03x08 - The Last Time I Saw Maris

ACT ONE

Scene One – KACL
Frasier is doing his show.

Vinnie: [v.o.] Anyway, Doc, I got this thing. It's, uh, got to do
with women.
Frasier: Well, I sense you're having trouble finding Miss Right.
Vinnie: What, are you nuts? I meet Miss Right most every night!
Eager young college girls, tough career women hungry for a
little R-and-R, if you know what I'm saying...
Frasier: Well, you're leaving precious little room for
misinterpretation. But I sense, despite these frequent
dalliances, that you're still not truly happy.
Vinnie: Well, sure I am. It's just that I lost a pinky ring in one
of their houses — star sapphire, beautiful thing. I figured
if I went public with it on your show, I had a pretty good
chance of getting it back.

Roz rolls her eyes. Noel Shempsky comes into her booth and shows her
a piece of paper.

Frasier: Well, Vinnie, it's obvious you know nothing about this show,
or how to treat women. But even more appalling, you know
even less about jewelry! A pinkie no more needs a ring than
a neck needs a gold medallion!
Vinnie: Just shoot me, why don't you?
Frasier: I'd be delighted! [disconnects Vinnie] We'll be right back
after this.

He goes to commercial. Roz comes into his booth, and Noel sticks his
head in after her.

Noel: Hi, Dr. Crane.

Roz shuts the door in his face.

Roz: He's driving me crazy!
Frasier: Well, Roz, we can't all choose our admirers.
Roz: It's gone way beyond the admiring stage. Have you seen this
petition he's got going around?

Noel comes in through the other door.

Noel: Hi, Dr. Crane. Could you sign this petition someone
"anonymously" posted in the lunchroom? It's to the
talented producers of "Star Trek," suggesting a new
character.
Frasier: [reading] "The all-powerful space vixen... Rozalinda!"

Noel looks mooningly at Roz; she gives him a sour smile.

Frasier: "Four-breasted queen of the planet Rozniak!" I'll sign that.
Roz: Frasier!
Frasier: [signing it] Well, Roz, television will never improve
unless the viewers speak out!
Noel: Thanks. I'd better go. Well, [makes the Vulcan salute at
Roz] live long and prosper!
Roz: Oh, just go! [Noel leaves] I am the joke of the station.
When I used to come in in the morning the guard would say,
"Morning, Roz." Now it's "All hail, Rozalinda!"
Frasier: Roz, I think you should be flattered. Noel's attempt to
immortalize you is-is akin to... a love poem written by
Robert Browning to his wife.
Roz: Did he ever write a poem where he gave her two extra breasts?
Frasier: Well, I'd have to check my English Lit notes, but I think not,
no.

The phone on his console rings; he answers.

Frasier: Hello? Yes? Niles, Niles, slow down, I can hardly understand
you!
Roz: What is it?
Frasier: Maris is missing! [Roz gasps] What? No, I don't think you
should drag the koi pond! Listen, I'll be right over! All
right, just hang tight! [hangs up] Roz, Roz, how much time
left in the show?
Roz: No, you go, do whatever you have to do; I'll handle things
here.
Frasier: You're sure you can manage?
Roz: If I can nurse quadruplets and still find time to rule
Rozniak, I can do anything!

Frasier grabs his jacket and briefcase and leaves.

FADE OUT

THANK GOD GUCCI WAS CLOSED

Scene Two – Niles's House
Frasier comes in the front door. Daphne is pacing the living room;
Martin is on the couch with the phone in his hand.

Frasier: All right, what's going on?
Martin: Yeah, Maris is really gone; I'm on the phone with the station
right now.
Daphne: Apparently she just vanished. No note, nothing.

Niles comes in through the glass doors, looking like hell.

