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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 7 -> Episode 7.06

Rivals
Episode Details

Written by: Christopher Lloyd

Directed by: Katy Garretson

Original US airdate: 4th November 1999

Original UK airdate: 11th February 2000


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
Poppy Delafield .... Katie Finneran
Regan .... Gigi Rice
   
   
Guest Cast Guest Callers

Episode Synopsis

Poppy is driving Frasier mad, but Niles believes that he doth protest too much and his loathing of her is, in fact, a deep rooted attraction for Poppy. Desperate to prove him wrong, Frasier invites Poppy to talk with Niles, which prompts a whole other side of her to emerge - a quieter, non-babbling version who admits she is quite attracted to Niles. Later, Frasier arrives home to find a woman dressed in a towel talking on the phone in his apartment - it seems she just moved in next door and got locked out. This prompted Martin to invite her in and has spent the whole time talking Frasier up. Despite being initially uneasy about the situation, he does begin to develop an attraction for her, but has been mooning around the house trying to pick up the courage to ask her out. Daphne mentions this to Niles when they are travelling up to Frasier's in the lift, and Niles says he knows who he has a crush on, and he has also developed a crush on someone also.

Once inside, Niles challenges Frasier again with his theory on Poppy but dismisses it out of hand, and tells Niles that he has developed an attraction for someone else - Niles wants to know who, and Frasier says it is his new next door neighbour Regan, who knocks on the door conveniently at that second. A little too conveniently for Niles, who believes Regan is just a cover for his love for Poppy. However, when Regan is introduced to Niles it seems that they have met before, so Frasier leaves them to get re-acquainted. It transpires that Regan was seeing Niles as a psychiatrist but Daphne, sent to eavesdrop, only ovehears the part about them seeing each other. Frasier takes this to mean that Niles is after Regan and will do anything to stop him. Daphne also tells him that Niles has a crush on someone, and when Frasier asks Niles who it is, he replies "Poppy". Frasier can't believe this for a minute, and is even firmer in his belief that Niles is after Regan. This results in a situation where both Crane's believe one woman has captured their hearts and the other is out to try and steal her from him - or to put it another way: Frasier fancies Regan, but believes Niles is after her and is using Poppy as a cover, while Niles fancies Poppy, but believes Frasier is after her and is using Regan as a cover. Things, though, come to a head when Frasier takes Regan, and Niles takes Poppy, to a charity ball....

Episode Title Cards
  • Spy vs. Spy

Episode Highlights

- Roz is relating her story of trying to avoid Poppy to Frasier:
Roz: Last week I ducked into a bathroom stall to avoid her, and there were 3 other women already in there!

- Frasier is reluctant to go to the charity ball because to find a date:
Frasier: Seattle does have a kind of expectation about the kind of person I should be seen on a date with.
[Niles enters the Cafe]
Roz: Well, that's easy - here he is.

- Frasier and Martin are in the kitchen discussing Regan:
Martin: Pretty sweet, huh - I just found her out in the hall.
Frasier: Well, I'm sorry Dad, but you can't keep her (!)

- Regan is telling Frasier about living with her father:
Regan: I'm sorry - I have some issues with my father.
[Martin wonders in again]
Martin: Excuse me again.
Frasier: I have no idea what that might be like (!)

- Roz tries to join Frasier for coffee:
Frasier: You can't sit there - I'm expecting someone for coffee.
Roz: Well Niles is small - we can share!

- Poppy is impressed with the charity ball:
Niles: Yes, it's an impressive organisation - I've heard that within 24 hours of any global disaster, they can organise a charity ball.

Frasier Online Episode Review

An enjoyable episode that mixes the ever-competitive streak that the Crane boys have with a wonderfully complex premise that makes them think they are both chasing the same woman, but are in fact talking about 2 different women. The episode does get a bit too confusing at times ( a fact the episode neatly eludes too), and it isn't nearly as funny as it thinks it is, but it is well sustained throughout and the truth is neatly revealed at the end. There are some also some nice jibes from Roz about the almost too close relationship between Frasier and Niles.

Rating

79 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 75.2%
Total Number of Reviews: 4


Ups and downs, May 13, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia


Hmmm, I don't have much to say about "Rivals". I think Gigi Rice is divine as Regan, and Katie Finneran really gives her all as Poppy, a character who is deliberately grating but who could've been accidentally so with a lesser actress. I really appreciate any time Frasier's work and personal lives combine, and this is a deftly plotted little farce that pairs up the brothers Crane with two women so perfect for them... that of course they will tear it to pieces.

Still, I think this is a rather run-of-the-mill episode. The humour mostly comes out of the ceaselessly recurring joke that the brothers have mistaken each others' affections. It's funny but, unlike the best "Frasier" farces, probably needed another step to make it to classic status. My favourite element may be that the women are allowed some agency here: they aren't simply character-free beauties for Frasier to aspire to; they're existing characters whose opinions matter.

In the end, an average episode of "Frasier", but still caviar compared to most multi-camera sitcoms these days.


Rating: 75%

 

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