01x08 - Beloved Infidel

ACT ONE

Scene One - KACL
Frasier is doing his slot. He is on the line to Danielle,
who is French.

Frasier: Danielle, you're going to have to slow down a little bit,
I'm having a hard time understanding you.
Danielle: [v.o.; strong French accent] I'm sorry, Dr. Crane. I'm having
a big, big problem with my monsieur.
Frasier: Excuse me, with your what?
Danielle: My monsieur.
Frasier: Your mithyuer?

Both he and Roz are perplexed. Apparently, his knowledge of French
begins and ends with wine bottle labels.

Danielle: Oui, my monsieur. Every day...
Frasier: Is that your mother?
Danielle: No. My monsieur.
Frasier: Your masseur? Your Mercedes?
Danielle: Monsieur! My monsieur! You must help me.
Frasier: Well Danielle, I, I, um... the best advice I can give you is
to umm... either confront your mithyuer, or um, work on your
self-esteem. Thank you for your call. [hangs up] This is Dr.
Frasier Crane, saying go out and have a good night, Seattle.
You deserve it.

He goes off the air, then goes into Roz's booth.

Frasier: Roz! Aren't you screening these calls?
Roz: Yeah. But when you only have one, you get a little less
particular.
Frasier: [admiring Roz] You look nice.
Roz: Yeah? Well, I've got a date tonight.
Frasier: Oh, great... Why are you only wearing one heel? Did you break
it off?
Roz: No, I'm dating a sea-captain with a peg-leg and this makes it
easier when we dance. [then] I broke it off in a sidewalk grate.
Frasier: Okay, so who is this guy? Another one of those trendy young
kids who's got three earrings and a ponytail, wearing a T-shirt
under his sports coat?
Roz: Is he here?
Frasier: Roz! Where do you meet these people?
Roz: For your information, this guy happens to be a very successful
media consultant. He graduated from Princeton, he has a house
on Mercer Island and he owns a forty-foot sailboat.
Frasier: You met him on a bus, didn't you?
Roz: No. Actually we shared a cab... Alright, he was driving it.

Niles enters.

Niles: Hello, Frasier.
Frasier: Hi, Niles. You remember Roz?
Niles: Yes, of course. [shakes Roz by the hand] What brings you here?
Roz: Just passing by and thought I'd stop in for a career.
Niles: Good luck. [to Frasier] Sorry I'm late, Frasier, but the
entrance to your parking garage is blocked by a cab driver
with a ponytail, scraping gum off his back seat.
Frasier: [to Roz] Madame, your chariot awaits. [Roz exits] Well, we
better get going, Niles.
Niles: Oh actually, bad news on that score, Frasier. I'm afraid the
lecture's been cancelled.
Frasier: Oh. Well, I can't say I'm really disappointed. I wasn't
relishing the idea of three hours on “Right brain, Left brain
synergy.”
Niles: I'll have you know I trimmed that speech to two and a half hours
and I opened with a really funny Al Gore joke.
Frasier: Well, it's no use crying over spilt milk. Now... we've got a
free evening. This sound like the perfect opportunity for a
couple of guys on the loose to, ah... hit a sports bar, have a
couple of brewskis, maybe take in a game or two.
Niles: Right. What shall we do?
Frasier: Dinner?
Niles: Perfect. No place fancy, I'm sure neither of us wants a heavy
meal with lots of wine and expensive desserts.
Frasier: Oh, it's your turn to pay, isn't it?
Niles: You know me so well. [they leave]

FADE OUT

NOT NOW... NOW!

Scene Two - A small restaurant (Anya's)
Frasier and Niles are seated at a booth by the window. The waitress
gives them menus.

Niles: Thank you.
Frasier: Thank you.
Niles: Are you sure it's all right to park in that lot across the
street? The sign says it was just for customers of those
stores, I don't want to get a ticket.
Frasier: No, it's fine, Niles.
Niles: I mean, I could get just nip back to Crabtree & Evelyn and buy
a bar of lavender soap, just to be safe. [stands]
Frasier: Oh Niles, Niles. Sit down. Lavender soap - for God's sake,
you're a man, you'd look ridiculous.
Waitress: Can I get you a drink?
Frasier: Fuzzy Navel, blended nice and frothy, please. And a...
martini, Niles?
Niles: No thanks, I'm driving. [he's still worried about his car]
Maybe I'll buy a bag of Potpourri, or a set of hand towels.
Frasier: Just sit down.

