03x14 - The Show Where Diane Comes Back

ACT ONE

Scene One – KACL
Frasier is wrapping up his show. Roz is talking on the phone and
looks worried.

Frasier: This is Dr. Frasier Crane, KACL, 780.

He goes off the air.

Roz: Frasier, that was security. Some woman insisted on seeing
you, she just blew right past them.
Frasier: Oh, don't panic, Roz — probably just one of my more ardent
fans.

Diane Chambers appears in the window and knocks on the glass.
Frasier turns around. She smiles and waves at him.

On that image the screen suddenly GOES DARK.

Then the camera pulls back from the black hole of Frasier's wide-open
mouth to his face, a rictus of horror: "AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!"

SMASH CUT TO:

Scene Two - Niles's Office
Frasier bursts into Niles's office. Niles is sitting at his desk
with a pad. His patient, Mr. Carr, is seated in an armchair by the
door.

Frasier: Niles, we've got to talk! It's urgent.
Niles: Frasier, I'm with a patient!
Frasier: [notices Carr] Oh, I'm sorry.
Carr: [gets up] Is, uh, this about a woman?
Frasier: Yes.
Carr: Take all the time you need.

Mr. Carr leaves.

Niles: Well?
Frasier: She's back — the scourge of my existence.
Niles: Strange, I usually get some sign when Lilith is in town —
dogs forming into packs, blood weeping down the wall.
Frasier: I'm talking about... Diane Chambers.
Niles: [hits the intercom] Lucille, send Mr. Carr home.
Frasier: She just showed up at the station today. Apparently some play
she wrote is being produced here in town. I admit, I just
sort of panicked when I saw her, but I think I covered it
masterfully.

Frasier stops pacing and sits in a chair. Niles picks up his pad.

Niles: All right, all right, all right. Well, uh, why do you think
you reacted that way?
Frasier: Oh, spare me the psychiatrist bit, Niles. That includes
putting down the pad! [Niles lays the pad on the desk] In
the drawer, Niles!
Niles: [puts it in the drawer] Fine. My first question to you is
this: Are you still in love with her?
Frasier: [jumps up from his chair] No! Not in the least! It's a
ridiculous suggestion.
Niles: Seeing as how I have nowhere to write the phrase, "classic
denial," I'll move on. So, about this woman for whom you
have so little feeling that you raced across town and burst
into one of my sessions — is there any lingering resentment?
Frasier: [dropping back into the chair] Over what?!
Niles: Well, she did leave at the altar. When you told her how
that made you feel, was there anything you left unsaid?
[Frasier looks away] Any phrase or feeling you wished you
had expressed to her? [Frasier looks away more] I'm making
the assumption here that you did tell her how you felt.
Frasier: I sort of did.
Niles: "Sort of" is another one of those phrases that just wants to
go in my pad.
Frasier: I expressed my distaste for the way I'd been treated, yes.
Niles: Frasier, she rejected you in the most debilitating way a man
can be rejected. You've got to more than "sort of" tell her
how that felt.
Frasier: Well, I can't just tell Diane how awful she made me feel
now! It's a distant memory for her. I'd feel weak!
Niles: You have no reason to feel weak. You've moved on in your
life too. You have a new career, new wealth, new success.
You simply need closure in this one area.
Frasier: You know, what you just said made a lot of sense.
Niles: You're going to get closure.
Frasier: No, that business about my success! I tuned you out after
that. I'm going to invite Diane over for dinner tonight,
and I'm really gonna flaunt my success, really rub her nose
in it! That'll prove I'm not just some cast-aside that
never got over her. Niles, I know it's not psychologically
sound. But we're still human. We have to do what feels
good sometimes, don't we?
Niles: I'd just like to be on the record as saying I'm against it.
Frasier: Fine.
Niles: You know the path that leads to peace with Diane and you're
rejecting it.
Frasier: Yes.
Niles: I'm washing my hands of the entire matter.
Frasier: Wouldn't miss it for the world though, would you?
Niles: I'll be there at seven with a cheeky Bordeaux.

Frasier leaves. Niles grabs his pad out of the drawer and starts
writing on it.

FADE OUT

Scene Three – Frasier's Apartment
It's evening. Daphne is arranging things for dinner. Martin is
reading the paper. Frasier comes out, wearing his best suit.

Frasier: No, no, no. Daphne, I was very specific about this.
The mayor's plaque goes on the piano...

He moves the plaque to the piano.

Frasier: The Otis Klandenning "Man of the Year Award" goes right over
here...

