Sunday, November 06, 2016

A Hunka Hunka Burning Love

Frasier (Kelsey Grammer): You know, I've been thinking of sending him someplace.

Niles (David Hyde Pierce): Like a resort?

Frasier: Like to live with you.

Niles: Oh, yes, the last resort.

Frasier's (Kelsey Grammer) problems with relationships that failed were well known, but his greater problems may have been with relationships that worked.

Case in point — the Frasier episode that first aired on this night in 2001, "Bla–Z–Boy."

Over breakfast one morning, it was observed by Martin (John Mahoney) that it was the eighth anniversary of his moving in with Frasier. Niles pointed out that Frasier's marriage didn't last eight years, and the conversation evolved into a determination that, if Frasier and Martin were a man and a woman, they would be common–law spouses. Further discussion determined that, when you included the time Frasier spent in Martin's home before he went to college, they had been living together for 26 years.

The subject really rubbed Frasier the wrong way, especially after Roz (Peri Gilpin) observed at the cafe that, after a conversation about coffee that they had had frequently in the past, they argued like an old married couple. It didn't help when Martin said, "See how he talks to me? And on our anniversary."

At one point, Frasier was watching a documentary on TV, but Martin kept distracting him by eating pretzels and adjusting his chair, which made an annoying squeaking sound. Frasier finally gave up and left the apartment to go for a walk. Anyway, Martin tried to correct the problem with the chair by oiling it but accidentally spilled some oil on Frasier's recently cleaned carpet. That, of course, had Frasier up in arms.

Martin insisted it had been an accident, but Frasier, in a typical psychiatrist's fashion, said there were no accidents. Martin continued to say it was an accident, that it wasn't malicious, as Frasier suggested.

Frasier said he didn't think Martin knew the difference between an accident and a malicious act. Martin walked over to Frasier and said that he did. The stain on the rug was an accident, he said, then pointing the oil bottle at Frasier and squeezing it several times, spraying oil on Frasier, he said, "This is malicious!"

Frasier had to replace the carpet, which necessitated moving the possessions from the living room to the balcony while the carpet was being installed. That included Martin's chair, which was positioned where the sun, shining through Frasier&aspos;s telescope could set it on fire.

And it did.

When Niles and Frasier realized what was happening, they ran out on the balcony and tried to put out the fire. But the chair toppled over and crashed on the sidewalk, just in front of Martin and Daphne (Jane Leeves) as they were returning from their walk.

(I'm not sure of this, but I think that was the only time the sidewalk in front of Frasier's building was ever seen. At least, I can't think of another episode when it was seen.)

Frasier claimed it had been an accident, but Martin reminded him that he had said there were no accidents.

Niles tried to mediate. He tried to get the two of them talking, but the effort failed. "You do this for a living, do you?" his father asked derisively.

Matters had reached a critical mass, and Martin tried to make amends by purchasing a new chair, one he thought Frasier would like. And he did.

But Frasier had something else in mind. He had reconstructed Martin's chair. It wasn't being made anymore, but he took some pictures of the old chair to a craftsman who re–created it. As for the material, he tracked down the manufacturer and, after forcing them to admit they made it, he had them re–weave it.

The result was that Martin's chair, the one Frasier had loathed from the beginning, was now the most expensive piece of furniture in the apartment.

Frasier seemed to have come to terms with his feelings about his relationship with his father. He offered to take his father, Niles and Daphne out to dinner, observing as they were leaving the apartment that he bet they could get free pie if they told the waitress it was their anniversary.

"Bla–Z–Boy" won the 2002 Emmy for outstanding sound mixing in a comedy series or special.