Suddenly Niles spots Martin at another table, with a woman.

Niles: Frasier. Unless my eyes deceive me, that's Dad sitting over
there.
Frasier: God, you're right. Gee, that's strange, he said he was going
over to Duke's to have a beer with a couple of the boys.
Niles: Well, that certainly isn't the boys. Seems we've caught him in
a clandestine rendezvous.
Frasier: The sly boots. He had a date, and he didn't want us to know.
Niles: Oh, he's looking this way, turn around, turn around!

They both hide behind their menus.

Frasier: What are they doing?
Niles: [peeking] Well, it's sort of cute. He's holding her hand.
[Frasier risks a peek] Don't look, don't look. I'll tell you
when you can look. Not now... Not now... Okay, now. [Frasier
looks] No, not now! [Frasier hides again] Oh, I don't like this
one bit.
Frasier: Why, what are they doing now?
Niles: Oh nothing, I just realized if Dad's eating here this can't be
a very good restaurant.
Frasier: You know, I wonder if it's their first date?
Niles: Well, if it is, they seem to be having a very good time.
Frasier: Why, what are they doing?
Niles: Well, they're leaning in and talking to each other. He's
smiling at her, she's... just collapsed in tears, she's sobbing
uncontrollably.
Frasier: Oh, yeah. That's a Crane first date all right.

The woman gets up and goes to the rest room.

Niles: She's coming this way, hide. [the woman passes their table]
Frasier, do you know who that is?
Frasier: She did look familiar.
Niles: I'd swear that was Marion Lawler.
Frasier: Marion Lawler? My God, I haven't heard that name since I was
a kid.
Niles: I thought Mom and Dad had a huge falling-out with the Lawlers.
Frasier: They did, they did. It was that last summer we shared a cabin
with them at the lake.
Niles: Well, maybe Dad's getting together just to patch things up.
Frasier: And doing his usual bang-up job.
Niles: This is really awkward. We should just get out of here.
Frasier: No, Niles. If we leave now, he's sure to spot us. [looks out
the window] You know, Niles, maybe you should have that martini
after all.
Niles: I can't drink, Frasier. I'm driving.
Frasier: Not anymore, they just towed your car.

Niles nods, then starts and looks out the window. He buries his head.

FADE TO:

THE LADY VANISHES

Scene Three - Frasier's Apartment.
Eddie is having a good roll around on the sofa. Daphne enters.

Daphne: Eddie, you little hooligan. Get off that couch. You know
you're not supposed to do that. If Dr. Crane sees you, he's
going to throw you off the balcony and I'll be right behind you.
[puts Eddie on the floor] Good boy. Now just stay there.

As soon as she leaves, Eddie jumps back up and starts rolling again.
Frasier enters. Eddie immediately sits on the floor before Frasier sees
him.

Frasier: Well, Eddie. Glad to see my rules about the couch are finally
taking hold.

He reaches out to pet Eddie, then ends up patting him on the nose.

Frasier: Good dog. [shouts] Dad? Daphne?
Daphne: [entering] Oh, hello Dr. Crane.
Frasier: Hello, Daphne. Say, where's Dad?
Daphne: Mr. Dawcy down on eight invited him over to watch the ball game.
Frasier: Oh, great. He's finally getting to know some of the neighbors.

He notices her looking at his face, her head cocked to the side.

