List of Northern Exposure episodes - Wikipedia
A list of the lowest rated episodes of Northern Exposure, ranked by thousands of Joel accompanies Maggie as her "boyfriend," in a trip to back to . Ruth-Anne and Walt's relationship is put to the test, when she has him help. Joel invites Phil, as the new doctor, to a round of golf “up river” and Marilyn Maggie handily wins the election, but her real test is getting her first order it was laying groundwork for an inevitable relationship between them. There is no sufficient synopsis for an episode of Northern Exposure. Our introduction to the concept was early and convivial when Joel Fleischman, the displaced Glen, accidentally drove onto a missile test range. Maggie and Rick's post-death relationship becomes a major theological exploration in.
Maggie replies that she has not spent much time with him, but noticed on the airplane ride from Anchorage that he did not even flinch when they experienced turbulence. She said she was watching him walking down the street and instead of shying away from a dog, he actually stopped to pet it. Marilyn informs the group that he had given up an Hawaiian vacation to return to Cicely.
Shelly indicates that she is glad he came back, just in time to deliver Jared. Eve describes her last medical visit and noted that he did not belittle her diagnoses. Ruth-Anne says that he is still every inch the doctor and was frustrated by restrictions placed on her activities. Edna is convinced that his coming back as a volunteer rather than as a hostage, coerced to repay his student loan by four years of service, probably accounts for the different attitude.
As the quilters continue their gossiping about Dr. He then gives a progress report on Michelle, who has now had the baby by C section, but has developed an infection so Phil needs to stay longer. Fleishman has agreed to stay a few more days.
Joel is speaking on the telephone to Elaine and is explaining to her about the delay. She is very understanding; she appears to be having a great time enjoying the sun and surf in Hawaii. He promises to meet her as soon as he can.
He contrasts his mixed medical practice in Alaska with his very routine days as an endocrinologist in New York City. Elaine asks about Maggie.
He concludes the conversation by saying that he is going ice fishing with Reynaldo Pinetree and Ed this morning. Walt and Ruth-Anne have a very simple wedding service. Cal agreed to stay to provide the musical accompaniment. He surprises everyone by playing a jazzy version of Our Love is Here to Stay.
It is a very touching ceremony for all observers because they understand that Ruth-Anne is quite sick. The Cicelians adjourn to the Brick for a wedding supper. Again Maggie tries to keep Joel at a distance. He persuades her to dance dance to Moonglow and she accepts reluctantly. She confides in Holling that she is tired of the charade and wants to tell Joel the truth, because he arrived in time to save her life when she had the appendicitis attack while camping alone on her 30th birthday.
During the reception, Walt treats the wedding guests to a song, September Song, which he dedicates to his new bride, Ruth-Anne. It is the Monday after the wedding. Chris welcomes his listeners to the news of clear roads, including the route to Coffee Pot Ridge, but the weather forecast is for a storm later today. We hear the music, Snowfall; we see Cicelians engaged in various winter sports: Holling, Walt and Ruth-Anne are walking through a snowy forest with cameras poised to shoot photographs for their bird collections.
Later that afternoon, Joel comes bursting into Ruth-Anne's store; he immediately confronts Ed about her whereabouts. Initially, Ed is reluctant to tell him.
Joel, recognizing that Ed is a shaman in training, appeals to their shared healing traditions. He explains that one of her symptoms is a low grade fever which he is treating with medication. Ruth-Anne needs one more sighting to have birds. Joel is fearful for his patient and is frustrated by this news. Ed tries to reassure Joel that she is in good hands with Holling and Walt and should return by dinner time.
Leonard talks about the need to finish unfinished business and wonders what Joel would do if he had a similar diagnosis. Ed reminds both of them when Joel had a possible malignant tumor on the back of his head which was found by the barber, Angelo.
Joel remembers the incident and how difficult it was for him while he was waiting for the confirmation of the diagnosis; he borrowed the Harley-Davidson motorcycle from Chris and drove terribly fast. He also remembers how beautiful the sky looked one morning and how important family was. He wished he had been married.
He thanks Ed and Leonard for their help and promises to honor the wishes of his patient.
