[6.15]To Tell The Truth

To Tell The Truth                              Written by Rob Hanning              
                                               Directed by David Lee         
Production Code: 6.15.
Episode Number In Production Order: 130
Episode Filmed on:
Original Airdate on NBC: 18th February 1999.
Original Airdate on CH4: 16th April 1999.
Scene Summary written on 19th February 1999.
Transcript written on 24th April 1999.
Transcript revised on 11th August 2000.
Transcript revised 2nd on 9th August 2002.

Transcript {nicholas hartley}


Scene One — Café Nervosa
Frasier gets his coffee from the counter person.

Frasier: Thank you very much.

He turns to Roz, who is sitting with some photos.

Frasier: Well, Roz — oh!  Baby pictures?
    Roz: Actually, these aren't the most flattering.
Frasier: Oh, nonsense.  Baby Alice couldn't possibly take a bad picture. 
         [takes them and looks] Oh, well, that's just adorable, the 
         silly little one with the jam all over her face.
    Roz: Well, actually that's not jam, Frasier.  It's baby eczema.
Frasier: Oh.  Well, don't worry about that.  That sort of thing is 
         bound to clear up. [looks at next picture] Or spread.
    Roz: Just give them back!

She snatches the photos.  Niles comes in.

  Niles: Hello, all.
Frasier: Niles.
  Niles: Ooh, baby pictures!
    Roz: Oh, I really don't want anyone to look at those!
  Niles: [looks anyway] Well, I don't know why not.  Botticelli himself 
         couldn't have painted a more perfect angel.
    Roz: Thank you, Niles!  She is precious, isn't she?

She gazes proudly at the photos.  Niles throws a disgusted leer at 
Frasier, who mouths, "I know."

Frasier: Anyway, Niles, uh, how did things go with Maris's lawyers?
  Niles: [to waiter] Cappuccino, please. [sits down] Maris is 
         determined to prolong my suffering.  She's asked to 
         postpone our court date another eight months.
Frasier: Eight months?!
  Niles: Yes, last night I was in such a state I almost wished I had 
         a piano to crawl under.
    Roz: What?
  Niles: Oh, uh, it's a habit I developed as a child to combat anxiety.  
         There's something about the safe, dark, protective environment 
         that seemed comforting to me.
Frasier: Yes, the week before his first Little League trial, 
         he practically lived under there.
    Roz: Well, we all did weird stuff when we were kids.

She throws a concerned look at Frasier, who mouths, "I know."  
The waiter brings Niles's coffee.

Frasier: So, Niles, uh, how did your lawyers respond to this 
         postponement request?
  Niles: Well, I can tell you they weren't very happy about it!  
         They got on the phone, raised some hell, and got that 
         postponement cut down to... seven months.
Frasier: Niles, are you serious?!  Do you think maybe it's time that 
         you consider getting some new lawyers?
  Niles: Fire Harrison & Reed?  They're the top firm in Seattle.
Frasier: But they're bleeding you dry!  Do you realize that they don't 
         mind these postponements at all?  You know the longer they 
         draw this thing out, the more money they'll get paid.
    Roz: Oh, you know, I have the perfect person for you to call.  
         My old boyfriend, Donny, he's a great lawyer!
  Niles: [snorts] No offense, Roz, but I highly doubt that your "Donny" 
         is in the same league with Harrison & Reed.
    Roz: Don't be so sure.  I mean, he's smart, he's tough, he doesn't 
         take "no" for an answer — not that I ever tested that theory.
Frasier: Hey, wait a minute, wait a minute, are we talking about 
         Donny Douglas? 
    Roz: Yes!
Frasier: Oh my God, Niles, I've read about this guy!  He's the one 
         they call "the Piranha," right?
    Roz: Yes, but that's partly because he has this night-grinding 
         problem that makes his teeth really sharp and tiny.
Frasier: Yes, well, anyway, Niles, I mean this guy just won a huge case.  
         He might be just who you need.
  Niles: I appreciate your concern, but really my situation is not as 
         dire as you're making it out to be.

He opens his briefcase.  Roz wrinkles her nose.

    Roz: What's that smell?
  Niles: What smell?
    Roz: The one coming out of your briefcase.
  Niles: Oh, I don't smell anything—

Frasier turns the briefcase and looks in.

Frasier: My God, is this your lunch? [pulls out] A baloney sandwich? 
         [pulls out] And a fruit cocktail?!  Oh, Niles.  You see what 
         these lawyers have reduced you to?  Do you have any idea 
         what they're having for lunch?
  Niles: I don't know.  They don't itemize, they just bill me for the 

Roz and Frasier share a look.


