[9.16]Wheels of Fortune

Wheels of Fortune                           Written by Ken Levine 
                                            & David Isaacs  
                                            Directed by Scott Ellis
Production Code: 9.16
Episode Number In Production Order: 209
Episode Filmed On: 23rd January 2002
Original Airdate on NBC: 26th February 2002.
Transcript written on 3rd April 2002.

Transcript {Mike Lee}


Scene One - KACL
Frasier is finishing his show.

Frasier: Our topic today has been honesty--the courage to face each 
         other with the plain truth.  I've certainly enjoyed myself 
         these last few hours, I hope you have too.  This is Dr. 
         Frasier Crane, wishing you good mental health. 

He goes off the air, Roz comes into his booth.

Frasier: Well, that was a dog of a show.
    Roz: They all blend. [picks up a message slip on Frasier's console] 
         Oh, you got a message.  A Blaine Sternin called--

Frasier starts and recoils from the slip like it's a rattlesnake.

Frasier: Blaine Sternin! [gives her back the slip] Call him back, 
         tell him I'd dead!
    Roz: [rereads the slip] Sternin?  Is he related to Lilith?
Frasier: Yes, he's Lilith's half-brother, the curse of the family!  
         What does it say when Lilith is the good one?
    Roz: He sounded charming on the phone.
Frasier: Well, of course he sounded charming.  Charm is the viscous 
         grease with which he oils his flim-flam machine!  The man 
         will say anything to get what he wants!
    Roz: I can't believe I haven't dated this guy.
Frasier: The only reason he'd be contacting me is to separate me from 
         my money.  The man is always coming with some sucker's sob 
         story, while he's busy living the high life in Laughlin, 
         Nevada! You know, he once stole from me a very precious 
         antique: my 18th Century English salt server.
    Roz: Well, if you don't mind Elvis, you can have mine. 
         [gives him back the slip]
Frasier: [looks at it] Oh, dear God.
    Roz: What?
Frasier: This number he left... it's local.  The beast walks among us.


Scene Two - Apartment
Martin, Niles, and Daphne are watching television.  Frasier rushes 
through the front door and slams it behind him.

Frasier: Don't answer the front door or the phone.  Lock all the 
         windows.  Blaine Sternin is in Seattle!
 Daphne: Who?
 Martin: [turns off the TV] Lilith's half-brother.
  Niles: Is he the scoundrel that walked off with your 18th Century 
         salt cellar?
Frasier: The very same!
 Daphne: Blaine Sternin.  A package came for you this afternoon, 
         I believe that was the name on the return address. 
         [picks it up from the bookshelf]
Frasier: What could he possibly be sending me?  Daphne, you've got 
         longer nails than I have.
 Daphne: Open it yourself. [tosses it to him]
Frasier: Very well, all right.

He sits on the couch and opens the package.  Inside is a small ornate 
box with a note.

Frasier: Well, what do you know?  It's my salt server.

He slowly opens the box. He and Niles both gasp.

Niles: I've heard you speak about it, but I had no idea it was 
       so magnificent.

Martin trades a look with Daphne.

Frasier: Would you look at this beautiful gilding, and the exquisite 
         but playful scrollwork.
  Niles: And... it has a tiny spoon! [lifts it out]
 Daphne: Aren't you going to read the note?
Frasier: Oh yes, of course. [Niles takes the server] Thank you, Niles.         
         [reading] "Frasier, I apologize for any trouble I've caused, 
         and hope you'll forgive me."  He must think I've got turnips 
         growing out of my ears!  He's after something!
 Martin: Yeah, hide the pepper.

The phone rings.  Daphne answers it.