He places an elaborate silver bowl on the little table next to the
Armchair.

Frasier: And my jewel — my SeaBea — goes right here where she can't
miss it! [puts in on the mantel]
Daphne: Hmm, that seems a bit subtle. Why don't I just use this to
serve the olives?

She takes the SeaBea trophy — a silver miniature of the Space Needle —
and spears an olive out of the appetizer tray.

Frasier: Give me that! [replaces it]
Daphne: I wish someone would just tell me who this woman is, and why
we're trying to impress the pants off her.

The doorbell rings.

Frasier: She's a one-time Boston barmaid who had a nervous breakdown
and ended up in a sanitorium, where I met her, fell for her,
and then was so mercilessly rejected by her that to this day
there is a sucking chest wound where once there dwelled a
heart!

He opens the door. Diane stands there, elegant and smiling.

Frasier: [welcoming] Diane!
Diane: Hello, Frasier.
Frasier: Please. [she comes in] You remember my brother Niles, my
father Martin, and this is his health-care worker, Daphne
Moon.

They all ad-lib hellos.

Diane: What a tasteful abode.
Frasier: Well, it's modest in its way.
Diane: No, that's what I like about it. After the rambling beach
house I've been living in, I'm ready for something smart and
efficient.
Frasier: White wine, Diane? I'm pouring an '85 Montrachet La Guiche
I purchased at auction.
Diane: Oh, I always keep a bottle of that open myself.

Frasier's smile is so fixed on his face, it's painful to look at.
He tosses her coat to Daphne.

Frasier: Hang this up!

Diane sits opposite Martin.

Diane: Well, Martin, it's been too long. How have you been?
Martin: Well, my wife died, I got shot in the hip, and I had to move
in with Frasier 'cause I kept falling down in the shower.
Diane: Well, you look wonderful! [pats his knee] Yes, you do!
Martin: That's the bad one.
Diane: Oh! [gets up] Niles, do you remember the last time I was in
town and we dined together? You had just started dating this
woman — she was the queerest little creature. [Frasier hands
her a glass of wine] Thank you. [laughs] She ate everyone's
sorbet, and then she had to lie down in the ladies' lounge
while the coat-check girl massaged her abdomen!

She stops laughing when she notices Frasier's uncomfortable look.

Diane: Oh, I hope I haven't put my foot in it. You and she didn't
get married and live happily ever after, did you?
Niles: No, can't say as we did.
Daphne: Care for an olive?
Diane: Oh, thank you.
Frasier: These are a Pyreenean taste treat! They're handpicked and
bottled by Andalusian monks!
Daphne: [lifting the "Man of the Year" cup] You can spit the pits in
here.

Frasier snatches the cup down as Diane spits, narrowly missing Martin.

FADE TO:

Scene Four – Frasier's Apartment
Everyone is sitting at the dinner table. Diane is telling a story.

Diane: So, there I was, on the balcony of my Malibu beachhouse,
when a pod of whales passed by. I knew I had to commune
with these gentle giants, so like a flash, I was on the
beach, scrambling to my kayak. But cruel fortune interceded,
when, not twenty yards offshore, I suddenly discovered myself
entangled in an enormous bed of-of, um—
Niles: Sea kelp?
Diane: Exactly right, sea kelp!
Martin: Oh, that's funny — I thought he said "seek help."
Daphne: So, you haven't told us how you've come to be in Seattle.
Diane: Oh, a small theater group has decided to produce a play I've
written.
Frasier: Which one?
Diane: Oh, my most recent work. It's a sort of feminist odyssey,
experimental in places, in tone akin to Saroyan, with a
soupηon of Gide, and a hearty nod to Clifford Odets!
Frasier: I meant which theater?
Diane: Oh! The Roundabout.
Martin: That seems appropriate.
Frasier: You know, why don't you people just keep talking amongst
yourselves? I will go and fetch the profiteroles. They were
prepared by the hottest new pastry chef in... oh, what's the
use?

Frasier goes to the kitchen. Niles gets up.

Niles: I'll help. He always overpowders.
Martin: Yeah, I'm sure Old Man Kennedy felt this kind of pride when
his boys would go out and play touch football.

In the kitchen, Frasier takes a plate of little cakes out of the
refrigerator.

