01x07 - Call Me Irresponsible

Act One.

Scene One: The Frasier Crane Show.
Frasier is at his console.

Frasier: [into mike] It's 4:25 and this is Dr. Frasier Crane. Roz, who's
our next caller?
Roz: We have Hank on line three. He's having trouble with his
neighbors.
Frasier: Hello Hank. I'm listening.
Hank: Am I on?
Frasier: Yes, you are on the air.
Hank: Hello, am I on?
Frasier: Hank, listen. Turn down your radio and just talk into your
phone.
Hank: Hello?
Frasier: Listen, Hank please, you won't be able to hear yourself, we're
on a seven-second delay.
Hank: Hello, can you hear me?
Frasier: Oh, for crying out loud. [hangs up on Hank] Thank you, Hank.
People, would you please turn off your damn radios. [Roz
immediately starts making very large “NO” gestures] No, I mean
just those of you who are calling in! Roz, who's our next caller?
Roz: We have Marco on line two. He's having problems with his
relationship.
Frasier: Hello Marco. I'm listening.
Marco: Well, I uh, I started seeing this woman two years ago. I think
it was two years. Um, it was around Thanksgiving. Yeah, yeah,
yeah, right. The leaves were off the trees and the...
Frasier: Close enough. What is your problem, Marco?
Marco: Well, it's not really my problem, it's more like her problem.
Lately she keeps pressing me for a commitment.
Frasier: What's holding you back?
Marco: I don't know, I just... I guess I just want to keep my options
open. You know, in case somebody better comes along.
Frasier: "Somebody better comes along.” Somebody better comes along?!
Marco, Marco, Marco, do you hear yourself?
Marco: No, I turned my radio off after you blasted that other guy.
Frasier: Well listen, I suggest you give your motives a thorough examination,
and if you can't commit, it's best for both of you to break
it off. Thank you for your call. [hangs up] Tell me listeners,
what is it with guys like that? Hey Roz, you've been around
the block a few times. You ever run into a guy like Marco?
Roz: Oh, they're all Marcos. You can't swing a dead cat without
hitting a Marco.
Frasier: Come on. I mean, if that were so, then no-one would be having
a relationship.
Roz: Well, I'm not. My sister's not. None of my friends are. I've
seen the future, and its name is Marco.
Frasier: What do you think, Seattle? Are there any non-Marcos out
there? Or is Roz here destined to live a life of hopeless,
loveless spinsterhood? Back after this.

He goes off the air.

Roz: Gee, I just love it when you include me in your show.

FADE OUT

'TWAS TWO MONTHS
BEFORE CHRISTMAS...

Scene Two: Frasier's apartment.
The fireplace is decorated with all the Christmas trappings. In front
of it is a tree to which Martin is hanging a final bauble.

Martin: This is really weird. It’s not even Halloween yet. Do we really
have to do this now?
Daphne: [setting up a camera] If we're going to have a picture for the
Christmas card, we’ve got to make it look like Christmas.
Martin: I don't know why we just can't do what my wife and I did - put
Frasier and Niles in matching sweaters and sit them on the hood
of the old Packard.
Daphne: Well, this year we're going to be a little more artistic, right?
Martin: Where the hell is Frasier anyway? I could use some help here.
Daphne: He's still napping. My grandfather used to nap every afternoon.
He lived to be ninety-three.
Martin: Really?
Daphne: He'd lie there on the sofa, and you couldn't wake him for the
world. Grammy would say "He might as well be a dead man."
Then of course, one day, we couldn't wake him. He really
was a dead man. Poor Grammy. For weeks she'd keep insisting,
"He's napping, he's napping".
Martin: Okay. I'm going to turn it on. [plugs in fairy lights]
Daphne: Oh, it's lovely.

She starts singing, Martin joins in.

Both: "Deck the halls with boughs of holly;
Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!
'Tis the season to be jolly;
Fa-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la!" etc.

The carol continues as Frasier comes in, still groggy from his nap.
He looks around, at a loss.

Frasier: Excuse me, excuse me. [they stop singing] Exactly how long
have I been asleep?
Martin: Oh good, you're up. Now we can get this picture taken.
Frasier: What picture?
Daphne: The picture for the Christmas card. We told you about it last
week, remember?
Frasier: Oh, oh right.
Daphne: [handing out woolen hats] Now the theme this year is “Santa's
Workshop.” Everybody put on your little elf hats.
Frasier: I am not putting this on my head. For God's sake, I mean, I'm
a respected professional.
Martin: [wearing his] But if you don't, it'll look stupid.
Frasier: Oh, I think the ship has already sailed on that one.
Martin: Just put the hat on, Frasier.
Frasier: You can't tell me what to do.
Martin: I am telling you, look, put the hat on.
Frasier: No, look, the days are past when you can just sit me on top
of some stupid old Packard and make me wear matching sweaters
with my little brother.
Daphne: Boys, boys please. Don't fight. Are you forgetting what day
it is?
Frasier: It's October 21st!
Martin: Can we just get the picture taken, please?