 Daphne: Hello, Crane residence.  Thank you. [hangs up] That was the 
         doorman.  Mr. Sternin's on his way up.
Frasier: So much for living in a security building!
 Daphne: Come on now, Dr. Crane, maybe he wants to make amends.
Frasier: Daphne, let me acquaint you with the curriculum vitae of 
         Mr. Blaine Sternin--or "Brad Cunningham," as he's known in 
         Maine, "Royce Thibideaux" in Loo-siana, and "Santana De La 
         Cruz," the pride of Albuquerque, New Mexico!  This is a man 
         who once made a living selling rare autographs, until it was 
         discovered that Madame Curie and Sugar Ray Robinson had the 
         same handwriting.  And would you care to see the deed to my 
         50,000-acre kelp farm?
 Daphne: It's hard to believe a man of your intellect could be so 
Frasier: It wasn't my intellect that he preyed upon, Daphne.  It was 
         my kind and generous heart.  Well, not this time.  This time 
         I will make it a stone.

The doorbell rings.

Frasier: He may come swaggering in here, but I assure you, he will go 
         slinking out with his tail between his legs! [opens the door] 
         All right, Blaine...!

He trails off when he sees Blaine sitting in a wheelchair.

 Blaine: Frasier, my brother.  It's been too long.
Frasier: Hello, Blaine.  A wheelchair?  Nice touch.
 Blaine: Well, the truth is, I've been in a terrible accident.  I've 
         lost all feeling from my waist down, the doctors tell me I'll 
         be like this for the rest of my life--oh hi, everybody!  
         Blaine Sternin.

He wheels himself in as everybody ad-libs hellos and shakes his hand.

 Martin: Come on in, Marty Crane.
 Blaine: Hey, hiya, Marty, how are you?
 Daphne: Daphne Moon.
 Blaine: Hey.
  Niles: Niles Crane.
 Blaine: Niles, how are you?
Frasier: [still by the door] Bravo, Blaine!  This is the best one yet!  
         But you forget with whom you're dealing.  I've seen it all.
 Daphne: Dr. Crane, the man is in a wheelchair!
Frasier: Which means that somewhere, someone is missing a wheelchair!
 Martin: Frasier, if you don't believe him, why don't you call Lilith?
Frasier: Good idea. 

He takes the phone to the hall.  Martin sits back down and Blaine 
wheels beside him.

Blaine: So, Martin, I see you also park in the blue zone.
Martin: Yeah, when I can.  But those spaces are always filled.
Blaine: Ah yeah, well that's probably partly my fault.  Boy, I sold a 
        lot of fake handicapped plates in my time.  Boy, talk about a 
        butt-load of poetic justice, huh?
 Niles: Yes, I believe that is the basic unit of poetic justice.

Frasier comes back and hangs up the phone.

  Niles: So, what did Lilith say?  Has Blaine really lost the use of 
         his legs?
Frasier: She says she doesn't know, but hopes so.
 Blaine: Well, all right, I guess there's only one way I can prove 
         this to you.  Daphne, may I borrow that lovely pin you're 
 Daphne: Oh, um... [unfastens it] let's see... here you go.
 Blaine: All right, here you go, Fras, my man!  Stick it anywhere 
         you'd like.
Frasier: You'd have to get up for that.
 Blaine: All right, I guess I'll just do it myself.

He calmly stabs the pin into the flesh of his right thigh, without 
flinching.  Daphne, Niles, and Martin react.

