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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 11 -> Episode 11.04

The Babysitter
Episode Details

Written by: Jeffrey Richman

Directed by: Kelsey Grammer

Original US airdate: 7th October 2003

Original UK airdate: 11th February 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
Ronee Lawrence .... Wendie Malick
Guest Cast Guest Callers

Episode Synopsis

Frasier and Niles are out shopping for a sofa for Frasier's imminent return to private practice, not helped by Niles' constant babbling about everything and anything - something that Frasier and Daphne have both picked up on but Niles seems incapable of being able to stop doing it. Frasier then spies their old babysitter Ronee Lawrence in the store, and having had a massive crush on her when he was younger, goes over to get re-acquaninted with her. She tells Frasier she now sings at a bar called the Rendezvous Room, and is more than happy to drop by Frasier's apartment that evening to catch up. She also reminds Niles about the stories she used to tell him about the bugs that can live crawl through your ears into your brain, and which prompted young Niles to start cleaning everything he once sat down on!

That evening, Frasier is going to great lengths to impress Ronee when she comes over as he hopes to begin a relationship with her, but to Frasier's annoyance, Martin also seems to be interested in her as he starts to laugh hard at her jokes and be very attentive to what she says. Frasier drags his father off to the kitchen and expresses his annoyance, but to his surprise, Martin thought Frasier had brought Ronee over for him! At that point, Ronee gets a call - her replacement at the bar has called in sick, and she has to go. Martin also says he is going out to McGinty's but Frasier soon suspects his father has headed down to see Ronee and, after spending 45 minutes getting ready, heads down to see Ronee too. She is pleased to see him, but Frasier is less pleased to see his father there as well, so offers to sing a duet with Ronee to try and impress her but is less than happy when the song she sings for a special person turns out to be Martin! Can Frasier's analytical skills help solve his own depression, Martin's relucatance to continue seeing Ronee and Niles' babbling......?

Episode Title Cards
  • Here Comes Another Mood Swing

  • Hard Cheese

Episode Highlights

- Frasier isn't surprised Niles' doesn't notice his incessant babbling:
Frasier: You were 15 before you realised there was a correlation between getting beaten up every day and going to school wearing a panama hat!

- Martin meets Ronee for the first time since she babysat Frasier and Niles:
Martin: You haven't changed a bit.
Ronee: Yes I have - I can legally drink now!

- Frasier drags Martin off to the kitchen just as Martin is starting to work his charm on Ronee:
Ronee: Don't be long you two - Momma likes an audience.
Martin: Good, cos Daddy likes to watch!

- Frasier can't believe Martin is hitting on Ronee:
Martin: I thought you brought her here for me.
Frasier: Since when do I bring you women !!

- Frasier finds Martin down at Ronee's bar when he said he was going to McGintys:
Frasier: How long have you been here?
Martin: 45 minutes - you shouldn't have spent so much time on you hair, Louise (!)

- Martin starts talking to Frasier and Niles in baseball metaphors:
Frasier: Dad, it's us.

- Frasier analyses himself and works out why he's depressed:
Frasier: My analytical skills are on fire!
Niles: Yes, and your own horn-tootin' skills haven't abandoned you either (!)

Frasier Online Episode Review

This episode sees the introduction of Ronee Lawrence, set to become a very welcome semi-regular character, and is played by Wendie Malick. Viewers of Paramount Comedy may recognise her from the excellent sitcom 'Just Shoot Me' created by Steven Levitan (writer of several 'Frasier' episodes), where she played the rather bitchy Nina Van Horn superbly and brings her comedic skills to Ronee's part effortlessly as well. There are plenty of very funny moments on this episode: learning where Niles' cleaning compulsion stems from, Frasier's piano playing when Ronee reveals it's Martin she's interested in, Niles' babbling and Martin calling his Viagra 'cheese', but this episode is a few notches below the first 3 of the series thanks to the script sometimes coming across as more amusing than funny. Still, Wendie Malick makes a promising start in this episode and I look forward to seeing her in future ones.


80 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 81.1%
Total Number of Reviews: 7

Viagra, Velveeta. Velveeta, Viagra., May 27, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

"The Babysitter" gets some good mileage out of one final Martin/Frasier rivalry, with the two going head to head over Ronee Lawrence (Wendie Malick), the boys' old babysitter. As the sensuous Ronee, Malick is very well cast. As a love interest for Martin, she's a surprising choice, but John Mahoney clearly enjoys playing the more youthful, exuberant Martin, so I'm not going to complain. It's a lot of fun to see the two men compete, with Martin gleefully riling up his son at the club, and Frasier's showmanship forcing him to complete the song even as he realises he's lost. It does seem a bit cruel of Martin to be such a boastful victor though, particularly given how Frasier's self-esteem has sunk considerably in the last couple of seasons. However this questionable moment is salvaged by two key scenes. In the first, Frasier realises that it's not an interest in Ronee that has him down (after all, they'd never be a lasting couple), but a general depression and fear that he really is going to end up alone. It's a very smart shift that moves the episode into "high above average" territory. The second scene alternates poignancy with laughs as the boys discover their father's Viagra, and he is forced to confront them over the issue.

Smartly, the episode doesn't force Ronee to be much more than the catalyst of this debate. Even if the producers knew they wanted her in a recurring capacity, they play the first script as a stand-alone tale, allowing them (I assume) to assess how the character works before making any decisions that will affect the entirety of the show's last season. There's also a small mention of Frasier setting up his practice, which was seeded late in season 10 and remains an important development for the show. In fact, with Roz's ambitions, Martin going back to work, and Daphne looking for new clients, it seems as if the series is deftly making sure that these aren't going to be characters who just enter into relationships and then quietly leave the series and, by extension, their entire lives (see "Friends"). It's another cast-focused episode, with only the five actors appearing (this being the second of two episodes Peri Gilpin missed this year), and thankfully also finds time for some truly adorable David Hyde Pierce moments. His babbling is delightful, but it's the way Pierce plays the complexities of his earwig confrontation that particularly impresses me - fear at Ronee, barely-concealed flashbacks, a desire to appear blithe and amused, and a growing sense of his personal hygiene being violated. The cast are truly on fire.

Rating: 84%


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