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Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 7 -> Episode 7.08

The Late Dr Crane
Episode Details

Written by: Rob Hanning

Directed by: Robert H. Egan

Original US airdate: 18th November 1999

Original UK airdate: 25th 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
Dr Mel Karnofsky .... Jane Adams
   
   
Guest Cast
Phil .... Rob Leo Roy
Records Clerk .... John. P Farley
Nurse .... Mary Jo Smith
News Anchor Woman .... Chariesse Lavelle
Woman In Cafe .... Susan Merson
Orderly .... Lauren Cohn
Guest Callers

Episode Synopsis

Niles is feeling cold in Frasier's climate controlled car, and turns up the heat - leading Frasier to take his hands off the wheel as he tries to take his coat off. This causes the inevitable crash with the car in front, and luckily the airbags inflate. Unfortunately for Frasier, Niles' fist was in front of the airbag which leaves Frasier with a bloody, broken nose. The pair of them take a trip to the hospital where a casual question from Niles about the plastic surgeons on call results in him learning that Maris' plastic surgeon, Dr Mel Karnofsky, has an office there. He is still sending bills for Maris' BoTox injections to him, a year after their divorce, so he decides to pay Dr Karnofsky a visit to sort this out once and for all. Frasier is left to fend for himself in the hospital waiting room with a patient who just won't leave Frasier alone, and eventually storms out without being seen - just as his name is being called out, leaving the same patient to sneekily take his place by saying that he is Frasier Crane. Niles' visit to Dr Karnofsky turns out to be an interesting as he discovers that Mel is short for Melinda, and is quite captivated by the doctor and tries to pluck up the courage to ask her out - but ends up having a BoTox injection himself, which involves injecting toxins into the forehead to remove wrinkles. Niles arrives at Frasier's after the injection, but Frasier soon guesses he has had the injection after a mosquito dies after being on his forehead and he is unable to wrinkle his forehead. This leaves Frasier angry, but he is then taken by surprise as the TV news programme announces Frasier Crane died today after going into hospital for minor surgery!

It turns out that the patient who took Frasier's place had died after his surgery, but before the news could be corrected, Frasier has his obituary published in the paper, which concerns him a bit as he had wanted to achieve so much, so he resolves to make major changes in his life to try and achieve his goals. Martin, meanwhile, is making the most of his situation has friends galore are buying him drinks and condolence baskets. Niles, meanwhile, has failed again to ask Mel out and ends up having a tiny mole on the back of his neck removed. Frasier's first jog ends in disaster as he sprains his ankle and has to walk with a cane, forcing him to scale down his goals - so out goes discovering the secret of the lost incas! Niles has finally asked Mel on a date to the opera and stops by at Frasier's to pick up the tickets. Frasier is unimpressed by her, but Martin points out that Niles is happy, and says that instead of trying to do all these projects, Frasier should do the things that will make himself happy. So he takes a bottle of wine and goes to knock on his neighbour Regan's door ....

Episode Title Cards
  • What, Me Worrry?
  • Dead Man Watching

Episode Highlights

- Niles is telling Frasier about Maris' BoTox (Botulism Toxin) injections:
Niles: I gave it to her one year for our anniversary.
Frasier: Oh, probably your tenth - that's toxins isn't it (!).

- Martin learns Niles has treatment for his wrinkles:
Martin: My kids are getting plastic surgery - what a great age to be at!

- Frasier learns Martin has told his buddies he was alone when he found out about Frasier's death:
Frasier: You should have told them you were sitting right next to me.
Martin: What sort of story is that?
Frasier: It's the truth!
Martin: Well, the truth doesn't put anything on a coaster.

- Frasier is discussing his obituary in the paper:
Frasier: It's quite upsetting actually.
Roz: I don't think they meant to be insulting - you are lovably pompous!

- Martin enjoying Frasier having to walk with a cane.

- Frasier doesn't think much of Niles' date, Dr Mel Karnofsky:
Frasier: Picking the restaurant, dining on the terrace, having to know the owner - doesn't she remind you of someone?
Martin: Yeah - you!

Frasier Online Episode Review

Well, it has it's moments and is never less than fun to watch but the central plot of Frasier reflecting on what he has achieved so far in life is rather insubstantial as it spends too long getting to the point and doesn't go very far, which means that most of the fun comes from the various subplots. Niles trying to drum up the courage to ask out Dr Karnofsky but ending up with plastic surgery is funny, but best of all is Martin milking the shock of thinking his son had died for all it's worth. Overall, then, this is an above-average episode that thankfully doesn't become maudlin as it deals with Frasier's attempts to achieve his goals.

Rating

78 %

Latest Viewer Episode Review

Avg. Viewer Review: 67.3%
Total Number of Reviews: 3


I'm not your marionette!, May 15, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia


"The Late Dr Crane" is an episode tasked with adding another piece to the Niles/Daphne puzzle as it enters the home stretch.

As Dr. Mel Karnofsky, Jane Adams is the perfect choice. Regardless of what they do to her down the line, the character of Mel in this episode is a clever choice. She's perfect for Niles - she's basically a combination of Frasier and Niles himself! From her first scene, Adams is dynamic and quirky but also very real. She plays the OCD elements of her character in a style similar to Hyde Pierce. Truth be told, we've very rarely seen Niles with someone who truly suits him. (Even the bond that has developed between him and Daphne revels in their differences rather than their similarities.) It's quite nice to see him spending time with a female who shares his tastes but is (probably) able to laugh at the more pretentious members of their set.

There are quite a few laughs in the Niles plotline (Maris' files taking up so many boxes is an easy gag but a good one) while the Frasier storyline again settles more for melancholy. The waiting room scene isn't particularly funny - the guest character has very little presence - and this seems like more of a character examination. I very much like these episodes in general, but this episode doesn't quite hit the heights. Martin seeing through Frasier's psychological mumbo-jumbo is well-written but routine. And I'm not sure that Frasier's last-minute decision really has any resounding focus for his character throughout the rest of the season. (Martin "absorbing the shock" is great fun though, and the return of Regan - even in name only - is a nice continuity touch.)

One last note: the idea of Frasier writing his own obituary is quite funny, and Daphne's amused disbelief at the situation is sold well by Jane Leeves ("Frasierland!"). Still, while I accept that Frasier has always wanted to learn more languages and write bestsellers, I find it a little hard to think that even this pompous man would truly believe he can solve perpetual motion or discover the Incas treasures. It's perhaps a point where the episode goes too far into hyperbole for my liking.


Rating: 70%

 

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