Frasier Online
home About The Show Episode Guide Merchandise Forum Reviews Gallery Contact

Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 6 -> Episode 6.08

The Seal Who Came To Dinner
Episode Details

Written by: Joe Keenan

Directed by: David Lee

Original US airdate: 19th November 1998

Original UK airdate: 26th February 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
Guest Cast
Chef Marcel .... Arnie Burton
Sebastian Melmouth .... Christopher Durang
Claudia Kynock .... Catherine Dent
Gretchen Koontz .... Marilyn Child
Officer McClean .... Raymond Harris Jr.
Officer Athramis .... Eugene Lee
Pam .... Susie Park
Party Guest .... Susanne Blakeslee
Guest Callers

Episode Synopsis

Niles has to throw a dinner for his gourmet club to try and secure their prestigious Golden Apron award, but has nowhere to hold it. Frasier offers his apartment after he hears one of the guest is someone in charge of a number of radio stations, but when Niles sees a crack in one of Frasier's windows, he insists on finding somewhere else - they are very picky, apparently. He suddenly remembers that Maris is in Antwerp at the moment, and has a delightful beach house, perfect for viewing the meteor shower planned for that night.

On arrival at the beach house, Niles and Frasier discover a dead seal has been washed up outside so they try and dispose of it by taking it out to sea, but the tide washes it back in. As the guests begin to arrive, Niles and Frasier struggle to keep the guests unaware of the seal. However, when a neighbour sees Niles stabbing the seal, covered in her peach peignoir and perfume, she thinks foul play is at work and calls the police......

Episode Title Cards
  • Seoul Mates
  • Not What Good Housekeeping Had In Mind
  • Their Fete Is Sealed

Episode Highlights

- Niles enters Cafe Nervosa:
Niles: If my life gets any worse, I'm phoning hell to ask about their exchange programme.

Niles: After the year I've had, I need something to restore my pride, my dignity, my manhood. The Golden Apron could do that.

- After Daphne castigates Martin for flirting with her friend Pam:
Martin: I saw her giving me the once over too, you know.
Daphne: Yes, she looked once and it was all over!

- After Niles suggests using the beach house as the venue:
Martin: Isn't that breaking and entering?
Niles: It's not a crime if it's catered!

- After Niles goes to look for a shovel, and brings back buckets and spades:
Frasier: You couldn't find any demitasse spoons (?!)

- After Niles brings perfume and the peignoir to cover the seal:
Frasier: We're giving it a burial Niles, not a day of beauty!

- The knat-clapping lamp scene.

- The final five minutes of calamity, where all the evidence points to Frasier and Niles having murdered Maris.

- The police take Frasier and Niles away:
: You can't arrest me - my wife is in Antwerp having her elbows done!

Frasier Online Episode Review

Sometimes referred to as "The Smelly Seal Episode", this is perhaps Joe Keenan's least successful farce based episode but still manages to pack in some great ideas and situations nevertheless. The lamp turned on and off by clapping was just terrific as was the attempts by Frasier and Niles to get rid of the seal themselves, what with Niles arming himself with a bucket and spade and a peach peignoir! So while the set-up seemed quite promising, something was missing that prevented the farce from really getting going, and hence prevented a good episode becoming a great one


80 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 82.5%
Total Number of Reviews: 21

Should certainly send the Sealmobile scurrying, May 12, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

A lightweight farce, but set in the classic "Frasier" mould.

After a slight but amusing first act, in which Martin exposes his thing for Asian women, and Daphne gets in a good matador zinger (despite the fact that she bought the item of clothing she's mocking), we find ourselves at Maris' beach-house for another in the long line of failed Crane dinner parties.

Unlike many "Frasier" farces, this episode delights most in the set-up. Frasier and Niles attempting to keep it together as they offload an unusually buoyant dead seal is certainly a unique moment, replete with grumpy chef and a peach peignoir. There's some darkly funny stuff along the way, such as a meteor shower, a clap-activated lamp, and a shellfish joke that David Hyde Pierce clearly delights in. (The episode's highlight may be Hyde Pierce's face as he attempts to summon up excitement about smelling truffles, but gets a whiff of seal he needs to immediately disguise.)

I firmly believe that, in the last couple of years of the '90s, audience sitcom literacy took a huge step up. Watching a show like "The Nanny", and the last couple of seasons find the audience often one line ahead of a joke, forcing the actors to do more with the way they deliver the line. It's why shows like "Friends" devolved into comfort food, while unpredictable pieces like "Seinfeld" were able to remain so entrenched in the public imagination. My point is that by now, audiences know what they can expect to the point where the episode ends with our characters getting publicly arrested for murder, with no attempt to assure us that there won't be consequences!

I don't think this is one of the series' greater farces. The characters at the party ultimately don't take on enough life of their own, and - like the good-but-not great "The Show Must Go Off" - the script has no surprises left for the pay-off. We're worried the guests will find out about the seal. That's what they find out. The script has plenty to praise, sure, but few last-minute twists that made the greatest of "Frasier" farces sparkle.

Rating: 76%


Read more viewer reviews of this episode.

Write your own review of this episode and share your thoughts with other's.