Niles: Now, Frasier, you know her better than I. Is that what she
looks like when she's writhing in envy?
Frasier: Oh, shut up. All right, I admit you were right. Before she
leaves here tonight, I am going to tell her how much pain
she made me feel. [energetically sprinkling sugar on the
cakes] The savage truth this time — there will be no
sugarcoating it! [Niles motions him to use less] And yes,
I am aware of the irony! [blows the excess in Niles's face]

They bring the cakes out.

Daphne: Oh, it must be wonderful to see your words come to life like
that.
Diane: Oh yes. It's a dream come true.

The right side of her face twitches suddenly.

Martin: Diane, are you OK?
Diane: Yes, I'm fine. Why?
Martin: Well, your cheek was kind of twitching.
Diane: It was? Oh well, it was probably fatigue. Where were we?
Daphne: Oh, I was asking about your play.
Diane: Oh, right! [she twitches again, harder]
Martin: There it goes again, the twitch!
Daphne: That was either a very large twitch or a very small seizure.
Diane: You know, I'm not sure how much I really want to talk about
my play right now. [twitches even harder, and covers her face
with a napkin] Bad luck and all that!
Frasier: Yes, and we all know what a struggle it is to get Diane to
talk about herself.
Diane: [laughing] Oh Frasier, you always could kid! How I miss that!

Her laughs slide gradually into tears, and then into noisy, full-blown
sobbing. Her head droops down onto the table as she keeps crying.

Frasier: Look, Diane, please, I-I really didn't mean anything by it.
I'm sorry—
Diane: It's not that! It's my whole life, it's ruined!
Frasier: Niles, could you please get her some water?
Niles: Of course, of course. [goes to the kitchen]
Diane: Oh, everything I told you tonight is a lie. I'm sorry for
this. Oh, I must look just awful.
Martin: Your cheek stopped jumping.
Frasier: All right, now. Tell me what happened. Was it about your
play?

That sets off the twitch.

Daphne: There it goes again!
Frasier: Look, would you people please just give us some privacy?!

Everyone gets up and goes to the kitchen. Frasier sits next to Diane.

Frasier: All right now. From the beginning.
Diane: Well, it all started a few months ago when I lost my job.
I'd been writing for "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman." I was
on the set one day, and I was trying to show Jane Seymour
the proper way to cauterize a wound with a branding iron,
and I accidentally set her hair on fire. Well, from there
it was a steady slide downhill. A two-year relationship
ended, I lost the beach house, friends stopped calling —
the one bright spot was my play in Seattle. Well, I flew
up here yesterday only to find that the backer was pulling
out. I was so distraught I found myself wandering around
the city in complete despair. It's then that like a ray
of hope from heaven, I saw your smiling face on the side
of a bus. And that's why I'm here today. You helped me
the only other time I was this low. Frasier, I'm asking
for your help again.
Frasier: Of course I'll help you, Diane.
Diane: Oh, Frasier...

Reset to: The kitchen.

Daphne: Well, that was a bit scary.
Martin: I'll say — watching someone go completely crackers like that.

Niles starts to sniffle.

Martin: What's the matter with you now?
Niles: Nothing, I'm fine. Just suddenly missing my Maris.

Daphne puts an arm around his shoulder and comforts him.

END OF ACT ONE

ACT TWO

INTERPLAY

Scene Five – Cafι Nervosa
Niles is seated at a corner table. Frasier comes in. Throughout the
following scene, Niles never says a word.

Frasier: My God, Niles, it's such a glorious day! I walked all the
way here. Thirty-two blocks, and Bruno Maglies be damned!
[sits down] Oh yes, I see the look, I know exactly what it
means too. How could I very well say "no" to Diane? She
came to me in crisis. [to a passing waitress] Oh, excuse me,
a double cappuccino, please, light cinnamon, thank you very
much. [sighs] Oh, you know, the change in Diane has really
been quite gratifying. Dropped her off at the theater today,
and there was a smile on her face that I haven't seen in...
well, far too many years. Oh, I know what you're thinking.
Where did she get the money to do the play? Well, she found
a backer! [pause] It's tax deductible! [the waitress brings
his coffee] Thank you. Oh, why don't you go ahead and say
what you're thinking, Niles? That I'm falling for her again.
"Well, you did bounce in here as though you were on top of
the world, and babbling about her smile" — I just don't want
to hear it, Niles! I'm simply helping her to get back on
her feet and out of my life as quickly as possible. No, I
don't know how long it's going to take. Look, I said I don't
know! Oh, really, Niles! Curse you, you are the most
infuriating busybody! I'm not sitting with you.

Frasier gets up and goes to another table. Niles takes a little pad
out of his jacket and starts writing.

