First let’s start with a rundown of the costumes:
SAM – Cowboy
DIANE – Alice in Wonderland
FRASIER – Mad Hatter
COACH – Pirate
CARLA – Convict
NORM – Norm
CLIFF – Ponce de Leon
Frasier and Diane are together in this episode, if you can’t tell by their ridiculous costumes. They have BIG plans to go to the Boston Pops, which Sam also likes because of his great admiration for the man working the pyrotechnics. That’s a cool skilled-labor job, so I’m not sure that Sam is terribly off-base by likening it to that of a classical musician, though I’m sure every classical musician in the world would be pissed that I said that. Sam and Frasier debate whether or not Sam is as dumb as he seems or if he is just pretending.
Shortly thereafter, Cliff shows up dressed as Ponce de Leon. The gang and a couple of random barflies we probably never see again discuss his shyness around women and wonders if he’s gay. Coach tells them all to cut it out saying that they can’t possibly tell if someone is gay based upon a superficial analysis. It’s surprisingly progressive, until he describes an obviously gay baseball player and, upon realizing he’s gay, wonders if he might be interested in dating Cliff.
As it happens, Cliff sits next to a mysterious woman at the bar. She introduces herself as Tinkerbell and he introduces himself as Ponce de Leon. They are both very shy. As they close down the bar, dancing to easy listening that I’m surprised exists on the Cheers jukebox, Diane offers Sam her tickets to the Boston Pops. She still wants to attend the Pops, but Frasier will be out of town.
When Sam and Diane realize the both don’t know anyone else who would like to attend, the two former lover decide to go together. Like that couldn’t possibly have any negative consequences. Finally, Sam kicks out Tinkerbell and Ponce, she proposes that they meet back at Cheers the following night at 8 pm as their actual selves.
The following night, Sam and Diane return from the Pops having had a lovely, flirtatious time. They’re even kind of color coordinated. But when Diane proclaims their success at a platonic outing, and Sam makes a joke about the night not being over yet, Diane runs away. Literally, she screams and runs away.
Cliff ends up getting cold feet and hiding from Tinkerbell in Sam’s office as it gets closer and closer to 8 pm. Norm gives him a little pep-talk, reminding him that it was Cliff who danced with this woman, not Ponce de Leon, because Cliff is Ponce de Leon. But then she doesn’t show. And damn it’s sad. But then she calls the bar and says that she was nervous to meet him without being in a costume. Boy, they really are a match!
When she finally does show up, they’re both so nervous that they say their names wrong. It’s so freaking adorable. Then they just sort of stand there and stare at each other until Sam puts a song on the jukebox and positions them in a dancing formation. This whole scene is magic and I can’t eve really describe it. Watch below and see for yourself.
Very Special Halloween Lesson: We must never forget that we are the people behind the masks we wear.
That was pretty profound, huh?