode Number In Production Order: 153
Original Airdate on NBC: 18th November 1999
Original Airdate on CH4: 25th February 2000
Episode filmed on 11th September 1999
Synopsis written on 24th November 1999
Transcript written on 12th March 2000
Transcript revised on 23rd April 2001.

A Historical Aside...


Frasier is not the first man to receive a wake-up call from reading his
own obituary.  Alfred Nobel underwent a similar experience.  In 1888, 
Nobel's brother Ludwig died.  A French newspaper, mistaking one brother 
for the other, ran an obituary, the headline of which read, "The Merchant 
of Death is Dead!"  At that time, Nobel's only claim to fame was as the 
inventor of dynamite, who was also making millions from a chain of 
explosives factories all over Europe.  He was so horrified by the 
headline that he altered his will, leaving the bulk of his vast fortune 
to fund the establishment of the Nobel Prizes for accomplishments in
the arts, sciences, and the advancement of peace.  Nobel managed to cheat 
posterity, and was memorialized after his death as a great humanitarian.

Transcript {nick hartley}


ACT ONE

Scene One - Frasier's Car
Niles and Frasier are enjoying a ride in the BMW, and I use the word 
"enjoy" loosely.  Frasier is driving, Niles is whining in the passenger 
seat with his raincoat collar turned up around his neck.

  Niles: I can't believe how cold it is in here.
Frasier: Niles, the climate control is on, it's perfectly comfortable.
  Niles: Oh, really?  Touch your tongue to the seat belt, I dare you.
Frasier: I'm starting to regret I even asked you to this exhibit.  I 
         wanted to invite Regan, but after the disaster I made of our 
         first date I just felt too ashamed to even ask. 
  Niles: Well, you can't avoid her forever, she's your neighbor.  
         Ask her again, what's the worst thing that can happen?
Frasier: She'd ask me to stop harassing her, which would mean I'd have 
         to spend the next six months riding in the service elevator 
         with Guillermo and his three-legged cat!
  Niles: How is little Wobbles?
Frasier: Fine.

Niles slowly turns up the heating control.

Frasier: I see what you're doing, Niles!  If you're so cold there's a 
         scarf in the glove compartment.
  Niles: Oh, really?  I thought that's where you kept the butter and 
         the eggs.
Frasier: Well, now it's burning up in here!  I'm gonna take this coat 
         off.
  Niles: Are you insane? 

Frasier starts taking his coat off, not concentrating on the road.

  Niles: At least wait until we've stopped...

They start arguing about the road.

Frasier: Take the wheel!
  Niles: I'll take the wheel but... Frasier, stop. [looks into road] 
         Stop!
Frasier: No, it's almost off.
  Niles: No, I mean brake, brake!

Frasier crashes into the next car in a minor fender bender.  
The airbags deploy and squash the Crane boys.

  Niles: Are you all right?
Frasier: Yes.  Thank heavens your fist softened the blow of the 
         airbag!

FADE OUT

Scene Two - Accident & Emergency
Frasier and Niles are waiting to be called.  Frasier is holding a 
blood-stained tissue to his nose.  A man, Phil, is sitting next to 
them.

   Phil: Hurt your nose?
Frasier: [looks at Niles] Yes.
   Phil: That's what I figured.  Right when you came in, I said, "That 
         guy hurt his nose."  So how did you, you know...
Frasier: Excuse me.

Frasier leaves him and goes to the receptionist.

     Frasier: Yes, hello, this is Dr. Frasier Crane here.  I was just 
              wondering, I filled out my paperwork about half an hour 
              ago.
Receptionist: They'll call you.  We're seeing people in order of 
              importance.
     Frasier: Oh really, well, I do have my own radio show.
Receptionist: The importance of the injury!
     Frasier: Yes, of course.
       Niles: [to receptionist] Do you know, are there any plastic 
              surgeons on call?
     Frasier: Oh Niles, that's not necessary.
       Niles: Can't be too careful, could be broken.
Receptionist: Don't worry, the best plastic surgeons in town have 
              their offices here.  Dr. Rab, Dr. Karnofsky and Dr. 
              Burke.
       Niles: Karnofsky?  Mel Karnofsky?
Receptionist: That's right.

Niles walks back to Frasier and explains.