FADE TO:

FOREPLAY

Scene Six – Frasier's Apartment
That evening, Diane and Frasier are standing next to each other,
looking out at the city.

Diane: It really is a lovely city.
Frasier: "Night — making all things dimly beautiful..."
Diane: "One veil over us both." Cyrano?
Frasier: Yes. Eleven years later, we're still on the same page.
Diane: Frasier, these past few weeks, you've given so much of
yourself to me. I want to give the one gift I have to
bestow. I want you to be the first person to see my
play. Will you come to dress rehearsal tonight?
Frasier: Diane, I'd be honored?
Diane: Oh, wonderful, wonderful!

She ducks into the powder room. Martin walks into the living room.

Diane: Give me a second.
Frasier: Are you sure you're ready for this?
Diane: Oh yes, it's time. Tonight, I bare myself to you.

Martin ducks behind the pillar.

Frasier: Big step, Diane.
Diane: Oh well, I have to say I'm a little nervous about it. But,
barring any lighting or prop problems, the whole thing will
be over in a couple of hours.
Martin: [heading to the kitchen] Hello! People still in the house
here!
Diane: Meet me at the theater at seven... I don't know what I've
done to deserve you.

They kiss. Diane leaves, and Martin comes back.

Frasier: Hey, Dad.
Martin: Listen, it's none of my business, but you're not falling for
her again, are you?
Frasier: What if I were?
Martin: That woman dumped you at the altar.
Frasier: Oh, that was the old Diane. She no longer sees herself as
the center of the universe. And I'm not the old Frasier
anymore either. People can change, Dad.
Martin: Yeah, I suppose you're right. Take me for instance. The old
Martin would have said, "you're out of your mind. I'd rather
see you go gay and shack up with the punk who shot me than go
off with her. I'd rather see you sewed up inside the body of
a dead horse." But the new Martin just says, "Vivee a l'amour."
Frasier: The new Frasier resists the temptation to correct your French.


FADE TO:

Scene Seven – Theater
Frasier sits alone in the rows of a small theater. Diane comes out
from behind the curtain and speaks to the whole room.

Diane: Well, the stage is set, my players are prepared. So,
without further ado, I give you "Rhapsody and Requiem,"
a play by Diane Chambers.

Frasier applauds. Diane goes backstage.

The curtain opens. On the stage is a nearly-perfect replica of Cheers
back in Boston, complete with look-alikes. Frasier's eyes widen.

Stan: [Sam look-alike] Boy, it sure is great having Mary Anne
back. Just wasn't the same when she was gone.
Clark: [Cliff look-alike] Yeah, well, you know, uh, recent studies
at John Hopkins University revealed that the expression
"absence makes the heart grow fonder," is in actuality
rooted in scientific bedrock.
Darla: [Carla look-alike] Yeah, so's your head.
Stan: Ease up there, Darla.

Ned [Norm look-alike] enters.

Ned: Evenin', everybody.
Stan: Hey there, Ned. What would you say to a beer?
Ned: What's a nice beer like you doing in a face like this?

Backstage, Diane laughs outrageously at her own joke. For Frasier,
this is getting increasingly weird. Then his own look-alike, Dr.
Franklin Creane, walks in the door.

Franklin: Salutations, all.
Stan: Hey there, Doc. What can I get you?
Franklin: Ooh, a prickly choice, Stan. It reminds me of the one the
18th-century wit John Wilkes faced when asked by the Earl
of Sandwich whether he expected to die on the gallows or
of the pox. "That depends, sir," he said, "on whether I
choose to embrace your principles or your mistress."

Mary Anne [Diane look-alike] enters and takes center stage.

Mary Anne: Evening, people.
All: Mary Anne!

FADE TO: Later.
The players are each illuminated by spotlights in turn to give interior
lines.

Stan: I pour beer down people's throats.
Ned: I drink it.
Franklin: Our lives are empty. So what draws our feet here night
after night?

The lights come up, showing the three men at the bar, alone.

Stan/Ned/Franklin: Mary Anne.

FADE TO: Later.
The bar is full. Mary Anne comes out and embraces Stan.

Mary Anne: Well, I'm off. See you anon, mi amore.
Stan: [kisses her] You bet, honey.

Frasier isn't sure how much more of this he can take.

Diane: [coming onstage] Hold it, stop! What kind of a kiss was
that? You two are supposed to be in love!
Stan: Well, I didn't know how big you wanted it.
Diane: Remember that kiss you gave me this morning?
Stan: Like this one?