Niles: Oh, Frasier, thank God you're here. [hugs Frasier]
Daphne: Any news, Dr. Crane?
Niles: No, no, I asked the neighbors if they'd seen any strange cars
in the neighborhood. One reported spotting something called a
"minivan." But that was weeks ago!
Frasier: Well, there's no need to panic, Niles. I'm sure she's all
right.
Daphne: Oh, dear me... [picks up the poker from the fireplace] I don't
want to alarm you, Dr. Crane, but I'm getting a very strong
vibration off this.
Niles: Oh, dear God.
Daphne: I can see Mrs. Crane. She's waving this poker around and
screaming, "You thief! Get out! You'll never get away with
this!"
Niles: Wait... no, I remember. That's what she said to the decorator
when he tried to double-bill her for the andirons.
Daphne: I was wondering why the intruder was wearing Toreador pants.
Martin: [into phone] Yeah, Mike, I'm still here. Yeah, that's right,
she's been missing three days.
Frasier: Uh, excuse me? She's been missing for three days and you're
just panic-stricken now?
Niles: I only just realized it. The last two nights, I knocked on
Maris's bedroom door to wish her goodnight and I was greeted
with a chilly silence, so naturally I assumed everything was
status quo.
Martin: [into phone] Uh, thin. Make that VERY thin. Caucasian.
VERY Caucasian.
Niles: Oh God, what could be happening to her?
Martin: Oh, wait, wait, you got something? O.K., uh-huh, O.K. [to
Niles] Mike ran a check on Maris's credit cards, there's
been a whole bunch of charges in New York.
Niles: Oh, God. She's been kidnapped. Someone's using her credit
cards.
Martin: [into phone] Yeah, O.K., slow down. Armani... Valentino...
Cartier... Tiffany...
Niles: Any restaurants?
Martin: Any restaurants? [to Niles] Not a one.
Niles: [springing up with joy] She's alive!
Frasier: Oh, Niles! You're certain!
Niles: Oh, yes! From that list, she's recreating her infamous
"Sakes alive, I'm thirty-five" shopping spree!
Martin: O.K., Mike, thanks a lot. Yeah, I owe you. Bye. [hangs up]
Daphne: Oh, Dr. Crane, I'm so relieved.
Niles: Oh, so am I. I'm exhausted. I was so scared.

He notices that Frasier is quiet and dour.

Niles: Frasier? What's wrong? You look positively uncelebratory.
Aren't you glad Maris is O.K.?
Frasier: Of course I am. It's just that... well, here you are,
all panic-stricken and scared to death, and she's off on
some shopping trip! Don't you find that the least bit
upsetting?
Niles: Yes, I suppose her behavior was a tad inconsiderate.
Frasier: Well, she left without so much as a note or a phone call!
Martin: Frasier, stay out of this. It's between Niles and his wife.
Frasier: You know, I'm sorry, Dad, but this is not the first time
we've experienced Maris's selfish behavior! She always puts
her needs before his! She never attends family functions!
Doesn't that make you angry?
Niles: Well, over the years I've learned to accept Maris's
eccentricities.
Frasier: Oh, she's not being eccentric. She's being arrogant and
selfish!
Martin: If he says he's not angry, he's not angry.
Niles: And even if I were angry, what would you have me do?
Frasier: Let it out!
Niles: Well, I am letting it out! [holds out his hands] I'm getting
hives!
Frasier: Well, that is a triumph of self-expression! My God, man,
why don't you just let out some of the words that you're
dying to say?
Niles: Oh God, I am so sick of you and your relentless psychobabble!

He grabs a glass knick-knack off the piano and smashes it to the
floor.

Frasier: A-ha! You're not angry at me! That was directed at Maris!
Niles: Nope, that was for you! This is for Maris!

He grabs another knick-knack and hurls it into the fireplace.

Martin: Whoa! O.K., all right, Niles, now you got it out of your
system!
Niles: Yes, but it felt so good! Let me do one more!

He runs around the room, grabbing various valuables and smashing them.

Frasier: All right, Niles, this is good, this is healthy! But you've
got to channel it! You must talk to Maris!

Niles grabs a Ming vase.

Daphne: Oh no, wait! That's beautiful! [grabs a porcelain "Commodore"
statue] Here, this one's hideous!
Martin: Hey, I gave him that for a wedding present!
Niles: Well, all right, here!

Niles continues to smash things. Marta comes down and sees.

Marta: [gasps] Dios Mio!
Niles: [smashing] Oh, Marta! This feels wonderful! You must try it!

