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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 10 -> Episode 10.07

Bristle While You Work (1)
Episode Details

Written by: Tom Reeder

Directed by: Sheldon Epps

Original US airdate: 12th November 2002

Original UK airdate: 10th February 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
Gil Chesterton .... Edward Hibbert
Guest Cast
Trish Haney .... Ana Gasteyer
Doctor .... Joseph Kell
Barista .... James Oliver
The Other Niles .... Dominic Rambaran
The Other Daphne .... Robyn Johanna
Guest Callers

Episode Synopsis

Frasier is having trouble finding a replacement housekeeper and holds interviews together with Martin and Daphne, but none of them find favour with Frasier. Then Trish Haney arrives, who was down to be interviewed an hour ago - not the best way to get on Frasier's good side, but he fact that she was late because she was in line buying Sonics tickets certainly makes Martin find her interesting. Martin then says that whoever gets the job is someone he will have to spend a lot of time with, and he was right about Daphne, so Frasier finally relents and agrees to let Martin hire Trish. On her first day, however, she has to leave at 10 for a hair appointment and then on to lunch. Martin feels that he has to cover for her because otherwise he'll never hear the end of it from Frasier, so Martin cleans the apartment. Trish's unreliability continues - the next day, it's her neighbour's 'funeral', the day after that it's the flu. Martin continues to clean the apartment for her but when Frasier comes home early on day, his cover may be blown.....

Niles, on the other hand, has a lingering toothache which the dentist says is perfectly fine, and confides to Roz in the cafe that it may be referred pain - for example, a heart condition's pain appears as a toothache. Roz says it's probably a sinus infection after learning there is only a 1 in 10,000 chance of it being this, which is followed by Niles winning a fanny pack in a bottled water competition, of which there is a 1 in 10,000 chance of winning. Niles then experiences a large number of improbable events - his car is struck by lightening, he picks the card his father asks him to out of a normal pack of cards, he meets another Niles and Daphne couple - which culminates in him winning yet another fanny pack in a the same bottled water competition. Roz convinces him to see a doctor and get his heart condition checked out, but doesn't tell Daphne as he doesn't want to worry her. The doctor tells him some shocking news - there's an anomaly with his EKG and will have to go the hospital for surgery straight away.....

Episode Title Cards
  • In Street Jargon, He's Known As "The Mark"

Episode Highlights

- Gil says he hasn't seen Roz wearing that Blouse before, at which Roz says it's quite an old one:
Roz: How long can something stay in the closet (!)

- Martin can't believe Daphne replaces his oldest pair of underwear every month:
Daphne: Did it never occur to you that you never had to buy new underwear in 10 years ?!
Martin: Thought I got hold of a good batch!

- Trish is late for her job interview because she was queuing for Sonics tickets:
Trish: Should have guessed everybody and his brother would want to see Vince Carter play.
Martin: Not everybody....... or his brother!

- Niles is explaining to Roz what referred pain is:
Roz: So the pain in my butt might actually be coming from across the table (!)

- Trish has to leave at 10am for a hair appointment and lunch:
Martin: So you're not coming back after lunch?
Trish: Trust me - you don't want me cleaning this place drunk!

- Martin is on the phone to Trish discussing what time she is coming in tomorrow:
Martin: So 9 o'clock sharp....Ten?..... I'll see you when you get here.

- Frasier wants to talk to Trish about her cleaning which in fact Martin has been doing:
Frasier: I want to say something to her about flipping my mattress.
Martin: What the hell are you trying to do - kill her!

Frasier Online Episode Review

This is the first episode in a 3-episode arc which develops a story about Niles heart, but let's discuss the other plot line first - Frasier's search for a new housekeeper. I though that it was great, with a lot of laughs coming from unexpected quarters such as Daphne learning that Frasier didn't want to hire her because he thought she would steal, and Martin covering up for Trish and getting really angry when Frasier criticises 'Trish's' work. I also liked the ending when Martin was pretending to talk to Trish in the powder room on Frasier's behalf and she comes in through the front door. So even though it was another episode where an actress was brought in for one episode to make us laugh, Ana Gasteyer did a pretty good job and made the house keeper storyline highly amusing. The other plotline, about Niles's heart is more problematic for me - I have no problem with Frasier dealing with serious subjects (death, loss, divorce,etc) as it has in previous episodes, but this was different. The storyline saw Niles experience a range of highly improbable events to make him really worried before he got his heart checked out, which on it's own was quite funny, but the ending where we discover that Niles really does have a heart condition made me feel uncomfortable that we had been laughing at what is a potentially serious condition. I would probably go as far as saying that, because this storyline aired during Sweeps week in America, it was a form of emotional blackmail in order to get an audience to watch the following episodes. On the whole, I enjoyed this episode, but I do wonder what direction the series is heading with this storyline.


80 %

NB: As a footnote to this episode, Ana Gasteyer originally filmed a different storyline for an episode called 'Door Jam' which was due to be the third episode of this season but the producers felt that her storyline wasn't strong enough so they pulled that episode for retooling. This resulted in her being called back to guest star in this episode, while 'Door Jam' finally became the 11th episode of this season.

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 75.8%
Total Number of Reviews: 5

I thought I got hold of a god batch, May 25, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

The start of a three-episode arc, "Bristle While You Work" is the most outwardly serialised the show has been since the dying days of season 8. This makes part of the Niles storyline feel like set-up -- while the odds repeatedly going in his favour is a funny gag, it begins to drag - but perhaps it's all made up for by the devastated way David Hyde Pierce says "fanny pack". Yet, out of the immensely talented main cast, I've always felt Pierce was the true standout, as he manages to sell every joke and then shift abruptly to fear and doubt in the final scene. (I particularly appreciate the dark humour of Niles' freakout in the tag.)

Meanwhile, it would appear Frasier has had a washing machine installed since his war with Cam Winston, which is for the best. John Mahoney and Ana Gasteyer have great fun in their little subplot about the new failure of a housekeeper, wherein we learn such gems as the fact that Frasier was worried Daphne would steal, and Martin has genuinely believed he didn't need new underwear in ten years. Martin faking his bathroom confessional with Trish is just gorgeous.

The set-up aspect loses the episode a few points, as does the fact that the series clearly hasn't figured out (or doesn't care about) finding a legitimate replacement for Daphne. Think of the possibilities for guest arcs! Still, I expected more Martin/Frasier conflict stories this year with Daphne's absence from the apartment, and I'm glad to have got this one. Meanwhile, the always-welcome Edward Hibbert drops by as Gil, giving us some very funny material about the relationship between Gil, Deb, and their houseboy Chung. Hibbert is sorely underused, but even a minute of his screentime sparkles.

Rating: 84%


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