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Episode reviews for Episode 5.02 - The Gift Horse

Avg. Viewer Review: 92.8%
Number of Reviews: 9

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Quite a Bolshoi artist yourself, May 11, 2013

Reviewer: Sammy J from Melbourne, Australia

"Everyone kisses better than Maris" -- Niles Crane

I really appreciate the character of Sherry Dempsey. I'm glad she wasn't a longtime choice, but she really fits perfectly. A great partner to Martin, and an interesting exploration of the psyches of Niles, Frasier, and Daphne. "The Gift Horse" continues to exemplify why season 5 is such a highlight. The chemistry between the characters is perfectly constructed. Roz forcing Frasier to kiss her at Cafe Nervosa would've been unimaginable in season 1. Martin coming around to the idea of encouraging sibling rivalry ("you only turn sixty-five once") would have been similarly unlikely. And Daphne is so well-placed in the family here; she's able to understand Martin and Frasier (and their relationship) in the way they're not yet able to appreciate each other.

What could have been just another in the long-running saga of Niles and Frasier one-upping each other instead becomes an hysterical but deep analysis of the three Crane men. Each of the brothers comes up with a great gift while pretending they didn't (how exactly they planned to save face when the birthday came about, I don't know), but amidst their bickering, they come to realise that there is something more important than their childhood insecurities. The closing scene at the stables, where Martin comes clean to his sons about his feelings of self-doubt, is perfectly modulated. And the cherry on top is that the horse and the memories it brings are not the only issues. Martin points out that there is more going on in his mind; this situation has just set it off. Few if any of the classic '90s sitcoms could attest to this level of character creation.

Two further thoughts:
* The script is restricted solely to the five main characters and Sherry, which reminds me of how much faith the writers had in the cast at this point in the series run.
* Do they even MAKE televisions that big?

Rating: 100%


A Standout Episode, Mar 08, 2012

Reviewer: RSJ from Newbury, BERKSHIRE ENG

Having just finished watching the episode, and enjoyed it so much I couldn’t help but put a little review on here.

I thought this was a great little episode; it had as always laugher but sometimes forgotten is the story. This episode showed a little past of Martin and what he was like in the police force; I felt this episode focused more around Martin - usually its Frasier. I am happy to watch this episode many times over, all the actors were fab.

Rating: 96%


she's a beaut, Jun 16, 2011

Reviewer: john williams from middlesbrough, england

absolute excellence all the way through.

Rating: 100%


Great acting from David Hyde Pierce, Apr 19, 2011

Reviewer: Shane from london

A decent enough episode however my major comment is on David Hyde Pierce comic acting.

I've seen every episode of Fraiser a good 5 or 6 times now. When I sit down to watch an episode now, i usually know what the next funny one liner's going to be. I am growing more appriceative of the visual aspect of the show.

David Hyde Pierce (playing Niles) is by far the best phyisical comedy actor. Over the last month, watching on Fraiser the seires on Comedy Central, I have really began to notice this more.

And he gives his best ever comedy reaction in this episode.

His acting and facial expression as he slowly notices Fraisers big screen TV is remarkable. He gives a peerless quadraple take, whilst shallowing subtlyi, then looks on at the tv, frozen to the spot in stunned, disgusted silence. i actaully wished they kept that silence uninteruptted for a good 10-15 seconds longer, just to hammer home his sheer disstain, shock and appal.

The acting is so good that i rewound the tv 8 or 9 times to watch it again and again.
It's priceless, truly priceless. I knowing the character of Niles, I as a veiwer just knows all the mental thoughts going throught Niles head. It made me, a fully grown 20-something year old man from the city, weep me with unbridal joy.

Absolutely perfectly executed from an actor, who had grown comfortable in his 5th year of playing the character of Niles and used all character acting experience to pull off the perfect Niles response to seeing such a "ghastly eyesore".

As i said eariler, this is David Hyde Pierce best comic reaction moment, however as i am now noticing things, i may find a better one later on in the serires. (though i highly doubt it)

Rating: 88%


Good ep, Aug 29, 2010

Reviewer: Red from India

Good episode... funny, very touching.

Rating: 95%


The Gift Horse, May 14, 2010

Reviewer: Norm, Jr. from Somewhere, CA

The writers at least take the sibling rivalry bit into a new direction, as here, F & N try and one-up each other over Martin's birthday gift. Comparisons on size, price, obiding by "buying" rules, it's all good stuff. The perfect pinnacle is reached when Frasier "Stonehenges" his living room with the tackiest of snob atrocities. They do actually make some time for heart toward the end, and suprise us, yet again, with their deft weaving of brittle battles that flow into sensitive pathos. Endearing, if a little light, second ep of the season.

Rating: 90%


Classic Frase, Dec 22, 2007

Reviewer: Sepheryn from Northern Ireland

Yet more classic Frasier. I just love how Niles and Frasier compete to get the best gift for Martin. So funny when Niles tells Frasier he bought Martin's beloved Agides for him.

'We'll take Dad by the stable so he can look his gift horse in the mouth.' Hah.

Rating: 98%


Review for 'The Gift Horse', Feb 13, 2006

Reviewer: Nick from North Wales, U.K.

A fine return to form with the competitiveness between the Crane brothers when purchasing Martin a gift providing much of the humour. There is also a funny scene when Frasier decides to buy a big screen T.V. complete with speakers. The denouement is sombre as Martin talks to his aging police horse and realises just how much time has passed.

Rating: 84%


'The Gift Horse' review, Jun 20, 2005

Reviewer: Jocelyn from London, UK

It's Frasier/Niles rivalry time again as, for the occasion of Martin's 65th birthday, they find themselves competing with each other over who can buy him the most expensive gift. This leads to an increasingly desperate Frasier fitting his apartment with a hideous big screen TV, complete with an equally enormous set of speakers ('It's Stone Henge!') only for Niles to retaliate by buying Martin's old horse, Agides. This is another great episode with some big laughs derived from the present buying as well as Sherry burdening Daphne with all the preparations. There are also some poignant moments here such as when Frasier and Niles turn up at the stables to find their father talking to Agides about the sadness of ageing which is nicely mixed with some funny moments such as when Martin pretends he doesn't know that his sons are standing behind him as well as Frasier telling his brother how many minutes of happiness Agides had brought thier father by stamping his foot down like a horse. In the end, Niles makes a nice gesture to his brother by telling his dad that the horse is a gift from the both of them which, combined with some great little moments such as Roz kissing Niles ('Everyone kisses better than Maris!'), Eddie leaping up and down in front of Frasier's newspaper and the sight of a horse licking Niles' face, make this a rewarding episode that's warm, funny and very touching.

Rating: 84%