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Episode reviews for Episode 9.03 - The Return of Martin Crane

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

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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%


Shows how far the show has come, Sep 20, 2011

Reviewer: DeckyStrikesBack from Ireland

After Cheers ended, it took me a long time to give Frasier a shot.
Looking back at season one of Frasier i now see why. The
characters had no chemistry, no bond. I thought this was a fault
of the actors or writers, but i was wrong.
This was the way the characters were written to begin with and
as the show developed so did their relationships and our love for
The flashbacks show us a time before the Crane boys were close
and it reminds me of season one a bit.
The Return of Martin Crane is one of my favorite episodes out of
the past couple of the seasons, and reminiscent of the flashback
heavy season 3 episode You Can Go Home Again.
It reminds us how far this show has come and how much I now
care for these characters, and how much these characters now
care for each other.
It also fills in important gaps in Martins past regarding his hip
injury. A powerful episode,warm,sweet and with a great and very
touching ending

Rating: 80%


Review of 'The Return of Martin Crane', Jul 28, 2006

Reviewer: Beer Necessity from York, Engalnd

A thoughtful episode co-written by showrunner Dan O’Shannon, in which Martin returns to work for the first time since he was shot many years ago. Much of the episode is shown in flashback, and while not being laugh-heavy, it nonetheless provides a nice insight into Martin’s character.

Rating: 78%


'The Return Of Martin Crane' review, Sep 09, 2005

Reviewer: Jocelyn from London, UK

Another of the more serious episodes from Dan O'Shannon and Bob Daily which sees Martin preparing for his first day at work in his new job as a security guard, leading him to recall his last day in work as a policeman when he was shot. The result is an episode which switches uneasily between comedy scenes with Martin trying to convince his family to walk Eddie while he's at work and a more dramatic series of flashbacks of the days preceeding and following the shooting. The bickering between Frasier, Niles, Daphne and Roz over who should walk Eddie is quite amusing as they try to rearrange their various plans, with the ending seeing Martin telling his sons off as if they were still children. Sadly, the flashback sequences make for rather lacklustre viewing, with a hairpiece-wearing David Hyde Pierce attempting to recapture the look - but few of the mannerisms - of the younger Niles and a few nice references to Maris and Martin's apparent dislike of dogs. Overall, quite an interesting look at a key moment in Martin's backstory but only an average episode of 'Frasier'.

Rating: 73%


Very good and slightly different..., Apr 05, 2005

Reviewer: The Mikado from Huntsville, AL USA

I have to say I appreciated the flashback scenes and the bittersweet air they gave the episode. But my love for this particular story revolves around one of the show's best laughs ever...and that's the rejoinder, "....If they shared a throat and came from MONGOLIA, yes."

Rating: 88%