03x24 - You Can Go Home Again

ACT ONE

Scene One – KACL
Frasier is just wrapping up.

Frasier: This is Dr. Frasier Crane, wishing you all good mental health.

He goes off the air. Roz comes into his booth with a small gift box.

Roz: Happy anniversary!
Frasier: Oh, Roz! Oh, this is so much fun, Roz! I got you one too!

He hands her a similar-size gift box.

Roz: Oh, thank you! O.K., you first. I mean, it's nothing really,
it's not expensive or anything, you probably won't even like
it, I'm not good with gifts—
Frasier: Look, don't oversell it, Roz. [unwraps it] It's a tape.
[reads] "The Dr. Frasier Crane Show: Show #1, May 21st,
1993."
Roz: It's our first broadcast.
Frasier: Oh, Roz! I can't wait to listen to it! Did you ever think
I'd stay on the air this long?
Roz: Oh, hell no. [reads her card] "To Roz, who believed in me
from the start."
Frasier: Yes, it's from Hallmark's "Irony" section.
Roz: [opens hers] Oh, Frasier, they're beautiful! Earrings!
Thank you, thank you!
Frasier: [hugs her] You deserve them. Working side by side for three
years, one can't help but become close friends. And they're
blue! To match your... lips when they're cold!

She rolls her eyes at him as he goes out the door.

FADE OUT

Scene Two – Frasier's Apartment
It's later that afternoon. Outside, the rain is pouring. Daphne is
wandering around the apartment, dusting things and talking on the
cordless phone.

Daphne: Oh, Mum, it's not that I don't want to come home. I'd love a
visit! It's just that I can't! He won't let me.

Behind her back, Frasier comes in the door with a bouquet of flowers.

Daphne: Oh, you have no idea what Dr. Crane is like. Why, he's an
absolute beast — unpleasant to be around, a real tyrant!

Frasier shuts the door, loudly. Daphne jerks around.

Daphne: Oh! [whispering] It's just my mum. I'm trying to get out of
a visit home.
Frasier: [whispering] Oh, I understand. All right.
Daphne: [into phone] No, I'm not exaggerating! He treats me like a
bloody slave!
Frasier: [shouting] Daphne! Where's my dressing gown?!
Daphne: Not to mention how cheap he is!
Frasier: [as she holds the phone towards him] That better not be a
long-distance call!
Daphne: Yeah, yeah. He does sound a lot like Aunt Lillian.

She holds the phone towards him. He mouths, "I can't do Aunt
Lillian."

Daphne: I got to run, Mum. Love you, bye. [hangs up] I'm sorry,
you must think I'm a terrible daughter.
Frasier: No, not at all. I think you're a terrible liar, Daphne,
but a perfectly run-of-the-mill daughter.
Daphne: It's just that I only get one vacation a year, and I want to
go somewhere fun, like Acapulco.
Frasier: Well, that makes sense.

Daphne takes the flowers to the kitchen to put them in some water.
Frasier puts his tape into the stereo and pours himself a glass of
sherry.

Daphne: And going home is just so flipping boring. It's always the
same. There's a wonderful reunion at the airport, and we
share all our news on the way home in the car. And by the
time I've dropped off my suitcase, we've exhausted all
conversation, and that's when I realize I've got a whole
week left with nothing to look forward to but Dad telling
the story of how he once shared a cigar with Winston
Churchill during the blackouts — he thinks!
Frasier: Well, it sounds like an easy decision, Daphne — [raises his
glass] Hasta luego.
Daphne: Oh, Dr. Crane, why is it so easy to love our families,
yet so hard to like them?
Frasier: Well, Daphne, that is one of those questions that make life
so rich... and psychiatrists richer.
Daphne: Yeah, well, maybe I'll just go call a travel agent,
see which guilt trip is more expensive.

Daphne goes to her room. Frasier starts the tape and settles in the
armchair by the windows. Eddie jumps into his lap and stares at him.

Frasier: [v.o.; sounding ridiculous] Good afternoon, Seattle. My name
is Dr. Frasier Crane. If you can feel, I can heal.
Frasier: Fasten your seat belt, Eddie. It's going to be a bumpy ride.

FADE TO:

MAY 21, 1993
1:57 PM

Scene Three – KACL
Frasier opens the door to his radio booth. He surveys it for a moment
like a painter sizing up a blank canvass, and satisfies himself that
it is all right. He places his briefcase on the console, just right.

