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Episode reviews for Episode 10.02 - Enemy At The Gate

Avg. Viewer Review: 79.3%
Number of Reviews: 14

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You lost me after Gandhi, May 24, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

"Enemy at the Gate" takes a fun concept and with it creates set-up for an hilarious punch line. Sure, much like last season's "Deathtrap" it feels a lot like an excuse for Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce to play the confined double act but... well, they do it so wonderfully!

Frasier's ethical dilemma (or petty stance, if you prefer) is very typical of the character; in fact, the basic tenet of this episode could have come from season 1. At the same time, it isn't just a "Frasier is pretentious and a stickler" story. At some point, we've all felt aggrieved at blind policy or small money-grubbing. Is Frasier right? Or does the parking garage have the right to doubt its customers' word and charge a measly two bucks? Either way, Frasier's stance taps into something we feel... and then takes it far beyond the logical extreme. Kelsey Grammer does a great line in looking aggrieved, and David Hyde Pierce losing his mind (the terrified way Niles asks, "What are we doing, Frasier?") are phenomenal. It may be a slight episode, I'll grant you, but I very much enjoy it.

The subplot of Daphne and Martin using Eddie as a surrogate for their affections is a bit nonexistent, if we're honest. It's not there to create a lot of comedy, true, but it's one of those C-Plots in an episode in need of a B-Plot, if you know what I mean. The same lightly comic beat is played all episode until the sentimental closing moments. I don't begrudge the concept, because - like Daphne calling the men by their first names last week - it makes sense as a necessary adjustment the show needs to make (and, realistically, has held off making for some time). And of all the pairings on this show, Jane Leeves and John Mahoney have created possibly the most delightful bond over the course of 10 years. Still, it's not exactly a driving force.

Things come to a climax at KACL. Sadly, Kenny has lost some of his spark to become a reasonably generic character of late (with all due respect to Tom McGowan, who has a stellar episode coming up in "Kissing Cousin"). His office humour early in the episode is incredibly tepid, and his "that always stops you women" is the start of a weird run of jokes from his character over the course of the season. Still, it's all in service of the brilliant moment where Roz - casual in the anchor's chair for the first time - inadvertently reveals that she slept with Frasier. It's a great reveal to begin with, leading to the classic sequence in which Frasier puts his foot in it. Again, things are a bit contrived: Frasier's choice of phrasing is very unusual (unlike the stellar but naturalistic "The Candidate") however, let's be honest, by the time he reaches the line: "My brother was with me for moral support and, let's face it, somebody to talk to", you'd have to be pretty churlish not to be amused. A very funny consequence of the controversial Roz/Frasier hookup. Good times.

Rating: 83%


A fine episode, Jan 19, 2012

Reviewer: Simon from Auckland, New Zealand

I don't understand how this episode can be rated so poorly. It has
to be one of the best in the entire show's run.

The interaction between Niles and Frasier in the car is so typical of
these two. The constant digs at one another, yet the ultimate loyalty
between the two truly highlight the relationship the two brothers

As so many of the other reviews have stated, the last scene with
Frasier and Roz at the station is hilarious, one of the most
memorable in any Frasier episode.

Rating: 98%


Who can resist Niles calling Frasier a dumbass?, Feb 22, 2010

Reviewer: Anonymous from Virginia, USA

This episode is one of my favorites, and I've watched it over and over. It starts well and just keeps getting better and better ... So many good snarks and punchlines are traded among Frasier, Niles, and the cashier in the booth, such as when the cashier offers to pay for Frasier, grumbling about rich cheapskates in their BMW's. Frasier hotly denies that the type of car he drives (and thereby his social status) has anything to do with it, whereupon Niles pipes up, "I agree, I drive a Mercedes, and I would have paid 15 minutes ago!"

The best jokes for me build on each other so naturally I laugh until I cry and my sides ache: A frustrated woman drives out the entry lane, looking over at Frasier and hollering, "DUMBASS!" as she passes. A bit later Niles comments sympathetically about their need to hurry, and Frasier snarks back that Niles's birds (Daphne and Niles, the lovebirds waiting at home for a new cage) will be okay until Niles can get home. Niles replies in a hurt yet pointed way, "I was talking about your radio show starting in 15 minutes ... DUMBASS!" What's not to love about a show in which Niles gets to call Frasier a dumbass?

And it's not all just about jokes, the resolution comes when Niles confronts Frasier about his need to either have everyone agree with him or to make their lives miserable until they do. So it ends with a nice personal insight for Frasier, and the whole episode is great in the Niles-Frasier brotherly relationship vein so many good episodes utilized.

