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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 6 -> Episode 6.12

Our Parents, Ourselves
Episode Details

Written by: Janis Hirsch

Directed by: Pamela Fryman

Original US airdate: 21st January 1999

Original UK airdate: 26th March 1999

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
Bonnie .... Alice Playten
Guest Cast
Joanna Doyle .... Eva Marie Saint
Shangri-lino .... Rocky McMurray
Guest Callers
Larry .... Phil Donahue
Sophie .... Marlo Thomas

Episode Synopsis

Roz's mother is in town and driving her up the wall, so Frasier suggests going on a date with Martin, to which Roz agrees. So Joanna and Roz 'bump into' Niles, Frasier and Martin at McGinty's and join them for dinner, after which Martin takes Joanna to the jazz club she was meant to be going to with Roz, who has 'forgotten' about some work she had to do with Frasier. Arriving back at the apartment some time later, the two seem to have hit it off. However, once Joanna has left, Martin says it was the dullest night of his life - she just drones on and on, but then Roz tells Frasier her mother had the best time and can't wait to see him again.

Frasier tries to fob Roz off with events that Martin is doing, like his poker night, before she leaves on Sunday. However, Roz somehow manages to get Frasier to agree to her mother coming round on Sunday when the SuperBowl is on, but Frasier decides to leave telling his father till the last minute in case he doesn't turn up. Sunday arrives, and just as there's a knock at the door, Frasier finally reveals Joanna is coming round. However, Martin has invited Bonnie from McGinty's as the first step towards a date. Frasier manages to keep Martin's dislike for Joanna under wraps until he and Bonnie go to see baby Alice in the bedroom and the truth comes out over the baby monitor. How will it all be resolved.......?

Episode Title Cards
  • A.K.A The Last Onion Out Of Pompeii
  • Roughing The Passer

Episode Highlights

- Roz miming the answer to a football question set by a caller to Frasier, a move called a Hail Mary
Roz: I'm impressed you're so good at charades.
Frasier: I'm impressed you can mime a virgin!

- At McGinty's, Bonnie doesn't recognise Niles:
Martin: Come on! I told you about my other son.
Bonnie: Of course! What was I thinking - nice to meet you Eddie.

- Martin is regaling his date with Joanna:
Martin: Do you know how many metric tons of eggs Wisconsin produces every year?
Frasier: No.
Martin: Well I do!

- After Roz and Joanna get 'invited' to Martin's to watch the SuperBowl.
Roz [to Niles]: I'll see you Sunday at your SuperBowl party.
Niles [after Roz leaves, to Frasier]: I see you told Roz the truth and she went insane (!)

- Frasier ponders when the right time to tell him about Joanna coming over is:
Frasier: Dad is first and foremost a gentleman.
[Martin comes into the Cafe]
Martin: I saw Roz and hid in case she had that gasbag of a mother with her. I guess not - everyone's still awake.

- At the SuperBowl party, in the kitchen.
Frasier: No private conversations - your dates are waiting.
Martin: They're not our dates!
Niles: We hate them!

Frasier Online Episode Review

An above average script makes this episode an enjoyable one. I particularly liked the twist at the party where Martin has invited Bonnie and Frasier has to try and keep everyone happy by saying he invited her as a date for Niles. Other good bits include learning how Niles received his nickname - 'The Coyote' - living at the Shangri-La, and Niles' reaction to discovering that Bonnie is his 'date'. It's a pity then that the episode is rather down at the end in the way Joanna learns how Martin really feels about her over the baby monitor, and a rather dull final conversation between Frasier and Roz, but for the most part I rather liked this episode.


79 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 75.8%
Total Number of Reviews: 5

I'm impressed you can mime a virgin, May 19, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

Readers of my reviews could argue (justifiably?) that I overanalyse the series and its characters. Sure, perhaps this show is just an example of five well-constructed characters being pitted against each other with a series of gags that range from opera jokes to dog humour. Yet, I'd argue there's more to it, and I think "Our Parents, Ourselves" - coming at the exact midpoint of the series - is a key episode. Which may seem like an odd claim given this is a competent but not particularly memorable little outing.

The episode's first act is nothing too remarkable. Peri Gilpin gets a chance to shine when her mother (played by Eva-Marie Saint) comes to town and takes a liking to Martin. We've heard a lot about Joanna over the years, and Roz's family have rarely intruded on the scene although they've explained a lot about the various complexities of her character. So it's nice to meet Roz's mother at last, and to have the clever turnaround that Martin can't stand her - not because she's a bad person, but simply because she's uninteresting to him and they have nothing in common. This of course sets up a classic conflict between Frasier and Roz, even though the former is not sure how to break the subject to her. There's nothing particularly special about all of this set-up, truth be told, but the characters remain consistent and the overall pace of the episode is great.

The second act is far more fun with a comedy-of-errors in the Crane household. Bonnie's spirit, Joanna's cluelessness, Marty's quick thinking... it's all very well done. Things do come to a head rather quickly, I'll concede. And the seriousness of Joanna as a character (akin to how the similarly well-rounded Edward is treated in "Out with Dad") means that the farce deflates in a gentler way than most. But it's again nice to see the characters behave like humans at the end, even if I'm not sure the episode ever quite finds its middle ground between farce of mistaken identities and character story.

What's important in this episode, though, is the final scene with Frasier and Roz. Going forward (particularly as the series starts to escalate the Daphne/Niles business over the coming months), the series has to begin asking the same questions "Cheers" asked about its characters (and that most sitcoms choose not to). Why are they still in the same job? Why haven't Martin, Roz, or Frasier found long-term relationships? When nothing changes, what does it mean? The answer isn't simply that they're characters in a formulaic sitcom. It's a multitude of feelings - heartfelt and comic - about aging, discovering the complexities of oneself, and so many other things. As the midpoint of the series this makes a lot of sense, particularly given that those three characters - the focus of this episode - are going to be the ones asking them the most in future seasons. On its own, this may be an energetic but unremarkable little outing. As a piece of the narrative, it looms large over what remains.

Rating: 80%


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