01x16 - The Show Where Lilith Comes Back

ACT ONE

Scene One – KACL
Frasier is doing his show.

Hank: [v.o.] So, Dr. Crane, I just don't know what to do about my
weight. I've tried diet after diet, from the "milkshakes
three times a day" to that scary bald-headed lady on TV.
Nothing seems to work.
Frasier: Hank, listen to me. You've got to look inside yourself.
There is a part of you that isn't being fed.
Hank: Well, it certainly isn't my butt.
Frasier: Yes, well, I'm talking about your inner self. What isn't
being fed there? Love, career, simple self-esteem? There
are deeper issues at work here.
Hank: So, so what do I do?
Frasier: Well, I'd suggest extended therapy. Please stay on the
line, and my producer Roz will refer you to the help you
need. Roz, who's our next call?
Roz: We have someone on line one who disagrees with your advice
to Hank.
Frasier: Ah, really? [pushes button] Hello, you're on the line.
Lilith: [v.o.] Congratulations, Frasier, you've done it again.

Frasier goes rigid. Roz watches with delight.

Lilith: You've led another unsuspecting innocent down one of your
dark, dead-end Freudian hallways.
Frasier: Lilith?
Lilith: Overeating is very simply a behavioral problem caused by
negative reinforcement. It can be cured quite readily by
behavior modification.
Frasier: I see. Well, Seattle, we have a celebrity of sorts on the
line. This is my ex-wife, Lilith.
Lilith: What do you mean by "celebrity?"
Frasier: [darkly] Oh, they know you. [hits the cough button] Roz,
what exactly does "call screening" mean?
Roz: It means I get to put on the air the calls I want to hear.
Frasier: [lets go of button] Well, Lilith, what brings you to Seattle —
the constant rain?
Lilith: I'm here for a convention, and I happened to hear your voice
on the radio. I kept hoping you'd introduce Pearl Jam's
latest hit, but much to my chagrin, you were doling out
worthless little advice pellets from your psychiatric Pez
dispenser.

Roz is cracking up, obviously loving every minute of this.

Frasier: Well, I guess you'll be rushing off to your little
convention now, and I suppose we'll just have to catch up on
your next trip.
Lilith: Actually, I'm not doing anything for dinner tonight.
Frasier: Really? Well, then you'll want to keep your dial tuned to
780 for Gil Chesterton's "Restaurant Beat."
Roz: Why don't you ask her out to dinner, Dr. Crane?

Frasier hits the cough button again and gives Roz a glare that would
melt through lead. She just grins at him. He lets go of the button.

Frasier: What a wonderful idea! [takes a piece of paper and a Magic
Marker and starts writing] And let me tell you why, Seattle.
You see, even though our marriage was unsuccessful, Lilith
and I are quite capable of conducting ourselves as adults,
and even enjoying spending some time together, from time to
time. So, Lilith, seven at my place?
Lilith: Sounds great.

Frasier slams the paper against the glass of Roz's booth. It says,
"You're FIRED!!" She holds up a manila folder on which is scribbled,
"I'M UNION." Frasier seethes.

FADE OUT

THE RETURN OF THE MAGNIFICENT STERNIN

Scene Two – Frasier's Apartment
It's evening. Frasier is setting the table for dinner. Martin is
standing next to him, Niles is on the couch.

Martin: In my day, when two people broke up you were mad, you were
angry, you hated each other! Whatever happened to the
sanctity of divorce?
Frasier: Dad, you never liked Lilith.
Martin: She's weird.
Frasier: She is not weird.
Martin: Oh, she's weird.
Frasier: Well, maybe she's a little strange.
Martin: No, [points to Niles] Maris is a little strange. Lilith is
weird.
Niles: Gee whiz, Dad, I had no idea you preferred my wife to
Frasier's.

Daphne comes out of the kitchen holding a cold beer can to her
forehead.

Daphne: Oh, my head!
Frasier: Can I get you an aspirin, Daphne?
Daphne: Oh, no, no, I'm afraid those are useless. This is one of my
psychic headaches. There's some kind of negative force out
there. I only get these when there's a clawing at the
cosmic continuum.

She hands the beer to Martin and heads back to the kitchen.
Niles gets up and hops over the coffee table.

