5.6 Birds of a Feather


Original Air Date: November 1, 1993 Production Number: 77701
Written by: Robin Green and Mitchell BurgessDirected by: Mark Horowitz

Marilyn: The Eagle wasn't always the Eagle. The Eagle, before he became the Eagle, was Yucatangee, the Talker. Yucatangee talked and talked. It talked so much it heard only itself. Not the river, not the wind, not even the Wolf. The Raven came and said "The Wolf is hungry. If you stop talking, you'll hear him. The wind too. And when you hear the wind, you'll fly." So he stopped talking. And became its nature, the Eagle. The Eagle soared, and its flight said all it needed to say.

Log line (1): When Joel's parents trek to Cicely, it ends up being a soul-searching time for all three; Holling shocks everyone when he reveals that he is bored by sports.

Synopsis (1):

Joel is on his best behavior for a visit from his folks when they arrive in Cicely. His mom, Nadine (guest star Joanna Merlin), is struck by the vast surroundings and awed by the creaking wings of a huge bird soaring past her. When Marilyn informs Nadine that she (Nadine) has a special eagle spirit, they look for eagles on Marilyn's rock and Marilyn explains the legend of the magnificent bird. Nadine returns to the rock alone and, craning to get a better view, she slips on gravel and falls, but glides gracefully on the wind to the bottom of the cliff.

Joel and his dad, Herb (guest star David Margulies), are forced to spend more time together i without Nadine's incessant chatter in the way. Unfortunately, Dad's "Mister Fix-It" suggestions and medical advice to Joel's patients cause Joel to lose control, which leads to a scuffle. However, with Nadine permanently quieted by the legend of the eagle and her new spirituality, the men must deal with each other, and awkwardly make up.

During the heart of baseball season, Holling reveals that he is completely bored by sports. Shelly is traumatized, fearing the pooper will grow up a sissy. Holling is worried he will miss out on the many bonding moments between father and son over a good game of catch. After mean-spirited joking from the patrons at the Brick, Holling hits his limit and snaps off the television right in the middle of a game and speaks his piece.

(Production Bible)
It's a girl! Joel has a sister. All we know about her so far is that she threw up in the family's Ford Fairlane after drinking too much root beer.
(Production Bible)

Network complains about Shelly's use of "Pussy." [Shelly: "There you were, in front of the whole bar, admitting you were a pussy about sports."] No one in the audience seems to be mind. I kind of liked it.

Joel and Herb's scenes confirm what the Academy has thought all along - "Northern Exposure" is a drama. Or as one unnamed writer exclaimed while watching dailies, "It's like f***ing Strindberg!" [Note: That is verbatem (except for the *'s) from the Updated NE Bible!]

Guest stars (9):

Nadine Fleischman - Joanna Merlin
Herb Fleischman - David Margulies
Owen - George Barril
(Also appeared in 4.24, 5.10, 5.17, 5.18, 5.19, 6.2, 6.12, 6.15, 6.17, 6.23)
Phil - Clark Sandford
Andy Pettit - Frank Dartt

(Note music listed is from the original TV airings. The DVD may differ.)

El Cuchipe - Los Lobos
[Herb and Maurice chat about anatomy in the Brick.]

Shame Shame Shame Shame - Mark Collie

Shelly’s Earrings: Hands (or baseball mitts?) [Gifts arrive from Tammy, including a baby baseball mitt.]
Baseball bat & ball [Discovers Holling doesn't like sports.]
Additional Notes:

Another Mike!! All the non-speaking or one-liner parts seem to be Mike. This one looks like Jeff Foxworthy.

"Owen" is back (the extra who helped Chris and Holling with Walt's light visor intervention.)

Flatrock - where Nadine and Marilyn go to see Eagles and Nadine later falls of the cliff there. This is the same filming location where Jesse the Bear (3.20 The Final Frontier) is buried, and where Ruth-Anne and Ed dance on her grave (3.8 A-Hunting We Will Go).

Shelly never has earrings when she is in her jammies or bathrobe.

Footnotes and additional research

© Copyright, 2013 • Northern Exposure is Copyright Universal City Studios. All Rights Reserved. • Created 2/12/02 • Updated 2/2/13