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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 10 -> Episode 10.22

Fathers And Sons
Episode Details

Written by: Jon Sherman

Directed by: Kelsey Grammer

Original US airdate: 6th May 2003

Original UK airdate: 26th May 2003


Cast Information
Main Cast
Frasier Crane .... Kelsey Grammer
Niles Crane .... David Hyde Pierce
Martin Crane .... John Mahoney
Daphne Crane .... Jane Leeves
Roz Doyle .... Peri Gilpin
Recurring Cast
   
   
Guest Cast
Leland Barton .... David Ogden Stiers
Dean Of Admissions .... Linden Chiles
Admissions Officer .... David St. James
Waitress .... Amita Balla
Guest Callers

Episode Synopsis

Leland Barton, Hester Crane's former research assistant, comes to Seattle to pay Frasier and Niles a visit. Roz is at Frasier's aparment when he arrives, which leads to Leland mistaking Roz for Niles, but then begins to notice similarities between both Crane boys and Leland, such as both having a penchant for fine wine and opera, not to mention a couple of Niles' allergies - even Eddie begins to have trouble telling Frasier and Leland apart. She accidentally mentions her concerns to Martin who was joking when he said they might be related, but this sets Martin off thinking that Leland might actually be Frasier and Niles' father as Hester had an affair once, so whose to say she didn't have one with Leland. Martin's mind is put at ease, however, when he learns something he didn't know about Leland.... Meanwhile, Niles and Daphne struggle to come up with a name for their as-yet-to-be-born child so they can put it down for an exclusive pre-elementary school.

Episode Title Cards
  • The Woes Of The Name

Episode Highlights

- Niles isn't present when Leland meets the Crane clan but Roz is:
Leland: And you must be - I'm assuming you don't go by Niles anymore!

- Eddie staring at Leland just like he used to stare at Frasier

- Eddie staring at Frasier, then Leland, not being able to tell them apart

- Martin comments on the similarities between Frasier, Niles and Leland:
Martin: They're like 3 fancy peas in a pod!

- Martin takes a sip from a cup at Roz's table in Cafe Nervosa:
Martin: Eew! What the hell is this?!
Roz: I don't know - it was there when I sat down.
Martin: Eeeew!

- Martin seeing Leland reading Frasier a story, then Niles taking his 'first steps' towards Leland.

- Niles suggests Desmond as a possible name for his and Daphne's child:
Daphne: "Desmond Crane, you are hereby sentenced to ...". No, I don't like it.

- Frasier, Niles and Leland are singing a song about the square of the hypotenuse when Martin tries to join in:
Martin: ...... about the scary hippopotamus!

- Fast forwarding five years, we learn what name Roz chose for Niles and Daphne's child:
Admissions Officer: Last name Crane, first name Ichabod!

Frasier Online Episode Review

A delightful episode that plays on the age-old 'Frasier' question: just how is Martin the father of Frasier and Niles. It benefits from a wittily written script and strong playing from all the leads, not to mention a healthy smattering of laugh-out-loud moments - it was also certainly nice to see Jon Sherman bringing back Eddie staring at Frasier again, and then using it brilliantly when Eddie is unable to tell Frasier and Leland apart. David Ogden Stiers, a frequent voice-over artist for Disney movies (including 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame'), was a perfect foil for the plot which was entertainingly played out as was Daphne and Niles sub-plot about coming up wit a name for their 'child' which although goes on a bit too long, was brilliantly wrapped up when we find out what name Roz picked for them. 'Fathers and Sons' ranks as yet perhaps the best Season 10 episode

Rating

85 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 91.1%
Total Number of Reviews: 8


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Many cheerful facts about the square of the hypotenuse, May 26, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia


A clever episode that manages to combine satisfying laughs with an emotionally resonant storyline, one that builds on ten years of the series' history. (It was also the final episode filmed for this season, although I believe that had more to do with the recurring cast members who were needed for the next two episodes.)

The differences between Martin Crane and his sons are of course one of the founding pillars of the episode, and - like so much of this show's last few seasons - they're now being examined not just as traits, but as elements of a formulaic series. Much like Roz and Frasier wondering how they aren't in steady relationships and new jobs, Martin is now called upon to query one of the show's basic questions. John Mahoney has a lot of funny moments ("it was a biological pleasure!") but he particularly shifts into high-gear in the few dramatic moments toward episode's end. Hester Crane is the real thing that bonds the men she left behind, and it's a nagging worry that starts to tear away at Martin. The final revelations, and the way Martin and Leland bond over Hester, are particularly sweet. David Ogden Stiers is perfectly cast, and the episode has a very strong sense of catharsis. I think it's unarguably the strongest dramatic/comedic episode since season 7's "Dark Side of the Moon".

Yet, "Fathers and Sons" isn't just steeped in drama. From the cheeky scene where Roz first begins to suspect the similarities between Frasier and Leland run deep, the script has a lot of fun with both physical and verbal humour. The episode perhaps goes overboard in the references, with Leland so exactly like Frasier, and some hilarious-but-cartoonish humour like Leland helping Niles to walk, but I think it all works. The comic energy never lets up, with even Eddie getting in on the action (this is, if IMDb is correct, Moose's second last episode as the canine character). What could have just been a one-joke episode becomes something more, exploring Martin's fears and also the way in which the boys both bond and compete. (Niles: "Do you have a pun, Frasier?") It helps that it makes perfect sense for Martin to never before have doubted the boys' parentage. Even here, he approaches it in a hesitant sense, which makes things all the more believable.

The Daphne/Niles subplot is quite amusing because of the comic energy that Jane Leeves and David Hyde Pierce have found in their pairing. While I can appreciate the opinion that Daphne's character has changed considerably, I don't necessarily think it's for the worst. I agree she's less quirky overall, but I think that 10 years is a long time for anyone, and Leeves has found an enjoyable side of her character - often a little on-edge - since the wedding. There are some enjoyable moments, notably "The Big Book of Medical Professions", and Leeves' dry "Fong or DeShondra?" And the Ichabod Crane joke must be the most Seinfeldian thing this series ever did! Still, what's interesting about the baby-name plot is that the series is rather openly floating pregnancy as a possibility. Much like the other major developments in the Niles/Daphne romance - their initial coupling and then the wedding - "Frasier" seems less concerned in throwing out big surprises, or "sweeps" episodes. Instead, it wants to look at the ways in which a couple decides to have a child, meaning that we're aware the series is about to go down this route even before the characters are.

If I had to choose the best episode of the three "wilderness years" seasons, I'd probably take an out-and-out farce-cum-morality-tale like "Roe to Perdition". But this episode must be in the Top 5 of those seasons, combining as it does heart and humour with character depth and interaction. Lovely stuff.


Rating: 95%

 

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