Diane, unbeknownst to Sam, puts a down payment on for a house, but her fiancé isn’t exactly thrilled with the idea. He soon changes his tune when they see it, and both start making plans for renovation, but the previous tenants, an elderly couple who had lived there for 39 years, causes Diane to reconsider moving. She feels there are too many memories there for her to trespass upon, so they decline the purchase. Unfortunately, she talks another couple out of buying the house for the same reason, so Frasier concocts a plan that they allow the seniors to celebrate one last Christmas there (making 40), offering a sense of closure. They agree, but he hot May day takes its toll on a sweaty Santa as played by Sam, who vehemently objects when Diane suggests they include Easters – annually! The clan gets the hint, and Diane not only decides to keep the house, but she’s turned on by Sam’s territorialism!
Sam and Diane take one step closer to domesticity with this episode, as they partake in the all-America dream. We certainly know trouble’s a-brewin’, though, and it comes in the form of Diane’s recurrent uber-sensitivity and a geriatric couple expert at laying on the guilt. The old woman is played by character actress Billie Bird, probably best known as Molly Ringwald’s grandma (the one who stays in her room) in Sixteen Candles. Some good comic mileage from Sam’s housewarming offering: the classic “Dogs Playing Cards” painting.
Cold open: Carla wants to know Woody’s secret for always being happy: he closes his eyes and thinks of a happy thought. In this case, the fact that he’s glad he’s not her.
Norm’s opener: Woody: “How’s life, Mr. Peterson?” Norm: “Well, the plot’s alright but it sort of falls apart at the end.”