The episode opens at the coffee shop and it stands out because it’s the first time this season there’s been a coffee shop scene. Kelsey Grammer and David Hyde Pierce have a quick scene post “previously on” to talk about Grammer’s “tawdry” romance with boss Mercedes Ruehl. Ruehl then shows up, so exit Hyde Pierce, then in comes Peri Gilpin, and so exit Ruehl. Lots of quick character interactions and a setup—Grammer and Gilpin have to cover the night shift.
Covering the night shift is important because it leads to Ruehl and Grammer having a liaison live on air, which is pretty funny stuff on its own but then there’s how it impacts the supporting cast. Particularly Hyde Pierce. His reaction shots are the oomph of the punchline. Excellent stuff.
While the episode’s ostensibly the second part of a two-parter, it’s got a different credited writer (Joe Keenan), a different director (Philip Charles MacKenzie), and a somewhat different supporting cast. Apparently all the workplace troubles are over because only Dan Butler shows up at the station—besides Gilpin—where he congratulates Grammer for his on-air tryst. Gilpin rightly points out she doesn’t want to be hearing any more slut shaming from Grammer (I wonder if it holds from this point on).
Then the plot gets into the fall out and how it affects Grammer and Ruehl, professionally and personally.
John Mahoney’s got a subplot with an amorous romance novelist (Pamela Kosh) moving out of the building and trying to get him in her apartment. Lots of good material for Mahoney and it ties into the main plot quite nicely at the finish.
The episode’s quite good. Real funny, really good acting from Grammer and Ruehl and everyone else–Jane Leeves maybe gets the best moment embarrassing the erstwhile couple; it’s only a few seconds, but they’re all amazing.
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