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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 11 -> Episode 11.06

I'm Listening
Episode Details

Written by: Heide Perlman

Directed by: Sheldon Epps

Original US airdate: 28th October 2003

Original UK airdate: 25th 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
Ronee Lawrence .... Wendie Malick
Guest Cast
Larry .... Eddie Bowz
Richard .... Edward Edwards
Tenant .... James Kiriyama-Lem
Customer No. 1 .... C.J. Jones
Customer No. 2 .... Alan "Spo" Schwartz
Guest Callers

Episode Synopsis

Frasier is awoken by the sounds of Ronee at the piano, but just after he and Martin have the left the room to get ready for the day, Frasier comes back in and hears Ronee on her mobile phone making a date with another man. He doesn't make himself known until Ronee has finsihed and just takes his coffee and leaves so Ronee doesn't think he has been listening in one her conversation. Frasier discusses his dilemma about whether to tell his father later that day with Niles in Cafe Nervosa, who really isn't interested in Frasier's problem - he's trying to convince a famous painter to paint his nursery, so Frasier tells his father what he heard to which Martin responds by calling him an eavesdropper! Later that night at Frasier's apartment, Martin invites Ronee to Do-Wop-A-Looza but she says she that she didn't think they were exclusive and she has a date that night with another man, so Martin covers by saying that he'll ask his other girlfriend, 'Sheila', instead. Frasier manages to overhear all this as he was trapped in the kitchen with a mouthful of apple, but is caught by Ronee and Martin leaving his father even more angry at him.

Niles and Daphne are in Cafe Nervosa waiting for Martin to turn up so Niles can join him at Do-Wop-A-Looza but then Ronee and her date arrive leaving Martin feeling uncomfortable so when Roz walks in, he grabs her and kisses her before introducing her to everyone as Sheila. Roz is obviously slightly disconcerted until Martin explains everything, but she tells him that she is meeting her date - who happens to walk in when Roz is kissing Martin - so Roz passes Martin off as her dad! Frasier arrives in the midst of all this and tells his father to just talk to Ronee and tell her how he feels - which he duly does, and she arrives at Frasier's to listen to what he has to say. Just as Martin heads into the kitchen to get them both a beer, 'Sheila' arrives at Frasier's apartment which Ronee takes as her cue to leave. Martin is understandably upset and chases after her - they end up in Ronee's car in the parking garage wher Martin finally explains what is going on and says he wants to be exclusive with her. Frasier, meanwhile, is trapped in the back of the car having climbed in to look for his money clip which he though he lost there and ends up listening to the whole conversation........

Episode Title Cards
  • The First Of Sheila

Episode Highlights

- Frasier tells Martin not to use all the hot water for his shower:
Martin: Got to leave enough for M'Lady's Tub.
Ronee: That's OK - I can take a shower later.
Martin: I wasn't talking about you (!)

- Martin is excited about the groups performing at Do-Wop-A-Looza:
Martin: The Coasters, The Platters and that guy from The Teenagers is back from his hip replacement!

- Martin is angry that Frasier eavesdropped on Ronee's phone call:
Martin: Now I know why you're always listening - because you always are!!

- Martin can't believe Frasier has overheard yet another of his and Ronee's conversations:
Martin: You have a disease!!

- Martin tells Frasier he wasn't meant to hear about his fictitious girlfriend Sheila:
Frasier: Well I did hear it!
Martin: No - you overheard it!

- Martin grabbing Roz and kissing her just as she walks into Cafe Nervosa

- Martin is worried that Ronee will finish with him once he tells her the truth:
Frasier: Who said anything about dropping you?
Martin: Nobody apparently - or you would have overheard it!

Frasier Online Episode Review

John Mahoney is the best thing about this episode, whether it's kissing Roz just as she walks in to Nervosa and making her his 'girlfriend' Sheila, or hurling barbs at Frasier about his eavesdropping, there is plenty to enjoy in his performance - it's just a pity that the rest of the episode doesn't come close to being as good. There's a surfeit of weak jokes and seen-it-before farce, and is not improved by Niles and Daphne's subplot about the nursery artist - if you can call it that - which is just plain dull. It seems to me that the writer, Heide Perlman, was just having an off day with this - and for her information, Roz is not Frasier's secretary (as Martin tells Ronee), she's his producer! This is not the worst ever episode but ranks as a disappointing one as it could have all been a lot better.


70 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 75.2%
Total Number of Reviews: 6

I have no control over what Sheila does, May 27, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

"I'm Listening" is a surprisingly complex episode that feels more like a "greatest hits" package of previous moments than a "Frasier" script in its own right, but still earns a fair number of laughs from the ever-willing cast.

In her third straight episode as Ronee, Wendie Malick brings her usual zesty energy, automatically proving to be Martin's best pairing since the days of Sherry Dempsey. The primary joke - that Frasier keeps getting caught accidentally eavesdropping - begins to wear thin, suggesting to me one of those "one-joke wonder" episodes during the worst excesses of the show's wilderness years. Each one, however, provides some great physical comedy moments for Grammer and Malick, while John Mahoney almost single-handedly holds this episode up with his increased outrage. Like "The Show Must Go Off", "I'm Listening" chooses the unusual decision of ending before Frasier's final exposure. Yet here, it just about works, because it leaves the audience picturing in their head exactly the worst moment at which Frasier could choose to reveal himself (or be revealed).

(Martin calling Roz Frasier's "secretary" is indeed one of the show's most egregious errors although, I'll admit, I assumed it was a deliberate line until I came to this website. While it could've been an interesting tell about Martin's character, he has always respected Roz far too much to be so dismissive. Unfortunate.)

Still, while I don't think "I'm Listening" stands out, the script is surprisingly complex. The central plot knits together Frasier's eavesdropping, a missing money clip, a sincere development in the Martin/Ronee relationship, Niles and Daphne's attempts to secure a nursery artist, Roz's equally pathetic dating life, and a grand little bit of mistaken identity with Roz and Sheila. (Not to mention a possible Cam Winston reference with the fact that part of Frasier's final predicament is brought on by how small the gap is between cars in that parking garage?) While Jane Leeves remains on the fringes of the series this year, Peri Gilpin gets my favourite line readings of the episode as she blithely defends herself against whatever Sheila does, as she realises her date is a terrible tipper, and in her justifiably confused "maybe it is, maybe it isn't" on arriving at Chez Crane. Not a classic episode, but still an example of the season 11 cast being able to fire on all cylinders, no matter what material they're working with.

Rating: 70%


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