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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 11 -> Episode 11.08

Murder Most Maris
Episode Details

Written by: Sam Johnson

Directed by: Scott Ellis

Original US airdate: 11th November 2003

Original UK airdate: 10th March 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
Guest Cast
Waiter .... James Oliver
Waitress .... Amita Balla
Reporter .... Cindy Lu
Guest Callers

Episode Synopsis

Following on from the events of the previous episode, which ended with the news that Maris Crane had been arrested for the murder of her lover Esteban, Frasier and Martin arrive at Niles and Daphne's apartment to see if Niles is alright. He seems to be coping with the situation quite well until he gets a call from the police asking him to come down to the station, which Martin says is probably just because he had lunch with Maris on the day of the murder. However, TV reporters outside Maris' house reveal that the murder weapon was antique crossbow that was given to Maris by her ex-husband Niles! He explains that Maris wanted it for her portrayal of Attila The Hun in an upcoming production, and starts to hyperventilate - thankfully Martin is on hand to calm him down and take him down to the police station. Frasier stays with Daphne until her mother calls and says she's on her way over - at which point they both head off for Frasier's apartment!

The next morning, Niles and Martin return from a long night at the police station where Niles relates what he learned from Maris' lawyer: apparently, Maris and Esteban had a fight, and as she was practicing her Attila The Hun pose in front of the balcony window with the crossbow, Esteban burst through the window and she shot him. Frasier remarks that Niles is coping with all this a lot better than he expected which Niles explains is because he has taken the decision not to let it upset him. Later that day at Cafe Nervosa, Frasier joins Niles and Roz at a table but TV news crews have also followed Niles so Frasier tells his brother to exit through the back and he will make a statement on the Crane family's behalf - something Niles would live to regret after Frasier accidentally says he hopes Niles and Maris will soon be executed instead of exonerated! Of course, the news media are all over Frasier's gaffe, but still Niles appears calm which makes Frasier think that he is holding all his troubles in which will soon makes themselves known. That moment arrives the next day when Niles and Roz are ordering coffee in Cafe Nervosa and there are no straws left for Niles - soon he is stripping all his clothes off and sitting in the Cafe reading the paper with no clothes on. Frasier comes to his rescue but Niles finally manages to let out some of his anger at Maris when she calls him yet again and he finally tells her he will help her but his wife must come first!

Episode Title Cards
  • Frazer With A "Z"

  • Fair And Unbalanced

Episode Highlights

- Frasier finishes talking to what Daphne thinks is another reporter hounding Niles:
Frasier: That was your mother - she saw the news and she's on her way over.
Daphne: I'll pack a bag, you get the car!

- Martin doesn't think much of Maris' explanation of how she killed Esteban:
Martin: It didn't help that when they found her she had a passport, a wig and $10,000 in her purse.
Niles: Maris always has those things in her purse!

- Martin points to the photo in the newspaper cover story about Maris' case:
Martin: Is that you and Maris on your honeymoon?
Niles: That is the experimental liposuction centre in Gstaad - so yes.

- Maris calls Niles in distress from prison after she loses her shoes:
Niles: She put them outside her cell to be polished and now someone called Big Judy is holding them for ransom!

- Niles seems to be holding up well during the media scrutiny until he orders a coffee at Cafe Nervosa:
Niles: Can I get a straw as well please.
Waitress: I'm sorry, that was the last one.
Niles: I see - the last straw!

- Niles naked in the cafe reading a newspaper.

- In the middle of Niles letting off steam, Martin tells Daphne he kept Niles down at the police station to keep him away from her hormones:
Daphne: Oh some favour - making me stay with Frasier. He made me do house work!

Frasier Online Episode Review

The second half of this storyline is a notch down from the first part, thanks largely to Frasier's gaffe of saying "executed" instead of "exonerated" not really being as funny as the writers seem to think it is. However, there is still much to enjoy, in particular Frasier's oft-repeated line of "Not 24 hours/one day/three days ago, I was punched in the face by someone now dead. Thank You." which just gets funnier every time he says it, plus the sight of Niles stripping off in the Cafe and sitting there nonchantly reading the paper making this an enjoyable episode and, while the implications of Maris' case continue for the next few episodes, this was a prety great two-part episode.


80 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 90.7%
Total Number of Reviews: 3

I wouldn't mind ten years in prison... I meant crackers, May 27, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

"Murder Most Maris" resolves "Maris Returns" in not-quite-a-neat bow, providing some great material for all the main cast and continuing the show's eleventh season in style. Highlights for me include the boys drifting off into ridiculous tangents despite the seriousness of the revelation, the resurgence of Maris jokes (which have been sorely missed!), the perfect choice of location to reference for Maris' treatments: Gstaad (it just sounds so right); Roz's apt summing-up of the regular barista guy that Niles' "tips alone have probably paid for all the pot you'll ever smoke", Jane Leeves' hilarious aggression at Frasier's faux pas, and, unsurprisingly, the manically brilliant way David Hyde Pierce plays his meltdown at Nervosa. That's not to mention the episode's most successful running joke, as Frasier melodramatically recalls his punch in the face by a man... now dead.

Much of the episode will only work if the viewer expects Frasier's slip of the tongue. It's a stretch, perhaps, for him to substitute "executed" for "exonerated", but I'm willing to suspend my disbelief, particularly as it's very possible the word has already been on Frasier's mind due to coverage of the trial. For me, it's enough to justify the subsequent conflict. The script doesn't choose to go the typical "Fraser" route of having him try and talk his way out of things only to make it worse - the writers astutely acknowledge that one slip is already asking the audience to give them some latitude. And I think it's merited, because this has just been a very strong two-parter that reminds us this show can do plot-heavy episodes well when it applies itself. Ultimately though, the comic highlights aren't even the most important parts. The way the family talk through the situation (particularly in the early scenes) conclude in Niles standing up to Maris once and, really, for all. It's a solid combination of comedy, plot, and character progression.

Rating: 90%


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