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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 3 -> Episode 3.11

The Friend
Episode Details

Written by: Jack Burditt

Directed by: Philip Charles Mackenzie

Original US airdate: 16th January 1996

Original UK airdate: 20th September 1996


Cast Information
Main Cast
Frasier Crane .... Kelsey Grammer
Niles Crane .... David Hyde Pierce
Martin Crane .... John Mahoney
Daphne Moon .... Jane Leeves
Roz Doyle .... Peri Gilpin
Recurring Cast
   
   
Guest Cast
Bob Reynolds .... Griffin Dunne
Ralph .... Ben Mittleman
Waitress .... Luck Hari
Patron 1 .... Diane Behrens
Patron 2 .... David Jay Willis
Guest Callers
Gerard .... Armistead Maupin

Episode Synopsis

Niles has two tickets in a VIP box at the races and wonders if Frasier wants them. Happily accepting them, Frasier offers to take his father but he has poker with his buddies so he decides to take a friend. However, he soon realises that he has not made a new friend since he moved back to Seattle and has fallen back on Niles far too often. Frasier decides to resolve this by having the issue of making new friends the subject of his show, and call supon his listeners to reach out to him and each other. Roz warns him that he could be opening himself up to all kinds of wackos - and is proved right as the rest of the show is full of them. Frasier's belief in the kindness of strangers is sorely tested, but a fax from a normal sounding guy called Bob Reynolds catches his eye and decides to meet him and hopefully make a new friend.

The pair's meeting at Cafe Nervosa goes well at first, but then Bob starts talking on his favourite subject - barbecue. Frasier becomes quickly tired of Bob, but as he is about to reject his offer of having dinnner with him, Frasier discovers Bob is in a wheelchair and can't say no. Over the next two weeks, Frasier keeps meaning to tell Bob how he feels but doesn't want him to think it was because of the chair. Meanwhile, Frasier is getting paranoid as Bob seems to be hounding him with his ever squeaky wheelchair and meets him at work, at home and is soon to be moving into Frasier's building! Frasier realises he must act now and stop his life being made a living hell....

Episode Title Cards
  • Maybe Just A Shampoo And Set
  • Butane And The Beast
  • The Squeaky Wheel Gives The Grief

Episode Highlights

- Frasier wants to know why he has turned down 2 tickets to the races:
Niles: The jockeys if you must know.
Frasier: What?
Niles: Diminutive, underweight figures in expensive silks, wielding riding crops - it reminded me too much of Maris.

- Daphne learns from Martin that Niles and Frasier burned down their garage:
Niles: Well, Frasier and his bunsen burner, me and my mosquito repellent. In retrospect, it was unavoidable.

- Roz warns Frasier off of meeting any of his listeners:
Roz: He could be a psychopath with a trunkful of decomposing squirrels
Frasier: Rubbish, Roz. By the way where did you get such a disgusting image?
[Roz hands Frasier a fax]
Roz: Meet Garth from Tacoma!

- Hiding from Bob at the studio, Frasier gasps when Bob reveals he is thinking of moving to Frasier's building:
Bob: What was that?
Roz: Feedback. This equipment's old and pathetic (!)

- Frasier goes to sit with his brother after being humiliated by Bob:
Niles: Are these wing tips too busy with these pants?

Frasier Online Episode Review

Frasier meeting his listeners in his quest for friends is a good idea for an episode, but I felt the writers went the wrong way about it. Fair enough, make Bob a boring and obnoxious character - as they do - but why then add having him in a wheelchair. The whole predicament of Frasier not being able to tell Bob his real feelings because he is in a wheelchair is rather uninteresting, and the resolution where Frasier fudges telling Bob his feelings and saying it's the wheelchair he doesn't like instead of Bob as a person is very heavy handed. On the plus side, Niles gets the lions share of the best lines after Frasier decides there will be no more 'falling back on Niles', while I enjoyed Frasier get paranoid about seeing Bob and is able to hear his squeaky wheelchair a mile off. However, while the final reunion between Frasier and Niles is well done, what has gone before it makes for a rather flat episode, which is a pity as it is rare that a character in a wheelchair is witnessed in a sitcom.

Rating

69 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 71.0%
Total Number of Reviews: 7


A rare weak episode, Aug 13, 2012

Reviewer: Tid from SW England


This wasn't a complete failure - Niles has some great lines as ever, and
Daphne and Martin have some good laughs also. However the main
story arc - Frasier's attempts to get a friend (itself rather a weak
premise as he and Niles should have lots of buddies in the opera-loving
gourmet restaurant-frequenting wine-snob circles they inhabit) - is not
satisfactory on many levels, and the 'Bob' situation is both artificial and
wince-inducing.

There have been worse Frasier episodes, but I can barely think of one
in the opening two and a half seasons.


Rating: 60%

 

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