He fumbles with the spare microphone and quickly puts it down. Then
he pulls up his chair to the main microphone, and positions it just
right for his sitting position. Finally satisfied, he takes a set
of practice cards out of his jacket pocket.

Frasier: Hello. You're on the air with Dr. Frasier Crane. [reading]
"Put your head in my hands."

He throws the card away. He starts again, but stops and clears his
throat a few times. Not satisfied, he does a few "me-me-me-me's" and
little Indian war whoops to warm his voice up. Finally, he gets up
and paces the booth, doing an elocution exercise.

Frasier: "Little owlet in the glen, I am ashamed of you,
You are ungrammatical in speaking as you do,
You should say, 'to whom, to whom,' not 'to who, to who.'
Your little friend, Miss Katydid, may be green, 'tis true,
But you never heard her say—"
[turns around and sees Roz staring at him] Who the hell are
you?
Roz: I'm Roz Doyle, your new producer.
Frasier: What? Producer?
Roz: [shaking his hand] Dr. Crane, I presume?
Frasier: Yes, yes, but, uh, where's Dave?
Roz: Uh, he got another assignment.

Roz starts arranging things around the booth to get ready for the
show. Frasier follows her around.

Frasier: But I was comfortable with Dave.
Roz: Look, Dr. Crane, I know you've been thrown a curve,
but everything's gonna be fine.
Frasier: But I did a mock show with Dave. I did mock-call-in's,
mock commercials, mock news bulletins!
Roz: Look, I got a bulletin for you: Dave's out, I'm in, and stop
saying "mock."
Frasier: All right, look, Miss Doyle, I'm sure you're quite capable,
but Dave has fifteen years of experience. I'd really prefer
that he do it.
Roz: Well, that would make two of us then, wouldn't it?
Frasier: I really think I should call management and ask for Dave,
it's not really fair to Dave or to me.

He picks up the phone and starts to dial. Roz cuts him off.

Roz: Dr. Crane, Dave dumped you.
Frasier: [whiny] Why? We were here until 2 A.M. this morning, as I
explained to Dave in meticulous detail my philosophy of
optimal mental health!
Roz: It's a mystery, all right. O.K., look, I'm going to screen
a few calls, and—
Frasier: No! No, no, as I explained to Dave before, there will be no
call-screening. You see, I want my show to be fresh and
spontaneous, and call screening squelches all of that.
Roz: And the mystery of Dave's departure deepens. OK, you're
on in five seconds, I'll give you a cue.

Frasier sits in his chair and puts on his headphones. Roz goes into
her booth, puts on the headphones, and points to him. Frasier
hesitates for a second, then reads from his next note card.

Frasier: Good afternoon, Seattle. My name is Dr. Frasier Crane.
[reads] "If you can feel, I can heal."

Roz rolls her eyes. Frasier throws the card away. Silence for a few
seconds. Alarmed, Roz signals that there's dead air.

Frasier: Let's see who's on line one! [pushes button] Hello, this is
Dr. Frasier Crane. [reading] "You're on the couch."
Angela: [v.o.] No, I'm not.
Frasier: Well, I meant on the metaphorical couch.
Angela: I'm in a beanbag chair, O.K.?

Frasier throws the card away, then picks up the microphone and starts
to lean back in his chair.

Frasier: Uh, moving on then, um, how can I help you?
Angela: It's about my husband... Look, I-I just can't do this, it's
really too embarrassing for me.
Frasier: No, no, please, please, dear friend, you must - I'm really
here to help you. Please, go ahead.

Unfortunately, he leans too far and topples over backward in his chair.
Scrambling back to his feet, he grabs the wire to his headphones and
pulls it hand-over-hand to get back his headphones and put them on.

Angela: ...I've tried, and I've tried, and I just don't know what
to do about this!
Frasier: Well, you know, often in these cases, it helps if you
restate your problem. But this time, try boiling it down to
one succinct sentence. Now, how would you do that?
Angela: My husband is dead!
Frasier: Well, perhaps we should go back to the wordy version.
[Angela hangs up] Uh, we'll be right back after these
important messages.

He quickly goes to commercial and walks into Roz's booth. Roz is
talking on the phone.