Scene Two — Donny's Office Maria (Donny's secretary) shows Frasier and Niles in. Maria: Donny should be here any minute. Make yourselves comfortable. Niles: Thank you. Frasier: Thank you. Maria leaves. Niles: Frasier, you really don't have to stay. Frasier: Well, I didn't have to come at all. But if I hadn't, you never would have. Well, the office seems nice enough. Might have overdone it on the plants a little. Niles: Yes, it's excess like this that's destroying the plastic rainforest. Frasier: [warning] Niles... Niles reads the diploma on the wall. Niles: Oh, University of Las Vegas! No problem finding tassels for those mortar boards. Frasier: Will you stop being such a snob? Give this man a chance, for God's sake. And please, will you have a mint? I'm halfway across the room, all I can smell is baloney! Donny Douglas walks in. He's a short, stout man who nevertheless has a sort of "lean and hungry" look about him. His less-than- impressive stature is made less impressive still by the fact that he's dressed in sweaty gym clothes, having just returned from his workout. Donny: Whoa! Hey, how you doing? Donny Douglas. How are ya, who's who? Frasier: Mr. Douglas, I'm Frasier Crane— Donny: [shaking hands] You're Frasier Crane— Frasier: This is Niles Crane. Donny: [shaking Niles's] Oh, you're Niles Crane. Frasier Crane? You're Roz's buddy, aren't you? Frasier: Yes, yes. Donny: Oh, you got to do me a favor, O.K.? Tell Roz, finally I had my teeth capped. See? He spreads his lips with his fingers, showing his teeth in a way that gives credence to his nickname, "the Piranha." Frasier: Oh yes, well, I'll tell her. Donny: Promise you won't forget? Frasier: Oh, not much danger of that. Donny: OK. Now I got to be in court in about, uh, twenty minutes, so sit down, let's get started. Frasier and Niles sit in armchairs in front of the desk. Donny removes his sweatshirt, leaving only a tank-top, and throws it in a corner. Niles: Well, as we discussed on the phone— Donny: Maria, I need my gray suit for court! [to Niles] Come on, come on, come on! As Niles speaks, Donny further distracts him by wiping his chest and armpits with a towel. Niles: Well, Maris is determined to exhaust my already-strained financial resources, and the real injustice— Donny: Yeah, and Maria, could you just cancel that four o'clock of mine? [takes off his socks and tosses them in the corner] And can you also put Joe Silva on my call sheet? [to Niles] I'm listening, I'm listening, come on, come on, come on! Niles: Yeah, well, Maris has no right to be angry with me— Maria comes in with a gray suit coat and a sandwich on a plate. Donny: Maria! You're the best, thank you so much, cool. [to Niles] What, what? Come on, come on, let's go! What? Niles: Uh... I'm sorry, I forgot what I was saying. Donny: Oh, don't worry, Maria has that effect on men all the time. Maria leaves the office, giving an "oh, stop it!" wave. Frasier: Niles, I think you were about to tell Mr. Douglas about Dr. Schenkman. Niles: Right. Well, uh, last year Maris and I were actually making progress in couples' therapy, when to my dismay I discovered that she and our therapist were— Donny: [mouth full] Oh, my God. Niles: That's right, they were— Donny: This is the best corned beef I have ever tasted. You've got to have a bite of this. Here. Come on, it's got spicy mustard! Niles: No, thanks. Donny: How about you? Frasier: Sorry, mustard allergy. As far as Niles is concerned, the interview is over. He gets up. Niles: Mr. Douglas, maybe we'll come back when you have more time. Donny: No, no, uh-uh! I got the gist. Your wife was doing your shrink, and now she's trying to bleed you with a long pre- trial. I get it. Who's her lawyer? Niles: Lockhart & Whalen. Donny: Maria, get me Lockhart! Or Whalen. Niles: Wait, wait, wait, you're calling them? Donny: Yeah. Listen, could we just cut through the formalities here? He pulls down his sweatpants, leaving only boxers underneath. Niles: Uh, OK. Donny: Niles, what you need is a guy like me representing you. What you're in here is a street fight, and you got to know who's covering your back. So, what I guarantee you is this: He wraps a towel around his waist, and then pulls his boxers down. As he makes the following points, he gestures with the hand holding them. They whip around, nearly hitting Frasier. Donny: You will never see me unprepared, you will never see me intimidated, and you will never, ever see me throw in the towel! You understand? Frasier: Let's certainly hope not. Donny looks at him blankly, then realizes the joke and laughs. Maria: [o.s.] I've got Geoff Whalen on Line One! Donny: OK, thank you! Niles: [to Frasier] May I have a word with you? Frasier: Yes. Donny puts on a headset phone. Donny: Whalen! Donny Douglas here, I'm calling about Niles Crane. Yeah... Niles pulls Frasier aside. Niles: I can't possibly let this man represent me. I'll be humiliated! Frasier: Niles, you have got to