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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 11 -> Episode 11.05

The Placeholder
Episode Details

Written by: Lori Kirkland

Directed by: Sheldon Epps

Original US airdate: 14th October 2003

Original UK airdate: 18th February 2004

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
Ann Hodges .... Julia Sweeney
Ronee Lawrence .... Wendie Malick
Kenny Daly .... Tom McGowan
Guest Cast
Liz Wright .... Krista Allen
Mrs. Gablyczyck .... Lauri Johnson
Maitre d' .... Anthony Crivello
Waiter .... Craig Zimmerman
Restaurant Owner .... Paul Michael
Guest Callers

Episode Synopsis

Roz has invited Frasier down to Cafe Nervosa to meet her friend Ann with the hope of something romantic happening between them, but Frasier gets the wrong end of the stick when Ann says she is in insurance and decides to leave. Roz can't believe Frasier couldn't see she was trying to set him up with Ann, but he retorts that he is waiting for Miss Right to come along and is perfectly happy as he is until she comes along. Frasier thenm tags along with Niles and Daphne, and Martin and Ronee to a restaurant, however as the reservation was originally for 4, Frasier is forced to sit on a child's seat and suffers further indignation when the restaurant owner invites all the couples to come and dance in celebration of asking his wife to marry him 42 years ago that night. So Frasier returns home to his winter soup and Mr Bottomsley, a cat he is looking after, to find Roz has left Ann's number on his answerphone in the hope he might call her, which Frasier doesn't want to do until he catches sight of himself in the mirror wrapped in a blanket and stroking a cat. Realising he looks like his Aunt Shirley, he hurridly calls Ann and asks her out to dinner.

However, at his dinner with Ann, Frasier soon realises he has made a big mistake when Ann reveals her big dream is to move up from being a claims advisor to a senior claims advisor, but when Ann visits the bathroom, Kenny arrives with his cousin Liz Wright who he is trying to convince to stay in Seattle. Frasier is immediately attracted to Miss Wright and from then on, does everything he can to finish his date with Ann, such as feigning a phone call from Niles who has hurt his back and finishing her food. He finally manages to get Ann out the door, and goes over to Kenny and Liz but Ann returns to pick up her bag, sees Frasier with Liz and realises just what is going on. Both women are disgusted with Frasier, but Ann still wants to meet him for coffee the next day...... Meanwhile, Daphne suspects their new housekeeper Mrs Gablyczyck is stealing from them so she, Niles and Martin decide to confront her about it.

Episode Title Cards
  • The Fifth Wheel

  • Squirmin' Like Herman

  • Czech, Lies And Videotape

Episode Highlights

- Frasier wants to know why Roz would want to set him up with Ann:
Roz: Maybe because you haven't had a date in ages and it's starting to show - what is that, your purse?!

- Frasier returns to his apartment to look after a neighbours cat and finds Roz has left Ann's number on his answerphone
Frasier: Why does everyone think that I need some companionship? Has the world gone mad, Mr Bottomsley ?!

- Niles asks Mrs Gablyczyck about the two shirts he has found wrapped in plastic:
Mrs Gablyczyck: After I wash, I pin them and wrap them in plastic. You not like?
Niles: [dreamily] No, no - I like very much!

- Martin tells Niles he was starting to wonder whn Frasier would go out on a date:
Martin: It's like I was saying to Eddie: "This guy's gotta get a life!"

- Ann has to visit the bathroom in the middle of their meal:
Ann: I just had to have that Dr Pepper while I was getting dressed!!

- Ann tells Frasier that her last date with a man left her very depressed after he left halfway through dinner:
Ann: I didn't get out of bed for a week - or shave my legs!!

- The look Mrs Gablyczyck gives Martin after she is exonerated

- Annd is disgusted with Frasier after she works out why they rushed through dinner:
Frasier: I don't know what to say
Ann: Well, maybe you'll come up with something before we have coffee tomorrow!!

Frasier Online Episode Review

Another episode to be filed under the "Frasier's date goes awry" category, this one is not helped by a rather dull build-up to Frasier's date with Ann, with the scene in his apartment talking to his neighbour's cat Mr Bottomsley particularly cringeworthy. Ann herself comes off as very irritating - presumably the writer's intentions - making it easy for us to side with Frasier when he tries everything in his power to end his date early which is the source of some good laughs, while the ending of Ann coming back and seeing Frasier and Liz together was all too predictable. Thankfully, Niles and Daphne's subplot of suspecting their housekeeper of stealing was much more enjoyable and also had a great twist at the end when we discovered who the real culprit was. This is by no means the worst episode of the show, but the main plot felt as if it was a Frasier-by-numbers one resulting in a patchy and largely forgettable episode, sadly.


71 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 77.2%
Total Number of Reviews: 4

The ravioli monster, May 27, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

"The Placeholder" is a rather uninspiring episode, but one that the cast play out with gusto. As Ann Hodges, Julia Sweeney is perfectly cast, sitting just on the right side of incredibly annoying. The painfulness of the character does, admittedly, step right up to the line of tolerable, but I like how the script puts the screws to Frasier as he realises how close he is to meeting Miss Wright (sic). Ultimately though, the farce aspect is a bit let down by the fact that we feel as if we've seen this story many times before. While that's not unusual on this show, other episode retreads had further strengths - "The Doctor Is Out" highlights the cast interplay while next week's "I'm Listening" buries the repetitive joke in a complex little puzzle of a script.

However, "The Placeholder" feels like an important episode to the overall texture of season 11. Frasier Crane is beginning to hit relationship rock-bottom, as evidenced in the very funny scene where he becomes the fifth wheel at a dinner. The monologue to Mr. Bottomsley is perhaps a trifle on the cartoonish side, but every individual element (his old English waiter voice, the feverish excitement about winter soup) is built from his character, so I'll accept it. Perhaps, like Roz's "placeholder" suggestion, this is an episode we need to accept for now - an idea that perhaps could've been funnier, but serves a necessary purpose.

The subplot with the rest of the Cranes interrogating Mrs. Gablyczyck is buoyed by energetic performances from all four of the cast members involved, even if it reminds me that Jane Leeves has been given next-to-nothing to do this year. (On an incidental note, IMDb claims this to be the final appearance of Moose, who plays Eddie for a five-second gag.)

Rating: 74%


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