The episode opens on David Hyde Pierce in couples therapy—Milo O’Shea plays the counselor—are we finally going to get an appearance from Maris. And if we’re not, what are we getting in compensation.
We get Kelsey Grammer. It’s a “Crane Brothers” team-up episode, complete with a list from dad John Mahoney to remind everyone of the previous team-ups. There was the book (in season one), the restaurant (in season two); the restaurant, Mahoney decides, was the stupidest. It’s a great bit.
Grammer and Hyde Pierce are both relating their side of the story to O’Shea, complete with appropriate embellishment. For example, when Grammer’s telling the story, Peri Gilpin thinks he’s just the smartest, most wonderful radio psychiatrist in existence; when Hyde Pierce is telling it, Jane Leeves is a lot sexier than in Grammer’s recollections.
Soon we get the story—Grammer, wishing he could spend more time with callers’ problems, and Hyde Pierce, sick of the other psychiatrist’s yell therapy in the office next door, decide Grammer should become Hyde Pierce’s tenant and occasional partner.
Things start getting tense over an office plant—giving Mahoney an “I told you so” moment with the audience—and then they try running group therapy together and everything blows up, landing them in O’Shea’s office.
It’s not all flashbacks in the O’Shea section, eventually they get to trust falls, which is an amazing scene.
Shrink Rap’s a good episode but seems a little hurried, like they rushed a “Crane Brothers” too soon (the restaurant episode was penultimate or second-to-penultimate last season so it’s only been a handful of episodes in between). Christopher Lloyd’s script has some great bits, but they’re just bits.