Rating: 98%


Great, underrated episode, Jan 10, 2009

Reviewer: James Taylor from London, England

I'm really surprised a some of the poor reviews this well structured and clever episode has received here. It's a mistake to think of Frasier's protest at the parking gararge as simply one long build up to the run of hilarious punclines during the closing minute, I actually got much more from this build up. For one, it allowed for some much missed quality time between Frasier and Niles, since up until now, much of the focus has been, understandably, on Niles and Daphne, with Frasier slightly sidelined from his brother as expected. The scene where Niles initially deserts Frasier and then gets back in the car with him to show his solidarity for his brother despite not agreeing with his reasoning was really uplifting. Also, I liked the ethical dilemma Fraiser was in, not wanting to back down from his protest, feeling that he was making a stand against general bureaurocracy and a rip-off despite the situation gradually getting more and more tense and uncontrollable. These scenes also allowed for some great dialogue and Frasier's final act of defiance was pleasantly surprising.

The subplot between Daphne and Martin was also rather sweet, with Martin using Eddy's strange behaviour as way of stoicly expressing his sadness of Daphne moving out.

And then the final moments where Frasier speaks on the air about his protest down at the garage not realising his listeners are actually mistaking it for his side of the story about the night he and Roz slept together was pure Fraiser gold! It reminded me of that episode wher Frasier sticks up for his dad at his condo-board meeting when Martin received a penalty notice, where the penalty was actually for bathing nude but he thinks the penalty notice was for Martin simply taking Eddy in the lift - a non stop flow of hilarious accidental double entendres!

It's perfectly possible that the episode's writer Lori Kirkland began with that single last minute of gags in mind and worked her way backwards, but kudos for making the build up worthy in it's own right.

Rating: 95%


A Sting in the Tail, Jun 26, 2008

Reviewer: Fergus from Dublin, Ireland

So many later episodes of Frasier start promisingly and wind down into anti-climax. This episode is virtuallly unique in that it is fairly poor and contrived until it suddenly and unexpectantly flares into absolute hilarity during the closing moments. And, to be fair, the sub-plot is quite touching. Ultimately it is very watchable, if you can forget the growing insanity of the main character and the growing histrionics of the main performer, whom directors were obviously unable to control at this point. At least Luis Guzman can remind us in this episode what a restained, understated performance is like as he mans the toll.

Rating: 79%


One of the better episodes., Mar 29, 2008

Reviewer: Dr. Floyd from Apex, NC

I think this episode is underrated. It isn't laugh out loud funny, but it is structured very well and there is a mega pay-off in the end.

We get to witness a very tight exploration and commentary on what it means to be right and wrong, and the damage of "helping" people for their own good.

In one episode my wife and I enjoyed some social commentary; a touching tearful moment; a proud of Roz moment; despair for Roz; and the funniest punch line to the longest setup ever.

Rating: 95%


A waste of time, Dec 27, 2007

Reviewer: Joshua Bramon from Newport Beach,CA

This episode has absolutely no laughs until the very end. But even at the very end it still wasnt that funny. It was just a 10 second scene so I dont think you should watch this episode because it is not one of their bests.

Rating: 65%


Saved in the last minute, Apr 25, 2007

Reviewer: Shumit from London,UK

As many have stated before the sheer bloody mindedness of Frasier reaches new heights when he refuses to pay a 2 dollar parking fee. Just winding up his window and staying put seems to be a very uninspired form of protest, considering the man is broadcasting to half of Seattle, and is in fact missing the opportunity to do so (he is late for his programme) by staging his protest.

Usually when there is a slow main plot the subplots tend to be quicker but in this case the Martin and Daphne interchanges were even slower. All Martin does for most of the episode is a jigsaw puzzle, not many jokes you can pull out of that box.

There is not one laugh out loud moment until the last minute and then we are back to top quality Frasier and its certainly worth the wait - although in the past you did not need a 25 minute buildup.

Rating: 70%


Like running a marathon: the reward comes at the very end, Mar 18, 2007

Reviewer: dirt_burglar from Edinburgh, Scotland

I feel that this episode has, in some ways, been badly misunderstood. The viewer watching it for the first time can understandably feel much the same as the other reviewers who have here contributed; that much of the action of the episode was less than arresting, and did not seem to be leading anywhere.

Naturally the situation in the car park is somewhat contrived; and the overall effect might be to make one wonder whether one might do better switch over and watch something else. The watcher who perseveres however, is finally rewarded when it becomes clear that the car park situation is organised so as to create the opportunity for the dialogue in the final scene: which left me, at least, in fits of hysterical laughter which lasted long after the credits have rolled, and into the next programme.

Ultimately, the episode is an extremely sophisticated one, laying the groundwork for the joke so cleverly that the viewer can have no idea what is coming, unlike so many modern 'comedy' shows. Genius.

Rating: 88%


Saving Grace, Oct 11, 2006

Reviewer: Jeff from Pensacola, FL USA

I simply cannot give a failing grade when I find myself laughing out loud while viewing an episode alone. You will find this in many of my reviews. The last scene is this episodes saving grace.

Rating: 80%



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