Niles: Perhaps if someone rubbed your temples...
Frasier: Niles! I'm sure she wants privacy while she contacts the
mother ship.
Niles: Frasier, I must tell you, I'm here for support, but I will
not speak to Lilith.
Frasier: Oh, Niles, this ongoing feud between you and Lilith is
ridiculous! Let it go, it was years ago.
Martin: I can't even remember what the fight was about in the first
place.
Niles: Well, let me refresh you! At our wedding, while Maris was
reciting her vows — which she wrote herself — vows of love
from the heart, I distinctly heard snickering. I glanced
behind me and there was Lilith, her fingers pressed hard
against her lips, her body shaking like a paint mixer.

The doorbell rings.

Frasier: All right, now, now, there she is. All right, now—now
listen, it's just one evening out of your life. Will you at
least try to be civil?
Niles: All right, but I refuse to be warm.

Frasier goes to the door, and glances back to make sure everything is
okay. Niles and Martin are standing uncomfortably side by side.

Frasier opens the door. There is Lilith, much as we remember her —
hair done up in a bun, pale complexion, and a conservative but
elegant dress. However, she is smiling, and maybe a little
nervous.

Frasier: Hello, Lilith.
Lilith: Frasier.
Frasier: Please come in.

She steps in. They start to shake hands, then decide to hug.

Frasier: [taking her purse and coat] Here, let me take these things
for you. There we are. Oh, look who's here.
Lilith: Hello, Martin. Hello, Niles.
Niles/Martin: [flat, toneless] Hello.
Lilith: [looks around] Where's Maris?
Niles: She's visiting her sister in Chicago.
Lilith: Oh. I thought perhaps she was sailing up the transplendent
river of your love.

Lilith smirks. Niles's jaw drops with outrage.

Lilith: Frasier, I like what you've done with your apartment.
Frasier: Thank you.
Lilith: You have beautiful things.
Frasier: The settlement is final, Lilith.

Lilith sits on the couch. Eddie jumps up beside her.

Lilith: Go away.

Eddie jumps off the couch and runs away.

Frasier: Why does he listen to you, and not to me?
Lilith: By the tone of my voice, he senses I mean business.
Frasier: Oh, I see. You're saying your voice is more commanding than
mine is?
Martin: Hell, I took a half a step before I realized she was talking
to the dog.

Daphne comes out of the kitchen, still moaning.

Daphne: Oh, hello — I've never had a throbbing like this!
Frasier: Daphne, um, this is my ex-wife, Dr. Lilith Sternin. Lilith,
this is Daphne Moon, my dad's physical therapist.

Daphne and Lilith shake hands.

Lilith: It's nice to meet you.
Daphne: An equal pleasure. [turning back to Frasier; whispering] When
I shook hands with that woman, I lost all feeling in my arm!

Niles heads for the hallway.

Niles: Frasier, I'm going to pop into your bedroom and use the
phone. Maris was developing some sniffles, I just want to
make sure she's taking in enough liquids.
Lilith: Isn't it enough that she's eternally sipping from the font of
your perpetual adoration?

Lilith smirks again. Niles turns around, with a "That does it!"
expression. Frasier signals him, "Not here!" Niles exits.

Lilith: Martin, I'm especially delighted to see you here tonight.
Martin: [gripping his cane a little closer] Oh yeah?
Lilith: Oh yes. Knowing as I do the history of your relationship
with Frasier, when I heard that he'd taken you in, I
immediately flipped to the weather channel to see if hell
had indeed frozen over.
Martin: Frasier, how'd you let ever this little peach get away?
Frasier: Well, I think dinner's just about ready. Why don't we move
to the table.

Lilith and Martin get up and sit at the dinner table. Niles also
comes back and sits down.

Frasier: So, Lilith, how is Frederick?
Lilith: Well, as you know, I've enrolled him in that chess camp in
the Berkshires. It's really quite stimulating. For eight
hours a day, he sits in a large auditorium, with 300 other
children, mastering the Alhausen-Grob Opening.
Martin: Well, he's in the mountains. Shouldn't he be out there in
the fresh air?
Lilith: Every day after lunch they go for a nature walk.
Unfortunately, Frederick is allergic to seven different
varieties of ivy, so he has to wear long sleeves, and long
pants... a bonnet with a net on it.
Frasier: Boy, I sure hope the other campers don't make fun of him.
Martin: Oh, I'm sure they don't. You know how kind kids can be.
Hell, all he needs is a birthmark on his forehead, and
they'd beat him to death with a shovel!

