Episode Reviews (2)
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A good mix of slapstick and serious
Niles is considering becoming a father (at this stage his marriage to Maris is still lumbering along). When a taxi driver goes into labour while carrying him (leading to a comical scene in which Frasier's over-analysis and Niles' wimpishness mean that Martin is far more help to the lady), he decides to do an experiment - he will carry a sack of flour around for a week, to get some idea of what parenthood involves. The thought of childbirth leads Daphne into one of her eccentric moments, a row with her mother in which she plays both parts.
After a joke comparing a bag of flour to Maris (both are bleached, 100% fat free and best when kept in an airtight container), he proceeds to have several accidents with the bag. He stabs it with his chopsticks while playing Brahms, has him slide off the roof of his car, kicks it into a pool while practising karate, and then finally has it catch fire. As he points out, "it's not as careless as you make it seem; after all, a real child would have cried before bursting into flames". There is another great moment when he describes a paranoid dream he has - the flour sack is kidnapped and the kidnappers send muffins in the mail (watch out for Daphne's bemused but slightly sympathetic laugh at this point). He sadly concludes that he is not ready for parenthood. There is also a side story - Frasier writes "dear Clarence, you're not getting older, you're just getting closer to death" on what he believes is a birthday card. In fact, Clarence (a security guard at the station) has had a kidney transplant! He has to therefore steal the card and replace it with an identical card with identical greetings from everyone else.
This is one of the best episodes up to this point. The writing is punchy, the concept original, and the conclusion (especially Martin's thoughts on parenthood) strangely touching.moreless
Nilles tries to discover if he is daddy-material! Hilarity follows as usual.
The third in my top three favourite episodes. After "helping" (aka running to a falafel stand for a pot of hot water) to deliver a baby in a cab, Niles wonders whether or not he and Maris should have a child. When Frasier mentions a test that high school students have to go through, nurturing a bag of flour for a week, Niles decides to take the plunge. Finding his child is already hilarious; he walks into the kitchen and picks up a bag of sugar saying: extra-refined Niles says: it's taking after it's old man already. Frasier: No Niles, that's the sugar. If we're going to do this, we're going to do it right. Now, here is the flour.
[reads from the label]
Frasier: Bleached, 100% fat free, best when kept in an air-tight container. It seems this one is taking after its mother.
Every single time I see Niles wandering around with his flour child, I just have to giggle. Especially when he explains the so-called scuffs that his baby suffers throughout the episode; such as being run through with a hair pin, being kicked into the reflecting pool, bursting into flames and sliding down the front of the car onto the ground and finally being ripped to shreds by the lovely "dingo" Eddie. This episode is a classic must-watch episode of the series.moreless