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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 10 -> Episode 10.14

Daphne Does Dinner
Episode Details

Written by: Heide Perlman

Directed by: Katy Garretson

Original US airdate: 11th February 2003

Original UK airdate: 31st March 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
Gertrude Moon .... Millicent Martin
Alice Doyle .... Ashely Thomas
Guest Cast
Mike Shaw .... Harve Presnell
Antonia .... Ann Cusack
Alex .... Paul Schulze
Jeremy .... Scotch Ellis Loring
Thad .... Matthew Yang King
Bill .... Christopher Lawford
Sharon .... Nana Visitor
Mr Slobodkin .... Booth Colman
Ice Sculptor .... Michael Weston
Luke .... Joshua Fardon
Chef Etienne .... Nino Del Prete
Mimsy .... Mim Drew
Guest Callers

Episode Synopsis

The episode opens at the end of another disastrous dinner party thrown by Frasier and Niles with all of the guests and the chef storming out, leaving the Crane brothers wondering why they can't throw a successful party for once in their lives. The next day at Niles apartment, workmen are installing a beautiful new chandelier and Niles arrives home to tell Daphne his plan for a party to celebrate his purchase of a painting by the renowned artist Mike Shaw. Of course, Niles wants to throw it with Frasier but Daphne says that perhaps it is time to throw a party without his brother and instead suggests she and Niles co-host the party with Daphne handling all the food. Niles eventually agrees, but Frasier doesn't take too kindly to the news that he is going to be 'just' a guest at Niles' party and refuses to come, although he does offer Daphne his help with the food if she needs it.

Come the day of the party, Daphne seems to have things under control as she begins cooking the hens for dinner, but disaster soon strikes when she discovers Alice has scribbled her name on her own drawings AND the picture by Mike Shaw! Daphne tries to keep calm and sends Roz and Alice off with the painting to an art restorer Niles always uses, before placing a drape over one of Alice's paintings to hide the mess from her husband and his guests. All this has led to the hens getting burnt, forcing Daphne to call Frasier and ask for his help. He agrees - bringing his own batch of hens and the ingredients for his signature sauce, but once he is at Niles' apartment he tells Daphne that his brother cannot see him there so he is forced to hide in a cupboard every time Niles enters the kitchen. Daphne's mother also arrives home and declares she is going to spend the evening watching a boxing match upstairs with just a few bottles of alcohol. Daphne has a hard time keeping her husband out from the kitchen, and when guests start arriving, from wanting to see Mike Shaw's painting. However, the arrival of Mike Shaw (unbeknownst to Niles as Mrs Moon grabs him when he arrives and takes him upstairs) leaves Niles thinking they have mistaken him for Martin as they describe him as being old, white hair, a cane and flannel shirt - and the appearance of his father in the kitchen just confirms it but Martin is forced to stay and pretend to be the famous artist. Events start to unwind on Daphne, however, as Niles discovers Frasier, the guests uncover the 'painting', and Mrs Moon and Mike Shaw come through the ceiling on her bed!! Frasier comforts Daphne after the guests leave as a disastrous dinner party means she is now officially a Crane.

Episode Title Cards
  • Dinner At The Cranes' Already In Progress

  • It's A Chandelier

  • Someone's In The Kitchen With Daphne

Episode Highlights

- Martin says Niles and Frasier's parties go wrong because they always make it so complicated:
Frasier: This was barebones - simplicity itself!
Daphne: One of your goats just threw up in the kitchen!

- Frasier worries that Daphne is going to serve one of her worst dishes:
Niles: It's called Piccadilly beef - and I talked her out of it, thank God!

- Frasier tells Daphne he hopes his non-appearance won't upset her seating plan:
Daphne: It's going to be a buffet.
[Frasier looks aghast]
Frasier: Buffet (!!)

- Roz tells her daughter only to write her name on her own drawings:
Alice: Cos mine is prettier?
[Roz looks at Mike Shaw's painting]
Roz: Yeah!

- Mrs Moon wants Daphne's help ordering the boxing match:
Gertrude Moon: I'm having trouble ordering the boxing match. I don't understand, this doesn't normally happen with the nudie programmes!

