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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 6 -> Episode 6.15

To Tell The Truth
Episode Details

Written by: Rob Hanning

Directed by: David Lee

Original US airdate: 18th February 1999

Original UK airdate: 16th April 1999


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
Donny Douglas .... Saul Rubinek
   
   
Guest Cast
Maria .... Aloma Wright
Waiter .... Paul Cusimano
Guest Callers

Episode Synopsis

Niles is at his wits end - Maris' lawyers have moved to postpone their divorce proceedings by several months, which Niles just cannot afford. Prompted by Frasier, Roz suggests one of her ex-boyfriends Donny Douglas. Niles is initially aghast at his laid back approach to his job by appearing in sports clothes and changing in front of him, but hires him as soon as he gets the proceedings set up for a few weeks time. However, after Frasier is subpaeoned to appear in court, things take a dramatic turn as Maris' lawyers are claiming that Niles was in love with another woman while he was still married - that woman being Daphne. She is quite taken aback, but Frasier's ethics rears it's ugly head as he doesn't want to hurt his brother yet cannot bring himself to lie about Niles' affections for Daphne.

Frasier battles with his ethics while Niles has resorted to an old childhood anxiety relief method - sitting under the piano to calm himself down as he prepares for the moment when Daphne finally finds out his true feelings for her. Fortunately for all involved, Donny comes up with a terrific bargaining chip - the real source of Maris's money. It is not, as Niles has been led to believe, from timber but from urinal cakes! Obviously desperate to keep it under wraps, Maris agrees to a generous settlement, and Niles feels like a new man again - until he sees Donny and Daphne together on a date and kissing in the cafe....

Episode Title Cards
  • I'd Guess You'd Call Them Legal Briefs
  • Inherit The Long-Winded
  • They're Solid Disinfectants, Ladies

Episode Highlights

- Frasier is appalled at the baloney sandwich and fruit cocktail for Niles's lunch:
Frasier: Do you realise what your lawyers are having for lunch?
Niles: They don't itemise - they just bill me for the total!

- Niles and Frasier are looking at Donny's degree certificates:
Niles: University of Las Vegas (!) No problem finding tassles for those mortarboards (!).

- After Donny swaps his tracksuit bottoms and underwear for a towel, Niles is afraid of humiliation:
Frasier: This is exactly what you need - a man who's not afraid to show some moxie.
Niles: He's an inch away from showing us the full moxie.

- Niles is recalling some of Maris's extravagances:
Niles: Do you recall what she did when one of her dogs needed a shampoo?
Frasier: She'd fill the bath with Evian!
Niles: Half the time she'd get a new dog!

- After Donny informs Daphne that she is apparently the object of Niles's affections:
Daphne [to Frasier] : That's absurd - have you ever heard anything so ridiculous ?!
Frasier: Not to the best of my recollection (!!!!!).

- After Niles learns the truth about Maris's income:
Niles: She's managed to have her urinal cake and eat it too!

Frasier Online Episode Review

A highly enjoyable, well written episode that brings the whole Niles/Daphne situation one step forward with Daphne having to deal with the suggestion that Niles is in love with her and almost finding out the truth. The character of Donny Douglas - well played by Saul Rubinek - was introduced in a highly amusing manner, while Frasier struggling between not hurting his brother's feelings and not violating his ethics was well written too.. Overall, the episode with a desperately sad ending for Niles, is definitely one of the better Season 6 episodes.

Rating

82 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 83.1%
Total Number of Reviews: 8


Baby eczema, May 13, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia


"To Tell the Truth" is the (very) beginning of the Niles/Daphne endgame, as evidenced by how fast and loose the writers (and characters) are now with his feelings.

Look, I'm not 100% convinced that Frasier's ethics are that all-encompassing. Certainly, he's shown a consistent belief that Niles needs to sort out his own feelings for Maris, but I'm doubtful that Frasier would find it so hard to lie when the consequence would be to emancipate Niles once and for all. Still, I'm open to debate on that one, which I guess leaves it open to the writers. Either way, this episode achieves the one-two punch of eroding Maris' hold over her ex-husband (with the final crushing blow: urinal cakes!) and introducing Daphne to Donny Douglas, one of her great romances.

As Donny, Saul Rubinek seems an unlikely choice for the major rival of our series' central love interest. He's not leading-man handsome, and his personality and personal habits are deliberately off-putting from the start. All the same, he's genuine, passionate, and not a character made from a cookie-cutter. And the development of Daphne - particularly lately, and the more we find out about her over the course of this season - suggests that she's not looking for the same traits that Roz or Frasier are seeking. Instead, she wants someone who will truly love her. This makes a great amount of sense given how Niles' rhapsodic feelings have been portrayed. In this sense, Donny is just right.

The episode has a fair amount of sincerity to it. In the sombre finale, Niles reaches the crushing fear that - just as he's developing the courage to confess his feelings - Daphne has been snatched, for good, by someone else. And John Mahoney has one of his greatest acting moments on the show, really selling the scene where Martin confesses that he once lied under oath.

"To Tell The Truth" is an unusual episode, and one that few sitcoms could pull off. It alternates between comic and serious scenes on a whim, but unites them all under the one theme. Not perhaps my favourite episode, but it's a necessary stepping stone and the way Kelsey Grammer delivers the phrase "fruit cocktail" is proof of its quality for me.


Rating: 85%

 

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