FADE TO:

LOOK WHAT I FOUND WITH THE DUST BUNNIES

Scene Three – Frasier's Apartment
After dinner, Martin is sitting in his armchair. As Frasier and
Niles watch, Lilith analyzes him. Daphne is holding an icepack to
her head.

Martin: So, I chased this guy down a dark alley, and when he got to
the end he turned and pulled a knife on me. So I gave him a
couple of good shots with my nightstick.
Lilith: Fascinating. I have to ask, were you at all aware of any
repressed sexual urges while you were pummeling him so
mercilessly?
Martin: Yeah, but I didn't put 'em in the report.
Lilith: You're having some fun at my expense, aren't you?
Martin: Not much. [gets up] In fact, I'm going to bed. Goodnight.
Frasier: Goodnight, Dad.
Daphne: Oh, well, if you don't need me any longer, I think I'll be
shuffling off as well.
Frasier: Well, goodnight.
Daphne: [to Lilith] It was a pleasure meeting you. By the way, how
many days will you be staying in Seattle?
Lilith: Just through the weekend.
Daphne: Well, enjoy your stay. [heads to her room] I'll be dead by
Saturday night, I know it!
Niles: Well, I guess I'll say my goodbyes as well. Goodnight,
Frasier. [ignores Lilith]
Frasier: Oh, this is ridiculous! Listen, Lilith, uh, Niles is upset
because you snickered at Maris's wedding vows.
Lilith: I simply responded with the genuine spontaneous emotion I
was feeling at the moment. [Frasier motions her to try
harder] But, if Niles is not mature enough to accept that,
if he is so pitifully insecure, if he is in such need of
validation, then I guess for some sense of familial harmony,
I do apologize.
Niles: [overjoyed] Oh, Lilith, thank you! [hugs her tight] Oh, this
bad blood between us has gone on far too long! Next time
you're in town, we'll have dinner, just you and me!

Niles leaves. Lilith looks at Frasier.

Frasier: He doesn't get that kind of validation at home, you see.
Lilith: Well, it's just the two of us.
Frasier: Yes. It's the first time we've been alone together since
the lawyers put us in that room and said, "Don't come out
until there's some resolution."
Lilith: Yes, well, this was nice.
Frasier: Yes it was, wasn't it?

They go out onto the balcony.

Lilith: You have a beautiful view.
Frasier: Well, it's a beautiful city. I hope you enjoy your
convention.
Lilith: Oh, for God's sake, Frasier. There is no convention. I'm
here because of the letter.
Frasier: The letter? What letter?
Lilith: You know very well what letter. The one you left in the
apartment last month when you were home to visit Frederick,
the one proposing we get back together. Surely you didn't
forget?

Lilith leads him back in and takes a letter from her purse.

Lilith: [reading] "My darling, how could a love like ours have
fallen so far from grace? There must be some part of your
heart that still resounds to the rhythm of my own. I fear
that I'll be lost without you. As long as we have love,
love will keep us together." Aside from the shameless
pilfering from the Captain and Tenille, I was moved by your
entreaty. I felt the same way, and yet I felt the need to
create this pretense of arriving here for a convention,
because I was still torn and unable to commit myself. But
seeing you now, I realize how much I've missed you.
Frasier: Lilith, I did write that letter, and I did leave it in the
apartment, but...
Lilith: Yes?
Frasier: It wasn't last month. It was nearly a year ago. It's
before I moved to Seattle. You just found it now?
Lilith: [deflated] It had fallen behind the dresser.
Frasier: Well, I see the cleaning service is still doing its usual
bang-up job.

In a hurry, Lilith grabs her coat and purse.

Lilith: Well, don't I feel like the perfect fool?
Frasier: Listen, Lilith—
Lilith: Here I am, humiliated, emotionally drained, and I've used up
all my frequent flier miles!
Frasier: Lilith, please!
Lilith: No, Frasier, please, there's nothing else to say. I'd like
to leave with at least a shred of dignity.

She exits out the front door and closes it behind her. Unfortunately,
she closes it on her purse string, trapping her purse inside. For a
few moments, she pathetically tries to pull the purse up and through
the crack in the door, then rings the bell. Frasier opens the door.

Lilith: Thank you.