hear this man out. I'm sorry, this is exactly what you want in a lawyer, someone who's not afraid to show a little moxie! Niles: Oh, he's an inch away from showing us the Full Moxie! At the other side of the room: Donny: ...facing a counter-suit for deliberate infliction of pain and emotional distress. What, you don't think I can win? You call York & McFaddon. You see what those bastards had to pay for trying to pull this same crap on a client of mine! Frasier and Niles look at each other, surprised. Donny: Yeah, we're talking big numbers here, Whalen! You haven't seen so many zeroes lined up since Mr. Spock had a book signing! [covers the microphone] You got to hear this, come here, come here! They come over. Donny takes off the headset and hits Speakerphone. Whalen: [v.o.] Well, yes, of course it's important to be reasonable. Donny takes another bite of his sandwich and mimes Whalen shivering. Whalen: Um, I'm sure we can move a few things around and be ready for court by... next month? Frasier and Niles are amazed. Whalen: Mr. Douglas? Donny: Yeah? Whalen: Does this mean you're now representing Niles Crane? Donny looks at Niles, who gives him a thumbs-up. They shake hands. Donny: That's exactly what that means. And Whalen, I'll be in touch about a discovery schedule. [sarcastic] Have a nice day! He hangs up and makes a "Ta-Da!" gesture. Niles: Mr. Douglas, that was brilliant. Frasier: Yes. My goodness, almost makes me wish I was still married to Lilith! Donny: Now they're probably going to get rolling sometime this week with depositions. So, you know, pick a day, we'll get together, I will prepare you! But it's going to be very low-key, very casual, you know, over dinner, something like that. Maria comes in. Maria: You're due in court in ten minutes. Donny: O.K. Maria: And Donny? Donny: Yeah? Maria: [points to her cheek] Mustard. She leaves. Donny feels his cheek and finds a large spot of mustard. Donny: [laughs] Oh, oh, jeez, was that there the whole time? [Frasier and Niles shrug] That's so embarrassing! He lifts a corner of the towel to wipe his cheek. Niles and Frasier jerk their eyes away. FADE TO:
Scene Three — Apartment Frasier is seated at the coffee table, Martin is in his armchair, Niles stands near him. Donny is also standing with some papers. Frasier: And indeed, I had high hopes for Niles and Maris, as is witnessed by my wedding toast, in which I combined my heartfelt sentiments with apt quotations from Shakespeare, jazz great Louis Armstrong, and the poet Catullus. Donny: [sarcastic] And so your answer would be, "Yes, I attended their wedding." Once again, Frasier, could you try to keep your answers brief? Frasier: Well, I— Martin: Trust me, he did. Frasier: All right, all right. Look, I'll try to do better. Martin: I still don't understand why they're deposing Frasier before Niles. Donny: Oh, they like to question friends and family first so they can get as much "information" as they can to try and catch Niles out in a lie. Now, look, they're also going to allege that during the separation, Niles was wasteful with money. Niles: Wha...? She's calling ME wasteful?! Donny: Mmm-hmm. Niles: Do you recall what she used to do when one of our dogs needed a shampoo? Frasier: Yes, she'd fill the bathtub with Evian! Niles: Half the time she'd just get a new dog! Donny: Anyway, look, Frasier, they might ask you if you witnessed any examples of Niles throwing money around, and your answer would be... Frasier: [pauses, then] Yes. Donny: [exasperated] No, no, no! The answer is, "not to the best of my recollection!" Frasier: But I do recall! And I'll be under oath! Donny: Oh, please, not this again. Niles: As you've probably figured out, Frasier is a bit of a stickler when it comes to his ethics, and frankly I applaud him for it. Donny: Oh, great. Daphne comes out with a pot of coffee. Daphne: More coffee, anyone? Donny: No, thank you, Daphne. I think I'm just about done here. In fact, I've got a conference call back at the office. I'm just going to check to see if that's still happening. Frasier, why don't you see if there's any more questions in there we haven't done yet, all right? He picks up the cordless phone and goes to the window. Frasier: All right, uh... [looks through list] We've done those... Oh, here's one. [reads] "Can you recall a specific incident when Maris lost her temper or behaved in a way you'd characterize as volatile or unstable?" The four of them think about it, apparently lost in thought. Then they all burst out laughing at the obvious answer. Donny: [into phone] You're kidding! No, really, well, based on what? Oh, please. Niles: Something wrong? Donny: No, it's OK. [into phone] Yeah, no, thank you, thank you, Maria, no. [hangs up] Maris's lawyers, they kill me. I mean, all week long it's been one desperate ploy after another. This one, this is the best one yet! [laughs] Frasier: Well, what is it? Donny: Oh, now they're claiming "alienation of affection." Martin: You're kidding me! After what she did? Donny: Yeah, believe it or not, now they're saying that during the marriage, Niles was in love with another woman. Daphne: Who? Donny: [casual] Oh, you. Daphne: Me?! Niles: [half happy, half surprised] Dear God! Daphne: That's absurd! [to Frasier] Have you ever heard anything so ridiculous? Frasier: Well... not to the best of my recollection. END OF ACT ONE ACT TWO Scene Four — Apartment Resume: Daphne: Why on earth would they think Dr. Crane's in love with me? Donny: Oh, something about a country club ball the two of you attended a few years back. Niles: This is all based on that? Donny: Yeah. You caused quite a stir on the dance floor, or something? Daphne: Yeah, we were just putting on a show for his snobby friends. Donny: You must have been very convincing, because they're going to subpoena you for deposition. Now, look, you know, we can just call their bluff right away. You can come tomorrow morning with Frasier. Daphne: Fine by me. Donny: OK, great. Now listen, Daphne, I'm gonna have to prepare you for this, 'cause lawyers, they can twist your words around. They get a judge to buy it, because of the pre-nup, Maris can really stick it to Niles. But I've got this conference call at the office— Daphne: I could come with you. Donny: Oh, great! We'll get it done in about an hour. Daphne: Just let me grab my coat. Don't you worry, Dr. Crane! Donny: Now, Frasier, I hope you realize they are going to ask you about this business too. Frasier: Me? Donny: Yes, but don't worry. This is one time when your compulsive truth-telling won't get us into any trouble. Bye. Martin: Bye. Daphne and Donny leave the apartment. His parting shot has comforted the Crane boys about as much as we'd expect. Niles: Well, that's it. It's over. It's over and I've lost. Maris has won. Maris always wins. Martin: Niles— Niles: Niles never wins! Niles always loses! That's why Niles lives at the "Shangri-La" and drives a hatchback! Martin: Niles, now get a grip! Maris's people are just fishing. We're the only one's who know how you feel about Daphne. Niles: Today! Tomorrow, everyone will know, including Daphne. And this is how she's going to find out. I wanted to whisper it to her over a candlelight dinner, not have it read back to her by a court stenographer! Martin: What are you talking about? Frasier's not going to tell! Niles: He's gonna be under oath! What if they ask him point blank? Martin: Well, he'll just say no. Right, Fras? Frasier is silent, unsure. Martin: [worried] Fras? Frasier: Well, it's not that simple! You heard what he said, I'll be under oath. Niles: Oh my God. I can't breathe. I can't breathe! He staggers, gaping like a landed fish. Frasier grabs his neck and bows him over. Frasier: Niles, here! Put your head between your legs! I'll get you some water! He rushes to the kitchen. Martin: Niles, you'll be all right. Just take a couple of deep breaths. Niles: If I could take deep breaths it would mean I could breathe! In the kitchen, Frasier fills a water glass. Martin comes in. Martin: You're really not going to go down there tomorrow and blow it for him, are you? Frasier: Dad, there is nothing more I'd like to do than to help my brother. But I would like to find a way to do it without violating my ethics! Martin: But Maris is responsible for this divorce! Niles's feelings for Daphne has nothing to do with it! Now, if you cover for Niles you won't be doing anything wrong. Frasier: Dad, we are talking about perjury! When is that ever acceptable? Martin: Oh, you want an example? Fine! Let's say, uh, what if there was a comet hurtling towards the earth— Frasier: Oh, for God's sake! Martin: And you were the only person who could save the earth, but the only way to do it is by lying under oath. Would you do it then? Frasier: Who am I lying to, the comet? Martin: Oh, just answer the question! Frasier: All right, I suppose in certain extreme cases— Martin: So, then you'd lie? Frasier: To save mankind from a talking comet, yes! Martin: But you won't lie for Niles. Frasier: Oh, for God's sake, you make me sound like some sort of insensitive lout who's not aware that his brother's out there in pain! [takes a sip from the glass] Martin: Isn't that Niles's water? Frasier: I'm just checking to see it's not too cold! They come out. Niles has disappeared. Frasier: Niles? Niles? Niles: I'm over here. He is sitting in a crouch under the piano. Frasier: The piano, Niles! Please, please, just come out from under there. Things are not that bad. Niles: Not that bad? Daphne is going to find out about this! Martin: Not if you crawl out before she gets home. Niles's look says that Martin's joke isn't funny. Frasier: Niles, please, come out here. Now, come on. Niles: Why should I? There's nothing for me out there. It's all lawyers and ex-wives and broken hearts. All I have to contend with under here is a couple of dust bunnies... some