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Episode reviews for Episode 2.21 - An Affair To Forget

Avg. Viewer Review: 94.0%
Number of Reviews: 8

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Farce to remember , Jul 30, 2012

Reviewer: Tid from SW England

Sometimes I feel Frasier descends too often into farce, with patchy
results. But this takes a beautifully built-up comedy scenario, and ends
in the most perfect bit of farce - Niles doing an "Errol Flynn" sword
fighting with Maris' fencing instructor, and all because a 3-way
translation from English to Spanish to German made Gunnar believe
Niles was accusing him of stealing his shoes! When the correct
translation turns "shoes" into "wife", he collapses tearfully into a chair
and confesses his unreciprocated feelings.

The by-play with Martin and Niles trying to build a model ship, and
Daphne walking into the room when conversations have reached the
point where a surreally outrageous statement is being made, is also

Rating: 95%


One of my favourites, Dec 04, 2011

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

"An Affair to Forget" was one of the first episodes of this series I saw, and certainly the first one I fell in love with. It's the very first shot in the Niles/Maris war that will rage for the following four years, as her fencing instructor makes a pass at her, which spirals out of control when Frasier learns about the alleged "affair" from Gunnar's wife, who calls in to his show.

The episode gives some great moments to each of the cast, with David Hyde Pierce and Kelsey Grammer making their usual indefatigable team. With moments such as "Missy Crane is in the box" and "You know who the liver dumpling is, don't you?", this episode is a sheer delight. Hyde Pierce really nails the fencing scenes, and the infamous translation scene - whether a nod to "I Love Lucy" or a slightly illogical conceit the more you think about it - is hilarious. To be honest, this episode is so delightfully absurd that it simply becomes sheer joy.

Rating: 98%


Great episode with a huge nod to Lucy, Oct 29, 2009

Reviewer: Elizabeth E. from South Carolina, USA

I agree with the 5 reviews I've read about this episode. However, nowhere do I see anyone giving credit where credit is due. In "I Love Lucy" on their trip to Europe, Lucy is arrested in Paris for passing counterfeit currency. In order for her to explain what really happened she has to talk to Ricky, who speaks Spanish to a drunk who speaks Spanish and German. He in turn speaks German to a French policeman who speaks German and French who then translates to his French speaking boss. It is a hilarious scene and beautifully done. Not to take away from the Frasier episode, which is also beautifully done, I can't help but note this direct steal from a the mother of all sitcoms. Everybody steals from her which only shows how great the show was.

Rating: 95%


An episode to Remember, Aug 15, 2009

Reviewer: RD from A, I

Everyone's got a funny dialogue to their credit in this episode...

Martin: Maris is learning German, huh? [aside to Frasier] Just when you thought she couldn't get any cuddlier.

Roz: If you want to know if a man is cheating, you offer him two choices for dinner: one that's rich and fattening, and one that's light and sensible. If he picks the one that's calorie-packed, he doesn't mind turning into a bloated pig which means he's happily married and you're in the clear.

Daphne: Did I ever mention one of my ancestors was a mutineer on the H.M.S. Bounty?
Martin: No kidding.
Daphne: Yeah well, from what we could gather, he made it safely to Pitcairn Island, where he was quite fruitful and multiplied. You know, for all I know there's some girl who looks exactly like me running around the South Seas, frolicking in the surf, all brown-skinned and bare-breasted-
Niles is building a ship; on hearing this, he accidentally snaps the mast in two, sending the pieces flying over the table.
Martin and Daphne stare at him.
Niles: So you want to build a two-masted schooner.

Frasier: Yes, Niles, that's just what we need, a Fourth Language!

Rating: 100%


Not an episode to forget, Apr 13, 2009

Reviewer: Daniel Argent from Grays, Essex

This episode is yet another great from the sublime Season 2. Niles' attempt to bond with Martin by building a boat, which backfires, is good, and Martin's line when Frasier tells him about the call he had on his show and the fact that Maris had a German fencing instructor is one of the all-time Frasier classics. 'No, they're inner-city kids trying to work their way out of the ghetto with nothing but a foil and a dream!' Then Frasier's hysteria when everything fits into place is a classic, as is when he accidentally reveals to Gretchen that he knows ('Do you want to split hairs or do you want your husband back?) I also enjoyed Niles comment about chess club, and then the climax, with the communications breakdown that results in a (very well acted) fight between Niles and Gunnar and, afterwards, Gunnar and Frasier!
However, in my opinion, Martin was not in this episode enough and it puzzled me why Gretchen would learn English and Gunnar, working with English-speaking clients every day, would not bother. This stops the episode from being an all-time great but is nonetheless very good.