  Niles: Maris's plastic surgeon.  Would you believe that charlatan is 
         still picking my pocket a year after my divorce?
Frasier: Good Lord, for what?
  Niles: Oh, for Maris's botox injections.  They use those botcholeanen 
         toxins that you put in the forehead, it deadens the muscles 
         and takes away the wrinkles.  I gave it to her as a gift one 
         year for our anniversary.
Frasier: Oh, yes, probably your tenth.  That's toxins, isn't it?
  Niles: Anyway, Karnofsky keeps billing me for her follow-up 
         injections.
Frasier: Good Lord.

Phil has already crept onto the scene.

   Phil: So you're divorced, huh?
  Niles: Yes.
   Phil: Me too, I'm Phil. [puts his hand out, Niles doesn't 
         reciprocate] Fourteen years together.  Came home one 
         day and... oh hell, I probably shouldn't even talk 
         about it.
  Niles: Okay.

The brothers walk away.

Frasier: You know, Niles, seeing as how we're here, why don't you go 
         and find this Karnofsky and straighten this whole thing out?
  Niles: No, no, I can't leave you here injured.
Frasier: That's all right, Niles, I'll be fine.
  Niles: Are you sure?  I may just pay Dr. Karnofsky a visit.
Frasier: You know, it really is outrageous what these scalpel jockeys 
         get away with; convincing women like Maris to spend fortunes 
         on their exterior, when frankly what they need is to take a 
         good look at the woman inside.
  Niles: Right.  Well, she did have one chemical pill where you could 
         see her kidneys for a while.
Frasier: [laughs] Off you go.  Good luck, Niles.
  Niles: Thank you.

Niles walks off down the corridor.  Frasier looks over at Phil who is 
now sat down reading the newspaper.  He slowly edges to the seat next 
to him, making sure he is not seen over Phil's paper.  Frasier thinks 
he's safe until...

   Phil: [lowers paper] Not a pretty woman, my wife, but when she 
         danced you couldn't keep your eyes off her.
Frasier: You know, actually I'm feeling a lot better, goodbye!

Frasier gets up and runs out of the hospital.  Then the nurse comes to 
the front desk and calls.

  Nurse: Frasier Crane? [no response] Frasier Crane, we're ready to see 
         you. 
   Phil: That's me!

Phil gets up to go with the nurse.

FADE TO:

