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Retirement Is Murder is the 13th episode of Season 2 of Frasier.


UNSOLVED MISERY – Frasier and Niles take Martin to a Sonics game in order to take his mind off of the 20-year-old unsolved "Weeping Lotus" murder. Later, however, Frasier can't resist arranging the photographic evidence in order for Martin to conclude that the killer was an unusual suspect.


Martin has been reexamining the murder of a prostitute, Helen, from 20 years ago that he failed to solve as a cop. Known as "The Weeping Lotus Murder", it has drawn him back to the case files more than once, but this time he has been obsessing over it much more than before. Frasier and Niles try to take his mind off of the case by taking him to a Sonics-Knicks basketball game, but he is still fixated with it. When he steps out of the game to make a phone call about the case, Frasier is frustrated and asks Martin why the case has become so important after 20 years. Martin reveals that he promised Helen's mother that he would find the killer, and she is now an old woman living at a retirement home without much time left, so he is feeling more time pressure this time.

Later, Frasier, now more sympathetic to Martin's plight, takes a look at the case files himself along with Niles and Daphne when Martin goes to bed. He takes particular interest in one of the persons of interest: Clive Brisbane, an animal trainer who was in a relationship with Helen and stills runs a show with trained monkeys; he was dismissed as a suspect because he was seen by several witnesses at a racetrack at the time of the murder. Frasier comes up with the out of the box theory that Brisbane trained one of his monkeys to shoot Helen with the gun while he was at the racetrack, giving himself an alibi. Frasier, however, realizes that all they have is a theory, and even if it's right, it could hurt Martin's pride that they solved it after he was unable to all these years. Frasier opts to help Martin see the connection himself by laying out the case file photos in such an order that they will point to this conclusion. Martin then comes back and, looking at the photos again, excitedly comes up with a theory.

The next day, Martin goes to the police station to present his new theory. Frasier starts feeling guilty about leading him to the monkey theory, finding it more and more farfetched. Martin comes back, saying the detectives thought he was crazy. Frasier comes clean and admits that he rearranged the photos to guide him, but Martin isn't mad at him since he still presented it of his own free will. Then, a detective colleague of Martin's, Frank Hollings, arrives and tells Martin that his theory was right after all, and he's brought some more cops to congratulate him. While Frasier and Daphne are out of the room, Martin tells the cops about how he came up with it - and it's revealed that his theory wasn't that Brisbane did it, but Detective Shelby, the vice detective who discovered the body. Martin realized it when he looked at a crime scene photo, which showed that Helen had written "HELP" in the ground next to her; Martin figured that she was trying to write Shelby's name, but died while writing the B and then something covered up the S. Frank tells Martin that Shelby confessed almost as soon as they brought him in for questioning. Frasier returns to the room and, at Martin's urging, tells the cops how he came up with the killer monkey theory. They explain what really happened, and make jokes about the idea of a killer monkey. Frasier tries to get in on it by referencing Inherit the Wind, but is met with silence.


  • Strangers in a Strange Land
  • Use a Monkey, Go to Jail


Kelsey Grammer as Frasier Crane
Jane Leeves as Daphne Moon
David Hyde Pierce as Niles Crane
Peri Gilpin as Roz Doyle
and John Mahoney as Martin Crane

Special Appearance By

Dan Butler as Bulldog

Guest starring

Ron Dean as Frank Collins


Bill Gratton as Leo
Hale Porter as Al
Randy Kovitz as Fan

Guest caller

Mary Steenburgen as Marjorie


  • A restaurant Niles and Frasier plan to attend called Le Cochon Noir is mentioned