 Blaine: There you go.
  Niles: That's disturbing.
 Martin: Cool!
Frasier: Come on, that is nothing but a cheap parlor trick!
 Blaine: You know, I thought you'd take a little more convincing 
         than that.  Daphne, would you have a butcher knife in the 
 Martin: [gets up] Oh, I'll get it!
Frasier: No, no, that's enough, Dad!  All right, Blaine, let's cut to 
         the chase.  What's it going to cost me to get you out of here?
 Blaine: You want to know something, Frasier, you're almost right.  
         You're almost right.  It's true.  I do want something from 
         you.  But what I want... is for you to get down on your knees 
         and pray with me.  I know these words sound strange, but I've
         had a deeply religious conversion.
 Daphne: Really?
Frasier: Oh, this just gets better and better.
 Blaine: I guess it started with my car accident.  I was driving 
         drunk, which I had done one too many times.  You know, it 
         was a sign.
 Daphne: From God?
 Blaine: No, from the highway department.  It said, "Lane Ends," and 
         I just plowed right into it.  The next thing I saw was a 
         bright light and a tunnel.
 Daphne: So you had a near-death experience?
 Blaine: No, it was a CAT scan.  You know, when Dr. Kagan told me I 
         was paralyzed, well, I was devastated.  There I was, at the 
         lowest point a man can be... and He came to me.
 Daphne: Dr. Kagan?
 Blaine: No, wrong again, hon.  It was God.
 Daphne: Oh, damn!
  Niles: Hang in there, sweetheart, you'll get one.
 Blaine: He showed me how I've squandered my life--you know, cheating 
         innocent people.  I-I was just filled with shame.  And that's 
         why I'm here, as a matter of fact.  I've started a ministry 
         to save souls the way the Lord saved mine.
Frasier: What genius!  The Lord--a credible partner who doesn't take 
         a cut!
 Daphne: Dr. Crane, you should be ashamed of yourself!  The fact that 
         Mr. Sternin has turned his accident into something positive, 
         well, it's one of the most inspirational stories I've ever 
Frasier: Oh, Daphne, please!  You have no idea what this man is 
         capable of-
 Daphne: Sir, can I get you something to eat or drink?
 Blaine: You know, I could use a beer.  I haven't given up everything.
 Martin: That is inspiring!  Yeah, make it two, Daph.
 Daphne: O.K.
 Blaine: But I insist that I help.  It's like a thing with me, all of 
         a sudden.  I just won't allow anyone to wait on me.

Blaine wheels forward, and Daphne pushes him into the kitchen.

Frasier: Well, you've just witnessed the first step in the Blaine 
         Sternin long con.  He sets you up, sucks you in, and then 
         bam!  Kelp futures.
  Niles: Perhaps you're rushing to judgement, Frasier.  I know you 
         two have a history, but isn't it possible that he's changed?
Frasier: Oh, don't be a sucker, Niles!  Dad, you're not buying any of 
         this medicine show, are you?
 Martin: Well, the guy is laying it on pretty thick, but I guess he 
         could be on the level.  I mean, that pin thing was freaky.  
         I want to get that on video.

Daphne comes out with a beer for Martin.

Frasier: Daphne, you left him alone in the kitchen?  My sub-zero's 
         probably on the way to a chop shop right now!

He rushes into the kitchen and finds Blaine sitting there.

Frasier: All right, Blaine, I've had enough.  Get out.
 Blaine: Frasier, look, I don't know how to prove this to you, but I 
         swear all I really came for was your forgiveness--first of 
         all, for stealing that little teapot.
Frasier: Salt server.
 Blaine: Is that what that was?  Man, nobody knew.  And for all the 
         times I lied and I cheated you, and for the time I posed as 
         you and treated patients for a year-
Frasier: You what?!
 Blaine: It was only a couple people, I'd tell you who they were, but 
         you know we've got that doctor-patient confidentiality thing. 
         [Frasier puts a hand to his forehead] The point is, that 
         part of my life is over, Frasier.  I just--I don't know, I 
         just want to give something back.
Frasier: Really?  If you wanted to give something back, you'd be 
         mopping a soup kitchen, or reading to bedridden vets, or 
         traveling to the Galapagos Islands to clean oil off some 
         poor sea fowl, then maybe you'd have some credibility!
 Blaine: I know I've given you so many reasons to mistrust me.  
         But don't you believe that people can change?
Frasier: If I forgive you, will you leave and never return?
 Blaine: Yes.  I promise you, you'll never see my face in this house 
         again, unless I'm invited.
Frasier: Very well.  I grant you this boon, and I forgive you, now 
         get out.
 Daphne: [enters] Oh, Mr. Sternin, I hope you'll stay for dinner.
 Blaine: Sounds like an invitation to me, Fras.

Frasier storms out.