WHAT, ME WORRY?
Scene Two - Mel Karnofsky's Office. The office is decorated well with objets d'art. Niles is admiring the art as a man in a lab coat enters with a large, heavy box of files. Niles: Ah, Dr. Karnofsky, I see you've decided to make time for me! Clerk: Sorry, I'm from Records. I was told to bring over Maris Crane's files. [places the box on the desk] That's this year. The man then exits as a woman in a white lab coat enters from another door. Mel: Dr. Crane? Niles: [turns around] Yes. She puts down her clipboard and holds out her hand. Mel: I'm so sorry to keep you waiting. Melinda Karnofsky. To Niles's surprise, Mel Karnofsky is not just a woman, but a rather attractive one - with fine pale features, curly dark hair, and an ultra-fastidious air that he always thought was his exclusive province. Niles: [taken aback, shakes her hand] Oh, yes, of course, Niles Crane. About this billing issue...? Mel puts her hand on the box, then pulls it back. It is a little bit dusty. Mel: Oh my God, this box is filthy. She takes a wet wipe from her drawer and cleans her hands, which seems to fascinate Niles. Niles: Yes, the problem is I have received three invoices over the past six months. Mel: Yes, I'm so sorry about that. And I'm so sorry about all this dust. Do you mind, I'll have to turn on my hepafilter? Niles: Oh, you have a hepa... [notices and gasps] You have a Svenson! Mel: Yes. They're great, aren't they? [turns it on] Niles: Not to mention impossible to get in this country, I've tried. Mel: Well, I once did a favor for Mrs. Svenson. Oh, it's a long story. Niles: I'm all ears. Mel: So was she. Anyway, I've spoken to the accounting department about your bill and it was clearly our mistake. Please accept our apology, we'll take care of it. Niles: I appreciate that. Niles notices a print on the wall. It is a portrait of a woman done in the typical Cubist fashion of Picasso. Niles: Oh, I like that print very much. However, Mel seems to be obsessing with her coat. Niles: Everything all right? Mel: I'm sorry, I just noticed a smudge on my jacket. [points to an invisible mark] Niles: It's barely noticeable. Mel: You're being kind. Mel takes her jacket off - showing him a slender waist and an alluring pair of bare shoulders - and pops it in the bin. Mel: I got that print at the last museum show. Niles: Oh, I thought you looked familiar. Perhaps I've seen you there. Mel: Perhaps. I go to all of the openings, I'm on the museum board. Niles: Really? Well, congratulations. All the exhibits this year have been... Mel opens her wardrobe to reveal several identical white lab coats hung in seamless order. Niles notices. Niles: [passionately] Perfection! Mel: Well, thank you. Niles: I particularly like the Picasso. I'm a big fan of his Cubist period. Mel: Oh, striking, isn't she? Yes, I'd like to think if she came in here I could have actually helped her. [Niles laughs] You must think I'm terribly fussy. Niles: [passionately] Yes. Mel: Anyway, it was very nice meeting you. Niles: Likewise. Mel and Niles go to shake hands but before they do, Mel's phone beeps. Nurse: [v.o.] Dr. Karnofsky, Mrs. Magreshack has a question for you in room three. Niles: Helen Magreshack? Mel: Oh, I really can't say. Niles: Oh. [turns away, then leans in] She's finally having it removed? Mel: Why did she wait?! Niles: I don't know! They laugh. Mel exits as the man enters again. This time he has several file boxes stacked on a hand truck. Clerk: Found '98. Niles: Actually, that's all been settled. [picks up photo on desk] Can you tell me, is that her husband? Clerk: No, she's divorced. That's her son. Niles: Really? Dr. Karnofsky's so young, she must have had him when she was a child. Clerk: [skeptical] Okay. The man leaves as Mel enters again. She is surprised to see Niles. Mel: Oh, was there something else? Niles: Er, no. [walks away then] Er, no. Well- Mel: Yes? Niles: Mel, er... I was wondering, I, er... Niles strikes the box with his hands. Mel hands him a wet wipe. Niles: Thank you. Er, I'm not really sure how to ask. Mel: I think I know what it is. Niles: A-ha. Mel: And you've got no reason to be nervous. Niles: Oh, really? Mel: Yes. Just a few quick injections and those nasty little wrinkles in your forehead will disappear. Beat. Mel: Well, that is what you were going to ask, isn't it? Niles: [laughs] Yes. Mel: Well, it's a very simple procedure. Although your forehead will be numb for a while. I can fit you in at four-thirty. Niles: Oh good, that gives me time to do something I need to do. Mel: Excellent... [exits] As soon as she's gone, Niles throws a barrage of slaps at his own forehead in anger at himself. FADE TO:
DEAD MAN WATCHING