She also advises him that she will not be flying him to Anchorage on the morning of the fourteenth because she has another engagement. Joel teases her about black Fedoras and the game of Clue.
She laughs about the dream she once had regarding her fear that Joel would die in a commercial airplane crash, so she contrived to keep him in Alaska.
She quickly changes the subject by informing him that Col. Pickering, a retired Air Force pilot who relocated to Alaska to be near his son who is a professor at the University.
Maggie remembers the incident because Joel came to her cabin to tell her that Walt had hauled the mammoth away for butchering. It was on that day that Joel announced to her that he had become a Cicelian. Marilyn interrupts their conversation as Maggie was about to tell Joel about her engagement. After Maggie leaves, we hear Chris on the radio inviting his listeners to sample a new version of an old standard.
Marilyn quickly gives him the answer. Joel laughs and says, how appropriate. While he is pondering this thought, the music fades out. He explains that Ruth-Anne is very sick and he does not want to leave until he knows that Dr.
Capra will be returning. He invites callers with dedications and requests. He explains that he has another engagement tomorrow evening and will be unavailable for this annual event on KBHR.
Chris advises his listeners that he is in an Ellington mood tonight; he begins by playing Cleo Laine singing Creole Love Call. While we hear the music, Bernard, with his girlfriend Ann, surprise Chris at the radio station. He informs Chris that his ministerial certificate, obtained from the back of a Rolling Stone magazine, has arrived just in time for him to perform the ceremony tomorrow. Bernard is excited about the opportunity to fill in for Chris for the next two weeks while Chris and Maggie are on their honeymoon to New Orleans to attend a Jazz festival and see Mardi Gras.
Joel is eating his farewell dinner at the Brick when Ed comes rushing over to his table with a fax from Elaine. Ed, of course, has read the fax and offers an apology; he asks if Joel will be needing Maggie for closure. As he is reading the fax, he is transformed into a World War II paratrooper who is waiting to jump out of a plane. She has fallen in love with Hawaii and met someone she must get to know better.
She is uncertain whether she wants to continue to practice law. She is planning to stay in Hawaii, to pursue a degree in horticulture at the University and will not be returning to New York City. She apologizes for breaking off the relationship for a second time. She tells him that her mother will call his mother and the engagement party will be canceled. She wishes him well. Joel is seated next to Rabbi Schulman and their commanding officer is Maurice who reminds him of his duty and pushes him out of the plane.
Joel is unable to finish his dinner and leaves the Brick quickly, bumping into Maggie as he rushes out the door. He is channel surfing with the remote control. He suddenly stops when he recognizes his rabbi on the television screen. Rabbi Schulman is speaking directly to Joel. Offering his condolences on the end of his relationship with Elaine, he reminds Joel that insanity is doing the same behavior twice and expecting different results.
He is worried about Joel and hopes that he will be able to find true happiness and the love of a good woman. Joel asks the rabbi about Maggie. What if he asked her to marry him, after all she rejected him, would that not be insane, too? The rabbi then tries to explain that the situations were different.
Elaine left Joel for another man, twice. Maggie was uncertain if she could live with his intense personality. After he went up river, which was an important growth experience, they never had another chance to work out their relationship because Joel was released from his Alaskan commitment; Maggie did not want to move to New York City and he was not willing to stay in Cicely. Joel turns the TV set off and finds the radio. Chris is playing Solitude by Duke Ellington, when Joel hears a knock at the door.
Maggie tells him that Ed thought he might need to talk to her, something about closure, like the last time Elaine broke off their engagement. She immediately launches into an impassioned plea for him to go to Hawaii instead of New York and fight for Elaine and their relationship. Also, she is surprised that Joel did not tell her of his impending engagement.
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After she finishes, Joel tells her he is relieved. He had delayed getting officially engaged several times to Elaine. He recalled a dream he had where everyone thought Elaine was his sister. He repeats what the rabbi said about insanity as doing the same behavior twice and expecting different results. He believes that Elaine must have known his ambivalent feelings. At this time, we hear the song, This Time the Dream is on Me. He explains to Maggie that he did not tell her because when he first saw her at the airport, he felt terribly confused and uncertain about his own desires.