She leaves.

END OF ACT ONE

ACT TWO

Scene Four – Café Nervosa
Frasier and Niles are sitting at a corner table. Frasier hands Niles
the letter.

Frasier: I wrote this letter just before I came to Seattle hoping for
a reconciliation. She only just now found it.
Niles: Didn't the Captain and Tenille sing this?
Frasier: Like they own those five words! You know, I-I got over her,
I moved out here. She comes back and I wonder if I made the
right decision. I did write that letter.
Niles: It appears you have come to some sort of a crossroads.
Frasier: Oh, that's a nice tidy little way of saying I'm in hell.
Niles, I have a life here that suits me, and yet I can't
help wondering if there is still some chance for
reconciliation, if it's worth exploring the feelings
that—that I'm feeling. Do you think I should see her again
tonight?
Niles: Frasier, like most patients who come to a therapist, you
already know the answer to the question you're posing. You
just want me to agree with your decision and support you
whether I share your opinion or not.
Frasier: Yes, but I don't have an opinion in this case.
Niles: I'm sure you do.
Frasier: But I don't.
Niles: Well, then I can't help you.
Frasier: All right, all right. I think in my soul, I'm leaning
toward taking the next step and, uh, seeing if there's
anything... there.
Niles: That is what you should do.
Frasier: Why?
Niles: You know why.
Frasier: Damn it, Niles!
Niles: Frasier, you know why.

Beat. Niles looks at Frasier expectantly.

Frasier: All right. We have a long history together, we-we have a
son that we both adore. There were some good times, and
when they were good... Hoo-ah!
Niles: Well, it seems our minds are pretty well made up, aren't
they?
Frasier: Yes, they are. Thank you, Niles. I don't know what I'd do
without you.
Niles: Yes, you do.
Frasier: Drop it!


FADE TO:

Scene Five – Lilith's Hotel Room
Lilith is waiting in her hotel room. She's dressed in a short skirt
and a nice jacket. Her hair, unusually, is let down. Frasier knocks
on the door, and she opens it.

Frasier: Hello, Lilith.
Lilith: Frasier, come in.
Frasier: I must be early, I see you haven't had a chance to put up
your hair yet.
Lilith: Oh, I thought I'd leave it down tonight.
Frasier: [surprised] Really?
Lilith: Yes, after several hours of careful deliberation, and
weighing all the consequences, I decided to be playful. I'm
glad you invited me to dinner.
Frasier: Well, how could I not? I felt so awful about last night.
You see, I just thought you'd read the letter long ago and
ignored it.
Lilith: No explanation necessary. It was a simple misunderstanding.
Frasier: O.K. Well, I know a great little French bistro just around
the corner—
Lilith: Uh, Frasier? Before we go anywhere, I would just like to go
on record as saying that, regardless of everything that's
happened, I respect you for getting on with your life as
successfully as you have.
Frasier: Well, I'd like to say that I feel the same way about you.
Frederick is flourishing, and I'm sure that's in no small
part due to you.
Lilith: [touched] Oh, thank you. That means a great deal to me.
Frasier: [helping her into her coat] Geez, do you realize that's the
first pleasant thing we've said to each other in almost a
year?
Lilith: You're right.
Frasier: [stops] You know, I'm suddenly quite moved.
Lilith: I am too.
Frasier: Would it be a dreadful contretemps if I kissed you right now?
Lilith: You can always try.

She turns around, and puts her arms around his neck. They kiss.
As the kiss gets deeper, he drops her coat to the floor.

Frasier: You want to bag dinner?
Lilith: There's a bed and an honor bar, what more do we need?
Frasier: Come to me, my white-hot flame!

She jumps into his arms, and he carries her over to the bed.

Lilith: I was insane to divorce you!
Frasier: Oh God, you're in my thoughts every waking hour!
Lilith: You're the only man I've ever loved!
Frasier: So are you!

FADE TO:

FRIED EGGS AND OTHER SMALL TRAGEDIES

Scene Six – Lilith's Hotel Room
Frasier and Lilith lie beside each other in bed. Frasier wakes up
first, and his eyes widen with alarm as he realizes what happened.
He starts to quietly slide out of bed — then Lilith wakes up and
sleepily rolls onto him, smiling.