Scene Three - Apartment
Blaine is sitting at the table with the Crane boys. Martin, and Niles 
are rapt, while Frasier keeps rolling his eyes.

 Blaine: This kid, no more than fifteen years old, he lives in a 
         cardboard box under the overpass, and his mother comes to me 
         and begs me, "Will you get my kid off drugs...?"
Frasier: Yes, yes, and then you cured him, let's eat.
 Blaine: No, no, no, you don't cure something like addiction overnight.  
         Well, look who I'm telling, you're a psychiatrist.  You know.
Frasier: Well, that's true.  I have found in my research with addictive 
         personalities that... oh, for God's sake, what the hell am I 
         doing?  There probably is no kid anyway!
 Martin: Oh, Frasier, let up on the guy, he's a man of God.  Blaine, 
         can I take a picture of you with a fork in your leg?

Daphne brings dinner from the kitchen.

Daphne: All right, everybody, dig in.

They all thank her and start to serve themselves.

 Niles: That looks beautiful, Daphne...
Blaine: Well, who wants to say grace?
 Niles: Oh... [covering] We almost forgot.
Daphne: [covering] Whose turn is it this time? [everyone mumbles]
Blaine: O.K., I will!  You want to join hands?

Blaine, Martin, Niles and Daphne join hands.  Blaine holds out his 
hand to Frasier.  Frasier holds up a "one second" finger, removes his
watch from that wrist, and holds it in the hand that joins Daphne's 
before joining hands with Blaine.

Frasier: Ready.
 Blaine: Dear Lord, bless this food, and this company.  Give us your 
         guidance, and teach us to be forgiving, as you instructed 
         your Apostles--
Frasier: I'll give you fifty bucks if you can name three of them!
  Niles: Frasier!
Frasier: [puts money on table] Here you go, two twenties and a ten.  
         Tell you what, I'll spot you John.
 Daphne: Dr. Crane, we're in the middle of a prayer! [to Blaine] 
         Please, go on.
 Blaine: Thank you, Lord.  Amen.
All but F: Amen.
Frasier: [sullen] Amen.

They begin to eat.

Blaine: You know, normally I get paid after I say grace.

They stop and look at him.

Blaine: Nah, I'm kidding! 

They laugh.

  Niles: That was funny.
 Blaine: Yeah, you know, you're a godless bunch, but I love you.
Frasier: You know, even worse than the godless are those who would 
         use God for their own gain.  They are the true hypocrites, 
         who should burn in the fiery hell for all eternity!
 Blaine: Am I picking up a vibe here?
Frasier: Oh, I'm sorry, did you think that was directed at you?
 Blaine: You know, I could quote you chapter and verse all night 
         to try to prove to you that I'm a changed man.  But you know 
         what?  Instead, why don't you come see me in action on Sunday?
  Niles: What do you mean?
 Blaine: Come and hear me preach.  Witness what God can do through me 
         in all His splendour and all His glory in the Regency room 
         down at the airport Ramada.
 Daphne: I'd love to go.
 Martin: I wouldn't mind checking that out.
  Niles: Sure, why not?
 Blaine: Bless you people, that's just great, thank you very much.  
         The only problem is, the advertising was just a skosh more 
         than I thought, and I came up a thousand dollars short on 
         the hall rental-
Frasier: A-ha!  The other shoe comes cascading from the sky!  One 
         thousand dollars, you say?  Well, you're not getting it out 
         of me, you born-again Bilko! [to the others] Didn't I tell 
 Blaine: Frasier, you know, what I was going to say if you'd let me 
         finish was, somehow, the Lord will provide.  And by the way, 
         [rapidly] Matthew, John and Thomas, Bartholomew, Jude, Judas, 
         two Jameses, Andrew, Peter, Simon the Zealot, and Phillip. 
         [picks up the money] $950 to go, pass the po-tah-toes, please. 

Daphne does.