cobwebs... some kind of a nest. Dear God, doesn't your vacuum come with any attachments? Martin: Oh, all right. Just sit tight and I'll get you a wet cloth. [to Frasier] Well, look what you've done, I hope you're happy now! Frasier: Well, do you really want to see me lying under oath?! Martin: Well, it's better than seeing your brother lying under a piano! Frasier follows Martin in to the kitchen. Martin wets a cloth in the sink. Frasier: You know, I can't believe you're being so casual about this! Do you realize you're asking me to do something completely unethical?! Martin: Oh, for God's sake, nobody's even going to know! Frasier: Yes, but that's the point! Ethics are what we do when no one else is looking! For heaven's sake, I learned that from you! Are you saying you wouldn't have any trouble with this? Martin: Niles? Here. [throws him the cloth] Niles: Thank you. Martin: [to Frasier] Let me tell you something. One time when I was on the force, I saw a guy shoot somebody. When we caught him, I started to read him his rights, but he slipped out of his cuffs and he swung at me so I didn't get a chance to finish. Two months later, I'm on the stand, and his lawyer asks me if I'd read his rights in full. Now, if I say no this guy walks, and this guy has been in and out of jail all his life, he could have read ME his rights! So I say, "yes, I did. I read them in full." I lied under oath. Now you might think that I did an unethical thing but there's not a doubt in my mind that I did the right thing. Frasier: [after a pause] Well, Dad, I'm still not sure what I'm going to do. Martin: Why do you have to make everything so complicated?! Frasier: I don't know! I just know that I'm never going to figure out anything with you barking in my ear! [gets his coat] Martin: Well, where are you going? Frasier: To get some air! He walks out the door. Martin: Oh, yeah, yeah, run away, just like you always do! [to Niles] Boy, I sometimes don't understand your brother. I guess some of us can deal with a tough situation head on, and others just need an escape. As he says this we see Niles cleaning his "escape-hole" underneath the piano, as Martin pours himself a stiff drink and takes a long sip.
Scene Five — Donny's Office Frasier is sitting in an armchair. Maria comes in. Maria: Dr. Crane? They'll be ready for you in just a few minutes. Frasier: Thank you. Maria leaves. Niles comes in. Niles: Frasier. Have you, uh—? Frasier: Niles — no, not yet. Daphne's still in the conference room. The place is slithering with Maris's lawyers. Niles: Never a mongoose around when you need one. [Frasier chuckles] Listen, Frasier, I'm sorry I ever put you in this position. Frasier: Niles, it's not your fault. Niles: Now listen, I thought a lot about this last night, and I realize the way I was carrying on yesterday was just making it harder for you to do whatever you feel is the right thing. Frasier: Well, honestly I'm still not really sure what the right thing is. Niles: Well, if it makes any difference, I've decided to tell Donny everything about Daphne. Frasier: Really? Niles: Yes, then he can proceed however he sees fit. Frasier: But, why, Niles? Niles: Well, I started to wonder, maybe my feelings for Daphne did affect my marriage. Maybe on some intuitive level Maris knew all along. I can't be certain that that's not what drove her to Schenkman. Frasier: [firmly] Listen to me: the only reason that marriage lasted as long as it did was because of the effort that YOU put into it. From the moment that you slipped that ring onto her bony little finger and it slipped right off again! There is no way that this divorce is your fault. Niles: I wish I could be sure of that. Donny comes in. Donny: OK, Frasier — oh, Niles! OK, good. Frasier, they're just about ready for you. Wait for me outside the conference room, will you? And DON'T go in without me. I want a word alone with your brother here. Frasier: Right. Uh, I wish there was something I could do, Niles. Niles: Well, there is. When you go home this afternoon, leave a bottle of sherry under the piano. They chuckle. Frasier turns to the door. Donny: WAIT for me. [Frasier nods and leaves] Right, Niles, I'm really glad you're here, there's something I really want to talk to you about. Niles: Yes, I need to talk to you too— Donny: No, me first. Now, the only way this relationship is going to work, Niles, is if we're completely honest with each other. Niles: I agree. Donny: Well, I've been doing a little digging. I've been finding out you've been holding out on me. Niles: And I'm very sorry about that— Donny: Well, why didn't you tell me that's where Maris's money came from? Niles: It's never easy... Maris's money? Donny: Yeah, I mean you told me that Maris's family money came from "timber?" Niles: It did. It did come from timber. Donny: Oh, that's what you really think. Niles: Well, of course. It's true. Donny: And that's what all of Maris's friends