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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 5 -> Episode 5.09

Perspectives On Christmas
Episode Details

Written by: Christopher Lloyd

Directed by: David Lee

Original US airdate: 16th December 1997

Original UK airdate: 6th March 1998

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
Masseur .... Albert Macklin
Albert .... Conrad Janis
Albert's Wife .... Marilyn O'Connor
Mother In Elevator .... Brooks Almy
Woman In Hall .... Jennifer Williams
Man In Hall .... Mark Capri
Sally .... Jamie Alexis
Billy .... JB Gaynor
Big Kid .... Zachery McLemore
Guest Callers

Episode Synopsis

Four stories are told from four perspectives as the Frasier clan prepares for Christmas. As each member of the family gets a massage they recount their frustrations:

Martin's story: Daphne and Frasier have both noticed Eddie expects to go into the Church when he goes for his walk, but Martin just shrugs it off as weird. However, he later admits to Frasier that he has been cast in the Church musical along with Eddie, but doesn't want Daphne to know or else she'll insist on coming. So Frasier and Niles help him to rehearse (unsuccessfully) at hitting his high notes.

Daphne's story: Daphne and Frasier have both noticed Eddie expects to go into the Church when he goes for his walk, but Martin just shrugs it off as weird. She believes that Martin has been going to the church because, like an Uncle she once had, he has only a short time to live. Unfortunately everything Martin says seems to confirm this until Daphne finally learns the truth at which point they are play fighting when Niles comes in, his suit ripped and he collapses on the floor.

Niles's story: Niles is trapped in an elevator with a Christmas tree and a group of rather unhelpful people to be trapped with in an emergency. The lift company informs them that if someone releases the manual switch on top of the lift, the doors will open. Having been forced to climb the tree in his expensive Italian suit, he presses the switch and everyone leaves the lift. Niles, though, fears the worst as the lift moves off again with him still on the top and arrives at Frasier's completely calm as Daphne and Martin are fighting. Roz then arrives and throws Frasier's present to the floor in disgust.

Roz's story: Roz is becoming self conscious about her pregnancy pounds, made worse by the fact that her mother is about to visit. When Frasier talks to Roz's mother, he tells her that she is a bit conscious of her pregnancy pounds. Roz then tells Frasier she is dreading telling her mother she is pregnant, but finds out that Frasier has already told her when she and Frasier are playing Santa Claus and Mrs Claus at the mall, making her storm off in disgust. She arrives at Frasier's and throws her present at him, but Frasier calms her down and invites her in. Everyone is depressed, and then in comes Martin saying the Christmas pageant was a disaster leading everyone to argue with each other. Finally Frasier says he is going to give everyone his gift - to tell each person what they mean to him. Everyone else thinks this is rubbish, so Frasier says he'll arrange massages for everyone.

Episode Title Cards
  • A Room With Four Views

Episode Highlights

- Niles and Frasier are showing Martin vocal exercises to help him:
Frasier: Try it Dad.
Martin: No, I'm afraid with 3 of us doing it, it might look stupid (!).

- Martin is on the phone as Daphne walks in:
Martin: Tell me again what I'm supposed to say when I see Jesus for the first time.
[Daphne starts to cry].

- After Daphne says she know why Martin has been going to the Church:
Martin: You weren't supposed to know about that - I don't want people staring at me in that, stiff as a board, all that make up on my face.
[Daphne starts to cry again].

- Niles gets in to the lift with a Christmas tree.
Man: This things a fire hazard.
Niles: You know, there's a chemical you can use to fireproof a tree.
Man: Causes cancer.
Niles: Happy holidays (!).

- Roz, Niles and Daphne are all depressed.
Frasier: What are the Crane's known for if not their legendary holiday spirit ?
Martin: [bursts in] I hate singing and I hate Christmas and I'm going to bed.

Frasier Online Episode Review

This is one of the cleverest and most brilliantly constructed episodes ever which has 4 nicely interlinked and overlapping stories with nice variations on the same event between them. Although it lacks big laughs, it is consistently amusing with brilliant moments - mostly arising when Daphne interprtes everything Martin says as meaning he is about to die. Niles's segment is also very funny. Overall, then, an excellent episode that exude's traditional 'Frasier' qualities: wit, class and intelligence.


90 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 90.7%
Total Number of Reviews: 7

What are you, twenty?, May 11, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

I have to agree with the previous poster that this episode didn't strictly need its experimental structure. Having the five stories intertwined would've been just as enjoyable a script. But I can't say I'm complaining.

Martin's is perhaps the least of the tales, with the singing scene (one of a number of classic Crane trios) coming across as a bit twee. I guess it makes sense seeing the brothers from Martin's perspective though!

David Hyde Pierce has an isolated little tale mostly set in an elevator, where recurring co-star Brooks Almy has good fun, and he gets to indulge in some amusing physical humour.

Daphne's sequence is rather one-note, but I have to say it gets met every time. Martin gets a great number of unintended double entendres, and the moment where Daphne realises what is going on leads to an hysterical argument. Daphne and Martin have such a fun relationship of equals that it's always grand to see them going at each other.

Roz's storyline is my personal favourite, as Frasier unknowingly breaks the pregnancy news to her mother. The Nervosa sequence is perfectly modulated, with Gilpin and Grammer playing so well off of each other. And Roz's breakdown in the Santa display is one of the series' highlights in my mind. A great season for Gilpin all around.

It's ultimately a really pleasing little episode, tied together by Frasier's attempts to provide the perfect gift for each of his four closest Seattleites. (And their reaction to this gift? Priceless.)

Rating: 95%


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