Marta picks up something and smashes it. She grins and nods.

Niles: I meant at your house.

Headlights shine in the driveway.

Martin: Oh my God, it's Maris!
Niles: Maris?! What?! You said she was in New York!
Martin: Well, I don't know, she probably flew back!

Martin and Niles ad-lib bickering for a second.

Niles: All right, all right, no one panic, there's an easy solution
to this! [grabs another vase] Frasier, bash me on the head
with this, we'll tell Maris there was a break-in!
Frasier: Niles, Niles, stop it! God, you are the damaged party here,
not Maris!
Niles: But-but-but-but the mess!
Frasier: This mess is the physical manifestation of years of repressed
anger! It's time to draw a line in the sand and say, "I have
had enough!" My God, man, show her your mess!
Niles: You're right. It's time I told Maris I will not tolerate
this behavior. I'm going up there and I'm going to demand
an apology!
Frasier: Good for you!

Niles walks to the stairs. Before going up, he takes the Ming vase
and tosses it over his shoulder, smashing it.

Niles: I always hated that dynasty.

FADE TO:

Scene Three – Frasier's Apartment
Later that evening, Daphne, Martin, and Frasier are riding the elevator
up.

Daphne: How're you feeling, Mr. Crane?
Martin: I'm fine, I wish you'd quit asking me.
Frasier: Well, it's a reasonable question for a man who just ate a
cut of prime rib the size of a hatbox.
Martin: Well, whose fault's that? You're the one who was too
embarrassed to walk out with a doggie bag. For what it
cost, that meat was coming with me, one way or another!

The elevator stops at their floor, and they step off.

Daphne: [checking her watch] Goodness, we've been gone three hours.
Probably have a dog with a full bladder in there.
Frasier: Lord, let's hope so.

As soon as Daphne unlocks the door, Eddie runs out with his leash and
into the elevator.

Martin: Hey, Daphne, how do you feel about taking him for a walk?
I just want to get in there and unbuckle my pants — since
I wasn't allowed to at the restaurant!
Daphne: Oh, sure. We all know how Eddie needs his exercise. I mean,
we wouldn't want all that fatty meat he eats clogging up his
aging arteries until his poor old heart gives out.
Martin: Oh and, uh, why don't you pick up some half-and-half at the
corner store too?
Daphne: Get moving, old man!

She hauls him into the elevator with her and Eddie, and they ride
down. As Frasier steps into the living room, Niles steps in from the
kitchen. His jacket is off, his shirtsleeves rolled up, he has an
open Ballantine in one hand and the rest of the six-pack in the
other.

Niles: There y'are!
Frasier: Niles?
Niles: Sorry to startle you, I let myself in. Want a beer?
Frasier: No.
Niles: I have to thank you for putting me in touch with my anger.
I had no idea how therapeutic it was to just pick something
up and smash it!

As he says this, he lays a hand on one of Frasier's African
sculptures. Frasier steps forward and surreptitiously puts his hand
on the base.

Frasier: Well... you're welcome, Niles. But, um, how did things go
with Maris?
Niles: Oh!

Niles goes to sit on the couch. Frasier removes the sculpture to a
safe place.

Niles: I marched into her room and demanded an explanation. It seems
that over lunch with her garden club, Maris heard that the new
Couture lines had arrived in New York. So she hied her way to
the airport, and in her haste she forgot to leave me a note.
Frasier: Unbelievable!
Niles: Just thinking about it makes me furious!
Frasier: Really?
Niles: Yes!

Frasier removes the breakables from the table behind the couch.

Niles: So I told her, "Maris, you were inconsiderate, and when you
are ready to apologize, I can be reached at Frasier's!"
Then I stormed out and slammed the door. Of course, it was
that fourteenth-century Bavarian cathedral door, so I had to
get two of the servants to help me slam it. But what it
lacked in spontaneity it made up for in resonance!
Frasier: Well, Niles, you know I'm not usually one to toot my own horn,
but I think in this case I was on the mark. You feel good,
don't you?
Niles: I feel great!
Frasier: You feel empowered?
Niles: So empowered!
Frasier: And you'd like to switch to wine now, wouldn't you?
Niles: Oh, please.