Lilith: Good morning.
Frasier: Jolly good morning to you, too.
Lilith: I could stay like this all morning.
Frasier: Me, too. [checks his watch]
Lilith: I'm so glad I decided to take the chance and fly out here to
be with you.
Frasier: Yes, me too, me too.

Someone knocks on the door.

Frasier: Oh, I'll get that!

He rather hurriedly gets out of bed and pulls on a bathrobe.

Frasier: Must be the breakfast we ordered last night. Boy, I am
famished!
Lilith: You should be. You were a busy boy.

Frasier smiles, then smoothes his hair and opens the door.
A room service waiter comes in with a breakfast cart.

Frasier: Hi.
Waiter: Good morning, sir.
Frasier: Just bring it right in here, please. Uh, that's fine. [tips
the waiter] Little something for you, too. Thank you, good
day.

The waiter leaves. Lilith gets out of bed and also puts on a robe.

Frasier: Well, boy, it's funny how life takes it's little turns,
isn't it? Yesterday morning when I woke up, I never
imagined I'd be waking up here this morning.
Lilith: Indeed.

She starts to inspect the breakfast.

Frasier: And — I mean, it's not that we were overly impulsive or
anything, or that what we did was wrong, I just...
Lilith: This is a mistake.
Frasier: Oh, thank God you said that! Oh, it's not that last night
wasn't very enjoyable, but who are we kidding? You've
gotten on with your life, I've gotten on with mine! I've
got a new career, I've reestablished relationships with my
family, I've got a whole new set of friends — for the first
time in years, I'm happy! I mean, for us to even consider
getting back together — it's just the stupidest thing two
people could do!
Lilith: [staring at him with horror] I meant the eggs. I ordered
poached, not fried.
Frasier: [trying to cover] Well, you didn't let me finish, you see...
after I played Devil's advocate, I—
Lilith: Oh, Frasier, don't insult me! That's how you really feel,
isn't it?
Frasier: I'm afraid so.

Lilith begins to cry.

Frasier: Oh, Lilith, are you crying? God, I'm sorry. Once again,
I've led you down an emotional primrose path. Lilith, I
never meant to hurt you. I don't blame you if you're mad at
me.
Lilith: I'm not mad at you, I'm mad at me. I don't even know what
I'm doing here! I've just been so lonely over the last
year, and when I found your letter, it was — it was like a
life preserver! I'm raising a child alone. I'm scared. I
always thought of myself as a strong and independent person,
but the truth is, I'm afraid. I guess that's why I
convinced myself that I was still in love with you.
Frasier: You mean you're not?
Lilith: No, I'm not.
Frasier: Well, that's good. So then what happened last night was
only because you were lonely, and I was—
Lilith: We all know what you were, Frasier.

She starts to cry harder.

Frasier: Oh, Lilith, Lilith, here, here, come with me here. [guides
her to the mirror] Now, listen, look in there, tell me what
you see. [she can't say anything] All right, I'll tell you
what I see. I see the same strong-willed, dynamic,
intelligent woman I married seven years ago. Listen, you're
just suffering a temporary lapse — divorce does that to you.
[turns her around to face him] Listen, I won't say anything
as trite as "someday you'll find someone." But I know this:
I know you, and I know that no matter what the future holds
in store for you, you'll handle it.

She smiles and kisses his cheek.

Lilith: Thank you, Frasier.
Frasier: You hungry?
Lilith: Yeah.
Frasier: O.K.

Frasier goes to the cart and starts setting places at the coffee
table.

Lilith: You always knew how to buck me up when I was blue.
Frasier: Yeah, well, you know you helped me through some hard times
yourself.
Lilith: You know, those married years weren't all bad. We did have
some good moments.
Frasier: The best one was Frederick. [he takes her hand] We'll always
have that.

She smiles, and brings her food to the table.

Frasier: And, you know, I can't help telling you this. Even though
we're not in love anymore, you were always the most exciting
lover I ever had. I think in your heart of hearts that
you'd say the same about me.

Silence.

Lilith: They screwed up the toast, too, I ordered rye.
Frasier: Lilith?

She gives him a sly look that helps us understand why he fell for her
in the first place. They start to eat breakfast.

Credits:

Daphne lies on the couch, sipping herbal tea and holding an ice pack
to her forehead.

On the runway, Lilith's plane lifts off.

Daphne suddenly sits up, takes the ice pack away, and sighs with
relief.