Daphne sets the camera timer and gets into the group huddle.

Daphne: Alright, I've got it all set. Fifteen seconds, gents. [realises]
Oh, wait. There's something missing. Where's Eddie?
Martin: Oh, he's in the bathroom, getting a drink. EDDIE!

To the sound of sleigh bells, Eddie appears. To Frasier's ire,
he has reindeer antlers tied to his head. The camera flashes.

Frasier: Well, I can always pray there's a postal strike.

FADE TO:

M&M;'s AND SYMPATHY

Scene Three: Radio Studio
Frasier is finishing his show.

Frasier: [on air] Well, that's just about it for today. This is Dr.
Frasier Crane, saying go on out there and make it a great
evening, Seattle.

He goes off the air. Roz enters with one of his studio portraits
and a pen.]

Roz: Hey, before you go, there's a fan in the hall who'd like your
autograph.
Frasier: Oh, God. Save me from my adoring fans.

He signs the photo then looks out of the window to see a beautiful woman
(Catherine) waving at him.

Frasier: Ooh... ooh, but not from the adorable ones.

He exits into the corridor.

Frasier: Hello. Ah, my producer told me you wanted an autograph. Ah, how should
I make this out?
Catherine: You disgust me! You parasitic fraud!
Frasier: Well, that's certainly different from the usual “Best Regards.”
[moves to escape]
Catherine: Wait a minute, don't walk away from me. For once you're going
to face the consequences of what happens after you hang up on
your callers.
Frasier: What consequences? What are you talking about?
Catherine: I'm Marco's girlfriend. Excuse me - ex-girlfriend, thanks to
you.
Frasier: Marco? You mean the Marco who-didn't-want-to-commit Marco?

He goes into the booth and she follows him.

Catherine: Ah, you damn radio shrinks! You couldn't just tell him to
stick with it. That kind of advice doesn't get big ratings.
No, “break up with her, get on with your life and ruin hers.”
Now that's entertainment.
Frasier: Now just hold on one minute. Did you actually listen to the
show?
Catherine: ...No. But Marco told me what you said.
Frasier: Oh he did, did he? Did he also mention that he said that he
was only staying with you to “keep his options open?” Because
that's what he told me. To be exact, he said he was only
staying with you “until somebody better came along.”
Catherine: He said that?
Frasier: He said that to most of Seattle. Apparently you're the only
one who missed it.
Catherine: So, it wasn't that he didn't want to commit. He just didn't
want to commit to me. [starts to cry]
Frasier: Well I'm... I'm terribly sorry I had to tell you. But, um, at
least now you know the truth. Oh, no-no-no, don't cry. You're
in a place of business here.

With his usual tact, he places a folder over the mike to protect it
from her tears.

Catherine: Ooh, boy, I can really pick 'em, can't I?
Frasier: Oh no, don't go there. Look, this is not your fault. You are
a terrifically attractive young woman - I mean, maybe a bit
overemotional...
Catherine: [buries her head in Frasier's shoulder] OOHH!
Frasier: [hugging her] Oh, yes. There, there. Shh... listen, can I...
can I get you something?
Catherine: No.
Frasier: A drink of water?
Catherine: No.
Frasier: [lost, looks around and sees the candy machine] M&M;'s?
Catherine: [they break] Plain or peanut?
Frasier: Whichever you like.
Catherine: Peanut.

He goes to the vending machine in the corridor. She follows.

