Frasier Online Episode Guide -> Season 9 -> Episode 9.17
War Of The Words
Written by: Saladin K. Patterson
Directed by: Sheldon Epps
Original US airdate: 12th March 2002
Original UK airdate: 26th April 2002
Frasier is preparing Frederick for his appearance in the National Spelling Bee Championships, which includes a mock contest with Martin and Eddie. This includes learning about Niles' experience at the Spelling Bee championships when he choked on the last word - something that Niles hasn't talked about since. At the Bee itself, Frederick makes it through to the last three which soon becomes a two hander between Frederick and a previous winner, Warren Clayton. Finally,. Warren spells a word wrong and with Frederick spelling his word right, Frederick is the winner!
Later that day, back in Frasier's apartment, everyone is waiting for the ESPN programme to come on that features an interview with Frederick when Dr Bernard Gaston, who is in charge of the Spelling Bee, arrives at the apartment with some bad news - Frederick has been accused of cheating because Frasier was saying the letters along with Frederick. This leaves everyone shell-shocked, but Dr Gaston says the board has awarded the title to Warren Clayton, but he is still invited to the competitors dinner that night. At first Frederick doesn't want to go, but a talk with Niles about his experience changes his mind. At the dinner, everyone ignores Frederick but the Clayton's calling Frasier and Frederick cheaters sparks off a spelling brawl in the streets for the trophy......
|Episode Title Cards|
- Roz wants Frasier to give Frederick her lucky penny:
Roz: As soon as I picked it up, I started getting lucky.
Frasier: Oh, so that's where it all started (!)
- Martin is concerned Frasier is working his son too hard:
Martin: He should be having some fun.
Frasier: I told him he could bring his clarinet.
- Frasier is worried Frederick is being distracted by the female contestants:
Frasier: There'll be plenty of girls after you win this thing!
- Frasier's reaction to being told Frederick has been accused of cheating
- Frasier is concerned about his son after being accused of cheating:
Frederick: I talked to Mom today
Frasier: You're a bigger man than I am
Frederick: That's what she said!
|Frasier Online Episode Review|
I dont know what I was thinking when I wrote my original review of this episode, but having re-watched this episode again recently, I can't believe that I gave this episode a far more positive rating than it deserved. For a start, it's written by Saladin K Patterson - a writer whose track record with 'Frasier' episodes thus far has been pitiful at best, so I had been given adequate warning of what was to follow. Roz's lucky penny 'plotline' was utterly cringeworthy, while Martin wanting to understand rules of political correctness was equally as dreadful and completely out-of-character. Perhaps worst of all is the attempt to equate spelling with boxing, which makes sections of this episode quite painful to watch. Frasier's reaction to being told Frederick's been accused of cheating is great, but I'm sorry to say that it doesn't even begin to make up for putting the viewer through an episode that ranks as the worst one that the series ever produced.
|Latest Viewer Episode Review|
Avg. Viewer Review:
Total Number of Reviews: 15
The glitz and glamour of the bee, May 21, 2013
Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia
"War of the Words" has a checkered critical history among some fans, but honestly, I can't see why. Sure, it's written by someone who wrote "The Wizard and Roz", for me the utter nadir of the first eight (maybe even nine) seasons. And it starts out with some more-than-usually-awkward exposition about Lilith and Freddie, which fails to be funny. Freddie Crane has certainly rebounded somewhat from the kid he was becoming in last season's "Cranes Unplugged", but I guess that was just a phase. However, that's really the only thing I can complain about in this delightful high-concept episode that continues the recent spree of inserting some real pep into these characters.
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