He also tells her that it seemed to her that she has been avoiding him while he has been in Cicely, but he can imagine that the circumstances of their relationship ending probably left her feeling awkward. Maggie does indeed feel awkward and uncomfortable. She looks nervously around his room and notices a bottle of Cicely water and questions Joel about it. He reports that it was a gift for Elaine; he was planning to surprise her with it during their trip to Hawaii.
Still feeling anxious, she spies the engagement ring box on the table and asks to see it. She opens the box and compliments him on how lovely the ring is. She asks to try it on and he helps her by placing in on her left ring finger; the ring fits perfectly. The music on the radio has changed to At Last which is sung by Etta James. Joel reminds Maggie that they danced to this song once before. She remembers that it was after Rick died and people were ignoring her because of the curse and Joel was not afraid to dance with her.
She also remembers that he dances very well. They look at each other and begin dancing. As Joel is holding her, he asks her to spend the night. This immediately plunges Maggie into a conflict. The angel on one shoulder tells her she must go at once since she is marrying Chris tomorrow and this is not proper conduct for the night before her wedding. The devil on the other shoulder acknowledges her attraction to Joel and how she has wanted to be with him since he returned.
She tells him that this was such a surprise that she needs to think about his offer. He replies that he would like to convince her to stay, reminding her that at Adam and Eve's wedding, she told him he was a good kisser; he then begins to kiss her passionately. The two sides of Maggie's nature continue bickering. Before Maggie can speak, Ed bursts through the door without knocking. He tells Joel that Ruth-Anne has chest pains.
Walt has brought Ruth-Anne over to the medical office and would like Joel to examine her. He grabs his medical bag and the three depart. He tells her that she has an irregular heart beat and wants to give her a shot and a sedative. He also tries to convince both of them that she should go to Anchorage to be hospitalized.
Ruth-Anne persuades Joel to hold off on medication and asks him to leave the examining room. Although frustrated by his patient's attitude, Joel remembers Leonard's admonitions and returns to the waiting room where Ed and Maggie are sitting. Ruth-Anne tells Walt how happy she has been this past week and he agrees that the time they have had together has been special.
He remembers that he had asked Chris to play a special request on the radio at 9: He leaves the examining room in search of a radio and finds one in the reception area where Joel and the others have been waiting somewhat nervously.
He turns on the radio and Chris is beginning his dedication of Chelsea Bridge, another Billy Strayhorn tune, performed by Duke Ellington's orchestra. Walt and Ruth-Anne talk briefly about the song. She says she is feeling better and would like to dance. Walt is not so sure that this is a good idea, but Ruth-Anne is adamant.
They dance a slow dance to this music, reminiscing about where they were when the song was recorded in After a few words from Walt, Ruth-Anne says she would prefer to reminisce about the time they spent the night together having been stranded while picking up display cases from Cantwell. They both remember that occasion and smile. They continue to dance. Walt becomes alarmed when Ruth-Anne slumps over; he calls for Joel who quickly returns to the examining room.
He wants to attempt CPR, but Walt asks him to stop.
Ruth-Anne did not want heroics. Let her rest in peace. Ed leaves to inform Chris of the news of Ruth-Anne's death. Maggie departs for the Brick.
Maurice and Barbara have returned to the Brick to a wake for Ruth-Anne instead of a bachelor party for Chris. They are accompanied by Debbie. They are surprised to see Joel and not Dr.
Capra, who informs them that Ruth-Anne died. Ed is quite upset and requires some consolation. Walt informs him that in her will, Ruth-Anne is leaving him the store. For a brief moment, Ed does not feel worthy and spies the green demon of low self-esteem tending the bar.
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Ed gradually realizes that if Ruth-Anne trusted him with the store, than he is most certainly worthy of the gift. When the spring thaws the ground, they plan to bury her ashes on the gravesite Ed gave her on her 75th birthday. He remembers the time they danced on her grave. Others begin to recall special moments with Ruth-Anne.