As Niles puts down the beer can and wipes off his tongue, the phone
rings. Frasier answers.

Frasier: Hello? Oh, hello, Maris. Yes, Niles is here. I'll see if
he's available.

Frasier and Niles wait for a few seconds, letting her stew, then
Niles takes the phone.

Niles: Hello, Maris. Mmm-Hmm. Well, I know you're not used to me
speaking to you that way. That's rather the point, wouldn't
you agree? Uh-huh. I see. Well, thank you. I know this was
a very difficult call for you to make. Goodbye.

Niles hangs up. Frasier gives him a thumbs-up.

Niles: She wants a divorce.

Frasier drops his thumb to a half-and-half position.

END OF ACT ONE

ACT TWO

Scene One – Frasier's Apartment
It's later that night. Martin, Frasier, and Niles, are in the living
room. Niles has just hung up the phone.

Niles: It's no use. She still won't talk to me.
Martin: Oh, just give her time to cool off. Call her again in the
morning.
Frasier: Geez, you must be exhausted, Niles. Why don't you call it a
day and get some rest, huh?
Niles: Do you have a blanket for me?
Martin: Oh now, Niles, you've been going through a rough time lately,
you're not sleeping on any couch. You can sleep in
Frasier's bed.
Frasier: What?
Niles: You're sure it wouldn't be too much trouble?
Martin: No trouble.
Niles: I wouldn't want to impose.
Martin: No, don't worry about it, you're family.
Niles: Thank you.

Niles goes down the hallway to Frasier's room.

Frasier: Well, that was very generous of you.
Martin: Well, it's the least you can do after getting him kicked out
of the house.
Frasier: Well, Dad, I was just trying to do what's right for him.
Martin: Well, trust me. I handled domestic disputes for thirty years.
The first rule is, don't take sides.
Frasier: Well, it's just a little difficult when it happens to be
your own brother.
Martin: Well, that's the second rule. When it's your own family,
keep your nose out of their personal problems.

Frasier gets up and gets his coat.

Frasier: This is starting to make some sense.
Martin: Well, maybe you should listen to your old man once in a while.
Frasier: I know.
Martin: I mean, I'm not a psychiatrist or anything, I'm just a cop.
Frasier: But a darn good one.
Martin: You're going to talk to Maris, aren't you?
Frasier: I'll be back in an hour.

Frasier leaves. Martin shakes his head.

FADE TO:

WHAT LIGHT BREAKS THROUGH YONDER WINDOW

Scene Two – Niles's House
Marta is sweeping up the last of the mess in the living room.
Frasier is standing outside the glass doors.

Frasier: Don't ignore me, Marta!
Marta: Go away!
Frasier: Let me in, I need to speak with Mrs. Crane!
Marta: Missy Crane say, no you Dr. Crane, no other Dr. Crane,
and no Crane with a cane!
Frasier: Well, at least tell her that I'm here!
Marta: She know. Everybody know.

Marta goes up the stairs, turning off the light. Frasier steps back
and looks up at the second floor.

Frasier: Maris? Maris, we need to talk! Oh, look, look, I know you're
up there, I can see you through the shutters! All right, if
you won't talk, listen! Niles didn't ask me to come here, I
came because I care about both of you. I realize that Niles
spoke to you rather harshly today. Truth be told, is it was
I that urged him to express his anger. As hard as it was for
you to listen to such criticism, you're a fair-minded woman
and you must concede that he had a right to be upset! [the
window opens] Oh! Oh, Maris! By opening that window you're
opening up a window to a long and happy marriage, that's good!

A bucket of water is dumped on his head; he splutters for a few
seconds.

Frasier: All right, you're expressing your anger! That's good, too!
But, listen, in spite of that last little outburst, I am not
going to leave here until we've had some sort of a
breakthrough! [attack dogs barking] Well, I see our time is
up, I'll let myself out!

He runs like hell.


FADE TO:

Scene Three – Frasier's Apartment
The next morning. Frasier is standing in front of the open
refrigerator. Eddie is sitting on the floor behind him, staring.

Frasier: I know you're there. After last night, frankly, I've had
quite enough of your kind.