The actor grabs Diane and kisses her deeply. Frasier stews with
jealousy - it's Sam & Diane all over again.

Diane: That's the one. OK, from the kiss! [goes offstage]
Stan: You bet, honey.

They resume the scene. Mary Anne and Stan break apart.

Mary Anne: Forgive me, Franklin. I suppose that was a tad
inconsiderate.
Franklin: Quite all right. A loving spirit like yours can't be
bridled.
Mary Anne: But I did leave you at the altar.
Franklin: No, you know I hold no ill-will toward you for that.

Frasier's about to explode.

Franklin: [breaking character] Could we just stop for a second?
[Diane comes onstage] This whole getting-left-at-the-altar
thing, I just don't know what I'm supposed to be feeling.
Frasier: I may be able to illuminate that for you!

He gets up and storms onstage. He ignores Diane and directs his fury
at Mary-Anne.

Frasier: What you are feeling is that this woman has reached into your
chest, plucked out your heart, and thrown it to her hell-
hounds for a chew toy! And it's not the last time either!
Because that's what this woman is! She is the Devil! There's
no use running away from her, because no matter how far you
go, no matter how many years you let pass, you will never be
completely out of reach of those bony fingers! So drink
hearty, Franklin, and laugh! Because you have made a pact
with Beelzebub! And her name is Mary Anne!

Frasier storms out of the theater. The rest of the cast members
break into applause. Diane stands there, mortified.

FADE TO:

AFTERPLAY

Scene Eight – Theater
Diane is sitting at the bar, alone. She is making energetic notes on her
play script, crossing out whole sections at a time. Frasier comes back.

Frasier: Diane?
Diane: Frasier...
Frasier: I thought we should talk.
Diane: Well, yes, I think we should. I tried to reach you at your
home.
Frasier: I was driving around.
Diane: [sighs] I'm sorry if I in any way misled you about my feelings
these last few weeks.
Frasier: You didn't. I think I misled myself.
Diane: Well, at the very least I obviously owe you an apology for
the first time that things went awry between us.
Frasier: Oh, it's all right.
Diane: No, it was a time in my life when—
Frasier: No, Diane, it isn't necessary. The things I said... well,
they just needed saying. Besides, I don't really feel all
that harshly — and in retrospect, I'm reasonably sure that
you are not the Devil... although he does have the power to
assume pleasing shapes.
Diane: Well, you should know I've decided to go back to Los Angeles.
Watching the play tonight through fresh eyes, I — well, I just
don't think it's ready.
Frasier: I'm sure things'll work out fine. Well, I think I've said
what I came to say.
Diane: Frasier, um, before you go, there's one last thing you could
help me with, not that you haven't helped me a lot already.
It's the last scene, where Franklin and Mary Anne say goodbye.
It's never felt quite right to me. I'd like her to stand...
oh, right about here [stands in the middle of the stage] and
tell him how much he's meant to her and how she'll never
forget him. How do you suppose... "Franklin" would respond
to that?
Frasier: Well, I suppose he'd tell her that he feels the same way.
That she's touched him in a way she can never imagine, he's
glad she was in his life.
Diane: All that would be left would be the "goodbye." How do you
see that?
Frasier: Well, I suppose he could say, uh, "until we meet again,"
probably certain that they never would.
Diane: But mightn't there be a part of him that hopes they would?
Frasier: Oh, I suppose so, yes. All right, then, don't have him sum
things up. Just let them say their goodbyes, and if their
paths happen to cross again, so be it... Goodbye, Mary Anne.
Diane: Goodbye, Franklin.

Frasier crosses to the bar door.

Diane: Oh yes, that's a perfect moment! Uncluttered by any extra
words or phrases—
Frasier: Diane.
Diane: Oh shoot, I've blown it!
Frasier: All right, let's try it again. [stands toe-to-toe with her]
Goodbye, Diane.
Diane: Goodbye, Frasier.

They hug. He goes out the bar door. She starts to say something,
then he comes back through it.

Frasier: Force of habit.
Diane: I've been doing it all week.

He leaves through the audience rows, waving goodbye.

END OF ACT TWO

Credits:

Eddie sits on the couch, chewing one of Martin's socks. Martin sees
him and pulls the sock away, scolding Eddie.

Eddie appears in a spotlight, with a thought bubble saying "I can't
help it. It's what I do."

Eddie pulls another sock out of the couch cushions. Martin yanks
that away too.