Northern Exposure: The Complete Sixth Season
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Recipient of 39 Emmy nominations and winner of the Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for Outstanding Drama Series, Northern Exposure comes to an offbeat and inspirational conclusion. For this final season, newcomer Dr. Phil Capra (Paul Provenza) joins Dr. Joel Fleischman (Emmy nominee Rob Morrow), Maggie (Emmy nominee Janine Turner), Chris (Emmy nominee John Corbett) and the rest of the quirky citizens of Cicely, Alaska. Digitally restored for optimum picture quality, this must-own five-disc set includes all 23 beloved episodes and over 30 minutes of never-before-seen deleted scenes. See the finale of this groundbreaking, heartwarming adventure that's as stunning as the Northern Lights themselves!
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1.) Dinner at Seven-Thirty
Original Air Date: September 19, 1994
Joel drinks orange juice from Ed's refrigerator, but it is actually a healing potion for body aches.
2.) Eye of the Beholder
Original Air Date: September 26, 1994
Ed busts an insurance scam; Maggie donates a family heirloom for a charity auction; Maurice donates a case of "turned" red wine.
3.) Shofar, So Good
Original Air Date: October 3, 1994
Rabbi Schulman plays the ghostlike character in "A Christmas Carol"; Maurice holds the annual fox hunt.
4.) The Letter
Original Air Date: October 10, 1994
Maggie discovers a letter she wrote to herself when she was a teen; Shelly learns the fallacy of chain letters; and Chris meets the new town barber.
5.) The Robe
Original Air Date: October 17, 1994
Shelly meets the devil; Ed works with Joel to prove himself to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; and Chris becomes a ventriloquist.
Original Air Date: October 31, 1994
Marilyn tells a story about Russian treaty negotiations.
7.) Full Upright Position
Original Air Date: November 1, 1994
Joel and Maggie board a plane bound to Russia; Maurice brings his young cousin into his business; Chris gets inside electricity.
8.) Up River
Original Air Date: November 14, 1994
Joel goes to Manonash; Chris remodels his trailer; Ruth-Anne surrenders to love.
9.) Sons of the Tundra
Original Air Date: November 28, 1994
New doctor, Phillip Capra and his wife, Michelle, come to Cicely. Holling wants to join Sons of the Tundra; Ed sees the future.
Original Air Date: December 12, 1994
Maggie is elected Mayor; Dr. Capra plays a round of golf with Joel; Marilyn buys a dog.
11. The Great Mushroom
Original Air Date: January 4, 1995
Maggie goes to Manonash; the Capras entertain house guests; and Ed discovers a cure for shingles.
12.) Mi Casa, Su Casa
Original Air Date: January 11, 1995
While house-sitting, Ed throws an outlandish bash on Maurice's dime; Marilyn goes to Manonash. Shelly and Holling look for their first house.
Original Air Date: January 18, 1995
Joel is free from his "imprisonment"; Maurice produces Cicely Water, which affects the town's people in strange ways.
14. The Mommy's Curse
Original Air Date: February 1, 1995
Maggie's mother brings her boyfriend to town; Walt works for Ruth-Anne at the store; Holling and Dr. Capra hang out together.
15.) The Quest
Original Air Date: February 8, 1995
Joel and Maggie search for the Jeweled City of the North; Chris sues Dr. Capra; and Michelle Capra writes a review of the Brick.
16.) Lucky People
Original Air Date: February 15, 1995
Dr. Capra has a shocking realization; Cicely celebrates Founders Day; and Maurice buys gifts for Holling's daughter.
17.) The Graduate
Original Air Date: March 8, 1995
Chris earns his Master's degree; Maggie purchases the local movie house; a young man claims to be Holling's son.
18.) Little Italy
Original Air Date: March 15, 1995
Dr. Capra discovers "Little Italy"; Ruth-Anne is on NPR's "All Things Considered."