Catherine: I should have seen this coming. I mean, the guy
practically had a coronary when I brought a toothbrush over
to keep at his apartment.
Frasier: [handing over packet] Here.
Catherine: Thank you. You want one?
Frasier: Ah, no thanks. Ah, why don't you have a seat here. [indicates
chair]
Catherine: Thank you. [sits crossed-legged]
Frasier: But listen, if... if he was that resistant, why did you stay
with him?
Catherine: I had a lot invested in him.
Frasier: Yes, but that's no reason to settle for someone who isn't madly
in love with you.
Catherine: Well, right now I'm not sure there are any men out there who
are actually capable of falling madly in love.
Frasier: Of course there are. You know, at the most basic level men and
women are the same. We both need to be loved, and to love someone,
we both want to feel that we matter to someone and that someone
matters to us. And making a commitment to another human being
is the ultimate expression of our humanity.
Catherine: Wow. Your wife is really lucky.
Frasier: I'm sure she'd say the same thing, especially now that our
marriage is over... well, maybe I will have one of those M&M;'s.
[takes packet, helps himself]
Catherine: Oh, boy. Why are relationships always so hard? Hey, [indicating
Frasier's choice of M&M;] you like the yellow ones too, huh?
Frasier: Yeah. You know, people try to tell you they're the same but...
Catherine: I know.
Frasier: But they're not.
Catherine: No.
Frasier: Well, you know, relationships don't always have to be so hard.
I remember back in med school, I heard of a documented case
where a man and a woman met, got along, and actually lived
happily ever after.
Catherine: Yeah, I don't mind the happily ever after part. It's the dating
part. If I have to tell one more stranger the fascinating story
of my life over more Italian cuisine I'm gonna choke on a
breadstick!
Frasier: [laughs, then sits crossed-legged as well, mimicking her] I know.
You know, I just keep thinking that maybe we can just resume this
over appetizers.
Catherine: Oh, no, no. Half the time I'm ready to exchange goodbyes
over appetizers.
Frasier: Well, at least you don't get stuck with the bill.
Catherine: God, you haven't dated much lately, have you?
Frasier: No. I usually end up in restaurants alone.
Catherine: Oh, I can't do that. I even have to turn on the TV at home
so at least it feels that there's someone else in the room.
Frasier: Is that what you'll be doing tonight?
Catherine: [eats an M&M; from Frasier's hand] Well, unless I just keep
eating M&M;'s, which is a distinct possibility.

Frasier finishes the packet in one go.

FADE TO:

KISS ME, KATE

Scene Four: Cafe Nervosa.
Frasier and Catherine are sitting at a table. She is reading his palm.

Frasier: “Soft and supple, yet strong, right down to the beautiful almond-
shaped nails.” You really see all of that in my hand?
Catherine: Mmm. I'm late. I gotta go to work.
Frasier: Oh, wait, wait. We haven't decided what we're gonna do tonight.
Ah, Antonio's? Le Cigar Volante?
Catherine: We've gone out for the last three nights, why don't we just
stay in, huh?
Frasier: That's a great idea. I'll tell you what. I'll uh, send dad and
Daphne off to the movies. I'll cook for you. Be at my place at
eight.
Catherine: Oh, I won't be able to make it 'til eight-thirty, I gotta
change, okay?
Frasier: Oh, no-no-no-no. Don't ever change - I like you just the way
you are. [everybody in the Cafe groans; to group:] Oh, come on,
come on, I'm a little out of practice.
Catherine: I'll see you later, okay?

[They kiss... a long kiss. Long enough for Niles to see them through
the window.]

Catherine: Bye.

She exits, Niles enters. He joins Frasier

Niles: I'll dispense with the usual adolescent teasing and come straight
to the point: who was that babe-o-rama?!
Frasier: Niles, please don't try to be hip. You remind me of Bob Hope
when he dresses up as the Fonz.
Niles: [to waitress] Coffee.
Frasier: Her name is Catherine.
Niles: So? How long have you known her?
Frasier: Three days.
Niles: Have you two, uh...?
Frasier: No. As if it's any of your business.
Niles: But you're, uh..?
Frasier: Well, yes. Soon.
Niles: [nods, then, unsure:] We are talking about...?
Frasier: Of course we are.
Niles: [still unsure:] ...s*x, right?
Frasier: Yes!
Niles: [his coffee arrives] Ooh, so-so-so... how did you two meet?
Frasier: Well, I mean, it was one of those funny things, she came down
to the radio station to chew me out.
Niles: [picks up sugar packet and starts shaking it] You're kidding.
Frasier: No. A few days earlier her boyfriend had called into the show,
and I advised him to break up with her.

The sugar goes everywhere as Niles gives an involuntary jerk.

Niles: Frasier, Frasier, where are your ethics? You can't date someone
who's involved with one of your patients.
Frasier: Marco is not a patient, he's a caller. There's a huge difference.
Besides, I talked to him days before I met Catherine.
Niles: Mmm, rationalization - the last refuge of the unsound argument.
Frasier: Oh, rationalization, is that what you're going pull now?

They argue for a few moments.