Scene Four - Cafe Nervosa Frasier and Roz are sitting in the doorway booth. Frasier: He says, "the Lord will provide" the money. But we all know who that means--me! Roz: You know, I always had a thing for evangelists. When I first started out, I worked at this station back in Wisconsin. There was this young preacher who had a show of his own on Sunday mornings. He spent hours trying to save my soul. [chuckles at the memory] Frasier: And? Roz: And it worked, and now I'm a nun. What do you think happened? She gets up and goes to the counter. Niles and Daphne come in. Daphne: Hello. Frasier: Oh, Daphne, Niles. Daphne: Well, Dr. Crane, you needn't worry about Blaine asking you for money anymore. He's received the thousand dollars he needs for Sunday. Frasier: What nitwit gave him a thousand dollars? Niles: Now, Frasier, that's not fair. Perhaps whoever did it simply has a kind heart and a trusting nature that I, for one, find refreshing. Frasier: [after glaring at Niles] Oh, Daphne... Daphne: I come from a large family of scoundrels and n'er-do-wells, who repeatedly promised me they'd change their ways, and never made any effort. Now here's someone who's actually trying, and succeeding. Now I think that's worthy of a little encouragement. Coffee, Niles? Niles: Yes, please. She gets up and goes to the counter. Frasier: I can't believe Daphne got snowed by that crook. Now I've got to expose Blaine for the charlatan that he is. [takes out cell phone] What was the name of that doctor he said treated him in Laughlin? Niles: Uh, it was... Kagan, if memory serves, Dr. Kagan. Frasier: Shouldn't be too hard to find. [speaking very slowly into phone] Laughlin, Nevada. Dr. Kagan. [to Niles] I'm being connected. Niles: Frasier, you're sure you're not being a tad obsessive? Frasier: Niles, this is about the truth. [into phone] Yes, hello? Uh, yes, Dr. Kagan, please. Busy? Too busy to talk with Dr. Frasier Crane, from [fake European accent] ze Nobel Prize Committee? On Niles's look, we: FADE TO: Scene Five - Auditorium Blaine is preaching from a dais in an auditorium, speaking into a headset microphone. Daphne, Martin, and Niles, are among the crowd. Blaine: Now, you may ask yourself, "Why would THIS man spend the last hour preaching the word of God, look what God did to him!" Well, I'll tell you what God did to me. He took away my legs, to show me how tall I can stand! Assent from the crowd. Martin, Niles, and Daphne are rapt with attention. Blaine: Because until this happened, I was not a whole man. I was a gambler, I was a liar, I was a cheat! Everything you can imagine--that was me, I did it! Ooh, I was a BAD man. Go ahead, name something! Frasier comes into the auditorium and sits behind Martin. Woman: A thief! Blaine: Oh, a thief! Not a day passed that I wasn't. Anybody else, come on! Man: A womanizer! Blaine: [snorts] Yeah, in between affairs. 2nd Woman: A tax evader! Blaine: Yeah, but that was on principle. As Blaine continues: Frasier: Come on, little sheep. Come on into this nice little pen. Daphne: Shh! Martin: I thought you weren't coming. Frasier: I just can't stand to see people get fleeced. I have left half a dozen messages for this so-called doctor of his. I'll tell you what, the guy comes back with a different excuse every time why he can't come to the phone. Niles, I tell you, there is no such man as this Dr. Kagan. He doesn't exist! Blaine: And yet, for the first time in my life I'm a happy man. Oh, I can't dance the way I used to, but you know, my heart's turning cartwheels. I can't run, but there's no need to hide anymore. I can't make love, but I can feel love. Now, do you want that kind of happiness? Because if you do, let me hear you say, "Yeah!" Crowd: Yeah! Blaine: Come on, like you really mean it! Yeah! Crowd: Yeah! Blaine: Are you willing to do whatever it takes? Are you willing to make these earthly sacrifices to make heavenly gains? As the crowd's chorus of "Yeah!" rises, Frasier stands up and bleats like a sheep. Frasier: BAAAAAAA! Have you people lost your senses? Do you hear yourselves? This is no man of God! He's