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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 10 -> Episode 10.05

Tales From The Crypt
Episode Details

Written by: Saladin K. Patterson

Directed by: David Lee

Original US airdate: 29th October 2002

Original UK airdate: 27th January 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
Bulldog .... Dan Butler
Kenny Daly .... Tom McGowan
Noel Shempsky .... Patrick Kerr
Gertrude Moon .... Millicent Martin
   
   
Guest Cast
Jason White .... Steven Anthony Lawrence
Donald .... JD Cullum
Beverly .... Kathe Mazur
Courier .... Emory Livers III
Todd .... Zachary Kranzler
Barista .... James Oliver
Zombie No. 2 .... Darion Basco
Employee .... Lia King
Guest Callers

Episode Synopsis

Bulldog, still working in the archive room at KACL, plays a great practical joke on Frasier - his buddy finds a exact copy of his car in the scrapyard and Bulldog has Frasier's car towed away to be replaced with the crumpled up one. This leaves Frasier very annoyed - even though he protests he really knew what was going on. So in retaliation, he dreams up a typical Frasier practical 'joke' - he is going to tie a red balloon to Bulldog's car every time the Seattle Seahawks lose so that, over time, he will assocaiate red with losing and will slowly drive him insane (!). Abandoning this idea, he decides on a better one - he will create a spooky atmosphere in the archive room complete with smoke and sound effects and have zombies appear out of the mist - hopefully scaring Bulldog in the process. He ropes in a couple of young actors to play zombies, and Martin and Roz to help too but thanks to Frasier constant critiquing of the actors, as well as having to practice it 4 times make Martin and Roz complain he is taking the fun out of it and leave.

They return when Frasier is about to put his zombie plan into action as he has rigged up a camera in the archive room to a monitor in his radio studio to watch and tape Bulldog's reaction. Kenny also joins the gang watching on the monitor, and when Bulldog arrives and Frasier's plan swings into action it seems to be going marvellously as Bulldog seems truly scared. Things go awry when Bulldog pulls out a gun and shoots one of the zombies, causing Frasier to rush down to the archive room. As Kenny phones for an ambulance, Roz and Martin tell him that they colluded with Bulldog to get him to shoot one of the zombies, and have a laugh at Frasier's expense. The table are turned, however, when one of the zombies 'dies' after scissors are stabbed into his back, leaving Roz and Martin aghast, compounded further when a dead Noel Shempsky is found hanging inside a cupboard. Frasier and Bulldog then spill the beans - they teamed up to make Martin and Roz the true victims of the joke. Although Bulldog gets Frasier to agree he needed him to pull off his prank, it is Frasier who has the last laugh......Meanwhile, Mrs Moon and a kid from Niles' building play practical jokes on each other.

Episode Title Cards
  • Okay, What If The Balloon Were Blue?

  • Storage Room Of Terror

  • Tales Of The Crypt

  • No Zombies Were Harmed In The Making Of This Episode

Episode Highlights

- Frasier's reaction to Bulldog's car prank is mistakenly broadcast on KACL:
Frasier: My car! Not my car!

- Niles and Daphne blame each other for not buying the Halloween candy, but it ends with them kissing:
Mrs Moon: If this is what you two call a fight, you're not fit to be married!

- After Frasier shows Roz his idea for getting Bulldog back using a red balloon tied to his car:
Frasier: I've got to show Bulldog he's dealing with a superior intellect.
Roz: Show them the balloon car!

- Martin can't believe Frasier is getting them to rehearse for a fourth time:
Martin: You said you were going to play a practical joke on Bulldog. I thought it'd be fun
Frasier: Whatever gave you that idea!

- Martin tries to explain why he thinks Frasier's prank won't work:
Martin: Bulldog's good at jokes and fun, you're good at reading and telling people about what you've read.

- Frasier prepares to play his zombie prank on Bulldog:
Frasier: Prepare to see a man brought to the edge of madness.
Martin: I think he's already there (!)

- Jason White's parents come over to apologise to Niles and Daphne:
Mrs White: It seems our children have been feuding - I'm so embarrassed.
Niles: You're embarrassed - meet our daughter!
[points to Mrs Moon]

Frasier Online Episode Review

Playing pranks on Frasier has been done not once, but twice already during the lifetime of the series but it was a refreshing change to see Frasier finally get the better of everyone (even Bulldog) in this episode. I also liked Frasier's 'balloon car' idea for getting Bulldog back - a brilliantly typical piece of Frasier overthinking something. Equally as enjoyable was Mrs Moon's prank war with one of their neighbour's children, it was nice to see her being given something else to do other than just moan at Daphne. All of which plus a welcome cameo from Dan Butler as Bulldog makes for an all round enjoyable episode, all the more surprising given that the episode is written by one Saladin K. Patterson, the writer of some of the show's worst episodes.

Rating

77 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 84.2%
Total Number of Reviews: 5


I am getting dead from you, but I'm not getting undead, May 25, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia


A delightfully funny episode in an increasingly inventive season, "Tales from the Crypt" more than makes up for the fact that its writer wrote my least favourite episode of (at least) the first nine seasons in "The Wizard and Roz".

The issues with that script (and some others of that era) were that the situations arose out of misguided or outdated conceptions of the characters. The prank war at KACL is great fun precisely because it sets the characters against each other in ways that seem perfectly apt. Frasier's plan is so ridiculously long-form (and I'll admit, the idea that he actually devised his plan on paper is a little sitcom-absurdist for this show) that every little reveal becomes funnier. Frasier directing the zombies is a quintessential scene, and the script perfectly captures how Frasier's ambition and lack of practicality blind him to what makes a great joke. In this case, the show twists against us: not only does Frasier's scheme work, but it really goes too far! The climax of practical jokes verges on the silly side, but I don't find it too unlikely that - in the moment - someone could be convinced by it, particularly not a wimp like Kenny or even a (tough but) older guy like Martin. It's just enjoyable to see an episode with so much energy in an era of the series that has sometimes felt deliberately languid, trading in farce and absurdity but at the same time keeping Roz and Martin around to comment on just this fact. And take note of the opening scene with Bulldog and Kenny describing Frasier's nightmare situation: it's an example of how telling CAN be as funny as showing!

(Alright, I have a few minor issues. Some of the jokes border on sitcom "trunk jokes", like Frasier taking a rake to the beach. And I can't really understand why Bulldog, who we know has public popularity, is still working in the archives since even Kenny seems to like him now. Is it just because they could only get Dan Butler once a season and didn't want to get him back onto the airwaves?)

Meanwhile, the second plot is full of joys itself. On rewatching, I've really enjoyed the character of Mrs. Moon, and her performance by Millicent Martin. While "The Ring Cycle" started to lead her down the path to hellish shrew, this episode makes great use of the more playful side of the character. Her disdainful attitude to Daphne and Niles fighting is very amusing, and she's the only character I can imagine having such a clever prank war with a child. From his snarky little cake con to Gertrude's hilariously cruel "Mummy, I Need to Tinkle" Doll, it's bliss, particularly when the script reminds us that this has actually had life ramifications for poor young Jason! The resolution - that the pair join forces against their elders/youngers - is more cute than an hysterical cap, but I enjoyed it. (A quirk of casting though: this little boy used to live in Frasier's building in "Room Full of Heroes". I guess his family moved...)


Rating: 93%

 

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