Frasier: Oh Niles, I am not rationalizing! There is nothing wrong here.
Niles: As long as your conscience is clear. I'm not sure mine would
be.
Frasier: Well frankly, I don't care about your conscience. I don't need
your approval, I don't need you to like it. Frankly, I don't
need you for anything. [gets ready to leave] By the way, Niles,
my car's in the shop, I need you to give me a ride home tonight.
Niles: No problem.

End Of Act One.

Act Two.

HE'S BAACK

Scene One: The radio station, Roz's booth.
Frasier enters from corridor.

Roz: Twenty seconds. And I've got news for you: Marco's on line two.
Frasier: [feigning ignorance] Marco?
Roz: Oh, you know. The guy you got out of the way so you could keep
his girlfriend for yourself? [Frasier goes into the recording
booth] Ten seconds.
Frasier: I'm not talking to him. I don't want to talk to him. There's
no way I'm talking to him.
Roz: Three, two...
Frasier: [on air] Hi, we're back. Roz, whom do we have on the line?
Roz: We have Marco on line two.
Frasier: Who's this on line three?
Roz: Ooh, Todd. [disconnects line] Oh darn, we lost Todd. [Frasier
is not amused] But lucky for you we still have Marco on line
two.
Frasier: Thank you, Roz. [to caller] Hello, Marco.
Marco: Hi, Dr. Crane. I spoke to you the other day and I took your advice.
I broke up with my girlfriend.
Frasier: Well, what can I say but, ah... Bravo, Marco! Roz, who's our next
caller?


We cut to Niles, driving in his car. We can hear Marco through
his radio.

Marco: [on radio:] Wait, wait-wait-wait. You haven't heard my problem.
I think she's already dating someone else. It really
makes me nuts.

Cut to studio:

Frasier: What makes you think she's seeing someone else?
Marco: Well, the other night I couldn't get her on the phone. So I
drove by her house, and I saw her parked outside talking to
some guy in a black BMW.
Frasier: Did you, ah... get a good look at the guy?
Marco: No. It was too dark. I think I made a big mistake, Doc. Do you
think I should ask her to take me back?
Frasier: No! What I mean is, ah... no. Marco, you don't want your ex-
girlfriend back, you just don't want anybody else to have her.
Isn't that true?
Marco: Well, I...
Frasier: No, it's called jealousy, Marco. Now you've got to stop spying
on your ex-girlfriend and get on with your life. Borrow a page
from my book - ah, move to a new city, a new state. Find out
why everybody's talking about Pittsburgh!

In his car, Niles is shocked.

In the studio, Frasier hangs up on Marco.

Frasier: We'll be right back after these messages.

He goes to commercial, looks over and sees Roz glaring at him.

Frasier: What?!

FADE TO:

HOW AM I DRIVING?

Scene Two: Niles's car.
He has just picked up Frasier.

Frasier: Thanks for coming to get me, Niles.
Niles: No problem, Frasier. Just a few miles out of my way. At rush
hour. But I didn't mind, really. Gave me a chance to listen
to your show. [looks pointedly at Frasier]
Frasier: I see.
Niles: I just have one question for you: can you honestly tell me that
the advice you gave Marco was based on his best interests and
not on your own?
Frasier: Well, that's an interesting question, Niles. And I'll tell you
something. I don't care. I'm in love, and I don't care. Catherine
is mine now. I'm in, and Marco's out.
Niles: You're insane.
Frasier: Perhaps. But you just ran a stop sign. [Niles slams on the brakes]
Now we're in the middle of the intersection. [car horns blare,
Niles drives on] I'll tell you, Niles, I, ah... I haven't
Felt this way in ages. There's an excitement about this.
I, I feel tingly.
Niles: What's your stomach have to say about this?
Frasier: My stomach?
Niles: I definitely know what I'm talking about. Ever since you were
a child, if you even approached a breach of ethics you'd get
queasy. Actually, you'd get physically sick.
Frasier: Well, at least when it came to ethics I didn't get spontaneous
nosebleeds.
Niles: Remember the time we lifted that dollar bill from mom's change
purse? We left quite a gruesome trail back to the tree house
that day.
Frasier: Ah, but you see, Niles, you've proved my point. I'm not the
least bit queasy, I'm fine. My head, my heart, my gastrointestinal
system, they're all shouting the same thing - It's okay! [looks
around] Niles? Niles, this is a new car?
Niles: Yes, actually it is. Patient of mine got me a huge break on
a lease. [puts his finger to his nose] Frasier, do you have
a handkerchief?

FADE TO:

THE OBLIGATORY s*x SCENE

Scene Three: Frasier's Apartment.
He and Catherine have just finished their meal and are clearing up.