think too? All those country club snobs who would kill for a good piece of dirt on someone? Niles: Well, what are you talking about? If her family money didn't come from timber, where did it come from? Donny holds up the file he's holding with a flourish. As Niles takes it and reads, Donny sits in his chair and puts his feet up. Niles turns round with a surprised look on his face. Donny returns this with a "Roger Moore" eyebrow. Niles: Urinal cakes? Donny makes another "Ta-Da!" gesture. Niles: I don't believe this! All these years, the doyenne of Seattle's elite looking down her nose at everyone in sight, she owes it all to this. She's managed to have her urinal cake and eat it too! Donny: Yes, I think we now have what's known in the legal profession as a bargaining chip! Niles: Oh, are you kidding? She'd give anything to keep this quiet! Donny: [gets up] All right, let me go talk to Maris's lawyers. Niles: No, no, no! There's some news you'd like to deliver yourself. [picks up the phone] May I? Donny: Absolutely. Niles dials, gives a devious chuckle, and sits in Donny's chair. Niles: Hello, Marta, I'd like to speak to Maris. Oh, why not? Ah. [to Donny] She's in the final level of her guru serenity training, the week-long vow of silence: day six! [Donny rolls his eyes; into phone] No, no, Marta, that's all right. She doesn't have to come to the phone. Just give her this message: I've flushed out her family secret. [Donny punches the air; Maris rushes to the phone] Helloooooo, Maris! Niles puts his feet up on the desk. FADE TO: Scene Six — Café Nervosa Frasier and Niles come in. Niles is on top of the world. Niles: I can't remember the last time I felt this way! The air is sweeter and colors are brighter! It's as if my very senses have come alive! Frasier: It makes perfect sense, Niles. You've just won your life back. Niles: Oh, wait, Frasier, watch this! [stops a passing waiter] Excuse me? Today's special blend... [sniffs the air] Jamaican Blue Mountain. Waiter: Yes, it is. Frasier: Niles, that's very good, that's my favorite! Well done. Niles: Beans were gathered on the shady side of the northern slope... Frasier: Don't push it. They sit at a table near the counter. Niles: I still can't believe this is all over. And I never dreamed I'd get a settlement like that! I'll be able to get my whole life back — my apartment, my car! And I owe it all to one amazing man. Frasier: Well, thank you, Niles, but I can't take all the credit. [laughs] I know, you're thinking of Donny. Niles: Well, don't think I'm not grateful for all you did. Frasier: You know, actually, to tell the truth, if it hadn't been for me badgering you to change your lawyers, Donny Douglas never would have come into your life. At this point Donny literally comes into Niles's life when he walks in on the arm of our Daphne. They sit at the window booth. Niles doesn't see. Frasier: Of course, we mustn't forget Roz's part in all of this. Niles: Waiter! [to Frasier] Who understands why anything happens? I mean, it's remarkable how completely one's life can change in an instant— He turns to gesture to the waiter and sees Donny and Daphne kissing. Frasier: Oh, Niles... Niles solemnly gets up to greet them. Frasier, unsure of what he's going to do, gets up and follows him. Niles: Hi, you two. Daphne: Donny: [noticing him] Oh, hello!/Hi. Daphne: Congratulations, Dr. Crane. I'm so happy for you. Niles: Thank you, Daphne. Frasier: Well, what are you two doing here together? They overlap each other as they explain. Donny: Oh well, you know, we talked— Daphne: Oh well, after we worked on the deposition— Donny: We got a little hungry— Daphne: He took me out to dinner— Donny: Too much wine— Daphne: And we talked— Donny: And we laughed a little— Daphne: [laughs] Look at us, we sound like an old married couple! Niles's face shows that those last words have pierced his chest like a hot poker. Daphne doesn't notice, then Donny drives it home. Donny: I know. You know, Frasier, if you hadn't brought Niles to the office, then, ah, none of this would have happened. I guess I owe you one. Frasier: Well, we mustn't forget Roz's part in all this! Donny smells Daphne's hair. Donny: That scent is wonderful. What is it? Daphne doesn't know, but Niles does. He walks away with a sad look on his face which transforms the feeling of the episode totally to melancholy mode. Niles: [to himself; wonderfully acted by DHP, simple in a sad sort of way] Cherry bark and almonds. Niles goes to his chair and sits down with a miserable look on his face. Frasier consoles him and places a hand on his shoulder. END OF ACT TWO Credits: Frasier is seated at the dining table reading a book. He gets up to pour himself a glass of sherry. From under the piano a hand raises a second glass, and Frasier fills that as well. Frasier picks up his book and goes to his room, saying good night to Niles, who is slumped under the piano, miserably sipping sherry.

