The Best Episodes of Northern Exposure


#1 - Cicely 8.29

Season 3 - Episode 23

Joel meets an old man who's returned to Cicely after many years. The man tells him the story of two remarkable women, Roslyn and Cicely, whom transformed the town into ""the Paris of the North"" back in 1909.

Directors: Rob Thompson
Spring Break

#2 - Spring Break 8.22

Season 2 - Episode 5

Things get a little crazy as the town waits for the annual ice breakup and the annual ""running of the bulls"" down the streets of Cicely. Joel and Maggie find themselves irresistibly drawn together, Maurice is attracted to a dominating state trooper sent to uncover the villain behind the annual rash of petty thefts and Holling challenges all the customers to a fight.

Directors: Rob Thompson
Burning Down the House

#3 - Burning Down the House 8.19

Season 3 - Episode 14

Maggie receives an unexpected visit and some unwanted news from her mother. Meanwhile, Chris searches everywhere for just the right cow to fling for his conceptual art piece and Joel becomes obsessed with a local chimney sweep that he believes is a former pro golfer.

Directors: Rob Thompson
Up River

#4 - Up River 8.19

Season 6 - Episode 8

Maurice sends Ed after Joel, who's moved up river; and Joel tells Ed of the few days he and Maggie spent together, where every time they got together, there was gunfire. Chris hires a contractor to improve the lot around his trailer and it turns his world upside down. When Walt goes away to check his traps, Ruth-Anne realizes that she's fallen in love and tries to fight it.

Directors: Michael Fresco
Northwest Passages

#5 - Northwest Passages 8.18

Season 4 - Episode 1

Maggie must come to grips with her 30th birthday and the ghosts of her dead boyfriends by using an Indian ritual allowing her to lay the past to rest. Marilyn decides it's time to learn to drive and gets Ruth-Anne and Chris to give her lessons. Maurice drives the citizens crazy when he begins to write his memoirs.

Directors: Dean Parisot
Midnight Sun

#6 - Midnight Sun 8.16

Season 4 - Episode 2

Joel is charged with energy as the sun hasn't sent and he uses his pent up energy to try to coach Cicely's basketball team to victory. Holling is distracted by Shelly's cheerleading outfit. The traveling salesman/tailor comes back to Cicely to sell his wares and he romances Ruth-Anne.

Directors: Michael Katleman
Our Wedding

#7 - Our Wedding 8.14

Season 3 - Episode 22

As their wedding approaches, Adam debates with Joel about women and Eve lets a gung-ho Shelly take over the wedding plans as she worries about more important matters. Maggie and Joel try in their own ways to come to grips with their experience in Juneau.

Directors: Nick Marck
Crime and Punishment

#8 - Crime and Punishment 8.12

Season 4 - Episode 10

Chris is taken into custody for an extradition trial to bring him back to West Virginia, where he currently has a parole violation. Chris knows he is guilty and really isn't interested in his defense. Mike comes up with an angle that he can prove to the judge that the Chris Stevens that skipped bail is different from the Chris Stevens standing before her.

Directors: Rob Thompson
Slow Dance

#9 - Slow Dance 8.10

Season 2 - Episode 7

The infamous O'Connell curse seems to have claimed another victim when a falling satellite hits Rick. Maurice has mixed feelings about selling some property for an outrageously high price to a couple he disapproves of, and Shelly becomes confused when Holling is really enjoying his reunion with an old lady friend from his distant past.

Directors: David Carson
It Happened in Juneau

#10 - It Happened in Juneau 8.09

Season 3 - Episode 21

Joel foresees sophisticated delights when he travels to Juneau for a medical conference but winds up with good old Maggie, meanwhile back in Cicely, Chris finds himself tongue-tied with the return of Bernard, his cosmic doppelganger.

Directors: Michael Katleman, David Assael
Mr. Sandman

#11 - Mr. Sandman 8.06

Season 5 - Episode 12

The aurora borealis causes the residents of Cicely to swap their dreams, exposing secrets. Maggie has Holling's dream about being a cab driver in Quebec, driving his overbearing father around. Ron has Maurice's dream about blue pumps. Joel sleepwalks in search of candy, having a child's dream. Holling has Dave's dream about kayaking with a spatula. Walt has someone's dream (Joel's?) about climbing a never ending tower.

Directors: Michael Fresco, David Chase, Andrew Schneider, Diane Frolov

#12 - Thanksgiving 8.03

Season 4 - Episode 8

The Indians in Cicely celebrate Thanksgiving by throwing tomatoes at white people. Joel is Ed's first victim and he is angered because in his words he is "definitely not white." The town gets decorated with skulls and pumpkins as they also celebrate "The Day of the Dead." Joel also gets bad news in a letter telling him that he must serve another year on his contract. Mike's latest reactions to the environment are caused by something he can't trace so he thinks about moving to Greenland. Chris waxes nostalgic and decides that the something missing from his life is "the joint" when he finds a can of beans that he remembers from Thanksgiving.

Directors: Michael Fresco
The Final Frontier

#13 - The Final Frontier 8.03

Season 3 - Episode 20

Maurice becomes curious about the influx of Japanese tourists to the area during the Northern Lights, Holling sets out to discover if Jesse the bear is really dead, and Maggie leads the curious townspeople in trying to discover what is in a mysterious package covered with foreign stamps.