Frasier: What are you staring at?
Daphne: Have you ever thought about growing a moustache?
Frasier: No, I don't think it would suit me.
Daphne: Oh, yes it does.
Frasier: You've never seen me with one.
Daphne: Actually, I have. There's a billboard for your show down on
Sixteenth Street. Some kids went at you with a can of spray
paint.
Frasier: And it looked good?
Daphne: Oh, yes. But a word to the wise - take good care of your teeth.
That look is not at all flattering on you. [the doorbell rings]
I'll get it. [she opens the door for Niles] Hello, Dr. Crane.
Niles: Hello, Daphne.
Daphne: What brings you here?
Niles: A rental car, thanks to my brother.
Frasier: I assume you're here for a reason?
Niles: Ah, yes. Frasier, last night when I got home, that strange
incident with Dad and Mrs. Lawler got me to thinking, what was
it that caused the rift between our two families? So, I dug out
my old boyhood journal, [produces it] and looked up my entries
from our last summer together at the lake. According to this,
there was a three-week period where Mom and Dad had screaming
matches every night, after we went to bed.
Frasier: I don't recall that.
Niles: Oh, that's right. That was the same period where you insisted
on wearing the wax earplugs and the slumber mask.
Frasier: Well, I had to, what with you underneath the covers with a
flashlight looking at the National Geographic.
Niles: I was looking at the maps.
Frasier: That's what makes it so scary. Now what was your point?
Niles: Well, according to my journal, something more provocative
happened during that same period. Here, read this. [hands
over book]
Frasier: [reading] “Though summer at the lake seems but a vapid, vacuous
experience, it is a necessary tonic for my troubled youth...”
Niles, how old were you when you wrote this?
Niles: Almost nine. Which explains the redundancy – “Vapid” and
“Vacuous.”
Frasier: Well...
Niles: By ten, my writing had gotten considerably tighter.
Frasier: Amongst other things.
Niles: The point is, that same night I crept out onto the screen porch,
leaving the lights off so not to attract bats and moths. As I
peered out through the darkness, between the trees I saw the
figures of Dad and Mrs. Lawler in each other’s arms. I think
it's pretty clear what happened, Frasier. Dad and Mrs. Lawler
had an affair.
Frasier: Oh, come on, Niles. Look, I appreciate your attempt to spice up
our family history, but really - look, we're not a Jackie
Collins novel, it's ridiculous.
Niles: Is it? All right, allow me to present Exhibit B. This is a
photo album Mom prepared of photos from the same period.

Daphne enters, and comes over to look. Niles takes a quick sniff
of her hair.

Daphne: Ooh, I love to see old family photos. [looks] My goodness –
what a handsome, sinewy young bloke.
Frasier: Yeah, that was our dad.
Daphne: You two take after your mother, don't you?
Niles: All right, all right, look at this picture. And this one here.
That's Dad, but the person next to him has been cut out. And,
if you look at this one you can still see the edges of a dress
and a handbag and tan sandals.
Daphne: Here's one whose head should have been cut out. That scrawny
little chap with the fish-belly complexion and rain hat.
Niles: [for it is he] I was under doctor’s orders to stay out of direct
sunlight.
Frasier: Look, we don't know for sure if that was Mrs. Lawler. And
besides, even then it wouldn't prove that Dad had an affair
with her.
Daphne: What are you two talking about?
Frasier: Oh, Niles has this theory that Dad had an illicit affair when
we were youngsters.
Daphne: Your father? I can't believe that, he's not the type.
Frasier: Well, that's what I think. Besides Niles, there's not enough
proof.
Niles: Well, are you saying it's not possible?
Frasier: Oh, anything is possible.
Daphne: Then why don't you just ask him?
Frasier: Right. “Good evening, father. By the way, did you boff one of
the neighbors while we were roasting marshmallows?”
Niles: Ah, ah. There's one sure way to get the truth. We'll call
Aunt Vivian. [goes to phone]
Frasier: Oh, no.
Daphne: Who's Aunt Vivian?
Niles: Better known as The Mouth. Keeper of the Crane family
skeletons.
Frasier: [takes phone from Niles] No, Niles, we are not calling Aunt
Vivian.
Niles: Why? Are you scared you'll find out something you don't want
to know?
Frasier: Yes. That she knows where I live and that she still drives.
Daphne: You two are worse than a couple old washerwomen gossiping over
a back fence. I'm telling you, the way to sort this is to ask
your father.

Martin has entered through the front door in time to hear this last bit.

Martin: Ask me what?
Daphne: Your sons here have some cock-eyed notion that you had an
affair with some woman thirty years ago.
Martin: What? [both Niles and Frasier hang their heads in shame] Where
the hell'd that idea come from?
Niles: Well, last night... Frasier saw you having dinner with Marion
Lawler.
Frasier: You were with me!
Martin: So what were you doing, spying on me?
Frasier: No, no Dad, we were just having dinner together - at the same
time when you were supposed to be having some drinks with your
buddies at Duke's.
Martin: And that proves I had an affair thirty years ago?
Frasier: No, no. But Niles dug out his journal and then he remembered
this time when he saw you and her hugging, and it was right
around the same time when you and Mom seemed to be fighting a
lot.
Niles: And then you suddenly stopped seeing the Lawlers.
Martin: I don't believe this, this is stupid.
Daphne: That's what I told them. The hens here were even going to give
some Aunt Vivian person a call.
Martin: Ah... Daphne, would you give me a minute alone with these two?
Daphne: Of course. I completely understand. [under her breath, as she
leaves] That's right, send the help to her room. I never get
to hear any of the good stuff anyway.
Martin: Look, don't bother calling Aunt Vivian. You want to know the
truth? Fine. I had an affair. It happened a long time ago
and it's not anything I'm proud of. And now that I've
answered all your questions, do me a favor. This is never
to be brought up again, understand? End of discussion.