Roz: Of course I could do a gardening show. If I can grow
plants in my dorm room closet, I must know a thing or two
about horticulture—
Frasier: Are you trying to get transferred?
Roz: Bye! [hangs up] Look, Dr. Crane, I got to be honest with you
here. It's just that I-I think psychiatry is, just, uh,
sort of - kind of... bull! [laughs]
Frasier: Oh, well, this is a match made in heaven then, isn't it?!
Roz: Oh, don't be offended.
Frasier: "Don't be offended." Why should I be offended? In the last
week, I've uprooted myself from my home of fifteen years,
moved all the way across the country away from everything I
care about, and plunged myself into a frightening new
career! The first few nerve-wracking moments, I walk in
here and find my producer lobbying to get herself
transferred to another show! Abe Lincoln had a brighter
future when he picked up his tickets at the box office!

Frasier storms out of the booth. Roz calmly sits back down.
Frasier comes running back in and throws himself into his chair.
Roz cues him, and the show goes on.

END OF ACT ONE

ACT TWO

MAY 21, 1993
5:13 PM

Scene Four – Café Nervosa
Frasier and Roz are sitting at a corner table. Roz reads from a
notebook.

Roz: O.K., you got to make the caller get to the point, and then
for God's sake, so should you.
Frasier: Duly noted.
Roz: O.K. Number twenty-four... [looks at him] You know what,
you're starting to glaze. We can go through the rest of
this tomorrow. See you, Frasier.
Frasier: Bye, Roz.

Roz heads out the door, running into Niles.

Niles: Oh, excuse me.
Roz: Well, excuse you.

Roz leaves. Niles turns and looks back at this rude and (as-yet)
unknown woman, then stands in line.

Frasier: Oh, Niles!
Niles: Oh, Frasier! [comes over to the table] What a serendipitous
event. How did you discover my favorite coffee bar?
Frasier: Well, the radio station's right across the street. I did my
first show today.
Niles: Yes, you did, didn't you? Well... good to see you,
have a nice day!

Niles turns back to the counter. Frasier gets up and goes over to him.

Frasier: Niles, aren't you going to join me?
Niles: Oh, well, I would, but I have a routine. I come in every
day, order coffee and spend some quality time... with myself,
you understand.
Frasier: Niles, I've seen you once in the last two years.

Beat.

Niles: Oh, that is your point. Well... very well, in the spirit of
blood being thicker than water, why don't we?

They sit at Frasier's table. Or rather, Frasier does. Niles first
takes out his handkerchief and wipes his chair down.

Frasier: I remember your fourth birthday party. Grandmother took us
to the park to ride the carousel, and made all those little
children wait while you wiped off your painted pony.
Niles: I was wearing Bermuda shorts and that saddle was slick with
toddler sweat.

Niles sits down. Uncomfortable silence.

Frasier: Well, uh... oh, uh, thanks again for dinner the other night
with Maris. You two seem very happy.
Niles: Oh yes, it's love. Like the Arctic Puffin, we've mated for
life. Honestly, I can't imagine even looking at another
woman.

Realizing there are no napkins at their table, Niles turns to another
table to get some. As he does, the woman at the next table — Daphne —
turns to Frasier.

Daphne: Excuse me, sir, have you finished with that sugar?
Frasier: Oh, yes.

Daphne takes the sugar and turns back to her table as Niles turns
back to Frasier. Niles stops and sniffs the air for a second, then
shakes his head and sits back down. A waiter comes up.

Waiter: You ready to order?
Niles: Uh, yes. Double decaf non-fat latte, mmm... medium foam,
dusted with just the faintest whisper of cinnamon.
Frasier: I'll have a black coffee.
Niles: You'll have to forgive my brother. He just came in on the
noon stage.
Frasier: I hope I never see the day when I am so frightfully
pretentious that a good-old cup of American coffee
isn't good enough for me.

Uncomfortable silence.

Niles: So, how'd your visit with Dad go?
Frasier: I haven't been to see him yet.
Niles: Really? You've been in town a whole week.
Frasier: Well, I've been very busy, what with settling into the new
apartment, unpacking...
Niles: Frasier, you're obviously making excuses. I'm going over
tonight for my weekly visit, why don't you come along?
Frasier: Geez, I know I should, Niles. But I'm really in such a
vulnerable state right now. The last thing I need is
Seattle's reigning sourpuss taking potshots at me.
Niles: Is that what you're worried about?
Frasier: Yes!
Niles: Well, you have been out of touch. Our father's a changed man.
Ever since he was shot, he's softened, with a whole new zest
for life!
Frasier: Niles, I visited him in the hospital. He made his roommate
cry, and the man was in a coma.
Niles: Dad was still in shock. The change came after. As a
psychiatrist surely you've seen this? A patient has a
brush with death and rediscovers his love of life. Ah,
[chuckles] the laughs we've had when I'm over there.
I sometimes wonder if that bullet didn't crease his funny
bone.