Original Air Date: March 22 1995
Cicely has a bowling team; Ed quits working for Maurice. Lester Haines makes Ed an offer.
20.) Buss Stop
Original Air Date: April 12, 1995
Michelle Capra directs the play "Bus Stop."
21.) Ursa Minor
Original Air Date: May 3, 1995
Ed adopts a bear cub; Maggie walks in on Chris using lucid dreaming; Maurice is upset about Cicely's population decline.
22.) Let's Dance
Original Air Date: May 10, 1995
Officer Semanski has feelings for Cal Ingraham; Dr. Capra insults Mrs. Whirlwind.
23.) Tranquility Base
Original Air Date: May 17, 1995
Finale: The cast of characters go to Maurice's Tranquility Base. Michelle gets lost in the woods; Maurice asks Barbara to marry him; Iris Dement's song, "Our Town" is the vocal backdrop for a wonderful montage.
This is the final season, and though Joel leaves the show to many peoples dislike, the rest of the characters keep the show interesting up till the finale episode. The way Joel's experiences in Alaska end up changing him are very significant as we see in the final season, and this has always been in my opinion one of the most existentially sincere and compelling character changes ever developed in any television show. This is the result of writing that is comparable to high literature if you compare the character of Joel from the first episode to the final one he appears in, and the entire series of NX becomes a protrayal of a man who goes through the most poignant and profound experiences of self realization.
But the entire feeling that I remember so fondly from the end of the episode entitled "The Quest" is altered by the change in music from the original. Years ago when it first aired, "Forever Nightshade Mary", by the Los Lobos side project band Latin Playboys, played over Rob Morrow's final scene on the show. I distinctly remember the calming, almost zen impression it made, twelve years after it first aired.
Now, it's gone, replaced with something that sounds like Rosemary Clooney or Ethel Merman, something that has far more bombast, and was no doubt cheaper to license for the DVD set. Do I love the fact that I can get the show on DVD? Yes. But it would be disingenuous to say that I don't cringe everytime I hear a piece of music that I know didn't play when the showed aired originally, as music played such an integral part of the mood and feel of the show. This is a case in point illustration of the effect of choice of music in television.
I had hoped against hope that it would not be the case with the sixth season (they had at least managed to get away from double sided DVDs), but alas...
While Dr. Joel Fleischer was the basis character for the series, the town itself quickly became the star. So the death of the series at Rob's announcement was not a given situation, replacements worked fine for M*A*S*H which had the similar ensamble style (but it was not Hawkeye they were losing). The producers introduced a new town doctor, but this time he was not neurotic and would not be persuing Maggie (he was happily married). That was the trouble. In a town full of neurotic characters, replacing neurotic #1 with a bland character having less personality that the town's totum pole just reminded fans that the series was ending after all.
One would think that with six months notice a better replacement could have been found.
Fans could also have troubles with the character transformation of DR. Joel Fleischman. He starts off this season like other seasons, but he quickly becomes a different character than the one we grew to enjoy. Watching the last 10 episodes of this season could be like watching a slow death, almost like watching "After M*A*S*H". The surreal series finale is perfect for this surreal series, and should have happened a few episodes earlier than it did. The nice part about watching this on DVD is that you can skip over those Morrow-less episodes.
I think that the town of Cicily Alaska could have survived the loss of DR. Joel Fleischman had the right replacement character been found. The first 5 episodes are classic Cicily. When Shelly meets the Devil the outcome is in the true spirit of the series.
Others have listed the episodes, so I will not repeat this information.
Speaking of this "Tranquility Base", I would like to plead to whoever is releasing this set of DVD's to PLEASE leave the song "Our Town" in this last episode. I know the music has been reowrked a lot in these DVD's, but this song is crutial to this last epsidoe and it should be left in!
I was saddened to hear Peg Phillips (Ruth Ann) died a few years back. I wish she could have gotten to see these DVD's that she's so much a part of.
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