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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 4 -> Episode 4.22

Ask Me No Questions
Episode Details

Written by: Dan Cohen & F.J. Pratt

Directed by: Jeff Melman

Original US airdate: 20th May 1997

Original UK airdate: 12th December 1997


Cast Information
Main Cast
Frasier Crane .... Kelsey Grammer
Niles Crane .... David Hyde Pierce
Martin Crane .... John Mahoney
Daphne Moon .... Jane Leeves
Roz Doyle .... Peri Gilpin
Recurring Cast
   
   
Guest Cast
Elise .... Cindy Katz
Marta .... Irene Olga Lopez
Waitress .... Luck Hari
Guest Callers

Episode Synopsis

Frasier is thrown into a state of confusion when Niles asks him whether or not he and Maris are meant for each other. Not knowing whether to answer truthfully or to lie politely, Frasier launches his own crazed fact finding mission to find out if Maris has changed for the better. After seeking advice from Maris' housekeeper, Marta, Frasier becomes obsessed with deciphering everyone's hidden motives, including his own. Frasier's strange behaviour ruins his blind date, and forces him to walk the midnight streets, a la Film Noir, in search of the answer. At midnight he arrives at Niles' doorstep to deliever his decision. Meanwhile, Daphne gives Martin a gift for no reason which causes Martin to anguish whether or not he needs to return the favour.

Episode Title Cards
  • The Question
  • The Answer Is Yes
  • So The Answer Is 'Yes', 'No', 'Yes', 'No'

Episode Highlights

- Martin's a bit annoyed that Daphne has given him a gift for no apparent reason:
Frasier: Didn't you ever give Mom something with no warning?
Martin: Yeah - you!

- Frasier doesn't want to play 'God':
Niles: If you were ruler of heaven and earth, who would you do?
Frasier: [Looking at Eddie] For starters, I'd recall someof my lesser species (!)

- After Daphne buys Martin a gift, he's bought one for Daphne:
Daphne: Is this for me?
Martin: You know anyone else around here who uses eucalyptus bubble bath?
Daphne: Well, your son occassionally does.

- The scene where we think Frasier meets Maris, but meets Marta instead.

- After Frasier has agonised over his answer, he tells his brother he has an answer to his question:
Niles: What question?

- Frasier realises Maris in in Niles' bedroom:
Frasier: How could you do something like this without waiting for my opinion?
Niles: Someone certainly has a high opinion of their opinion!

Frasier Online Episode Review

This is a peculiarly frustrating episode as it contains some typical brilliant 'Frasier' touches such as when both Martin and Daphne leave Frasier talking to himself and then re-join the conversation without him realising they've been anywhere, as well as the visual metaphors we see as Frasier goes on his night-time walk as he tries to come up with an answer. Tricking into thinking we had seen Maris was also great, as was the minor sub-plot of gift giving between Martin and Daphne, but the central story of Frasier agonising over what to tell his brother in answer to his question just isn't strong enough to sustain an entire episode.

Rating

75 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 77.6%
Total Number of Reviews: 7


Saxophone solo, May 12, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia


You know, reviewing this series on a retrospective rewatch is quite different to the first time through. An episode like "Ask Me No Questions", containing a bunch of funny scenes filtered through a reasonably low-key main structure, might not earn a week-long build-up between episodes on network television. It also might not stand out to a casual viewer flipping channels. But to someone watching this as 1/264th of a longer series, and with each episode a chance to further analyse the depth of these characters, I perhaps come across as too much of an optimist. Still, I have to say I enjoyed this episode immensely.

"Ask Me No Questions" gives a little of something to everyone. It's a Niles episode, as he's fallen back into the arms of Maris, and ponders whether they're meant to be together despite all the evidence to the contrary. This furthers an arc that's been running for four seasons, gives us Marta's longest scene in the entire series (when she emulates Maris), and points us to the depths of his inability to move forward.

It's a Martin episode with some Daphne thrown in, as the pair attempt to deal with their evolving friendship. It's a relationship neither of the two of them could have predicted four years ago, and it's based on a mutual respect that transgresses many barriers. There's also a nice scene of Roz's insecurities thrown in, with Frasier unable to comment appropriately.

Yet, in spite of this, it's all filtered through Frasier's uncertainty over whether or not he can honestly tell Niles what he thinks of Maris. There's some good humour, such as the scene where Niles breaks his poor date's heart. There's also some very silly humour, as in the montage where Frasier stumbles across increasingly pointed signs referencing his situation, with the saxophone blaring mournfully on the score.

It's not a packed half-hour, but "Ask Me No Questions" does a good job of comparing and contrasting the characters, ending in a quietly powerful scene where Kelsey Grammer acts the hell out of Frasier's confession. To find out that Niles hadn't actually been waiting on the answer would be predictable on another sitcom, but here it's a surprising change. The series is always keen to give its characters weighty dramatic moments, so to see Niles skip merrily away to the sound of a bell is good fun. This time, the issue may all have been in Frasier's indecisive mind. But the look on his face at the end shows us that this ill-considered relationship is going to receive further investigation in the near future.


Rating: 83%

 

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