Rating: 80%


Then What's a Frigate?, Dec 09, 2008

Reviewer: AdmiralXizor from Dallas, TX

I really liked this episode too. I always have to be careful that I'm not drinking something when Martin is getting frustrated listening to Niles and Daphne discuss ship types, ending with:

Daphne: That what's a frigate?
Martin: That's when you just don't give a damn anymore...

Rating: 93%


Mr & Mrs Crane (down in flames!), Jul 08, 2008

Reviewer: David Sim from Skelmersdale, England

An Affair To Forget is the first episode of Frasier to properly address the fractured marriage of Niles and Maris since Season 1's A Midwinter Night's Dream. And a very good one it is too. It won a well deserved Emmy Award for Best Writing, and after a Frasier-centric season, its nice to see Niles at the centre of an episode for a change.

One of Frasier's callers, Gretchen suspects her husband of "boomson". In other words, having an affair. He's a fencing instructor who spends all his time with a wealthy new student. After some hilarious advice from Roz that actually makes sense when you think about it, we assume that's the end of that. Its a great opening scene because you initially assume its just another one of the many hapless callers we hear at the beginning of many an episode. When really the plot has already been set in motion.

Niles and Martin are trying to build a schooner after Maris wanted Niles out of the house "like a musty smell." It turns out she's taken up fencing, all the time now "parrying and thrusting" with her instructor Gunnar. Well naturally Frasier thinks that's a hell of a coincidence. Especially since Gretchen mentioned the student was wealthy. Martin doesn't agree. His advice is also hilarious:

"They're inner city kids trying to work they're way out of the ghetto with nothing but a foil and a dream!"

Nethertheless, the evidence is building. When Gretchen calls back the next day, she mentions her husband's name, Gunnar! And she found a love letter he wrote to his student. He loves her beautiful little body. Her white skin. And get this...she's a "not quite human woman." It is Maris!!!

An Affair To Forget is a special episode because it marks the debut of Marta, Niles and Maris' maid. I wonder if she was inspired from Manuel from Fawlty Towers. They're both Spanish, and they're mastery of the English language leaves much to be desired. But she's every bit as funny. Irene Olga Lopez has incredible comic timing. All she has to do is speak in her thick Spanish accent and you crack up. Sadly she would appear in only three other episodes, but she never fails to steal the show, and her performance in An Affair To Forget is arguably her finest hour.

Thanks to Marta's pronoun problems, Frasier inadvertently lets slip to Niles Maris' affair, including a great visual gag with a sensory deprivation tank. Love the bit when Frasier thinks Maris is in there:

"I'm opening this door on the count of three and I don't care if you're naked. I'm going to count to ten!"

Another choice highlight from this scene is when Marta calls Niles Missy Crane! Well Niles is understandably devastated. Its a sweet little moment when Martin says they're all here for him and Eddie starts licking him. Also like the bit when Niles started driving around aimlessly until he got to the Oregon Border check but had to turn around because he had fruit in the car. This might sound a bit in bad taste, but ever since David Hyde Pierce came out about his homosexuality, I can't hear that sentence now without really cracking up. Gives it a whole new meaning!

Niles decides to have it out with Gunnar, and this sets up the inspired final third act. Gunnar doesn't speak a word of English, but Marta speaks German. Which she translates into Spanish and relays back to Frasier. And then does the same in reverse. Its a brilliantly funny scene that crackles with wit. No wonder the episode won an Emmy. But that's just the warmup for the even better bit... Niles and Gunnar's swordfight ("En garde...Just what we need a fourth language!")

Not since the days of Errol Flynn have I seen such swashbuckling. Its very well directed, with DHP showing his incredible talent for physical comedy, none more so when he actually swings from a chandelier across the room! No wonder DHP won an Emmy that year. A classic scene that is flawless on every level.

Great ending too when its revealed Maris turned Gunnar's advances down, and Niles goes skipping back to his lady love. Only for Frasier to fight Gunnar thanks to Marta's pronoun problems. Wonderful stuff. An Affair To Forget is a genuine classic. Its an important episode too, because although it ends on a happy note, the cracks in Niles and Maris' marriage are clearly beginning to show through now.

Brilliant direction! Brilliant writing! Brilliant acting! Brilliant episode!

Rating: 100%


'An Affair To Forget' review, May 30, 2005

Reviewer: Jocelyn from London, UK

A classic episode in which Frasier discovers that Maris is having an affair with her fencing instructor Gunnar. This is pretty much superb throughout, from Frasier finding out about Gunnar's affair with a 'not quite human woman' on his radio show to Niles overhearing everything in the sensory deprivation tank to the hysterical climatic fencing scene in which all the dialogue is translated from English to Spanish to German and back again. Blessed with a remarkable physical performance from David Hyde Pierce and the added bonus of Irene Olga Lopez's debut appearance as the wonderful Marta it's simply one of the most brilliantly orchestrated scenes the show has ever done and makes this episode an undoubted high point of this season.

Rating: 91%