Catherine: Mmm. That was the most delicious salmon Marseilles I've ever
tasted.
Frasier: Well, maybe you should try my “salmon-chanted evening.”
Catherine: Oh, no. Tell me you didn't say that.
Frasier: No, it was just the Laffite talking. “Laffite don't fail me now.”
Catherine: C'mon, stop, stop.

Catherine gets up and follows him into the kitchen, where he is
washing their plates in the sink.

Catherine: So, have you ever made love in the kitchen?
Frasier: [he drops and smashes a plate in the sink] Well, the ah,
dishes are done.

They kiss, ending up on the floor. From behind the cooktop we hear...

Catherine: Mmm, ah, ah...
Frasier: Mmm, oh, ah... [then:] Aaugh! [he stands up]
Catherine: What was that?
Frasier: I'm sorry. I'm suddenly feeling a little queasy. Maybe I'm
just not a kitchen person.

He goes into the living room. Catherine follows.

Catherine: Well ah, maybe you're just a little too warm, huh? [starts
to unbutton his shirt] Yeah?
Frasier: Well, yeah.
Catherine: Oh, God...
Frasier: Yeah, that's it. You know, you look awfully warm too.
Catherine: Oh, I am.
Frasier: [unbuttons her blouse] Oh, my God.
Catherine: Yes, oh...

They embrace again, falling onto Martin's chair. It starts to
vibrate. Frasier whacks it and it ceases.

Frasier: I'm sorry. Would you... would you mind if we, if we moved to
the sofa? I'm not going to be out-performed by a Barcalounger.
Catherine: No. [they move, Frasier carrying Catherine]
Frasier: Oh, this is good.
Catherine: Yes, it is.
Frasier: This is better
Catherine: Oh...

They get down to it again, until inevitably...

Frasier: Eee-ugh!
Catherine: What?! Was I kneeling on you?
Frasier: Really, maybe I need some fresh air. [moves to balcony]
Are you okay?
Catherine: Oh, I'm fine, I'm fine.
Frasier: Oh damn, it wasn't the fish!
Catherine: You know there's a bug going round.
Frasier: It's not a bug.
Catherine: Well what is it, then?
Frasier: It's us. Every time we touch and kiss I get queasy.
Catherine: What are you telling me? That the thought of making love to
me makes you sick to your stomach?
Frasier: Yes, but don't take it personally!
Catherine: [sarcastic] Well, why would I?
Frasier: It's, it's not you. Ah, it's, it's me. Every time I come
close to breaching my ethics, I-I end up getting sick.
Catherine: What are you talking about?
Frasier: Marco called into the show today and... he said he was
thinking of getting back with you and I told him not to.
Catherine: So?
Frasier: Well, I just have a feeling that... maybe I told him that not
because it was good for him, but because it was good for me.
Catherine: Oh, Frasier, who cares? [kisses him]
Frasier: Well, I do. I care. You know? Look, any psychiatrist worth
his salt would care. That's why we don't get involved with our
patients. Or their girlfriends.
Catherine: Are you, are you saying you want to break up with me?
Frasier: No, I don't want to. I have to. If I don't, I'll throw up
all over your shoes.
Catherine: I can't believe this is happening. God, how can this be so
easy for you?
Frasier: Easy?! This is killing me! You think I don't want to pick you
up right now, carry you over to that Eames classic and show you
why it's the best-engineered chair in the world?!
Catherine: Well, why don't you then?
Frasier: I told you, I can't.
Catherine: Oh! And nothing I can say will change your mind?
Frasier: I'm sorry.
Catherine: Well thank you, Dr. Crane! First you screw things up with
Marco, and now you're dumping me? God! And to think I was
going to have s*x with you. [twisting the knife] And it was
going to be hot. Oh, like you've never had before. I'm
talking raw, steamy, sweat-dripping-down-your-back, neighbors-
pounding-on-the-wall, ILLEGAL-IN-FORTY-EIGHT-STATES-KIND-OF-SEX!
But, hey! You're okay, you won't be alone tonight. No, you’ve
got your ETHICS!

She picks up her coat and goes to the door.

Catherine: Oh, by the way... the fish was dry. [exits]
Frasier: Oh, that was a cheap shot!

He goes and sits on his Eames. Eddie joins him.

Frasier: How I envy you, Eddie. The biggest questions you face are
“who's going to walk me?” “Who's going to feed me?” I won't
know that kind of joy for another forty years.

End Of Act Two.

Credits:

A series of snapshots from the Christmas card shoot.