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The Good Son is the first episode of Season 1 of Frasier.

Synopsis

PRODIGAL FUN -- Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer), the insecure, pompous, yet open-minded psychiatrist from "Cheers," leaves his Boston base and broken marriage and moves to his hometown of Seattle, WA, where he fills the radio airwaves with his own particular brand of advice. He is aided only by his call screener, Roz Doyle (Peri Gilpin), and a healthy dose of black coffee. Frasier looks forward to enjoying a quieter life and indulging his personal tastes in the apartment of his dreams -- until his brother, Niles (David Hyde Pierce), a snobbish, rival psychiatrist, informs him that their gruff father, Martin (John Mahoney), an ex-cop injured in the line of duty, cannot live on his own anymore. Reluctantly, Frasier agrees to take care of his father and soon begins to share his shattered solitude with Martin's dog, Eddie (Moose), and a semi-psychic home-care worker, Daphne Moon (Jane Leeves).

Plot

The Job

Dr. Frasier Crane moves from Boston, Massachusetts, to Seattle, Washington, his hometown. Here he begins his new job as a radio psychiatrist for the KACL radio station. There, he works with producer Roz Doyle.

The Brother

Although he is looking forward to restarting his life as a bachelor, unfortunately for him fate (and his younger brother, Dr. Niles Crane) have other plans.

The Father

His father Martin, a gruff, blue-collar ex-police detective has been invalided out of the police force owing to a hip injury received in the line of duty, which has had such an effect that he can now barely function by himself (although, with characteristic stubbornness, he attempts to anyway). After Martin slips in the shower, Niles has decided that Martin cannot live by himself, but he cannot live with Niles, either, as he does not get along with Niles' wife Maris . The only other alternative, save putting Martin in a retirement home, is for Frasier to take him in. Reluctant, as he and his father have never had a close relationship, Frasier nevertheless agrees to take Martin in. Unfortunately, he was not counting on Martin bringing along his favorite chair; a tatty, old split-pea green and mud-brown recliner that does not match Frasier's elegant, eclectic apartment.

Eddie

To make matters worse, he is also bringing along his best friend Eddie, a lively Jack Russell Terrier with a habit of staring at Frasier for hours on end. Frasier is soon at his wits' end; not only are he and his father clashing frequently, but Frasier is run off his feet trying to take care of Martin. Eventually, Niles agrees to step in and help, not by taking Martin in, but by agreeing to jointly pay for a home health care provider to take care of Martin when Frasier cannot.

The Home Care Specialist

Unfortunately, Martin's surly attitude plays against most of the applicants; that is, until he meets Daphne Moon, a friendly and sweet English woman who nevertheless puts Frasier off through her numerous eccentricities, most prominently the fact that she believes herself to be psychic. Martin, however, has taken a liking to her, and offers her the job, but through a mix-up, she believes the position to be live-in, which means that she will have to move into the apartment.

This is the last straw for Frasier: not only has he had to give up his space to Martin and Eddie, he must now give up more of his space to a complete stranger. A vicious argument between Martin and Frasier ensues; Martin angrily accuses Frasier of taking him in merely so that Frasier can feel like he's doing the right thing, and Frasier bitterly points out that he's nevertheless still tried to make a home for Martin, only to have his every effort put down and sneered at without even so much as a thank you. Martin seems to be about to say 'thank you', only to storm off, leaving a distance between the two.

Lupe Velez

The next day at work, Frasier is complaining about his troubles to Roz, who in turn tells him the story of Lupe Vélez, pointing out that although life might not go the way we plan it to, it can nevertheless work out anyway. Frasier then takes his next call, only to find that it is Martin on the line who, in explaining the problem, apologizes for his ungraciousness. Frasier in turn apologizes for his insensitivity, and Martin finally manages to say 'thank you' ("You hear what I said?! I said 'thank you'!"). Frasier then goes on to take a call from a woman, upset and tearful about breaking-up with her boyfriend, and proceeds to tell her the story of Lupe Vélez...

Ending

At every episode ending credits there is a short, funny resolution for the episode. Frasier, Martin and Daphne are watching TV while Eddie is looking at Frasier.

Starring

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

Co-Starring

Cleto Augusto as Delivery Man
Gina Ravarra as Waitress
and Moose as Eddie

Guest callers

Linda Hamilton as Claire
Griffin Dunne as Russell

Trivia

  • To make sure the viewers did not consider Frasier as a family deserter, the writers made sure that he reiterated that he missed Frederick throughout this episode.
  • The setup for Frasier would be an almost exact reversal of the original setup for Cheers. In Cheers, it was the sophisticated intellectual Diane Chambers joining a group of uneducated middle to lower class working people, and what a tough time she has fitting in, as well as the trouble they have accepting her. In Frasier, it is the working class common man (Martin) joining a group of intellectuals (Frasier and Niles) and attempting to get along.
  • Each episode has a different beginning title, to do with the Skyline of Seattle, which gets more varied per season. The pilot starts with; Blinking Red Light at top of Space Needle.
  • The title word Frasier is shown in different colors per season: Season One is a faded blue.
  • The Lupe Vélez story told in the episode, while popularly believed, is inaccurate.
  • Cleto Augusto is the actor who wheels in Martin's tattered recliner. He appears in only one other episode, also the series finale in which he plays the same character, and takes Martin's chair out of the apartment, wearing the same outfit.[1]
  • Linda Hamilton and Griffin Dunne are the first two 'callers' heard by the audience to Frasier's radio show. Hamilton later makes a guest appearance in the Season 4 finale "Odd Man Out" while Dunne appears as Bob, Frasier's "friend".

CONTINUITY

  • In this episode, Frasier and Martin have a fight over Frasier just wanting to hear "thank you" from Martin for allowing him to move in. Before Martin hugs Frasier goodbye in the finale, his line is "Thank you, Frasier."
  • When discussing the possibility of a live-in health care worker, Martin suggests the room across from his, Frasier's study for her to stay. In later episodes, Martin's room is shown to be on the same side of the apartment as Frasier's, whereas Daphne's is on the opposite side past the kitchen.
  • The series context is that Frasier's dad is an ex-cop and Frasier became a psychiatrist despite his father's desires. In the Cheers episode "Two Girls for Every Boyd," Frasier reveals that his father was a scientist and wanted him to become a psychiatrist; but he was reluctant to do so.

ACCOLADES

  • James Burrows won the DGA Award and the 1994 Emmy for directing the episode.[2]
  • The 1994 Emmy Award for Writing in a Comedy Series for this episode went to David Angell, Peter Casey and David Lee.[3]
  • For his performance in this episode Kelsey Grammer won the 1994 Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. This was his second nomination in this category and his first win.[4]

Photos

screenshots

Notes and references

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