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Frasier makes his final broadcast
|Episode no.||Season 11
Episode 23 & 24
|Directed by||David Lee|
|Written by||Christopher Lloyd
|Original air date||May 13, 2004|
Frasier (Kelsey Grammer) is on an airplane heading to an undetermined location, when he is surprised by the anxiety the woman sitting next to him suffers during the flight. The woman introduces herself as Dr. Anne Ranberg (Jennifer Beals), also a psychiatrist, and after brief deliberation, Frasier decides to disclose what is on his mind, in hopes that it will help pass the time on the flight.
Frasier's girlfriend, Charlotte, is leaving for Chicago, leaving Frasier devoid of any current love life. To commemorate her leaving for Chicago, Frasier and Charlotte sleep together on her final night in Seattle, resulting in a problem as Frasier misses his regularly scheduled radio show, which results in station manager Kenny Daly taking over in a pinch who quickly starts to enjoy himself. Once Frasier arrives, he bumps into his agent Bebe, where he learns about a job opening on a San Francisco television network after a death occurs there, but Frasier quickly declines, citing his comfort with his present situation at KACL. In the meantime, his brother Niles (David Hyde Pierce) and Niles' wife Daphne (Jane Leeves) are anticipating the birth of their child, while his father, Martin (John Mahoney), is set to be married to Ronee (Wendie Malick). A mishap occurs when Martin schedules the wedding for May 15th instead of July 15th. Frasier and Niles agree to plan the wedding in eight days.
As the two are frantically putting the wedding together, both Frasier and Niles encounter numerous difficulties. Three of Daphne's brothers, Simon, Stephen, and Michael, are in Seattle in anticipation of Daphne's child-birth. Frasier has arranged for a ceremonial cannon-firing when Martin and Ronee are officially declared married. However, the person Frasier puts in position has a heat stroke, making him unusable. Stephen volunteers to do the job instead and is told the cue from Frasier. However, Frasier and Niles also have to deal with finding a new flower girl, as the three brothers have accidentally intoxicated her, leaving them in search of a new flower girl as well. Roz (Peri Gilpin) allows her daughter Alice to do the job in the flower girl's stead, but upon receiving the same cue as Stephen was told, Stephen fires off the cannon, creating a havoc in the neighborhood. Daphne and Niles realize Eddie has eaten the rings and take him to a local veterinarian. While they are at the vet's office, Daphne goes into labor. Frasier, Martin, and Ronee all hurry to the clinic, where Daphne has given birth to the couple's first child, whom they name David. Ronee suggests that she and Martin get married in the clinic, so Daphne and Niles do not miss out, and Frasier marries them.
Later, a mover (the same from the first episode) returns to Frasier's residence to take away Martin's chair. Frasier calls Lilith to ask after Frederick. Afterwards, he finds himself with the peace and quiet he was once desperate for. However, with Martin having moved out and Niles and Daphne busy with their new son, Frasier realises that he is lonely. He decides to take the job in San Francisco. The following day, Frasier and his colleagues learn that Roz has been promoted to station manager. Frasier invites his brother, father, Daphne, Ronee, and Roz to his apartment to announce his move to San Francisco. However, before the dinner, Frasier begins handing out gifts of significance. When an ominous message from a doctor reveals potentially bad news regarding Frasier's future outlook, the attendees fear the worst. Frasier then informs them of his impending move to San Francisco, where his new show will begin the following week. Later, during the celebration, Frasier reveals his reasoning for taking the job, citing that with Daphne and Niles' child, Martin and Ronee's marriage, and Roz's promotion, each of them have now begun a new phase of their lives, and that he now desires to do the same. Frasier then recites Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem "Ulysses". He reads the same poem at the end of his final show at KACL, where he thanks the staff and listeners for the past eleven years before closing, as ever, with the words "Goodnight, Seattle".
Frasier finishes his story as the plane lands – not in San Francisco, but in Chicago, where Charlotte has moved – and asks Anne to wish him luck.
Frasier’s farewell speech
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The poem Frasier quotes in this episode is a shortened version of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s "Ulysses".
"It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And though we are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are—
[Scene shifts to Frasier’s KACL booth.]
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will;
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."
I’ve been thinking about that poem a lot lately. And I think what it says is that, while it’s tempting to play it safe, the more we’re willing to risk, the more alive we are. In the end, what we regret most are the chances we never took. And I hope that explains, at least a little, this journey on which I am about to embark. I have loved every minute with my KACL family, and all of you. For eleven years you've heard me say, "I’m listening." Well, you were listening, too. And for that I am eternally grateful. Goodnight, Seattle.
- Isenberg, Barbara (2004-05-09). "Cheers to Frasier". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-05-23.
- Kinon, Cristina (2009-12-03). "The most watched TV episode of the decade was . . . the series finale of 'Friends'". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2012-05-23.
- Frost, Caroline (2003-01-24). "Frasier: Goodnight Seattle...". BBC. Retrieved 2012-05-23.
- Gumbel, Andrew (2004-05-13). "After 11 years on TV, Frasier says 'Goodnight Seattle' one last time". The Independent. Retrieved 2012-05-23.
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- TV's Most Unforgettable Finales - Aired May 22, 2011 on TV Guide Network