According to co-showrunner Chris Harris, during production on the new series, star Kelsey Grammer was “adamant” about “making sure that this wasn’t just going to be, ‘Let’s do the same things that we did before in the same place with the same people.'” Thus far, the show has mostly managed to adhere to Grammer’s wishes, especially since Niles actor David Hyde Pierce declined to return. There have been several sly references to classic episodes, and we’ll soon be seeing some familiar characters return in cameo form. But otherwise, there’s an all-new cast surrounding Frasier, who so far has been embarking on what Harris and Joe Cristali called the “third act” of his life.
But episode 5 is basically a rehash of a season 2 episode of the original “Frasier,” in which the titular doctor and his brother, Niles, attend a party at the prestigious Empire Club of Seattle, where they stand a chance of being invited to join. The brothers decide to work together in order to charm the existing members and scheme their way into membership. But after learning that there’s only one spot available, they quickly turn on each other, trying everything possible to disparage the other and sabotage their chances of joining the club. Unfortunately for Niles, his brother is ultimately accepted, causing a further rift between the pair and prompting Frasier to try to give up his membership to Niles. In the final act, it’s revealed that the club made a mistake and meant to offer membership to Niles, but due to his unfortunate outburst where he decries the “elitist” Empire Club snobs, neither he nor Frasier are able to join. It’s a great episode that plays not only on the brothers’ egoism, but also their competitive relationship.