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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 9 -> Episode 9.18

Episode Details

Written by: Jon Sherman

Directed by: Kelsey Grammer

Original US airdate: 2nd April 2002

Original UK airdate: 3rd May 2002

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
Mr Laskoff .... Hal Landon Jr
Alice .... Ashley Thomas
Young Frasier .... Cameron Bowen
Young Niles .... Chase Armstrong
Guest Callers

Episode Synopsis

We begin with a flashback of a young Frasier and Niles taking a skull from a classroom for their backyard production of 'Hamlet', before cutting to the present day where we see Niles and Daphne in Cafe Nervosa joined by Frasier. He tells Niles that their childhood home is on the market which starts them thinking that they could buy it and turn it into a B & B. They take Martin along to take a look it, who is still aggrieved at not having his security deposit returned 20 years ago, which starts them all recalling memories from when they lived there. Frasier and Niles discover the house is too small for a B & B, but then remember they buried a box of mementoes beneath the floorboards. The landlord refuses to let them prise them up, forcing Frasier and Niles to return during the dead of night. They prise up the floorboard, reach into the ground and pull out .... a skull !!

This sets Frasier and Niles' imagination running wild as they start to remember that the landlords wife disappeared around the time they were asked to move out. They explore the possibility that the landlord murdered his wife to get her inheritance after they discover financial documents in the garage. Once they have thought it all through, they call the police but after they have arrested the landlord they find their box of childhood mementoes - and the programme for their backyard production of 'Hamlet'.......

Episode Title Cards
  • Bryce Academy April 3rd, 1967 3PM

  • If These Floors Could Talk

Episode Highlights

- Everyone chimes in with ways to keep Roz's hamster quiet:
Roz: Where were you all at 3 o'clock this morning when I was trying to shove an Insomnex into a carrot (!)

- Niles doesn't want Martin to mention not geting his security deposit back:
Niles: When we open this place as a B & B, you'll make it all back in tips!

- Martin asks the landlord if he is going to go scuba diving when he retires in Florida:
Landlord: Do I look like I scuba? I'm lucky I don't need a tank to breathe on land!

- Frasier wants to Niles to put his hand into the space beneath the floorboards to get their box:
Niles: There could be rats!
Frasier: Maybe they're just down on their luck show rats!

- Roz tells Daphne how her father told her about death:
Roz: Dying is just going to sleep and never waking up. Then he turned off the light and said good night!

- Roz is angry Martin told Alice about death after her hamster dies:
Roz: I don't want her to be scared or confused.
Alice [pointing to her new hamster]: I like this one better

Frasier Online Episode Review

I have often enjoyed the antics of Frasier and Niles when they work together but I found this episode almost ruined by the flashback right at the beginning where a young Frasier and Niles take a skull from school. This means that we as a viewer realise that the skull they discover is the one from the flashback, but Frasier and Niles spend half the episode concocting a story before realising the truth. I think it would have been funnier if they had done away with the flashback, which would have made the story they concoct seem more realistic and funnier and made then ending where they realise what the skull really is a lot funnier too. As written, the over acting of Frasier and Niles became a little grating and by the end, I was bored by the storyline. The sub plots of Alice's hamster and Daphne's show rats were amusing enough, as was Hal Landon Jr's performance as Mr Laskoff, but neither were enough to make up for the rather torturous central storyline.


69 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 70.4%
Total Number of Reviews: 5

Top Truths for Teen Sleuths: A Crane Boys Mysteries Workbook, May 21, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

"Deathtrap" is a very peculiar little episode of the show, as others have noted, giving us an unusual structure and concept. It's one that I wanted to dislike for all the conceptual reasons, but ultimately ended up enjoying it. (Although admittedly, in spite of rather than because of those elements.)

At first, I was put off by the decision to reveal the truth to us in prologue. This really does set the brothers in a foolish light and means that the script risks replaying the same joke over and over again. However, I gradually warmed to the scenario because of how well-written and acted the interplay between Frasier and Niles is. Titles of their childhood books like "The Case of the Unhappy Landing", and the workbook title mentioned above; David Hyde Pierce playing the skull as a New England dame; both Hyde Pierce and Kelsey Grammer orating and pondering together... it's a truly brilliant display of the fact that the cast kept this show together even during its darkest days. Ultimately, yes, I think that the idea of revealing the truth in the episode's prologue was a choice that worked better in concept than execution. Similarly, the rational side of me suspects both that the Crane boys would instantly call the cops rather than tamper with a crime scene, and that they would fail to be quite so seduced by the idea of a complex murder. However, during the episode, the script and performances convinced me enough. After all, we've seen both brothers have been bamboozled by far-fetched conspiracies before. And presenting us with the (pre-existing) idea of the Crane Boys Mysteries creates a reasonably justifiable group madness. After all, second only to their competitive streak is the peculiar folie-a-deux that can occur when Frasier and Niles share an idea but are left unchecked. It's silly but good fun. The development of the joke means that the second act is not simply repeating the idea that the audience is one step ahead, but instead it's another typical example of knowing Frasier is bound to fall, but watching him take those final steps.

The other characters potter around in little subplots that I actually quite like, all of which retain the thematic focus of death. Roz having to replace Alice's hamster is a natural motherly moment which affords us the opportunity to see the adorable Ashley Taylor as Alice. Her easy acceptance of death is actually quite amusing, and the sweet ending with Martin and Eddie is an unexpectedly gentle end to the plot, but sits well with me. The reveal about Daphne's show rats was something that again I doubted at first, but it ends up being consistently amusing as the thread runs through the episode. (If there's one thing that's unusual here, it's the tiny little sequence with the perfect waiter. Partly because the guy will recur a few more times but I don't think we'll see that trait again. And partly because he reminds me of overly-knowledgeable Colette in a previous episode, another character seemingly set up to recur and then dropped midway through her first episode.)

I'm still confused about the structure of "Deathtrap", but as an actors' showcase, it's pure joy.

Rating: 84%


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