Scene Four - Frasier's Apartment. Martin is sat in his chair reading the paper. Frasier is sat watching the news, holding a cold compress to his nose. The doorbell sounds. Daphne answers the door to Niles. Daphne: Hello, Dr. Crane. Niles: Hello, Daphne. I was on my way home, I thought I'd see how the patient was doing. Frasier: Oh, I'm fine, thank you, Niles. Niles: You have no idea how guilty I'm feeling. [to Daphne] I suppose he told you it was my fist that struck in the inadvertent yet powerful blow. Frasier: So how did things go with the nefarious Dr. Karnofsky? Did you give him a piece of your mind? Niles: Actually he turned out to be a she, and quite a reasonable she at that. [sits next to Frasier] Frasier: Really? That's quite a turnabout. Niles: Yes, well... Daphne notices something on Niles. Daphne: Dr. Crane, don't move. Niles: Why? Daphne: There's a mosquito. Niles: Where? Daphne: On your forehead. Niles: Uh-oh! [pats about acting on his head] Get off, get off. Daphne: It's already gone. Niles: Oh. Daphne: Oh dear, looks like it bit you. Niles: All right... [acting] Ow! Frasier: Niles, wrinkle your forehead for me, will you? Niles: Why would I do that? Frasier: Just do it. Wrinkle your forehead. Niles attempts but fails. He stands up in protest. Niles: I'm not your marionette! Frasier: You got a botox injection! You've got a forehead full of poison right now, don't you? Niles: I do not! Daphne: [looking at the floor] Well, that's strange. The mosquito fell right out of the air, dead. [picks it up and bins it] Martin: What's a botox injection? Frasier: Oh, it's a cosmetic procedure they use to eliminate facial wrinkles. Martin: Oh great, my kids are having plastic surgery. That's a nice age to get to. Frasier: I can't believe you let Maris's witch doctor work her magic on you. Niles: Mel is a perfectly lovely person! In fact, I was screwing my courage up to ask her on a date when she noticed this little flaw and I lost my nerve. Frasier: Yes, and most of the feeling in your face as well! Daphne notices something on the television. Daphne: Dr. Crane, look, your picture's on the news. Frasier: Well, turn it up, Dad, turn it up. We then see a close-up of the television. Over the newscaster's shoulder is a studio portrait of Frasier, with the caption, "Frasier Crane: 1952 - 1999." Anchor: After checking into the hospital with what appeared to be minor injuries from a fender-bender, radio psychiatrist Frasier Crane died suddenly today. I'm sure it goes for all of us here at KYLL when I say he'll be sorely missed. [cheerful] But this rain won't be missed, will it, Flip? The three are watching it, gobsmacked. Frasier: Dear God! Martin: What the hell? Daphne: That's unbelievable! Niles: [flat face, shocked voice] Outrageous! [N.B. Frasier's birth year is given here as 1952 — three years before Kelsey Grammer's actual birth date. Thus, at this time Grammer is forty-four but Frasier is forty-seven.] END OF ACT ONE ACT TWO Scene One - Café Nervosa Frasier is talking to Roz on a front table. Frasier: As it turns out, after I left the hospital some poor devil used my name to jump the line and he dropped dead of a heart attack. I must say, it does seem a bit strange having plunged all of Seattle, albeit temporarily, into so much grief. Roz: I know, I'll never forget where I was when I heard you had died. I was out on the street. There was this crowd watching a television through a department store window, and before I knew it, we were weeping and hugging each other. Frasier: Very amusing, Roz! Roz: And then it began to rain, and I had this feeling that all the angels were crying. Frasier: [irate] Yes, all right, Roz! Martin arrives from the back of the café with a copy of a newspaper. Martin: Hey, Roz. Fras, have you seen this? [hands him the newspaper] Frasier: Yes, as a matter of fact, I did. [to a puzzled Roz] It's my obituary. Roz: They printed it? Frasier: Yes, they must have picked it up off the wire last night before the news ran that correction. Martin: Jimmy gave it to me at McGinty's. Boy, everybody was so nice to me, buying me beers and everything. You know, because of the shock I went through thinking I'd lost my son. Frasier: Dad, what are you talking about? You didn't think I was dead! Martin: Well, people don't have to know that. I could have been at home alone, wondering where you were and I get this strange uneasy feeling. So I turn on the TV and there it is on the screen: the face of my dead son. Frasier: But I was sitting right beside you! Martin: Well, what kinda story is that? Frasier: It's the truth! Martin: Well, the truth doesn't put anything on a coaster! Martin exits in protest. Roz: Well, there's something for your scrapbook, huh? Your own obituary. [begins to read it] Frasier: Yes, well... you know, frankly, it's-it's a little upsetting. Roz: [looks up] I don't think they meant to be insulting, you are "lovably pompous." Frasier: Not that. It's just, seeing all my life in black and white, it just all looks a little incomplete. Roz: What do you mean? Frasier: Well, I was going to do so much with my life. I was going to write a novel, run for public office, I was gonna do my own translation of Freud... Roz: Well, what's stopping you? You're not actually dead. Frasier: I guess you're right. [laughs] I'm not dead, am I? [laughs] You know, maybe that's a good way of looking at this actually, more of a wake-up call. A lady interrupts him who has appeared. Lady: Dr. Crane, I was so relieved to hear that you're all right. Frasier: Well, thank you. Lady: I heard the news and I thought, "What a shame, why he is such a young man." Frasier: That's so nice of you. Thank you, thank you so much. You