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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 9 -> Episode 9.03

The Return Of Martin Crane
Episode Details

Written by: Dan O'Shannon & Bob Daily

Directed by: David Lee

Original US airdate: 9th October 2001

Original UK airdate: 18th January 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
Kenny Daly .... Tom McGowan
   
   
Guest Cast
Frank .... Tom Irwin
Delivery Man .... Byrne Offutt
Nurse .... Lisa Arning
Waitress .... Mary Jo Mecca
Guest Callers
Tom .... Anthony Edwards

Episode Synopsis

At the radio station, Frasier takes delivery of a cake he ordered for the celebration he is throwing that night to celebrate Martin's return to work, but is appalled to find it only says 'Congrats' so he sends it back and persuades Roz to pick up the re-done one. Back at Frasier's apartment, Niles and Daphne surprise each other with tickets to shows: Niles managed to get hold of two tickets to Billy Joel, while Daphne secured two tickets to the Mongolia throat singing festival! The only problem is that both shows are on the same night - tonight. Niles and Daphne decide to see Billy Joel, and offer Frasier the tickets to the throat singing festival. He, of course, jumps at the chance, but then Martin reminds everyone that they all agreed they would be supportive if he went back to work - which means someone has to walk Eddie at 10pm. This leads to some heated discussions between Niles, Frasier and Daphne over who would do it, but the thought of going back to work brings back memories to Martin of his last day at work on the police force which lead to him getting shot during a hold-up at a convenience store.

Episode Title Cards
  • Beware Lollygagging Messengers

  • She Has Big Ones, Too

Episode Highlights

- Kenny wants Roz to go to a lingerie store for him:
Roz: I am not going to Victoria's Secret for you!
Kenny: Victoria's Secret? Whoa, whoa, Rockerfeller - I'm talking K-Mart!

- Frasier can't believe they couldn't fit 'Congratulations Dad' on his cake:
Frasier: People have written the Declaration of Independence on a grain of rice (!)
Delivery Man: Not with frosting!

- Niles can't believe the tickets Daphne has managed to get for him:
Niles: Tickets to the Mongolian Arts Festival - that's 4 solid hours of throat singing!

- Frasier suggets that walking Eddie comes under Daphne's job description:
Daphne: Customarily, Dr Crane, it's not my job - I do it as a favour to your father.
Frasier: Would you do it as a favour to me?
Daphne: No!

- Roz comes out of Martin's room to hear Niles, Daphne and Frasier argue over who is to walk Eddie:
Daphne: Let's just all leave now - then Roz'll have to walk it!

- In flashback, Martin recalls having dinner with Niles and Maris:
Martin: Last time she didn't eat anything - she just sucker air through a rice cake.

Frasier Online Episode Review

A more serious episode than of late, but no less enjoyable for all that. There were some very enjoyable moments when everyone was fighting over who was going to walk Eddie, but the most interesting parts are the flashbacks as they fill in some important gaps in 'Frasier' history. We have often heard Martin's story of getting shot while on the beat but have never seen it enacted till now. There were some nice touches, such as Niles with longer hair and discussions of Niles and Maris' marriage which made them feel realistic. A nicely written and performed episode.

Rating

76 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 80.4%
Total Number of Reviews: 5


My mother's name is Maris, May 20, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia


"The Return of Martin Crane" is the third in a quartet of consecutive episodes exploring the characters from a more serious angle. First, Frasier got the treatment in "Don Juan in Hell", then Daphne and Niles were explored in "The First Temptation of Daphne", this time it's Marty. Perhaps more than any other character on the show, Martin has developed in so many ways, and this episode's scripts allows us to compare the ways he has evolved. Many characters on TV change over time, but usually it's surface level change: a character is frosty and then they're not, for instance. The flashbacks allow us to see how many of Martin's basic tenets have stayed the same even as he's developed. 10-years-ago Martin would be the kind of guy who would move Maris' car closer to the hydrant, absolutely. He's still got that boyish prankster side but he's mellowed over time. I really respect the choice to keep Frasier out of the flashbacks entirely. This is Martin's story, and we only need Frank and younger Niles to illustrate this. Rather than crowding the flashbacks, the script invites us to focus on one character. The idea of Martin deciding to make a change on the very day he is shot is perhaps crammed into a short timeframe, but that's the dice you play with when working in the half-hour format. It still adds a layer to the character that we can appreciate when rewatching season 1. It's really very poignant.

Meanwhile, as with "The First Temptation", this episode smartly creates a very amusing secondary plot to work around the flashback. There's a lot of good fun to be had, from Niles and Daphne comparing the various concessions they've made for each other, Frasier's face when Martin compares Mongolian throat singers to the Everly Brothers, and the sneaky detail of Kenny being the "perve at the Kmart". We're in a bit of a transitional phase on the character formula front: Martin has just got a new job (surprising it took the writers 9 years to put him into a job plot?) and Daphne hasn't yet made the move out of Frasier's apartment. So a comic story about crossed dates and family responsibility seems fitting. This might not be season 5 grade material, but it's a real step toward it.

A couple of other notes:
* I'm really glad Roz acts as Martin's confidante here. They've always had a really caring relationship that sometimes recedes for long periods of time.
* Frasier's dilemma with the cake not being frosted correctly reminds me nowadays of Kelsey Grammer's ludicrous but awesome guest appearance on "30 Rock", where he joined the deliberately-silly-named "Best Friends Gang" to make a small amount of money on a cake-decorating racket with Jenna and Kenneth.


Rating: 83%

 

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