It’s another great episode for David Hyde Pierce. He shares the spotlight, but with Jane Leeves and the guest stars, with Kelsey Grammer and John Mahoney supporting the A plot. Their B plot involves staring contests with Eddie the dog. The A plot’s where it’s at.
Christopher Lloyd’s the credited writer and outside his easy jokes about Roz (Peri Gilpin) being promiscuous—the one about Dr. Roz and the Gabor method after Gilpin tells Leeves, who’s just been through a breakup, not to miss a man who doesn’t buy jewelry or perform well in the sack, is technically easy but also inventive—Lloyd writes an outstanding script. Great direction from Jeff Melman too. Melman toggles from sitcom laughs to sincerity quite well, though Hyde Pierce and Leeves do all the hard work. And there are still laughs, just different ones.
The episode opens with Leeves coming home after being dumped and Grammer, Mahoney, and Hyde Pierce all trying to comfort her. In that order because Grammer and Mahoney don’t want to let Hyde Pierce get too hands on while hugging her. Eventually Gilpin shows up because it’s a sitcom and she and Leeves go and commiserate properly.
Leeves’s new single status inspires Hyde Pierce—still indefinitely separated from Maris—to tell her how he feels, only to have Grammer strongly caution him. Give it a day to think about it, Grammer tells him, which becomes a familiar suggestion even after Hyde Pierce and Grammer find out—the next night—Leeves has found a new fellow. She and Gilpin went to a singles bar.
Upset with Grammer, Hyde Pierce calls Gilpin and asks her to take him to the same bar—turns out Gilpin’s an always successful wing-woman at this place. There, Hyde Pierce meets Allison Mackie and the two hit it off.
Fast forward three dates and Hyde Pierce is introducing Mackie to Grammer and Mahoney. Leeves brings home her new beau—Kevin Farrell—who turns out to be a clone of Hyde Pierce, leading to some great laughs for Grammer and Mahoney, then Hyde Pierce once he sees the resemblances.
There are a lot of good Grammer and Hyde Pierce bicker banter laughs before the twist and resolve, with the resolve being where Melman and Lloyd get to showoff their dramatic chops, all thanks to Hyde Pierce and Leeves’s excellent performances.
It’s a great spotlight for Hyde Pierce and showcase for the cast and show in general. Another exemplar “Frasier.”
Also—it’s awesome to see he and Gilpin get some additional time together. Even when they do have occasion to interact, it always seems hurried, this episode they get to take their time.