Chris is now playing music that he feels suits the memory of Ruth-Anne. He informs the listeners that Ed told him that her favorite movie was Casablanca; therefore, he plays As Time Goes By. While the music is playing, Joel finds Maggie and asks her if she has been able to consider his invitation. He was upset by Ruth-Anne's death and does not want to be alone. Initially, she declines by saying that her mother is visiting her and she needs to make sure that the house doesn't burn down.
He continues to plead with her, promising no strings attached and reminding her that this is the "wanting" part. As she is leaving, feeling flustered and confused, we hear the two inner voices continue their bickering.
It is now Valentine's Day morning and Chris is on the air waves reminding Cicelians that Ruth-Anne's body will be leaving for the cremation in Anchorage and Joel will be going as well in anticipation of the return of the Capras. He remembers the time that Ruth-Anne took off on his Harley for a brief adventure. He plays the song, Goodbye, by Benny Goodman's Orchestra. We continue to hear the song, while the Cicelians gather at the airstrip to say good bye to Joel and Ruth-Anne.
Maggie remembers the ring and wants to give it back, but he tells her to keep it. He never gave her a ring when they were previously engaged. As the plane leaves, we see Maggie with tears running down her cheek. By this time, Chris has arrived and tries to console her about the loss of Ruth-Anne. She wonders if it is in bad taste for them to have a wedding today.
Maggie has returned home and is having trouble getting ready for the wedding. She attempts to talk to her mother about her confusion. Her mother compliments her on the lovely engagement ring and Maggie is somewhat embarrassed to report that it was a gift from Joel and not from Chris. They both agree that Maggie needs to remove it before the wedding. Her mother is understandably confused, but reminds her that Chris has a great imagination and surely would not be a dull husband. She offers evidence of the time that Chris flung her piano and how he created various innovative sculptures reflecting life in Cicely.
She also recognizes that he is probably happier in New York City and would be miserable in Cicely. Meanwhile, back at his trailer, Chris is talking to Bernard and Ann about his anxious feelings since it has taken him a half hour to button his shirt and he forgot how to form a tie. Bernard and Ann attempt to calm him down, but Chris is not sure he is a holy wedlock kind of guy.
Describing his quandary over the paradigm shift this situation has created, he recalls that when Joel used to live in Cicely, he always thought someday he would preside over a wedding between Joel and Maggie; somehow it all seems so strange that Bernard will be doing the honors and he will be the groom. He feels guilty having these thoughts because he truly cares for Maggie and remembers how helpful she was when he needed to get his voice back.
He does not want to disappoint her. The replacement pilot, Col. Pickering takes Joel to Anchorage. At the airport, they meet Dr. Capra who informs Joel that he is not returning to Cicely. Michelle wants to leave Alaska and live within 5 minutes of a hospital. He has a few more weeks left on his contract and will gladly forfeit the money in order to keep his wife and their new baby happy.
Pickering a wrapped wedding gift, Dr. Joel becomes agitated at this news and asks the pilot to fly him back to Cicely, now. Pickering advises him that a storm front is moving through Alaska and there will be a delay. Meanwhile, the town is now gathering for this week's wedding at the church. Although Shelly has recently given birth, she is the matron of honor, carrying the newborn in a snugly type carrier.
Ed is best man. Both Maggie's parents and stepmother are in the church as well as her brother. As the wedding march begins, Maggie walks down the aisle with her father, wearing a simple, but elegant wedding dress and hat. She takes her place next to Chris. Bernard offers a few opening remarks, followed by Cal's third wedding solo, A Lark Ascending.
During his piece, the church's doors fly open and a mysterious woman screams, "Chris, you cannot marry her! He excuses himself, leaving Maggie at the altar. Instead of being hurt or angry, Maggie has a slightly bemused expression on her face.
Bernard explains to the assembled group who Brother Simon is. Maurice grumbles about how difficult it is for a wedding to take place in Cicely without some kind of interruption.
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Ed reminds members of the wedding that this is similar, but not the same as the situation in The Graduate when Dustin Hoffman carries Katharine Ross away from her wedding. After a few minutes of stunned silence, the wedding guests gradually leave the church and some head for the Brick. Maggie's parents try to console her. Her mother wonders if it is a variation on the O'Connell curse; instead of dying, the men are leaving her: Maggie suggests that her family go to the Brick and leave her alone for a while at her cabin.
