Sunday, May 22, 2016

A Caribbean Cliffhanger

As the eighth season of Frasier drew to a close on this night in 2001 with the episode "Cranes Go Caribbean," Frasier was finally dating the girl of his dreams, Claire (Patricia Clarkson), after being set up with her by his high school heartthrob, Lana (Jean Smart), in exchange for tutoring Lana's son to a good grade in history and was planning a weekend getaway in Belize.

Niles (David Hyde Pierce) and Daphne (Jane Leeves) were going to mark one year of being a couple, and Niles had plans involving a bathtub filled with champagne in his apartment, but Daphne overheard Niles and Frasier talking about Frasier's planned trip to Belize, and she got the idea they were really talking about a trip for Daphne and Niles.

As a result, Niles felt obligated to take her to Belize, too. Martin (John Mahoney), as it turned out, was also going — to do some fishing.

Thus, the entire Crane household would be together in Belize, where Frasier had intended to have some alone time with Claire.

Getting there was not an easy accomplishment, either. Frasier nearly missed his flight because Lana, who had given him a ride to the airport, was involved in an accident en route. His flight was delayed, and his reservation was given to someone else so the room he and Claire had been expecting was not available for them when they finally arrived.

On top of that Frasier had temporarily lost his hearing because of the pressure. Until his ears finally popped, he had to yell in order to hear himself.

Things went from bad to worse from there. At dinner, Frasier continued to pick. The restaurant was out of fresh fish. Frasier found it ironic that they could be seated only feet from the ocean but could not eat fresh fish.

Claire returned to their room, and Frasier, fearing she would cut her trip short and return to Seattle, followed her, hoping to convince her to stay.

As it turned out, Claire hadn't intended to leave. She just wasn't obsessing about a perfect weekend the way Frasier had been. Every minute didn't have to be perfect. All she wanted was for the two of them to have fun.

That night Frasier dreamed he had told Claire that he was happy — only to discover it was not Claire but Lana in his bed — and to whom he had just said he was happy.

Frasier began to wonder which woman he truly wanted — so he went downstairs to place a phone call to someone who he thought could help clarify things for him — his ex–wife Lilith (Bebe Neuwirth).

Nothing was really resolved, other than the already apparent fact that Frasier liked a challenge, and viewers were left to ponder which one Frasier would pursue when the next season began.

Lana or Claire?