know, you're right. What am I doing frittering away my day here in this coffee house? [stands] You know, I've got things to do. I've got fresh world to conquer. I'm going to go out there and grab life by the scrub. Look out destiny, here I come! Frasier marches to the door and exits out onto the street. However, a rumble of thunder followed by a downpour of rain sees Frasier hurrying back in wiping the water from his coat. Frasier: [excusing] Well, it's really coming down out there. FADE TO: Scene Two - Frasier's Apartment. Frasier is working on his laptop on the dinner table wearing a tatty old sweater and jogging pants as Daphne enters with the laundry. There are food baskets all around the place. Daphne: What happened to your clothes? Did you spill something on yourself? Frasier: No, no, no, I'm going jogging later. Daphne: No need to be sarcastic, just give me the clothes and I'll do another load. Frasier: No, I'm serious, Daphne. I plan to go running just after I finish my obituary. [off Daphne's glance] It's a self- actualizing exercise. You write your obituary the way you'd like it to appear - years from now, of course - and then it helps you to focus your goals. [sits back] Here they are, all my hopes and dreams. Daphne: [looks at monitor] These are dreams, all right. [laughs, then reads] "Dr. Crane came late to athletics, he became a fixture in the Seattle marathon, the America's Cup yacht race, as well as the Kentucky Derby." [laughs] A jockey at your size! You better start writing an obituary for the horse. Frasier: Very amusing, Daphne. I meant as a stable owner. Martin enters and notices Frasier. Martin: Hey Fras. What you do? Spill something on your clothes? Frasier: No, I'm going jogging later. Martin: Well, there's no need to get sarcastic about it. Frasier: I'm serious, Dad, I'm going to have to start somewhere if I plan to run a marathon! Martin, however, hasn't listened and notices another food basket on the console behind the sofa. He takes a closer look. Martin: Ooh, we've got a new basket? Hickory Farms! Daphne: Yes, that one came this afternoon. Frasier: Dad, we agreed that we were going to send back all the condolence baskets intact. Martin: I know, I know, but, you know, if a can of pecans falls out here and there, who's going to notice? Oh, by the way. Guess who I ran into? That friend of yours from next door, Regan. Frasier: Really? Martin: Yeah. You know, she was pretty relieved to hear you weren't dead. You know, maybe there's still something going on there. Frasier: Oh, I don't know, Dad. I'd like to believe that, but I'm just too much of a realist. The doorbell sounds. Daphne: [reads screen] Tell that the two million people a year who visit "Frasier Land." [laughs] Frasier: It's a website, it teaches children about psychiatry! Martin opens the door to Niles. Martin: Hi. Niles: Oh, hi Dad. I can't stay, I just realized I think I left my cell phone here last night. Daphne: Oh, yeah, I did see it somewhere. Let me just have a look for it... Daphne goes to the console to search for it. Niles: [to Frasier] Why are you wearing running clothes? Martin: He won't tell us! Daphne: [picks up cell phone and hands it to Niles] Here it is. It was buried back here underneath all these baskets. Martin: Oh, Daph! Look what you did! Rooting around in there, you poked a hole right through this... [Martin quite obviously punches a big hole through the cellophane on purpose] Hickory Farms basket! We can't send it back now! [He takes it to his chair.] Niles: Thank you, Daphne. Daphne exits to her room. Frasier: Niles. Niles: Yes? Frasier: Is that a bandage sticking out of your shirt? Niles: Oh, where? Frasier: Well, right there. [points to one on the back of his neck] Niles: Oh yes, I cut myself shaving. Frasier: On the back of your neck? You went to see Karnofsky again, didn't you? Niles: Yes, I did! I was going to ask her out again, when I got all flustered and I caught her staring at this grotesque carbuncle. Frasier: Carbuncle? You mean that miniscule mole of yours. Niles: Well, to you. I've always been self-conscious about it. I've made many a hasty wine selection because I felt the sommelier staring down at it. Frasier: Oh, please. Just knock this off. Isn't it time you just asked the woman out? Niles: Frasier, I'm just waiting until the moment's right. Frasier: Like you did with Daphne?! And that hits Niles hard. There is a silent pause. Frasier: Oh, Niles, I am sorry. But I'd like to see you do this while I can still pick you out of a crowd. You know, I've got tickets for the opera tonight. Why don't you ask her to join you? Niles: Oh, I don't know. [sits down] Frasier: Come on. Take a cue from me, I'm completely reinventing myself. You know what, [begins stretching his legs] if I can learn a new language, write a bestseller, well then surely you can ask this woman out. