Frasier (1993) s05e08 – Desperately Seeking Closure

After surviving a whole episode as Kelsey Grammer’s love interest, Lindsay Frost dumps him at the beginning of this one, setting Grammer off on a self-reflection whine arc for the whole show.

It’s an on-point episode as far as the character goes—Grammer’s done an obsessing episode at least once before, if not twice. Last time it wasn’t about being dumped, however.

Grammer’s good at being whiney and annoying—actually, the episode provides a fairly comprehensive list of character defects in a hilarious sequence (Peri Gilpin and Jane Leeves cracking up at the jokes in scene)—but it’s fairly tiresome given there aren’t any subplots. John Mahoney and Leeves get a joke to themselves and David Hyde Pierce gets a coffee shop anecdote at the start. Otherwise, it’s all about Grammer and what’s wrong with him. Wait, I forgot. There’s a good remote control bit and it’s the second funniest thing in the episode after the character defect scene.

There’s an eventual okay character arc from it, but in the meantime there’s just a lot of whining. Rob Hanning’s got the writer credit. He asks a lot of the actors to pull it off. They pull it off for sure—and Pamela Fryman’s direction is excellent—but it’s a fairly thin story about Grammer coming to terms with different expectations for the relationship with Frost.

Despite getting to come back for a second appearance as a Grammer love interest, a rare feat, Frost gets practically nothing to do until the last scene and even then it’s playing off Grammer being absurd. The stuff with Grammer namedropping all the celebrities he gets to meet thanks to dating famous attorney Frost (who shouldn’t be in town after the month they’ve been dating because last episode established she was just there temporarily)… I mean, Hyde Pierce being annoying with Grammer being a shallow star f*cker is good because Hyde Pierce is great at expressions and his timing of them, but they're smiles, not laughs.

Hanning can’t seem to do laughs, just smiles and monotony.

Still, the scene where Grammer forces the cast to have an intervention with him is pretty hilarious, with Mahoney, Leeves, and Gilpin all getting to shine. Hyde Pierce is excellent in it too, but the others get all the best material.

It’s fine. Well-acted, really well-directed, okay script. It’s just a bit of a cop out as far as a resolve on the relationship between Grammer and Frost. Especially since Grammer spent the entire last two and a half seasons whining about not being able to get a date.

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