As she approaches her cabin, she sees Esau, the ventriloquist's dummy belonging to Chris, sitting by the front door.
He tells her that Chris has written her a letter. She thanks him for it and they both go inside. As Maggie reads the note, we hear Chris speaking. He apologizes for leaving her at the church and explains that he was completely surprised when Chris, Brother Simon, arrived. He saw this as some kind of cosmic omen, like something out of an ancient Greek drama when the deus ex machina came to resolve the conflict in the story. Since Chris interrupted the wedding, maybe he should take some time to get to know her better.
He hopes that in time Maggie can forgive him for disappointing her and hopes she understands that it was his anxiety that caused him to leave. He is uncertain when he will return to Cicely.
After Maggie finishes the letter, she confides in Esau that she too was anxious about going through with the wedding and afraid to say anything because she did not want to disappoint Chris who had been so kind to her after Joel left. Joel has now returned to Cicely and is surprised to find the church empty. Fearing that he was too late, he walks over to the Brick where he encounters Maggie's father. O'Connell tells him that a mysterious woman came to the wedding and Chris left with her, leaving Maggie at the altar.
He believes that Maggie is at her cabin. As Joel is about to leave, Maurice asks him if he would be interested in staying a little longer in Cicely. With a note of irony, Joel agrees to his offer. Maurice promises a generous contract, with plenty of vacation time; he will rough out the details for the contract tomorrow.
Joel knocks on Maggie's door. She is still wearing her wedding dress. He asks her how she feels and she reports okay; maybe even a little relieved. She understands exactly how Joel felt yesterday. She wants to know what brought him back to Cicely. He answers that she did. He tells her that in spite of returning to New York City, he had become a Cicelian and now he wants to come home.
He asks her if he can stay. The final scene takes place late in the evening in the KBHR studio. Bernard is sitting at the microphone addressing the listeners. He reminds the Cicelians that it has been an historic Valentine's Day in their town, beginning with saying goodbye to Ruth-Anne and Joel this morning. Maggie shows up, visibly upset at the artificiality of the course, but Joel ignores her, lost in thoughts of 9-irons and doglegs.
Maggie informs Joel that since he is Shelly's obstetricianshe has picked him to be the best man. Maggie herself has been named maid of honorand Chris will perform the ceremony since he became ordained by answering a classified ad in the back of Rolling Stone.
Maggie tells Joel to ask Maurice to sing at the wedding, but Joel knows that Maurice will refuse. At the wedding ceremony the following day, not only does Maurice not show up, but neither does Holling.
Maggie yells at Joel for not keeping track of Holling, but Shelly accepts his absence as a sign that he doesn't want to marry her, and runs off. On the following day, Holling shows up at the Brick in his hunting outfit, and Shelly starts throwing glasses at him.
Holling eventually ends up in Joel's office with a cut above his right eye, and explains to Joel how the men in his family have always lived over one hundred years, while their wives have always died early. As a result, he never wanted to marry, fearing that his wife would die earlier as a result. Joel convinces Holling to explain this to Shelly, and the wedding is rescheduled. Shelly shows up at Maurice's house later that night, to Maurice's surprise and delight.
Although she came to try to convince Maurice to sing at the wedding, he thinks that she showed up to take him back. He begins coming on to her, and Shelly is insulted. Maurice finally kicks Shelly out but, right after, Chiba and Masuto prepare to leave.
As Maurice stands dazed at this turn of events, Masuto speaks in perfect English, telling him to sing at the wedding. The investors depart, and Maurice is left alone. At the wedding, Maggie and Joel are having their usual arguments, and Maurice is singing, a little grudgingly.
As Chris is about to close the ceremony, Holling pulls Shelly outside, saying that he loves her, but doesn't want to marry her, because of his ancestors ' luck with women. Shelly agrees, and they kiss and leave. That night, Joel is in his office, away from the wedding celebration on the phone with his finacee Elaine. Maurice comes in to tell him that the investment deal is off and Joel tells Elaine he will call her right back.
Maurice continues that the golf course is starting to mildew and then leaves. Joel tries to call Elaine back, but gets only her answering machine.