Guest Appearances

 Special Guest Star
 SAUL RUBINEK as Donny Douglass
 Guest Starring

Summary {kathy churay}

Kathy Churay has 
written an episode summary which she has allowed me to use on this 
site. See the transcription for more infomation.


SCENE 1 - Cafe Nervosa

Roz is showing Frasier pictures as Niles enters to reports that 
Maris's lawyers are trying to prolong his torture by putting off the 
court date by another 8 months.  Frasier asks how Niles's lawyers 
responded, and Niles says they got it cut down to 7 months.  Frasier 
says it's time to consider a new lawyer, and Roz suggests her old 
boyfriend, Donny Douglas. Frasier is enthused -- "He's the one they 
call The Piranha, right?" Frasier's argument is proven when he 
discovers that Niles is now packing his own lunch, while the lawyers 
are putting their lunches on Niles's legal bill.    

SCENE 2 - Donny Douglas's office

Frasier and Niles show up at Donny's office.  Niles is full of 
snobbery over the office decor, Donny's degree from a less than 
prestigious law school, etc.  Donny comes in wearing sweats, fresh 
from a workout.  He's in a rush and is due in court in 20 minutes.  
He encourages Niles to tell him the facts of the divorce, but as 
Niles attempts to do so, Donny begins to take off his clothes to 
change for court.  Niles tries to continue but is understandably 
distracted by Donny's eating his lunch, taking his clothes off, etc.  
Niles is ready to walk out when Donny decided to get on the phone 
with Niles' lawyers, and in short order browbeats them into setting a 
court date one month away.  Very impressed, Niles agrees that Donny 
should represent him.  As they depart Donny tells them he will 
contact them soon to prepare them for pre-trial depositions, just a 
casual dinner or something to discuss the questions that will be 

SCENE 3 - Frasier's living room

Donny, Frasier, Niles, Martin and Daphne are having coffee and 
discussing the testimony Frasier will give in his deposition the next 
morning. [Frasier has great difficulty being brief, as we all know.]  
Martin asks why Maris's lawyers want to depose Frasier before Niles, 
and Donny explains that they will want to find out as much dirt as 
possible from the friends and family before taking Niles' deposition, 
so they know what questions to ask Niles.

Donny continues to go over the questions Maris's lawyers will ask
Frasier.  He asks whether Frasier ever noticed Niles throwing money
around during the separation.  Frasier says yes, and Donny corrects 
him. "No, no!  Your answer will be, 'Not to the best of my 
recollection.'" Frasier protests that he can't give that answer 
because it's untruthful and a violation of his ethics, and Niles 
agrees with him.  Donny is exasperated and goes to the phone to check 
with his office for messages.  To his disgust he learns from his 
secretary that Maris's lawyers are making yet another desperate, 
outlandish accusation -- alienation of affection.  Maris is alleging 
that Niles was in love with Daphne during the marriage.  

Niles is shocked  but looks almost happy to hear the secret out at 
last. Daphne is completely disgusted at the low-down lawyer tactics 
and asks Frasier, "Have you ever heard anything so ridiculous?"  
Frasier replies uncomfortably, "Not to the best of my recollection!"