He leaves.

Niles: Well... it's times like this that most families pull together
and draw strength from each other. [beat] What shall we do?

END OF ACT ONE (Time: 12:20)

ACT TWO

DR. SHECKY CRANE

Scene Four - Cafe Nervosa.
The waiter has just brought Frasier his coffee when Niles enters.

Frasier: [to waiter] Oh, thank you.
Niles: [sitting] Good, you're here. I came by to see how you're doing,
but I only have a few minutes. I start my “Healing with Humor”
support group tonight, and I still have to pick up my big shoes.
Frasier: How am I doing? How are you doing, Niles? Doesn't it bother
you that your father cheated on my mother?
Niles: Frasier, your loyalties are seeping through, and I might point
out that I got Mom's small features, while you got Dad's chunky
thighs.
Frasier: The point is, that it must have caused Mom a great deal of pain.
Niles: Agreed, but they went on and had a very happy life together.
They got over it. Why can't you?
Frasier: I know that rationally I should be able to handle this. I deal
with people who exemplify human frailty every day.

Another customer starts browsing in the bookcase behind the
brothers.

Frasier: But in this case it's not people, is it? One of our parents
had an illicit affair. [the man's ears prick up at this] How
could he cheat with Marion, knowing the effect it would have
on Mom, not to mention the repercussions it would have on you
and me later on... [to man] Why don't you just pull up a chair
and join us?

The man makes a hurried retreat.

Frasier: I just can't believe that it's our father. You know, I never
had a great relationship with him. But if there was one thing
I always respected about him, it was his integrity. Just
thinking about what they did, it just sickens me.
Niles: Frasier, as your brother, as a therapist, I think you have to
let this go. And a good first step would be to come with me
to my “Healing with Humor” support group.
Frasier: Thank you Niles, but I think I just need a night to myself.
Niles: Well, if you change your mind it should be a hoot. As we speak,
I'm wearing oversized polka-dot boxers and quick-release
suspenders.

Niles exits, shifting his pants a bit uncomfortably.

[N.B. This brings to mind an episode of “Cheers” where Frasier was
forced to fill in for Woody as a clown at a birthday party, which
ended with a faux pas involving quick-release suspenders, the birthday
boy’s grandmother, and a set of French thong underpants that Lilith
bought him on a whim. – Mike Lee]

FADE TO:


THINGS BEST LEFT UNSAID

Scene Five - Frasier's Apartment.
Eddie is rolling on the sofa again, but this time Frasier enters
and catches him.

Frasier: Well, I see all sorts of things have been going on behind my
back!

The doorbell rings and Frasier answers it. It is Marion Lawler.

Marion: Frasier?
Frasier: [coldly] Yes.
Marion: You may not remember me. Marion Lawler.
Frasier: Yes, I remember you. [they shake hands]
Marion: Is your dad home?
Frasier: Ah, no. but if you come back later you can have the place to
yourselves.
Marion: No, that's not necessary. I had dinner with him the other
night, and I left rather abruptly. I just wanted to tell him
I'm sorry. Would you please give him my best?
Frasier: Oh, I think you've already done that.
Marion: Did I come at a bad time? You seem upset.
Frasier: Would you come in for a moment, please? [she enters] After
you met with Dad the other night, ah, he and I had a little
conversation. That was the first time I learned what happened
that summer.
Marion: Oh, I'm sorry.
Frasier: Well... I guess I'm not the sort of person who can hear news
like that and just sweep it under the rug and forget about it.
Marion: I know you're upset. But if it's any consolation, in time your
father and I forgave them.
Frasier: [suddenly realizing] Forgave them?
Marion: Frasier, your mother was a good person. So was my husband.
They made a mistake. Anyway, just tell your father I stopped
by. I felt so silly crying in front of him the other night.
I've been a little overemotional since Dan died.
Frasier: Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't know.
Marion: Well, you never know how hard that's going to hit you. Look who
I'm telling this to - the famous radio psychiatrist, Dr. Frasier
Crane. I remember you when you used to run around in your
undies with your pail and shovel.
Frasier: Yes, well I rarely get to the shore anymore.
Marion: Well... goodbye, Frasier.
Frasier: Goodbye.