The waiter brings their coffees.

Niles: Oh... thank you. [the waiter leaves] Can you believe the
incompetence of that man? I very clearly asked for a whisper
of cinnamon, he's given me a full-throated shout! There are
countries in this world where they would lop off his
sprinkling hand!

Niles takes a spoon and starts scooping cinnamon off the top of his
coffee.

Frasier: You know, I'd forgotten what a weird little person you are.


FADE TO:

Scene Five – Martin's Apartment
Niles leads Frasier down the hall to Martin's door.

Niles: Dad is going to be positively giddy when he sees that he's got
the both of us tonight. [knocks "shave and a haircut"]

Inside his apartment, Martin is sitting in his beloved Barcalounger —
only here he has a matching couch, a dartboard on the wall — i.e.,
a fairly blue-collar dwelling. He's watching a baseball game on TV.

Martin: Who is it?
Niles: Niles, and a special guest!
Martin: Oh, jeez... all right, hold your horses.
Niles: [chuckling] How does he come up with those? [Martin opens
the door] Look, Dad, it's Frasier!
Martin: Well, I can see that. That punk didn't shoot out my eyeball.
Niles: [chuckling] Stop it! [to Frasier] He sees the humor in
everything.
Martin: Frasier, come on in.
Frasier: Thanks, Dad. [they come in] So, big game?
Martin: Nah, they're losing again. Pitcher's a bum.
Niles: He's a bum, he's an absolute hobo! [chuckling] Isn't that
right, Skipper?
Martin: Niles, are you drunk?
Niles: [chuckling] Don't be ridiculous! Seeing the three of us back
together again in the same room — who needs alcohol for that?
Martin: I do.
Frasier: I do.
Martin: I'll get you a beer.
Frasier: Thanks, Dad.

Martin goes to the kitchen.

Frasier: You filthy liar! You said he'd changed!
Niles: Well, it got you here, didn't it? I've been dealing with
him all by myself ever since Mom died. Now it's your turn,
so welcome home, prodigal son!
Martin: [o.s.] You guys want some pork rinds?
Niles: And that's as close as you're going to get to a fatted calf.
Frasier: No, thanks, Dad.

Niles sits on the couch. Eddie jumps up and stares at him.

Niles: Oh, will you stop staring at me?

Martin comes back in and hands Frasier a beer.

Martin: Here you go.
Niles: Ah, well, I understand completely, Frasier. Dad, Frasier was
just saying that he'd like to spend some quality time with
you alone, so I'm just going to slip out.
Martin: All right, suit yourself.

Niles gets up to go. Eddie keeps staring at him.

Niles: All right... oh, you haven't met Eddie. [picks up Eddie and
turns him around to face Frasier] Eddie? Frasier is the
firstborn. [Eddie stares at Frasier] The torch has been
passed.

Niles leaves. Martin sits down in his chair. The following
conversation is filled with uncomfortable silences.

Frasier: So...
Martin: How was your flight?
Frasier: Oh, actually, I drove.
Martin: You take the I-Ninety?
Frasier: Uh, Eighty.
Martin: Should have taken Ninety, it would have got you here faster.
Frasier: Darn. So, Dad, did you listen to my show today?
Martin: No, I missed it. Sorry.
Frasier: That's all right.
Martin: How'd it go?
Frasier: Well, uh, kind of rocky. Spent a good part of the day
puzzling over the proper signature line to use to introduce
myself.
Martin: Well, I'm sure you'll come up with something.
Frasier: Well, you know, I'm looking for something that's familiar
but not a cliché, you know, something that's memorable
but not too gimmicky... [Martin turns on the television]
You know, it doesn't really matter if it's got something
to—Dad, please, I'm trying to have a conversation, it's hard
with the TV on.
Martin: Well, I just want to get the score, O.K.?
Frasier: I'm trying to describe to you my dilemna with that phrase—
Martin: [turns off TV] All right, fine, I'm listening. Are you
happy? I'm listening.
Frasier: That's it! "I'm listening!" That's fabulous! Have you got
a pencil somewhere?
Martin: Yeah, there's one in the kitchen on the table.
Frasier: "I'm listening." Dad - oh, I love that!

Frasier heads into the kitchen. Martin gets up and gets his jacket
from the closet.