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a marathon to train for! Frasier gets caught on the console and falls down behind the sofa. Niles and Martin rush to his aid. Martin: Are you all right, Fras? Frasier: I'm fine. Martin: What happened? Niles: Well, I think he tripped on one of these baskets. Martin: Did you break anything? Frasier: I don't think so. Martin: Because, if you broke it, there's no point sending this one back either. Martin takes another basket from the floor and heads to his chair whilst opening it. Niles tends to Frasier. FADE TO: Scene Three - Frasier's Apartment. Frasier enters through the front door. He is hobbling with his new cane. Then Martin enters with his old cane. They look at each other. Frasier has become his father. Frasier: Oh, dear God. Martin: [laughs] Look at you. They gave you a sweet one. All shiny and with no scuffs. Still has that new cane smell. Frasier: Play your cards right, I might let you take it for a spin around the lobby. Martin: Well, what they say? Frasier: Oh, just a little sprain. It's gonna take a couple of weeks. The two sit down at the table. Frasier boots up his laptop. Frasier: I guess I'm going to have to rethink my life's plan a bit. Martin: Oh, you're gonna be doing all this stuff? Frasier: Well, of course, Dad, why wouldn't I? Martin: Oh, I don't know. It just seems all so complicated. The first one you tried was kind of a bust. Frasier: Yes, well you know, I've just got to scale things back a little bit. Set my sights on more attainable goals. For instance, here: "Visit South America." That's in. "Discover the lost treasure of the Incas." That's out. [deletes it] "Take up rafting." That's in. "Retrace Lewis and Clarke's Route." That's out. And all this perpetual motion stuff, all this can go. [deletes it] The doorbell sounds. Frasier: Daphne! Martin: Oh no, she's out for the whole evening. You're gonna have to get it yourself. Frasier: Oh, all right. Frasier slowly hobbles to do so. Martin: Let's see how that thing handles the corners. Come on, open her up! Frasier races to the door to find Niles and Mel dressed for an evening out. Niles: Hello Frasier, I'd like you to meet Dr. Mel Karnofsky. Frasier: [to Mel] Well, I can't tell you what a pleasure this is. Niles: I believe you have some opera tickets for us. Frasier: Yes, I do. [fetches them] Niles: Oh, Mel, this is my father, Martin. [Martin stands] Martin greets Mel. Frasier hands them the tickets. Mel: Thank you. We're very grateful for this. Niles and I happen to be such huge fans of Puccini. Martin: [as Eddie enters] Speaking of which, here is our own little "Pooch-ini"! Mel greets Eddie as he licks her. Mel seems to enjoy it and pets him. However when she stands up the hair brush comes up as Niles wipes her ear with a tissue. Martin and Frasier give each other a look. Frasier: So, where are you two having dinner? Mel: Bel Canto, we have a table on the terrace. Frasier: Terrace? Well, I didn't know they had a terrace. Mel: Really? Well I guess you have to know the owner. But, we better be going. I've pre-ordered our chocolate soufflés and they'll be ready at seven-thirty precisely. Frasier: Well, off you go then. Just remember, Niles, nothing puts on love handles faster than chocolate soufflé. Mel: Oh well, you know, no one takes them off faster than I do. [laughs] Frasier: Very funny, lovely meeting you. Mel and Niles exits as Frasier closes the door. Frasier: Well, she seems a bit much. Martin: What do you mean? Frasier: Well, picking the restaurant, dining on the terrace, you have to know the owner. Doesn't she remind you of someone? Martin: Yeah, you! Frasier: I was talking about Maris. Martin: Oh, come on, don't you think you're overreacting a little bit? I mean, Niles sure seems happy. Frasier: Yes, you're right, Dad. In fact, I've got a lot to accomplish this evening. [sits on sofa] Tonight, I'm going to start on my Russian language tapes. Martin laughs. Frasier: What is it, Dad? Martin: What? Nothing. Frasier: What, don't you think I can do any of these things? Martin: No, I think you can do anything you put your mind to, Frasier, you always have. Frasier: Thank you, Dad. Martin: I just wonder about all these projects. Frasier: Well, as I said, I am streamlining. Martin: You know, I think what you discovered this week was that something's missing from your life. And before you start to fill it up with everything but the kitchen sink, I thought you ought to just ask yourself, "what do I really want? What is really going to make me happy... now?" Pause. Martin: Well, that's weird. I suddenly feel like having a beer. Martin gets up and exits to the kitchen, joyfully waving one of the meat logs from the Hickory Farms basket. Frasier makes a decision. He stands up, punches a hole in one of the condolence baskets and takes a bottle of champagne from it. He heads out into the corridor, goes next door and knocks. Frasier: Regan, it's me, Frasier! END OF ACT TWO Credits: Frasier's Apartment - Niles is seated on the couch, leafing through a magazine. Martin walks behind him, reaches down and taps Niles's forehead with his finger. Niles does not react. Martin removes a bow from one of the gift baskets, placing it in the middle of Niles's once-again numb forehead. Niles senses something and scratches his ear, but the bow remains. As Martin sits down Niles glances at his watch and realizes he has to leave. He goes out the door with the bow still firmly in place as Martin waves smugly from his recliner.