Marion leaves. Frasier closes the door, looking heartsick.

FADE TO:

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON

Scene Six - Frasier's Apartment.
Martin is on his back, doing his exercises, while Daphne flexes his leg.

Daphne: Working down at the docks has always been a tradition for us
Moons. My father worked on the docks, and me grandfather before
him. All my brothers do. Well, except for my brother Billy.
He came home one day, and announced he hated the smell of fish
and was going to teach ballroom dancing. And he did. And he
does. He's my mum's favorite. Dad mostly flicks the crust off
his kidney pie at him.
Martin: How much longer do I have to do this?
Daphne: Be patient. You don't want to go through life dragging your
leg behind you like a dead tree branch.
Martin: I'm talking about listening to your family’s history.
Daphne: Now, I know you don't mean that. Why would a man of your
intelligence say a thing like that when you're in the position
you're in- [flexes his leg] and I'm in the position I'm in?
Martin: All right, all right!
Daphne: Up you come. [helps Martin to stand] That's much better.
I'll go run your bath.

Daphne leaves, Frasier enters.

Frasier: Hi, Dad. You look kinda tired.
Martin: [settling into chair, turning on TV] Yeah. Just finished my
exercises with Nurse Ratchet.
Frasier: Ah, listen Dad, do you have to watch the TV right now?
Martin: Yeah, my program's on.
Frasier: Well, you know, if either of us could work the VCR, we'd tape
it. But, ah, just for now there's something I'd like to talk
to you about. [turns off TV]
Martin: Oh, for God's sake, Frasier. I know what this is, I've already
told you everything I'm going to. Now drop it.

Martin turns on the chair's vibrating system. Frasier unplugs it.

Frasier: Dad. Why didn't you tell me the truth?
Martin: I did.
Frasier: Marion Lawler came by today. She wanted to apologize for the
other night. While she was here, she... she told me what really
happened.
Martin: Alright, so now you know. You did your little digging, and you
stuck your nose in where it didn't belong, are you happy now?
Frasier: Why didn't you tell me it was Mom?
Martin: Because it's none of your damn business, and it still isn't.
Frasier: Look dad, I don't blame you for being defensive, but I had a
right to know. For your information, this sort of thing happens
to a lot of people. If it’s any consolation, I know exactly how
you feel. I never told you this but, um... Lilith did the same
thing to me.
Martin: Lilith had an affair?
Frasier: The most painful and humiliating experience of my entire life.
Well, I'm sure you felt the same way.
Martin: Well, I hadn't thought about it for quite some time, but thanks
for reminding me. [starts laughing] Lilith?
Frasier: I found her attractive. I mean, is it so inconceivable that
another man might find her attractive as well?
Martin: [not convinced] I guess. So who was the bozo in your case?
Frasier: Oh, God. A Frenchman who lived in a self-contained underground
eco-pod.
Martin: Well, that still sounds better than a urologist with a bad
comb-over.
Frasier: I'm sorry, dad.
Martin: Look son, do me a favor. Don't hate your mother for this.
I wasn't the easiest person to live with back then, and she
had plenty of reason to do what she did. Luckily we were able
to put it behind us, but I'll tell you... there were times when
it really tore me up. I loved your mother.
Frasier: So did I.
Martin: I'm sorry. That's why I said I was the one who had the affair.
I was just trying to protect her. Hey, me you already had
problems with.
Frasier: Well dad, I appreciate what you did, but ah, I still think you
should have told me.
Martin: Listen. When Frederick grows up, will you tell him what Lilith
did to you?

Frasier is silent.

Martin: Okay. Can I watch my program now?
Frasier: Oh, no. Just one second. [gets the photo album] There's one
thing I gotta clear up. There's this photo album here, there's
all these pictures with the same woman that's been cut out of
them, you see this?
Martin: What else do you notice, Sherlock? Like, where's your mother?
Frasier: Oh. Oh, that was mom?
Martin: She cut herself out of it. She put a few pounds on that summer.
I think that day she was wearing a brown dress with a belt, and
your Aunt Vivian told her she looked like a knockwurst tied in
the middle.
Frasier: You know dad, ever since you moved in we've been trying to find
something that we have in common. I think we've finally found
it.
Martin: Yeah... wish it was a birthmark.
Frasier: So do I.

Frasier goes to his room. Martin turns on the TV.

End of Act Two (Time: 09:30)

Credits:
Middle of the night. Eddie is rolling on the couch yet again.