I love this episode, mostly because of the lovely performances by the guest stars, Laura Linney and Aaron Eckhart. Linney has the distinction of playing the woman who finally wins Frasier's heart, and as far as we know, ends up with him after the show's final curtain. Now starring in Showtime's 'The Big C' where she gets to energetically exercise her comedic chops, Linney plays a perfect 'straight man' in her role as Charlotte. She seems clueless about the dynamics of the threesome until Frasier finally spills the beans.
In the meantime, Eckhart's Frank is a hilarious foil for Frasier's neurotic attempts to compete as a suitor for Charlotte. Eckhart is great at playing earnest, hinting at his Harvey Dent to come.
There are several hilarious scenes, including in the restaurant, where Frank reveals his fluent French, and in Charlotte's apartment, when Frank asks Frasier to give him a back rub. When Charlotte's bedhead gives Martin and fiance' Ronee the idea that she and Frasier have finally hooked up, we're all treated to the sight of Frasier and Frank cuddled together on the sofa, fast asleep, another classic series sight gag.
The sub-plot involves Martin's selection of a ring for Ronee, one he ends up buying at a police auction. When it turns out to be inscribed with the name of a famous rapper, Martin has to try to convince Ronee that 'Lil Cupid' is her nickname. The postscript scene has the giant rapper walking into the restaurant and noticing Ronee is wearing what turns out to be his former toe ring, which Martin carefully covers.
By the end of the episode, Frasier and Charlotte have finally consummated their mutual attraction, but we learn--along with Frank--that she's about to leave Seattle and return to Chicago. Eckhart manages to show us his best lovable dufus as Frank gives Frasier a big hug before he exits. But Charlotte never gets the chance to tell Frasier the truth, leaving the love story unresolved and ending the episode on a note of poignant silence instead of a laugh. It will take five more episodes for viewers to find out what will happen in the end.