Guest Appearances

 Special Guest Star
 JANE ADAMS as Mel
 
 Guest Starring
 LAUREN COHN as Orderly 
 JOHN P. FARLEY as Records Clerk
 CHARIESSE LAVALLE as News Anchor
 SUSAN MERSON as Woman in Café
 ROB LEO ROY as Phil
 MARY JO SMITH as Nurse 

Synopsis {kathy churay}


THE LATE DR. CRANE


ACT ONE

SCENE ONE - FRASIER'S CAR - DRIVING - DAY
(Frasier, Niles)

Niles sits in the passenger seat with his raincoat collar turned up, shivering and complaining about the temperature in the car. Frasier reassures him that it's perfectly comfortable and regrets that he even asked Niles to accompany him to the art exhibit they're going to. But he couldn't ask Regan, whom he's been avoiding ever since the fiasco at the dance with Niles and Poppy. Niles urges him to ask her out again, but Frasier refuses. Niles begins turning up the car's heater as they argue, and Frasier struggles to unbuckle his shoulder harness and open his raincoat. Inevitably, they end up in a fender-bender with the car's airbags in their faces.


SCENE TWO - HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM - LATER
(Frasier, Niles, Nurse, Fellow Patient)

Frasier and Niles wait impatiently for a doctor to look at Frasier's injured nose. Fleeing an inquisitive fellow patient, Frasier steps up to the admissions desk to ask when he can be seen by a doctor, and Niles inquires whether there are any plastic surgeons on call. The nurse tells him that the best surgeons in the city have their offices at the hospital, including Dr. Mel Karnofsky. Niles complains to Frasier that this is the same surgeon who is still billing him for Maris's plastic surgery a year after the divorce. Frasier encourages him to go and confront the charlatan, and Niles exits to do just that.

Frasier is left behind to wait for the doctor, and the annoying fellow patient tries once again to strike up a conversation with Frasier. Frasier leaves in a huff, and when his name is called by the nurse, the other patient identifies himself as Frasier and goes off smugly to be seen by the doctor.


(SCENE TITLE: WHAT, ME WORRY?)

SCENE THREE - DR. KARNOFSKY'S OFFICE - DAY
(Records Messenger, Niles, Dr. Mel Karnofsky)

Niles waits in Dr. Karnofsky's anteroom as a man in a lab coat enters carrying a large, dusty box. Niles mistakes him for Dr. Karnofsky, but he's merely a messenger delivering Maris Crane's file to Karnofsky's office -- just the current year, of course. The messenger leaves and an attractive woman in a lab coat enters and identifies herself as Melinda Karnofsky. Niles is taken aback but recovers himself and begins to address the issue of the mistaken bill. Mel apologizes and starts to open the box of records, but is put off by the dust. She reaches into the drawer for a tissue and begins to clean her hands, which seems to fascinate Niles.

He tries to talk to her a bit more but she is choking on the dust from the box and goes over to the corner to turn on her hepafilter air cleaner. Niles is impressed to realize that it's an imported model impossible to get in the U.S. He's even more impressed when he admires a print on the wall and she tells him she's on the museum board. Just then she notices a tiny smudge on her jacket and becomes preoccupied with trying to clean it. When she can't, she removes her lab coat and gets another one from the closet, which opens to reveal a long row of identical lab coats. Niles is mesmerized by her obsession with cleanliness. She apologizes about the bill, which is clearly her office's error, and assures Niles that it will be taken care of. Niles is smitten with her and tries to make a bit more conversation, but she is called in to see a patient.

The records messenger returns with four more boxes, which he announces are Maris's records for 1998. Niles asks him whether he knows if the picture on Dr. Karnofsky's desk is of her husband. The messenger says tells him that it is a picture of her son. Niles is amazed that she had a son at such a young age. The messenger is politely skeptical.

The messenger leaves and Mel returns, surprised that Niles is still in the office. He gathers up his courage and is about to ask her out, when she tells him she can guess what he wants to ask her. Niles is pleased until she observes that of course he wants to get rid of those unattractive wrinkles on his forehead. She can fit him in for an appointment at 4:30. Niles impulsively agrees.

(SCENE TITLE: DEAD MAN WATCHING)

SCENE FOUR - FRASIER'S APARTMENT - DAY
(Niles, Daphne, Frasier, Martin)

Niles stops by to see how Frasier is doing after his accident. He sits on the couch with Frasier, and Daphne remarks that he's got a mosquito on his forehead. Niles is startled to hear this and waves it away, clearly having felt nothing when he was bitten. Frasier becomes suspicious and asks Niles to wrinkle his forehead, but of course he can't. He has a forehead full of Botox, a chemical used for plastic surgery injections. Niles confesses that he had the injections because he couldn't get up the nerve to ask Mel on a date. Martin is less than thrilled to hear that his sons have begun having plastic surgery.

