I thought this episode was the season finale but, no, it’s not even halfway through the season.
As Kelsey Grammer realizes he’s still pining for station manager Mercedes Ruehl (they’ve behaved since their on-air tryst) and commits to doing something about it, Ruehl is accepting a transfer to Chicago. They’ve both been fantasizing about each other—a hilarious use of stock footage and some original, with an additional gag after Peri Gilpin makes the mistake of imagining the couple. She finally finds out Ruehl was Grammer’s partner for the on-air escapade, but doesn’t seem to remember she should be upset Grammer was getting busy with his negotiation adversary for Gilpin and the station personnel’s raises.
It works out real funny, just seems like a missed opportunity in Steven Levitan’s script but, what can you do, sitcom continuity.
After a good conversation scene with John Mahoney—David Hyde Pierce and Jane Leeves are there, but they have their own running comedy bit about old movies going—Grammer decides to tell Ruehl how he feels and see what happens.
It ends up being another fine showcase for Ruehl and Grammer, with some great dialogue and some funny twists. It’s not the best they’ve ever been together, but it’s a solid—albeit functional—episode. Grammer does a particularly good job as the romantic hero here, keeping enough of the character’s goofiness, but finding the heart under it all.
The ending tag is particularly cute too, because it involves Hyde Pierce doing physical comedy and the dog being the dog.