Martin: Uh, look, I hate to cut this short, but I told some guys I'd
meet 'em down at Duke's.

Frasier comes out of the kitchen.

Frasier: You're leaving?
Martin: Yeah. Whenever you're ready, I'll walk you out.
Frasier: Dad, I haven't seen you in two years, I stopped by and
you're leaving in ten minutes?
Martin: Oh, why don't we stop kidding ourselves? You don't really
want to be here, and we don't really have anything to talk
about.
Frasier: At least I'm making the effort.
Martin: Oh, yeah — it's an effort to talk to me, huh? Well, I guess
that's why you only bother coming home once a year at
Christmas. Oh no, wait! Sorry, I take that back. Last
year you went to Arugalah, wherever the hell that is.
Frasier: Dad, you know you're painting an awfully bleak picture here.
Ever since I moved to Boston, I've come home at least three
or four times a year. It's just lately things got a little
hectic, and I haven't been able to come home as often.
Martin: Yeah... I noticed how busy you got after your mother died.

Frasier stiffens. That's a low blow.

Martin: But, what the hell, I didn't go visit you in Boston either,
did I? So, uh, why don't we just drop this?
Frasier: No. The point is that we're here now, together. I don't
want this night to end before we've at least tried to have
one real conversation. Will you at least try, Dad? Will
you just sit down with me for a while and let's try, please?

Martin sits back in his Armchair. Frasier sits on the couch.
There's silence for a few moments.

Frasier: So, uh, you know, I'd forgotten how much it really does rain
here.
Martin: You get used to it.
Frasier: Makes things green.
Martin: Yeah... where would the old earth be without rain?

Silence again. Frasier picks up the remote and turns the TV back on.
Eddie continues to stare at him.

FADE TO:

Scene Six – Frasier's Apartment
Back to the Present. It's now evening. Frasier is asleep in his
chair, and Eddie is still sitting in his lap. Frasier wakes up and
sees Eddie staring at him.

Frasier: My darling, I would have thought that old fascination would
wear off by now.

He gives Eddie a great big kiss on the head. Eddie runs off.
Niles and Martin come in the door.

Niles: Well, hello, there!
Martin: Hey!
Frasier: Oh, hey, guys.
Niles: Frasier, Dad tells me you've been on the air three years
today, so we'd like to take you out for a celebratory dinner.
Frasier: Well, thank you. Dad, how did you know?
Martin: Well, I heard that woman who called in.
Frasier: [surprised] You listened to my show?
Martin: Well, I sort of... I feel asleep during the Mariners' game...
but when I woke up, you were on.
Frasier: And you didn't turn me off.
Martin: I did not! I listened to you for ten minutes before
I finally dozed off again. [laughs]
Frasier: Faint praise, and yet it thunders in my ears!

Daphne comes in with a handful of travel brochures.

Daphne: Hello, Dr. Crane.

Everyone ad-libs hellos.

Martin: Hey, Daphne, we're going out to dinner. You want to join us?
Daphne: Oh, thanks, but no. I promised myself that tonight I'd decide
what I'm doing on my vacation — either home to the family or
to sunny Acapulco. I may just squeeze into my bikini and let
my hips make the decision.

She goes to the kitchen. Niles rocks on his heels for a second.

Niles: Of course, it would be more memorable if we celebrated at
home, just for a—
Frasier: Let's go, let's go!

Frasier steers him to the door. Daphne comes back.

Daphne: Have a lovely time!
Frasier: Oh, fellas, hold the elevator for me.
Niles: All right.
Frasier: Daphne?

Frasier sits Daphne on the couch next to him.

Frasier: I was just thinking about our discussion earlier this
afternoon, and I've decided to give you an extra week
off. That way you can go to Manchester, and Acapulco.
Daphne: Oh, that's so sweet! You really must think I should go home.
Frasier: Well, I've just realized that being part of a family is really
worth the effort. And very often the effort... means you'll
need a week in Acapulco, so...
Daphne: [kisses him on the cheek and hugs him] Thank you, Dr. Crane.
Frasier: You're welcome.
Daphne: [sighs] I guess if I try a little harder, it won't be so bad.
Frasier: Well, that's a good way of thinking. You know, things can
get better.
Martin: [o.s.] Hey, let's go! I got acid burning a hole in my
stomach!

Daphne gives Frasier a look.

Frasier: Still... would you mind leaving those brochures of Acapulco
out for me?

Daphne signals him "right" with the brochures. He goes out the door.

END OF ACT TWO