Directors: Tom Moore
Aurora Borealis: A Fairy Tale for Big People

#14 - Aurora Borealis: A Fairy Tale for Big People 8.00

Season 1 - Episode 8

The approach of the Aurora Borealis and the constant light produces some strange behavior among the residents of Cicely. Chris abandons the radio station to build an unusual piece of modern sculpture and to get acquainted with a new soul mate that has come into town on some predestined mission. Joel journeys into the back woods to visit an isolated forest ranger and, when he gets stuck coming home, remembers the stories of a strange Bigfoot-like creature named Adam rumored to be roaming the area. Joel is rescued by Adam, who turns out to be real and a damn good cook, only when he returns to town no one believes him.

Directors: Peter O'Fallon
The Big Kiss

#15 - The Big Kiss 8.00

Season 2 - Episode 2

Ed's wish to know who his parents were summons up a 256-year-old Indian spirit named ""One-Who-Waits"" who offers to help him find out. Chris finds his voice has been stolen by a beautiful woman passing through town, and comes to believe in a folk cure he hears about-that he must sleep with the most beautiful woman in town, Maggie.

Directors: Sandy Smolan
Animals 'R' Us

#16 - Animals 'R' Us 8.00

Season 3 - Episode 4

Maggie becomes convinced that the stray dog that's adopted her is Rick reincarnated. Maurice tries to convince Marilyn to join him in a multi-million dollar scheme to produce and market ostriches. Ed looks for help in making a movie about Cicely.

Directors: Nick Marck
The Bad Seed

#17 - The Bad Seed 8.00

Season 4 - Episode 7

Holling's less than honest daughter arrives in Cicely and begins to operate. Holling and Shelly have a disagreement about his "sterility" and starts hanging out with his daughter. Marilyn decides it may be time to move out when she decides her mother has made one too many changes she doesn't like and asks Maggie to find her dream house. Ed goes to meet "Princess," a crane that returns every year, though after taking with Chris he begins to think it isn't such a good idea.

Directors: Randall Miller
The Quest

#18 - The Quest 8.00

Season 6 - Episode 15

Joel finds a map and brings Maggie with him on a quest to find a mythical city, they meet a belligerent gatekeeper, and when faced with a crossroads, Joel sees his future and departs. Phil cleans out some impacted earwax for Chris, but Chris sues him for malpractice when his inner ear is damaged. Maurice lets Holling know that Michelle is writing an article on restaurants for Alaska Highways magazine, but she can't find any good words to describe the food at the Brick.

Directors: Michael Vittes
Wake Up Call

#19 - Wake Up Call 8.00

Season 3 - Episode 19

As spring blossoms, Shelly suffers from a skin rash, Holling gives away eggs, Joel gets a new outlook on patient care from a tribal medicine man and Maggie experiences a spiritual and physical re-awakening with a handsome stranger.

Directors: Nick Marck
Dinner at Seven-Thirty

#20 - Dinner at Seven-Thirty 8.00

Season 6 - Episode 1

Joel takes a spiritual journey to New York City after drinking orange juice that contains some Indian folk medicine and sees how life might have been. There he and his wife Shelly, a corporate lawyer, give a dinner party. Maurice is their doorman and Eugene their elevator operator; Maggie is the au pair for their kids; Bernard is in fashions and Chris is an inarticulate fashion photographer; Ed is a corporate raider; Ruth-Anne runs the internal medical partnership that Joel is trying to join; Holling is a singer who's got agoraphobia (fear of open places). Through the course of the evening, they begin to transform into their Cicelian characters.

Directors: Michael Fresco
Brains, Know How and Native Intelligence

#21 - Brains, Know How and Native Intelligence 7.97

Season 1 - Episode 2

Ed asks Dr. Fleischman to help him convince his uncle, a traditional tribal medicine man, to seek medical treatment for a health problem. A self-reliant Maggie chides Joel about being helpless around the house. Chris angers Maurice when he reads some poetry by Walt Whitman and uncovers some facts about the poet's life that Maurice would prefer not knowing.

Directors: Peter O'Fallon
A-Hunting We Will Go

#22 - A-Hunting We Will Go 7.95

Season 3 - Episode 8

Joel decides to explore the fascination of hunting by accompanying Chris and Holling on their annual pilgrimage. Ed becomes worried and over solicitous when he learns that Ruth-Anne is seventy-five years old.

Soapy Sanderson

#23 - Soapy Sanderson 7.93

Season 1 - Episode 3

A hermit takes Joel's advice to put his affairs in order and leaves all his considerable land holdings to be jointly administered by Maggie and the good doctor, who has definite ideas about how to dispose of the windfall.

Directors: Stephen Cragg, Karen Hall
Nothing's Perfect

#24 - Nothing's Perfect 7.93

Season 4 - Episode 3

Chris kills a pet loving mathematician's dog; he falls in love with her and then while taking care of the rest of her pets, a parakeet drops dead. Maurice takes delivery of a clock he paid top dollar for and is delivered with the guy who will set it up. He becomes less than enamored with it when it doesn't keep the perfect time he expected.

Directors: Nick Marck

#25 - Homesick 7.89

Season 4 - Episode 20

Maggie is excited when she thinks she has "cured" her latest beau, as opposed to killing him; however she is crushed when he tells her that he leaving to work for Greenpeace in Murmansk. Holling is disgusted by Shelly's redecorating of their bed & bathroom. Maurice moves his childhood home to Cicely and it stirs up memories of his brother.

Directors: Nick Marck