Just then Daphne notices a news report on the television and draws their attention to it. The newscaster reports that radio psychiatrist Frasier Crane is dead as a result of a car accident earlier in the day. They are all shocked to hear the report, including Niles, who is prevented from frowning his indignation by the numbness in his forehead.


ACT TWO

SCENE ONE - CAFE NEVOSA - DAY
(Frasier, Roz, Martin, Cafe Patron)

Frasier tells Roz that the patient who used his name at the emergency room dropped dead of a heart attack, and everyone assumed it was Frasier. Martin comes in with the newspaper, which has printed Frasier's obituary. Martin gloats that he has been using the mixup to generate sympathy down at McGinty's, where he has been the recipient of numerous free beers. He heads off to the washroom as Frasier tells Roz how upsetting it is to see one's own obituary and realize all the things left undone. Roz reminds him that he hasn't actually died, and has more time to accomplish whatever he wants to do. Just then a cafe patron comes over to the table to tell Frasier how glad she is that he's still around. Frasier is encouraged by the women's comments and charges for the door, eager to begin accomplishing his life's goals.

SCENE TWO - FRASIER'S APARTMENT - DAY
(Frasier, Daphne, Martin, Niles)

Frasier is seated at the table wearing warmup clothes and working on a laptop computer as Daphne enters with clean laundry. She asks about his outfit and assumes he is joking when he replies that he is going to go running, as soon as he finishes typing his obituary. It is an exercise to help him focus his goals. Martin enters and begins exclaiming over yet another nut-and-cheese gift basket which has arrived at the apartment as a gesture of condolence for Frasier's death. He tells Frasier that he has run into Regan, who expressed relief that Frasier hadn't been killed in the accident after all. Martin urges Frasier to go over and ask her out again, but Frasier isn't convinced that she would want to go out with him.

Niles comes in to retrieve the cell phone he left at the apartment the day before, and Frasier notices a bandage on Niles's neck. Niles reluctantly admits that he visited Mel Karnofsky again, and instead of asking her out allowed her to remove a small mole from his neck. Frasier tells Niles that he should go ahead and take the risk to ask Mel out, much as Frasier is taking a risk by beginning to train for a marathon. Frasier begins to do runner's stretches and warmups as he talks to Niles, and ends up falling on the floor behind the couch. Martin wants to know if he's broken anything -- especially one of the gifts baskets which can't be returned if it's damaged. He pounces on a basket, leaving Niles to help Frasier.

SCENE THREE - FRASIER'S APARTMENT - THAT EVENING
(Frasier, Martin)

Frasier enters with a limp and a cane, which Martin gleefully notes is a nicer model than his own. Frasier sits down at the computer to begin revising his ideal obituary to read more realistically. Martin tells him that he's making too much of his goals, and Frasier begins to eliminate the more grandiose items from his list as Martin looks on in amusement.

The doorbell rings, and it's Niles and Mel, come to collect their opera tickets from Frasier. Introductions are made and Eddie rushes over to jump on Mel's dress and lick her face. Mel exclaims over Eddie's cuteness while surreptitiously running a lint brush over her dress as Niles blots her now-moist cheek with his handkerchief. They head off for the opera, leaving Frasier to muse aloud about Mel's similarity to Maris.

He sits down to work on his new Russian language tapes. Martin chuckles that Fraiser is making too much out of these goals of his. He tells Frasier that he ought to ask himself what will really make him happy, right now. Frasier thinks for a moment, then crosses to the console behind the couch which holds the gift baskets. He punches a hole in one of the baskets, grabs a bottle of wine, and heads out the apartment door.

THE HALLWAY

Frasier exits his apartment, but he doesn't go far. Just next door, where he knocks on Regan's door to announce himself.

FADE OUT.

TAG SCENE - FRASIER'S APARTMENT

Niles is seated on the couch, leafing through a magazine. Martin walks behind him and removes a bow from one of the gift baskets, placing it in the middle of Niles's once-again numb forehead. Niles senses something and scratches his ear, but the bow remains. As Martin sits down Niles glances at his watch and realizes he has to leave. He goes out the door with the bow still firmly in place as Martin waves smugly from his recliner.

END OF SHOW





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 This episode capsule is copyright 2000 by Nick Hartley, Kathy 
 Churay. This episode summary remains property of Frasier, Copyright 
 of Paramount Productions and NBC. Printed without permission. 

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