SCENE 1 - Frasier's living room - continuation of previous scene

Daphne asks why Maris's lawyers have such a ridiculous idea about
her and Niles.  Donny replies that she and Niles had apparently 
caused quite a stir at a country club dance a few years back.  Daphne 
protests that it was all for the benefit of Niles' snobby friends, 
but Donny tells her the lawyers will subpoena Daphne to give a 
deposition about it anyway. Daphne replies bravely that she is ready, 
and in fact will give her deposition the next morning right after 
Frasier.  "Don't you worry, Dr. Crane!" she tells Niles stoutly.  She 
departs with Donny to his office, where he will prepare her for the 
questions she will be asked.  After their departure Niles is 
distraught because he believes he has just lost the divorce case.


Martin: "Niles, get a grip.  We're the only ones who know how you 
        feel about Daphne." 
 Niles: "Today!  Tomorrow everyone will know, including Daphne.  And
        this is how she's going to find out.  I wanted to whisper it
        to her over a candlelight dinner, not have it read back to
        her by a court stenographer."

Martin: "What are you talking about?  Frasier's not going to tell."  

 Niles: "He's going to be under oath.  What if they ask him point

Martin: "Well, he'll just say no.  Right, Frasier?"


But Frasier can't give Martin the answer he wants, and the two get 
into a bitter argument over Frasier's ethics versus his loyalty to 
his brother. Martin argues the divorce was due to Maris's behavior, 
not Niles' feelings for Daphne which have nothing to do with the 
case.  But Frasier argues that, "Ethics are what we do when no one 
else is looking.  I learned that from you!"  Meanwhile, Niles 
regresses to his childhood and retreats under the piano to hide.

SCENE 2 - Donny's office - the next morning

Frasier is waiting tensely to be called for his deposition when Niles
unexpectedly shows up.  He tells Frasier he plans to admit everything 
to Donny, and in fact is having doubts that perhaps his feelings for 
Daphne did contribute to the breakup of the marriage.  Frasier 
sternly reminds Niles that he did everything he could to save the 
marriage and has nothing to reproach himself for.  Niles is grateful 
for the reassurance and as Donny comes in, Frasier departs to the 
conference room for his deposition.

Donny says he's glad to see Niles alone for a moment, because he has
discovered Niles has been less than truthful with him.  Niles 
apologizes and is about to admit the truth about Daphne when Donny 
reveals that the new information he's discovered is not about Daphne.  
It seems that Maris's family money didn't come from the sale of 
timber, as she's told Niles and everyone else in Seattle society.  

Baffled, Niles takes the file Donny hands him and reads with growing
delight.  "Urinal cakes?" he marvels.  A smiling Donny replies, 
"I believe we now have what's known as a bargaining chip."  
Donny starts out of the office to reveal the new information to 
Maris's lawyers, but Niles stops him.   "There's some news
you want to deliver yourself!"   Making himself comfortable in 
Donny's desk chair and propping his feet on the desk, Niles gloats as 
he dials Maris.

SCENE 3 - Cafe Nervosa - later that day

Niles and Frasier enter the cafe, Niles elated over the large 
settlement he's gotten from Maris.  "I'll be able to get my whole 
life back -- my apartment, my car....  And to think I owe it all to 
one amazing man."  Niles continues to rhapsodize about Donny as, 
behind his back, Donny and Daphne enter the cafe.  They sit down at a 
table very obviously affectionate with each other.   A downhearted 
Frasier points this out to Niles, who abruptly falls silent as they 
move to the window table to greet Daphne and Donny.  Daphne tells 
Niles, "Oh, Dr. Crane, I'm so happy for you."  Niles puts on a 
cheerful face as Donny and Daphne reveal that they're dating.  They 
seem genuinely happy with one another.

Donny is obviously infatuated as he leans and sniffs Daphne's hair. 
"Mmm, that scent is wonderful.  What is that?"  As Niles turns away 
he  answers quietly to Frasier, "Cherry bark and almonds."   The 
brothers return to their table and Niles sinks sadly into his chair 
with Frasier's hand on his shoulder.


Frasier is seated at the dining table reading a book.  He gets up to 
pour himself a glass of sherry and pours a second one as well, which 
he hands to Niles who is under the piano again.

Thanks To...

Transcript written by Nicholas Hartley.
Transcript revised by Mike Lee.
Sumarry written by Kathy Churay.
Edited by Nicholas Hartley.

Legal Stuff

 This episode capsule is copyright 1999 by "The Frasier Files". This
 episode summary remains property of Frasier, Copyright of Paramount
 Productions and NBC. Printed without permission. 

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