Diane an Frasier make an important decision, cohabitation, and fear it will devastate Sam, who may still have “emotional residue” from his relationship with Diane. But Sam allays their fears with his blessing, but living together is nothing to sneeze at – or is it? The next day, Diane blames her recent allergies on Frasier’s dog, Pavlov, but Sam suspects it could be psychosomatic, and offers to keep Pavlov partially to test his theory. Now Diane’s voice sounds like a baby’s, and even Frasier thinks this could be her subconscious fear of moving too fast in their relationship. Only after eavesdropping and misunderstanding Sam and Frasier’s conversation about the dog does she find confidence in Frasier’s proclamation of his love for her, and her “allegies” are cured.
More great Diane/Frasier intellectual byplay heightens the script quality of this episode. Dane chastises Sam’s use of humor to mask his pain, but she and Frasier do the same thing with their psychobabble, with equally hilarious results. Another great Cheers theme: frail egos finding comfort in only selective disclosure. Well, isn’t that what bars are all about?
Subplot about Carla’s continual receipt of “gag” birthday gifts is amusing but somewhat lacking a payoff. Given that it’s Carla, I kept waiting for a breaking point!
Cold open: A funny interlude between Sam and a snotty boy who wants an autograph – from different Red Sox player. The boy finally lets Sam sign his baseball, with the expectation that he’ll forge the signature!
Norm’s opener: Norm’s already at the bar.