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Episode reviews for Episode 7.10 - Back Talk

Avg. Viewer Review: 92.8%
Number of Reviews: 5

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Centrepiece for Daphne, May 16, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia


"Back Talk" has the unenviable task of bringing to a close a six-and-a-half year running gag that became the series' most prominent storyline. To reveal Niles' feelings for Daphne while still allowing the situation to simmer unresolved for several episodes. Wonderfully, by completely misdirecting the audience, it succeeds. (I don't know if this episode's end was advertised in the press at the time, but it's certainly loudly trumpeted on the back of the DVD case which is disappointing. It's one of those short-sighted elements from the early days of DVD, when marketing assumed only existing viewers would watch them, I guess.)

"Back Talk" is actually a very egalitarian episode. As Frasier's back gives out, he comes to ponder what he's doing with his life. All of the leads - Martin, Daphne, Roz, Niles, and Eddie - get a chance to talk with him. Perhaps it was a smart choice that, while this is ultimately Daphne's episode (she deadpans to Frasier after he wants her to get the door, "I'm a physical therapist"), it's also Frasier's. In fact, our hero's monologue to Eddie - pre-Daphne - is a little bit too direct, perhaps. It feels like a writer's speech and not a character's. But the overall aspect is correct. Not only is Frasier now at seven years of perpetual singledom and the same job (hence unsure of himself), but Daphne has - often in the background - grown to be such a vital part of the family. The notion of her moving out is a terrifying concept the series will eventually have to face for real.

But not quite yet. The second half of the episode allows us to dip into some fun farce with genuine stakes. I very much enjoy the scene where Martin inadvertently spills (half) the beans, and the way that Frasier's natural pompousness suddenly comes across as lechery. Jane Leeves is reliable as always and I must admit it's fun to hear the audience slowly cotton on to what's happening.

Things end uncertainly - to be resolved somewhat next week - but this is a turning point in the series. It feels earned after all the work that Grammer, Leeves, and Hyde Pierce have put into their characters, and it's very clear that Daphne is going to have to alter her perceptions whatever the outcome. Is it a cheat for Frasier not to remember what he's done? Well, perhaps, but I think the set-up justifies it. Now she's on her own again, sharing the secret that's been kept only from her, but with no-one else aware.

(And finally, Martin preparing a birthday muffin for Frasier? That's positively adorable. And a far simpler example of how far he's evolved as a person than any of the episodes lately that have wanted to show it with words.)


Rating: 93%

 

One of the best episodes ever!, Mar 22, 2012

Reviewer: Janey Mack from Ireland


Beautifully written and acted (as usual!). A delight to watch and a real incentive to carry on viewing.


Rating: 100%

 

Funny MixUp, Sep 14, 2011

Reviewer: Taylor from Long Island, NY USA


I enjoyed this episode so much when I watched it. The writers did a superb job in writing the way Daphne found out about Niles' feelings for her. The fact that she calls both Frasier and Niles "Dr. Crane" suits perfect when she talks to Martin about what she heard out of Frasier's mouth. C'est magnifique!


Rating: 92%

 

Back Talk, Apr 15, 2006

Reviewer: Amz from Wiltshire, UK


I only saw this episode a few weeks ago and loved every minute of it. I read the transcript and thought the mix up would be a bit confusing, but it was easy to understand. This is of course another must see episode, because Frasier blurts out the secret that Niles has kept under wraps for 6 years. The begining part of the episode when Frasier is woken up by a "talking" Eddie is fabulous too. A great episode.


Rating: 96%

 

'Back Talk' review, Aug 04, 2005

Reviewer: Jocelyn from London, UK


A milestone episode which begins with a fairly simple plot of Frasier's back going out while blowing out a cupcake on his birthday and culminates in a revelation that will change the series forever. The first half of the episode is good fun with much humour derived from Frasier's bad back. There's a very funny scene at KACL where he suffers a sneezing fit while another great sequence sees Niles finding himself having to help his crippled brother walk along the apartment to find a place to sit down, only for Frasier to find himself landing in his father's dreaded chair! This leads to the pivotal moment where Frasier confides to Eddie how much he will miss Daphne when she moves out to live with Donny, only for Daphne to walk in and overhear that Frasier loves her! But it's the massage which Daphne gives Frasier that makes the episode so memorable as at first Daphne has the misunderstanding explained to her, but then enquires about Martin's reference to keeping his mouth shut for six years which prompts a now doped up Frasier to casually blurt out that it's in fact Niles who loves her! The stunned audience reaction to this says it all as Daphne is understandably left opened mouthed and the episode ends on a nicely subtle moment when, opening the door to Niles, she is left staring at the man she now realises has been in love with her for the past six years. A very tricky episode to pull off, it's to writer Lori Kirkland's credit that this episode works very well indeed, giving the series a new momentum which will escalate towards the end of the season.


Rating: 83%