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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 7 -> Episode 7.05

The Dog That Rocks The Cradle
Episode Details

Written by: Bob Daily

Directed by: Pamela Fryman

Original US airdate: 21st October 1999

Original UK airdate: 4th February 2000


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
Bulldog .... Dan Butler
   
   
Guest Cast
Ted .... Matt Roth
Steven .... Peter Asle Holden
Guest Callers

Episode Synopsis

Roz is going out on her first date in a month, thanks to looking after baby Alice constantly, so is in desperate need of a babysitter. Martin arrives back from a funeral having bumped into Niles, but is complaining how it was all done on the cheap. Frasier says that he should plan his own funeral, but Martin doesn't want to - it being bad luck and all. The pizza delivery boy then arrives - and to Frasier's surprise it is Bulldog. Inviting him in, he and Niles discover he is filling in between jobs. On meeting Roz and Alice again for the first time in ages, it is clear Alice is very taken with him, so Frasier suggests to Roz she should hire Bulldog as the babysitter - which she does.

Roz's date turns up as she is getting ready, and when he answers the door, Bulldog grabs him and tells him he should go away and then call to cancel the date - which he does, leaving Roz very depressed, so Bulldog suggests he should stay to cheer her up. 'Mysteriously,' the next date Roz goes out on also cancels at short notice, leaving Roz pondering whether she has 'Loser' tattoed to her forehead. Frasier then spies that a guy in the cafe, Ted, has been unable to keep his eyes off of her, so he offers to get her a table at a fancy restaurant for the two of them. Ted agrees to go out with her, to Roz's delight, but when Bulldog finds out he warns him to bring her back after 45 minutes. He complies, but after leaving he suddenly returns with Roz's purse and Roz sees Bulldog threatening Ted, without him seeing. To get her revenge, she vamps it up to the full and are soon in her bedroom, where she tells Bulldog to get a scented candle from the balcony - and then locks him out, telling him she knows why guys have been dumping her. Bulldog admits that he was doing it because he was in love with Roz, but Roz lets him down gently. Meanwhile, Martin has reconsidered and bought a graveyard plot for both himself and his two sons in an ordinary cemetery - much to their delight (!)

Episode Title Cards
  • The Dog That Rocks The Cradle
  • The Nanny
  • The Plots Thicken

Episode Highlights

- Martin refuses to plan his own funeral:
Martin: You don't pull the cord on the bus until you're ready to get off.
Niles: [to Frasier] Pull the what what on the what?
Frasier: I don't know.

- Frasier ponders why Martin won't plan his own funeral:
Frasier: We all must be prepared when the cold hand of death comes knocking at the door.
[A knock at the door]
Frasier: Will you get that?
Niles: I most certainly will not!

- After Bulldog has threatened Roz's date Steve:
Steve: Who are you?
Bulldog: I'm your worst nightmare - the babysitter!

- Niles has managed to get a new spot at the cemetery he desperately wants to be buried in:
Niles: McGurk has got me a spot on the high hill.
Frasier: You don't mean...?
Niles: Yes - I'll spend eternity looking down on Maris! Checkmate!

- Roz is playing up to Bulldog's desires as she unbuttons her blouse:
Bulldog: Woah - 'Victoria's Secret p.39'
Roz: Why don't we skip dinner and go straight to dessert?
Bulldog: 'Penthouse Forum p.27'

Frasier Online Episode Review

Despite the welcome presence of Bulldog, whose zing and energy has been missing for some time, this is rather a dull episode with a pretty ropey central storyline. It is enlivened slightly, however, by Martin's preparations for his funeral but somehow it wasn't enough. The real problem is the script contains neither enough good lines or surprises to achieve memorability, and a rather flat episode is the result. I hope we haven't seen the last of Bulldog, though, as Dan Butler's performance is often a welcome antidote to the Crane's snobbishness.

Rating

66 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 76.7%
Total Number of Reviews: 6


Vale, Bulldog, May 12, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia


I'll put it out there. I really like Bulldog and his portrayer, Dan Butler. Yet I think he works much better as a supporting character. I didn't love his previous episode, "Bad Dog", and other Bulldog vehicles leave me at least a tad cold.

However, I really enjoyed this one. It's odd, admittedly, to see him taken this seriously, but his overhyped machismo and feelings of inadequacy have all been key elements of his psyche over time. Here, this is combined with Roz's growing fear that she's undateable, which has reared its ugly head often since she first became pregnant two years ago. The episode isn't a laugh riot, although it gets some decent mileage at of Bulldog's new position. Dan Butler and Peri Gilpin both put in spirited performances, as does Kelsey Grammer. The confrontation scene is funny but also really rather sweet, as Roz lets Bulldog get out of his confession while saving face. (On original viewing, I really did think these two would end up together at series' end in spite of everything. Perhaps that just says a lot for the character chemistry, or maybe the idea was thrown about in the writers' room but didn't end up working out. Who knows?)

The less said about Martin's uninspiring graveyard plot the better, although it is bleakly funny that the brothers Crane are as much concerned about their social position in death as in life!

It's a real shame that - since KACL returned to normal midway through season 6 - the radio station has been given the short shrift. That continues here a little, since I find it unlikely that Bulldog couldn't get another job. He's consistently been shown as the most popular mainstream broadcaster at KACL (shut it, Tootie The Story Lady), and it's odd that he'd fall so far in a year. But, that's a quibble. I'll be interested on this rewatch to see how the slowly shifting writing team deals with Frasier and Roz's careers.


Rating: 89%

 

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