- Niles comes into the kitchen to find his father there:
Niles: Dad, you're not supposed to be here!
[Daphne rushes into the kitchen]
Daphne: Niles, you're not supposed to be here!

- Martin (as Mike Shaw) is asked for his opinions of art by Niles' guests:
Jeremy: What do you think of Warhol?
Martin: Crap!

- Mike Shaw and Mrs Moon on her bed coming through the ceiling!

Frasier Online Episode Review

This is another of the series' farce based episodes but thankfully this one has a twist in it - it is Daphne who is beset by a mounting pile of problems to keep under wraps as opposed to Frasier or Niles. This gives a freshness to an episode that features lots of Frasier rushing to hide in a cupboard and Daphne trying to hide all her problems from her husband and his guests. There are quite a lot of funny moments in the episode - Frasier's response to being left out of the party, Martin pretending to be Mike Shaw and the ending when Mrs Moon and Mike Shaw come through the ceiling are just some of them - but I found the bits in between to be a little bit tiresome (Frasier continually having to hide in the cupboard being the main problem). Not as good as some of the series' other farce based episodes, but this is still an enjoyable and above average 'Frasier' episode.


77 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 87.9%
Total Number of Reviews: 9

Lord Mayor of PartyTown, May 25, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

While I enjoy every season of the show, and I try to offer redemptive readings of episodes where possible, I can still concede that the later seasons don't have anything on the classic years. So I'm pleased to say how much I enjoy "Daphne Does Dinner", a neat little episode that plays into a lengthy tradition of disastrous dinner parties, but does so with a knowing smile. Like the scene in season 8 in which Daphne and Niles reveal the things they dislike about one another, "Daphne Does Dinner" snaps one of the series' narrative threads by having the eponymous character shut down any notion Niles may have that he is a successful event planner. It's a bit delicious. And to have this follow on from the brilliant opening in which the series parodies its own history with a farcical dinner party? Divine.

Going into this rewatch, I stood by my earlier assumption that Daphne was the character who suffered most of all in the series' later years. That whereas Niles was too comically strong to break, and the other three were increasingly defined by wondering why their lives didn't change (despite being in a sitcom), Daphne lost most of her early comedic quirks and no-one remembered to replace them. Well, to a large extent I was wrong. The writers lost track of her a bit during the aftermath of "Something Borrowed", and I still lament that her psychic abilities became an afterthought, but Jane Leeves and the writers have staunchly redeveloped her character over the last year or so. She's different now, true, and moreso than the other characters. But none of them are who they were in season one. Daphne's respectful but honest relationship with Martin, her more mature married life with Niles (and Roz), and her far more openly volatile relationship with Frasier: these are all natural extensions of her character, even if means some traits were lost along the way. The writers have had fun matching her up with Niles and a third party, be it Roz or Frasier, and this week is no exception. Their frantic back-and-forth during the physically comic parts of the dinner party are great fun. I also particularly enjoy the scene where Frasier attempts to accept Niles' decision with dignity. And fails.

The episode utilises a larger guest cast than usual, which asks us to slightly stretch belief that none of these people (who act as if they're familiar with the Crane parties) have met Martin, but I'm willing to overlook it. There are quite a few TV faces here - Paul Schulze, Nana Visitor, Michael Weston - in small roles, meaning that every cog of the episode feels well-oiled. Mrs. Moon really only appears as set-up for the final climax, but I like her frank analysis of the arty-fartiness of the Cranes. Major highlights have to include the frantic kitchen fighting, Daphne's poor attempt to cover up Frasier even once he's been sighted by his brother, and of course Martin writing off the twentieth century's major artists as "Crap". The look on David Hyde Pierce's face in that moment - such sublime pain - says it all.

As I said at the top, season 10 is a good season but it lacks a little of the early pizzazz. This is not the most brilliant of Crane dinner parties, but I admire how well-oiled the machine is. I admire it very much. My sole complaint would be that the script doesn't find a way to rework Roz and Alice into the situation, meaning that the scene where they impatiently wait for the elderly art restorer to do his work ends up feeling like filler. Still, it's beautiful the way things come (literally) crashing down. Daphne is "now officially a crane".

Rating: 93%


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