Daphne tiptoes in, grinning mischievously.

Frasier: You can stare all you like. I'm not going to give you
anything to eat.

Daphne whimpers like a puppy.

Frasier: Oh, all right, here. You might as well finish off this god-
awful Shepherd's Pie that Daphne made. Lord knows it isn't
fit for humans. [turns around and sees her] Did that sound
like "humans?" I said "Mormons."
Daphne: You're not at your quickest first thing in the morning, are
you?
Frasier: Well, it was a rough night.
Martin: [coming in] Well, maybe next time you'll listen to your old
man and not come between a husband and his wife.
Frasier: And here's Dad, all sleep-refreshed and bright-eyed, ready
to resume his lecture!

They bring the fixings for breakfast out to the dining table. A
blanket on the couch shows where Niles slept, but there's no sign of
him except a note on the table.

Daphne: Oh look, your brother left us a note.
Frasier: [reading] "Dear Dad, Frasier, & Daphne: when you wake up
this morning I'll be gone. Thank you for all your help,
but I don't want to be a burden any longer."
Daphne: You don't think... no, I'm sure this is all completely
harmless.
Martin: Yeah, my gun's still locked up... and the door to the
balcony's closed...
Frasier: And we all know that Daphne's Shepherd's Pie is still in the
refrigerator.

Daphne gives him a dirty look. Niles comes in the door with a
shopping bag.

Niles: Hi-ho, everyone! What are you all doing inside on such a
beautiful, clear autumn day?
Frasier: Niles, you seem awfully chipper this morning.
Niles: Well, I woke up this morning and I had a realization. Like it
or not, my life is changing. I'm single now, so I went out
and rented a bachelor pad. Ooh, is that coffee?
Martin: Don't you think that's jumping the gun a little bit?
Niles: Oh no, Dad. Maris, uh, ordered me to get my stuff out of
there by sundown, or else she'd turn it over to a church
bazaar. Oh, and I got these jeans! [pulls a new pair of
jeans out of the shopping bag] Right? Right? And I'm
starting a goatee, and I'm thinking of joining a gym, but
I don't know whether aerobics or weight training is the
quickest route to "buff!" Any thoughts?
Frasier: One thought: seek help! Niles, you've just been through a
very traumatic experience here and you are deep in denial
here. You are going through some very extreme emotions
right now, and rather than feeling them, you're denying
they even exist.
Niles: I'm not denying my feelings. I'm so in tune with my emotions
that I was able to move through them quickly. In fact, I've
logged them all in my journal.

He takes out a small notebook and reads from it.

Niles: Let's see, where are we? Here... [reading]
“5 AM: Blissful confusion. Something's happened, but what?”
“5:01: Ah, yes. An overwhelming sense of emptiness and
despair.”
“5:07...” - this one's hard to read... oh, right! - “Wept
uncontrollably.”
“6:15: All cried out. Hungry now. Ate entire box of Frosted
Flakes, they're gr-r-r-reat!” [closes journal]
So don't you tell me I'm not in touch with my emotions!

He exits.

Martin: "9:45: get out the butterfly net."

FADE TO:

DENIAL AIN'T JUST A RIVER

Scene Four – Niles's House
Niles is standing to the living room, addressing the assembled
household staff. Frasier and Marta are on the couch.

Niles: It's not easy for me to say goodbye, especially after so many
years — all we've shared, all that we've meant to one another.
Jean-Pierre, Marie, Bernard — thank you for your years of
devoted service. As a personal favor, please look after
Mrs. Crane. It'll be just you and her from now on.

The staff look anxiously at Marta.

Marta: Uh, the staff, they have a question: Can we come with you?
Niles: Marta, I'm afraid this is a road I must walk alone.

The staff file away.

Frasier: Must be very painful, isn't it?
Niles: Painful doesn't begin to describe it. But they're strong,
they'll get over it. [some moving men come down carrying
boxes; Niles goes over to them] Oh, watch that, careful
with those!
Frasier: Look at him, Dad. My God, he's locked in denial!
Martin: Oh, for God's sake. First you get him to move out, then when
he does he's not upset enough for you. There's no pleasing
you!
Frasier: Well, what would please me would be to see him actually
experience some real emotion! My God, he's walking through
this thing like a zombie!
Niles: Well, that's everything. Shall we?
Martin: You know, there's no hurry, Niles.
Niles: Well, actually there is. I have aerobics at five, and then
I'm meeting with my decorator at six-thirty. Off we go!

