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Episode reviews for Episode 5.13 - The Maris Counsellor

Avg. Viewer Review: 92.0%
Number of Reviews: 5

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Why 'Frasier' succeeded, May 09, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

Classic episode that begins as a slightly tired farce with Niles unexpectedly finding his marriage counsellor in bed with Maris, but develops into a great showcase for both David Hyde Pierce and the character of Niles Crane. Now that we're approaching the midpoint of the series, the Crane men - both in their interactions with each other and the world - have become such well-rounded characters that they deserve this kind of introspective analysis.

When shows run for as long as "Frasier", they have to find reasons for why their characters, say, stay in the same job for 10 years, or remain single throughout their entire 20s or 30s. Some shows choose to just ignore the obvious; others create increasingly silly distractions; and some (like "30 Rock") become quite meta. "Frasier" instead did something ballsy: it made it part of the storyline. As Frasier, Martin and Roz get older, they begin wondering about just what might be wrong with them, and whether they can face the possibility of life without finding love again, or complete satisfaction. (The fact that they've all had great love affairs in the past adds to the bittersweet aspect of the characters.) To see Martin and Frasier dealing with those feelings is a blessing that the actors will continue to reward us with.

But of course, DHP is the highlight of this episode. Niles' attempt to believe that Maris still loves him is the culmination of five seasons of denial and complexity, and he completely sells it. The group counselling session where Niles breaks down is an enjoyable piece of psychobabble, and the unexpected ending - it would've been so easy for the series to put Niles back under Maris' thumb - is just perfectly nuanced. A very enjoyable piece.

Rating: 94%


The Maris Counsellor, May 14, 2010

Reviewer: Norm, Jr. from Somewhere, CA

A real gamut of tones is presented in this little adventure, from silent comedy to farce, farce to despondency. First we get a lesson in timing from Pierce, as he merrily prepares his boudoir for what he thinks is an encounter with Maris. Special unsung credit goes to Bob Dishy, the other actor, for his on-target jubilation in the same scene (his "gut check" and blowing of kisses was effective cornball). Following Niles' horrified discovery, he mentally collapses during a couple's therapy session, speaking in code about his own situation. The wind-up is at Frasier's, with the boys and Martin roasting their soured, solo existences in a very understated, impacting scene. Pierce really impresses with his post-weeping pathos (a real shock, for me, but wholly engaging), and an all-too-fitting demise for his wedding ring. The ONLY mis-step being the calling-into-the-night routine by the three stars, which reeked of an embarrassingly cutesy dejection. Otherwise, an episode that really turned a page in the show's development.

Rating: 93%


represents what was so good about this show., Jan 23, 2009

Reviewer: Trevor from San Jose, ca

I always felt that Frasier was more like a bunch of mini plays rather than just a normal sitcom. Which makes sense seeing that every main character on the show had theater roots and still do theater to this day. My favorite shows are when they allow Niles, Martin, and Frasier to deal with serious subject matters while still having humor throughout the episode. This was a classic example of one of those shows, and it's one my favorites. The scene at the end when the three of them have a drink toasting to themselves is classic.

Rating: 97%


Maris Cousellor, Jul 16, 2007

Reviewer: Daisy P. from London, England

Poor old Niles! I feel so sorry for him in this episode, the pain that Dr Shenkman caused him was so plain in his face when he was telling Frasier.

Rating: 92%


'The Maris Counsellor' review, Jun 26, 2005

Reviewer: Jocelyn from London, UK

A momentous episode that sees Niles finally standing up to Maris and putting an end to their marriage after he discovers she has been having an affair with their marriage counsellor, Dr. Schenkman. The manner is which he learns of this takes place in an exemplary piece of silent comedy as both Niles and Schenkman show up at Maris' bedroom, both taking turns to enter the room and assuming that the other person is Maris, only for the two of them to end up in bed together. For the most part though this is an episode not so much about big laughs but about strong characterisation and top notch acting, with David Hyde Pierce providing one of his finest performances in the scene where he unburdens his emotions whilst role-playing at a couple's therapy session. There's also a delightful closing scene with Niles, Frasier and Martin opening up a bottle scotch to compare, with good humour, their romantic failings. The last shot of the three of them standing on the balcony is lovely and at the end it's hard not to cheer for Niles as it seems he's finally broken free of the poisonous Maris once and for all.

Rating: 84%