a huckster! Martin: Frasier, sit down! This is why I hate going anywhere with you. Frasier: This charade has got to stop right now! I will not allow these good people to be bamboozled! As he steps onto the stage, the crowd boos and hisses him. Blaine: No, no, people, it's all right. He belongs up here. He's one of God's creatures. Frasier: I am no such thing! I will prove once and for all that this man is a fraud! See for yourselves! He grabs Blaine's wheelchair and tips him onto the floor. The crowd gasps, and the people in the front row start forward. Frasier: No, no, no, don't help him! That's enough of this, Blaine! Get up! GET UP! Blaine: Wait, people. He knows not what he does. Frasier's cell phone rings. He answers it. Frasier: What?! ...Yes, Dr. Kagan. Yes, I did. Uh-huh... uh-huh... For life. I see, thank you. [hangs up] Well, it seems an apology is in order. Please, help me get this man back into his chair. [the people do] And I will match all contributions to this man's ministry here today, dollar for dollar! You want fulfillment, you want inner peace, this is your man right here: Blaine Sternin! Come on, dig deep! Brother Niles, you've been richly blessed! Niles' eyes widen furiously at Frasier putting him on the spot, but Daphne elbows him. He takes out his wallet as everyone else reaches for their wallets and purses. FADE TO: Scene Six - Apartment Frasier and Martin are standing over Blaine by the front door. Blaine: Thanks again for paying in cash there, Fras. I'd rather see that money go to poor people than, you know, Uncle Sam. Frasier: It's my pleasure to do it. Blaine, there's something I'd like you to have. He goes to the curio cabinet by the door and takes out the box with the salt server in it. He gives it to Blaine. Blaine: Well... well, thanks. You know, this is, uh, this is really gonna help some needy people now that I know what the heck it is. They share a laugh. Blaine: Martin, it's been a pleasure, my man. Martin: [shakes his hand] Oh, same here, Blaine. Good luck to you. Blaine: Well, thanks a lot. Frasier: [extends his hand] Blaine, you are welcome in my home any time. Blaine: [moved, shakes his hand] Well, thank you, Frasier. That means a lot to me. God bless you. Well, I'm off to spread the good word. Frasier: Right. [opens the door] You are indeed a "holy roller." Blaine: [chuckles] Yeah. Yeah, that's good. Blaine exits. Frasier closes the door and sighs. Frasier: Well, there was a lesson learned. Martin: Yeah, don't throw a guy out of a wheelchair. Who knew? Frasier: Well, I guess I just needed a reminder that people really are capable of change. [sits on the couch] Martin: [sits in his Chair] Well, I got to be honest with you. I wasn't totally convinced myself until I saw him on stage. Before you came in, he was talking about all these things he did right after his conversion. Man, that guy was committed. He mopped up soup kitchens. He read to bedridden veterans. He even went to the Galapagos Islands to help clean the old off some fowls! Frasier's face has hardened noticeably through this recitation. Frasier: He said that, did he? He rushes to the door, pulls it open--and gasps when he sees the wheelchair sitting vacant in the hallway. Frasier: BLAAA-INE!!! END OF ACT TWO Scene Z - Apartment Martin slips a folded newspaper down the front of his pants, over his right thigh, obviously meaning to duplicate Blaine's "parlor trick." Daphne comes out, and Martin shows her the pin, daring her to stick him. Daphne doesn't want to, but he cajoles her into taking the pin. He sits back, smiling--and Daphne stabs him in the LEFT thigh. He yells in pain and rises angrily, as Daphne backpedals toward the kitchen, trying to ward him off.

Guest Appearances

 Special Guest Star
 MICHAEL KEATON as Blaine Sternin

 KARI McGEE as 1st Woman
 JANET SONG as 2nd Woman

Legal Stuff

 This episode capsule is copyright 2002 by Mike Lee. This episode 
 summary remains property of Frasier, Copyright of Paramount
 Productions and NBC. Printed without permission. 
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