Frasier and Martin get up and head for the door. Niles starts to
follow them, then stops and turns around.

Niles: Have I got my wallet? [pats pocket] Yes. [turns to leave, but
turns back again] Have I got my checkbook? [pats other pocket]
Yes. [turns to leave, but turns back again] Have I lost my
MIND?! I can't leave! This is my home! You're not taking
me!

He slams the glass doors shut, with Martin and Frasier outside.

Frasier: Niles, Niles, open the door!
Niles: Nope, nope, bye-bye! Thanks for coming, I'll tell Maris you
sent your best!

Frasier and Martin push their way back in.

Martin: Now, Niles, calm down.
Frasier: No, no, don't calm down! Let it out! This is very healing!
Niles: Don't you ever let up?
Martin: Look, everything's gonna be fine.
Niles: No, it isn't. There's no life for me out there!
Martin: You're just excited.
Niles: I don't want to be a bachelor. I didn't like it the first
time.
Frasier: Niles, look, just sit down for a second, O.K.?
Niles: Where, Frasier? [wanders around the room; puts his hand on an
armchair] Here, in the chair that Maris and I picked out on
our honeymoon in Vienna? [goes to the piano] Or here, where
I sit Sunday mornings playing Mahler while Maris dabs at her
watercolors? [goes to the fireplace] Perhaps here, where we
sipped champagne on our last anniversary. Guess that really
was our last anniversary.
Frasier: Oh, Niles...

Marta comes down the stairs.

Marta: Dr. Crane?
Niles: Yes, Marta?
Marta: Missy Crane give me message for you: if you say is all your
fault, you no have to leave.
Niles: ...I can stay?
Marta: She waiting upstairs.

Marta goes back up the stairs. There is silence for a moment.

Frasier: Niles, before you make your decision, just make sure that
you're remembering things the way they really were. Yes,
you bought that chair on your honeymoon in Vienna. But
remember, you wanted to buy the chair that you saw in Paris.
Yes, you sit at the piano every Sunday morning and play
Mahler for Maris. But you hate Mahler! Besides Maris,
who doesn't?!
Martin: Look, just give him a little air here...
Frasier: Look, all I'm saying is that along with the good things in
your marriage, there were problems — things you said you
couldn't live with anymore. Now if you want those to change,
you have got to stand up to her. If you back down now, you
will go through the rest of your life feeling weak and small
because you never had the courage to say, “I will not let you
treat me like this, Lilith! ...Maris!”

Niles and Martin stare at him.

Frasier: Well, I've lost all credibility here. Dad, would you please
say something?
Martin: I told you, I'm not telling him what to do.
Niles: I wouldn't mind knowing what you think.
Martin: It doesn't matter what I think. What matters is what you
think. Now if you want to walk up those stairs, we'll
support you. If you want to go out that door, we'll
support you there, too.

Niles thinks for a few moments, then walks toward the stairs.

Martin: What are you, nuts?! You're gonna go up there and grovel to
that woman after what she did to you?!
Niles: Actually, I was just going to get my car keys. [picks them
up off the table by the stairs] But thanks for the impartial
advice, Dad.

Frasier and Martin walk out the glass doors. Niles follows them.
He pauses on the threshold, looking around the living room, then
closes the doors behind him and walks away from the house.

END OF ACT TWO

Credits:

KACL
Roz comes into the radio booth with a clipboard. She notices a gift
box sitting on her console. As she picks it up, a gang of staffers
excitedly crowd around the window.

Roz opens the box. Inside is a four-cup bra — two bras sewn together,
one on top of the other. She rolls her eyes, then holds it over her
chest to see if it fits. Then she turns and sees the staffers
laughing, bowing up and down and saying "Hail, Queen Rozalinda!"
Roz runs out of her booth and chases them down the hallway.