S2 E5: Duke’s, We Hardly Knew Ye

fd s02 e05 00Airdate: October 18, 1994
Director: James Burrows
Writer: Linda Morris, Vic Rauseo
(episode transcript)

Opening thoughts:
More than one of my discerning and generous facebook (click that to “like” Frasier Denied) friends sent me this link of Frasier bloopers. I now give it to you.

Now, here’s a Martin episode.

Episode Synopsis:
The Frasier Crane Show is on the air. Frasier says that Roz has an important announcement. He turns to introduce her for it, but she is not there. He reads the announcement from her notes; goes to commercial break.

Out in the hall, Roz is beating on the vending machine, trying to get some chocolate. She explains that she has just completed a “7-day magazine diet” to make herself calmer and healthier.
fd s02 e05 01I don’t suppose Frasier relies too often on generic contrast gags (this one being between Roz’s psychotic breakdown and the “calm” in the description of the diet), otherwise this would get under my skin more.
fd s02 e05 02Niles enters. He asks Frasier if he wants in on a real estate flip with a 12% return. Roz does a quick Freudian analysis of Niles– she asserts that he is trying to make up for being emasculated by Maris by demonstrating some financial competence.

fd s02 e05 04(I want to note that two previous jokes about the Cranes’ chosen schools of psychology have contradicted each other, leaving us uncertain as to whether Frasier is of the Freudian school. I mention it because if he were, it would make this funnier. In fact, Frasier Denied is going to officially recognize that he is, because Niles’ joke about there being “no blaming it on mother today” was more recent—and 100 times funnier—than Frasier self-identifying as “Jung at heart.”)
fd s02 e05 03Niles doesn’t care. He asks again. Frasier agrees.

Scene 2
At home, Martin is cutting coupons. As one might. Daphne emerges in a very nice dress, part-way through preparations for her third date with the never-seen Derek.
fd s02 e05 05The doorbell rings. Daphne answers. Niles identifies her fragrance by name. It’s interesting to me that this is painted as a way for Niles to show his affection for Daphne. I don’t mean that in a Denis Leary, “I’d punch a man if he said I had nice jeans” kind of way—quite the opposite.
fd s02 e05 06I completely get it in the context of real life. With our twenty-two minute dosages of this reality, though, does that hold up? I suppose it does—Niles probably only knows this because he’s studied Daphne’s perfumes specifically, not because of a seasoned knowledge of fragrance in general.

Daphne exits to wash off her perfume.

Niles tells Frasier the good news that their real estate scheme is now expected to return 15%. They decide to celebrate with dinner. Martin invites them to Duke’s. He exits.
fd s02 e05 08Frasier and Niles are dumbfounded. Martin has never once betrayed the slightest inkling to be seen with either of his sons at his favorite bar—nor their mother when she was alive. They discuss it with Daphne. She tells them they should just go.

Scene 3
At Duke’s, it’s packed. Frasier and Niles enter. They notice Martin and remark at how happy he is. Martin’s friends know Frasier from his radio show.

The bartender pours Frasier and Niles some boilermakers.
fd s02 e05 09Martin silences the entire bar to make a toast (have you ever done that? I’ve never done that). Martin explains in his speech that Duke’s is being torn down and replaced with a mini-mall.

Scene 4
At Café Nervosa, Frasier and Niles are discussing how there is no way for them to convince the developers to move the project to a new site. Roz returns to the table; gives Frasier a cappuccino and Niles a latte. She says the coffees are on her.

The brothers continue to discuss their dilemma. Roz’s advice is to keep it quiet. They agree.
fd s02 e05 10

Scene 6
It’s the middle of the night at the apartment, Eddie is asleep on Martin’s chair. Frasier enters from his bedroom. He switches on the “Duke’s” bar sign, which is on top of the piano, and begins to tell Eddie of his troubles. Eddie hurriedly runs out of the room. Martin enters. He admires the bar sign as it blinks. Frasier follows him into the kitchen and confesses that the real estate deal is the reason that Duke’s is getting demolished. He explains that he and Niles didn’t know when they signed up for it and that they tried to change it but couldn’t.
fd s02 e05 11

Martin is mad that they didn’t speak up at the bar—or at least tell him. He says he might have gone to Duke’s too often when Frasier and Niles were kids. Frasier says it meant a lot to have that drink with his father. There is a tender pause.

Martin suggests that they go to the shelled-out Duke’s with their own open container, since the wrecking ball won’t be hitting until the next morning.

Daphne enters. It’s obvious that she had some special sexy time fun on her date.

Scene 7
At the place formerly known as Duke’s, Martin and Frasier are sitting on crates, singing songs.
fd s02 e05 13Martin tells stories of good times that he has had at the bar. Frasier talks about Cheers. He never says the name on this show. I guess it’s for the sake of mystique. After all, they never said “The Cosby Show” on A Different World, am I right?
fd s02 e05 14It’s dawn. Niles runs in. He intends to stop the demolition. He gives a short, impassioned speech about how bars like Duke’s are important to good people.

The wrecking ball actually comes through the window.

Frasier and Martin run away. Niles hesitates, then runs away.
fd s02 e05 15

Credits vignette:
Nine of Martin’s buddies are drinking at the apartment. Frasier sprays air freshener, puts down coasters, etc. It’s just like the end of the Flintstones when the cat puts Fred outside.

Closing thoughts:
It’s good to see actual changes happen. Taking down Duke’s forces the Frasier crew to stop falling back on the same narrative nooks and crannies—now Martin will have to change his behavior, either by finding a new place to go or beginning to participate in other activities (such as dating, one would hope).

Unnecessary conflicts:

Continuity errors:
Roz could scarcely have exited the control room without Frasier noticing.

# of women Frasier has dated:
Episode: [0]   previous cumulative: [3]   series cumulative: [3]

# of women Frasier has slept with:
Episode: [0]   previous cumulative: [1]   series cumulative: [1]

# of jokes about how Roz sleeps with everyone:
Episode: [1]   previous cumulative: [14]   series cumulative: [15]

# of actual references to Roz sleeping with someone:
Episode: [1]   previous cumulative: [4]   series cumulative: [5]

# of “Dad’s chair is awful” jokes:
Episode: [0]   previous cumulative: [11]   series cumulative: [11]

# of times Frasier shouts “NILES!”:
Episode: [2]   previous cumulative: [13]   series cumulative: [15]

# of mentions of Maris:
Episode: [3]   previous cumulative: [74]   series cumulative: [77]

# of times Frasier or Niles (both psychiatrists) exhibit mentally ill tendencies:
Episode: [0]   previous cumulative: [16]   series cumulative: [16]

# of tender pauses:
Episode: [1]   previous cumulative: [13]   series cumulative: [14]

# of times Niles has smiled:
[Episode: [1]   previous cumulative: [7]   series cumulative: [8]

Kind of great TV moments:

Kind of great Frasier moments:
Martin and Frasier sitting in an abandoned building drinking beers is nothing short of fabulous.

TV Guide version (© Netflix): For years, Martin has been a regular at Duke’s, a local watering hole that Frasier and Niles have never seen.”
fd s02 e05 1666