The following article contains discussions of attempted suicide.
In the time between the flagship series Cheers and its spin-off Frasier, the eponymous Dr. Frasier Crane (Kelsey Grammer) made the decision to move from Boston to Seattle. The pilot episode of Frasier, “The Good Son,” doesn’t begin with Frasier leaving Boston behind for his new city; the series opens with Frasier already settled into his new life in Seattle with a new apartment and a new career as a radio psychiatrist. He’s no longer hanging out with Sam (Ted Danson) and Diane (Shelley Long) at a bar; he’s hanging out with his brother Niles (David Hyde Pierce) and his producer Roz (Peri Gilpin) in a coffee shop.
The status quo is shifted when Frasier’s estranged dad, Martin (John Mahoney), moves in with him. But the status quo already changed long before that, because Frasier left his home in Boston for a fresh start in Seattle. Exactly why Frasier wanted to leave Boston and start over elsewhere is only mentioned in passing in the series, but it’s crucial to his overarching journey as a character. Frasier picks up six months after the end of Cheers, and a lot of important events in Frasier’s life happened off-screen during that time.
Frasier Moved To Seattle After A Suicide Attempt
In Cheers season 11, episode 7, “The Girl in the Plastic Bubble,” Frasier’s wife Lilith Sternin (Bebe Neuwirth) announced that she was leaving him for her colleague, Dr. Louis Pascal (Peter Vogt). A low point for Frasier’s relationship with Lilith, he responded by stepping out onto a third-floor ledge above the bar, saying he would jump if Lilith didn’t take him back. Sam and the bar patrons tried to talk Frasier down with reminders of why life is worth living. By the end of the episode, Lilith arrived on the scene and talked Frasier down by saying she would break off her relationship with Dr. Pascal and return to him.
But this reconciliation was short-lived. Frasier begged Lilith to take him back because he was afraid to be alone. His key to happiness wasn’t perpetuating a dying relationship; it was a move. The Frasier pilot begins with Frasier giving the audience a recap of what happened since the end of Cheers: “Six months ago, I was living in Boston. My wife had left me, which was very painful. Then she came back to me, which was excruciating. On top of that, my practice had grown stagnant, and my social life consisted of hanging around a bar night after night. You see, I was clinging to a life that wasn’t working.”
Frasier Was Depressed After His Divorce
Despite their brief reconciliation toward the end of Cheers’ final season, Frasier and Lilith ultimately divorced off-screen before the beginning of Frasier’s run. When Lilith discussed the terms of the breakup in “The Girl in the Plastic Bubble,” she offered Frasier full custody of their son Frederick (Trevor Einhorn). But in the eventual divorce settlement, Lilith won custody, with Frasier getting visitation rights. The divorce, paired with his dormant career and his unfulfilling social life, inspired Frasier to leave Boston and return to his hometown of Seattle to shake things up.