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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 11 -> Episode 11.02

A Man, A Plan And A Gal: Julia
Episode Details

Written by: Jon Sherman

Directed by: Kelsey Grammer

Original US airdate: 23rd September 2003

Original UK airdate: 28th January 2004


Cast Information
Main Cast
Frasier Crane .... Kelsey Grammer
Niles Crane .... David Hyde Pierce
Martin Crane .... John Mahoney
Daphne Crane .... Jane Leeves
Roz Doyle .... Peri Gilpin
Recurring Cast
Julia Wilcox .... Felicity Huffman
   
   
Guest Cast Guest Callers

Episode Synopsis

At Cafe Nervosa, Niles and Daphne plan how to tell their family about the fact that Daphne is pregnant. They agree on a dinner, with Niles excitedly offering to recite a poem by Robbie Burns. Daphne then leaves, just as Frasier joins his brother, who wants to unburden himself over his relationship with Julia. Niles tells Frasier that his problem with Julia is the same problem he has had with almost all of his recent relationships - as soon as he senses the relationship is getting serious, Frasier runs a mile. Niles tells his brother to "commit to committment" in an effort to save his relationship with Julia, which Frasier agrees to give a try.

Frasier arrives back at his apartment, where Martin asks him not to reveal the score for the Mariners game (not something he's likely to know anyway) before heading out with Eddie to the vet and then over to Niles and Daphne's to help them prepare their dinner, reminding Frasier about it as well. Just as Frasier is about to head out to see a movie, however, Julia stops by - she dropped one of her earrings the previous night and while helping to look for it, Frasier starts to tell Julia about the message he had left on her answering service (which ended with a sonnet). It turns out that Julia had heard the message after all, and the pair of them head off to the bedroom. While they are in bed together, Martin, Niles and Daphne come in to the apartment and head for the kitchen with their dinner - it seems Niles' expensive German cooker is on the blink, but while he is in the kitchen he receives a phone call from his brother (currently in the bedroom with Julia) saying he is coming down with a cold after seeing the movie and is going to go home to bed. Niles begs him to reconsider, just as a half naked Frasier meets his brother coming out of the kitchen!

This leaves Frasier no choice but to invite Julia to Niles and Daphne's dinner, unaware of what the real purrpose of the dinner is, but doesn't endear herself to Martin instantly by taking the beer meant for him, and then ruins Niles and Daphne's surprise by revealing it after overhearing them talk about it in the kitchen! Frasier and Martin are obviously over the moon for them, but leaves Niles and Daphne seething. A ill-tempered game of Pictionary is the final straw for everyone except Frasier, as no-one helps Julia when she chokes on some nuts, but when Julia insults his brand new Italian hand towels, Frasier breaks up with her and throws her out of the apartment.....

Episode Title Cards
  • The Bastie Boys

  • After The Bile Is Over

Episode Highlights

- Frasier wants to know why Niles doesn't want to hear him unburden himself:
Niles: I wish to remain in my good mood, therefore I demur.
Frasier: You demur?
Niles: I demur!

- Martin tells Frasier not to tell him the score to the Mariners game:
Frasier: Dad, the odds of me knowing the score to the Mariners game is about the same as you knowing the score to Pacific Overtures!

- Niles' German oven requires more power than his building can generate:
Martin: Leave it to the Germans - even their ovens crave power!

- Martin's reaction to Julia taking his beer.

- Daphne tells Julia that it's partridge for dinner:
Julia: I don't eat birds - they live in the own faeces.
Martin: More for me!

- Martin's reaction to Julia telling him the Mariner's score

- Julia and Frasier's turn at Pictionary

- No-one bothering to help Julia when she is choking

- Julia can't believe Frasier is breaking up with her:
Frasier: Do you want me to draw you a picture?
Julia: We'd probably be here all night!
Frasier: Get out!!

Frasier Online Episode Review

How to deal with Julia is the last of the tasks the writers had to deal with, and this wonderfully funny episode takes full advantage of everyone's comedic skills with special mention going to Kelsey Grammer - his ill-advised committment to committment leads to some great laughs and it's always a pleasure to hear him cry 'Get out!' in that loud bellowing voice of his. There was lots to admire in this episode - the farce worked well, the jokes flowed well from the characters and the game of Pictionary was a classic 'Frasier' moment, even if it was a little hard to swallow at times just how crazy Julia acts. Great lines, great fun - just a great episode, pure and simple.

Rating

85 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 92.1%
Total Number of Reviews: 11


I just didn't think you'd remember the names, May 27, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia


At the end of season 8, the writers led Frasier Crane into a convoluted web of new recurring characters and situations that never quite earned the laughs we were used to. At the beginning of season 9, the writers did their best to move most of the detritus out of the way before the year's first performance of "Tossed Salad and Scrambled Eggs". Again, as season 11 began, were the writers faced with a similar task. The result this time is even better, and far, far funnier. "A Man, A Plan and a Gal: Julia" starts with a great little double-act as Niles demurs to listen to Frasier, and returns us to the often pompous, sometimes esoteric humour the show was known for. Frasier's tulle lace handtowels, and his "Pacific Overtures" joke (which this audience doesn't get, but is no less funny for that) are just the start of an episode that takes full advantage of Kelsey Grammer's singular talent for outrage.

What's great about the decision to have Julia's hopes implode is that it fits almost entirely with her character as built in season 10. Of course, her endless barrage of cruel quips is really a type of character assassination, but it's character assassination of the highest order, and played oh so well by Felicity Huffman and the rest of the cast. Julia has always been a caustic personality, stemming partly from her own insecurities (as evidenced in "The Harassed") but also stemming partly from a self-righteousness that Frasier hasn't been able to curb. Her frankness about how Martin should fire Daphne seems in character, as does her reckless charades playing. Some of it does seem a little on the nose (the boisterous mocking of classical music suggests she has never been a guest in anyone's home before, for instance), which is why I'm inclined to mark this episode as "very good" rather than "a classic", but - as another reviewer mentioned - the family's attitude strikes me of far too many family Christmases I can recall. It's all in charcater.

Realistically, there are three reasons this episode works so well. The first is that - even as the writers are killing off a character who was created by others and had grown to become a narrative hurdle - they're happy, and talented enough, to give Julia the best lines she's ever had. Second, the comedic impetus is evenly divided between the three psychological entry-points of the story: Julia's feelings of superiority, the family's need to support Frasier, and Frasier's own determination not to let his fears get in the way of his "feelings". Between these two points, I'm pretty happy to justify any moments that might seem out of character or over the top on Julia's behalf.

And the third reason? It's just really damn funny. By the time Julia chokes and Frasier kicks her out, this is a remarkably energetic script - all the more impressive by the fact that it's only the five cast members involved (Peri Gilpin was absent from the set this week). While it's a shame that Julia just vanishes from the narrative - I would've liked either a joke at her expense or even one last episode down the track where she tries to stay on at KACL - this episode should assuage any doubts that the season premiere was just a fluke. "Frasier" has NOT left the building.


Rating: 88%

 

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