3.6 The Body in Question


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Original Air Date: November 4, 1991 Production number: 77504
Written by:
Henry Bromell Directed by: David Carson

Chris: History is powerful stuff. One day your world is fine. The next day it's knocked for a metaphysical loop. Was Napoleon really at Waterloo? Would that change what I had for breakfast? Thoughts turn to our refrigerated friend Pierre Le Moulin, Pierre the Windmill, stepchild of history. If those chapped lips could speak, what would they say? Bonjour?

Log line: A frozen body discovered in the local river could cause a world-wide historical revolution: was Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo or was he ice fishing near Cicely and fathering a tribe of French-speaking Native Americans?

Chris discovers the body of a man dressed in eighteenth century costume frozen in a block of ice. Maurice keeps this "find" frozen at the Brick until they figure out what to do with him. Holling and Maggie translate the man's journal, written in French, which says that "Pierre Le Moulin" and his close friend Napoleon Bonaparte were in Alaska fishing during the Battle of Waterloo. To confuse history even more, the diary says that the Little Emperor fathered a child with an Indian woman. Marilyn confirms there is a local tribe of French-speaking Indians called the Tellakutans. The Tellakutans later arrive to claim the body of their folkloric hero, but Maurice will not give it up without a fight -- he has visions of tourists swarming all over Cicely to see the entombed body of the man who has rewritten history.

All this talk of royalty has caused Holling to become aloof to Shelly because he is afraid to tell her he is descended from a line of dastardly noblemen. Meanwhile, Shelly fears Holling is shying away because she may be infertile. Joel is also touched by the historical discussion as he realizes he is the embodiment of his ancestors' struggles and triumphs.

While doing stock work for Ruth-Anne, Ed tells her he is questioning his talent because of the opinions of others. Ruth-Anne tells him to follow his heart, knowing from experience wha happens when you don't.

(Production Bible):

Pierre's diary: April 2, 1814

When Napoleon first visited, he and native Matchka had a liaison. Thus the Tellakutans consider him father. Holling comes from French royalty; aristocratic scum: Louis XIV on his father's side. De Vincoeur was the original name; they abused peasants, raped the countryside ... Great-great uncle Gustav's death is still celebrated in France ... great, great grandfather fled to Canada and blew the family fortune on drinking, gambling, exploited the local Indians; his son, grandson and Holling's father were no better.

Ruth-Anne came North in 1971 in a '61 DeSoto with a cat and $800. Bill's heart gave out; kids were grown: Rudy's in Portland, a truck driving pastoral poet; Matthew in Chicago: investment banking but should have been a musician Ð played trumpet like Bix Biederbecke; Matthew never had to fight for his art.

Facts to Wax (Production Bible): Holling needs reading glasses. Maggie had a semester at the Sorbonne. Joel dreams of his family in Radismishl, Poland circa 1850 featuring the prophet Elijah. If Holling is right and we are our genes, Joel is four million years old, although Maggie thinks he's 29.
Guest stars: Elijah - Allan Miller
Woman - Sharon Collar (Also appeared in 2.3, 3.23, 5.23)
Yo'el - Schmuly Levitan
Tellakutan - Gabriel Salvadore
(Note music listed is from the original TV airings. The DVD may differ.)

La Donna A Mobile
[Chris finds the frozen body in the river.]

Rue St. Michael
[Chris and Shelly talk at the Brick.]

Jolie Louise - Daniel Lanois (also found on the Northern Exposure: Music from the Television Series)
[Maggie reads from journal. Joel gets a sample of cloth.]

I Got You - Dwight Yoakam
[Holling tells Joel about his evil family line.]

Hot Club Hop
[Shelly discovers that Pierre has been stolen.]

The Tellakutans - David Schwartz (also found on the Northern Exposure: Music from the Television Series)
[The Tellakutans row away in the canoe.]

Shelly’s Earrings:

Hawaiian man & woman [Townsfolk check out the frozen guy.]
Yellow and black tropical fish [Maggie tells Shelly and Joel about Matchka being pregnant.]
Green dice [Holling reveals his family past.]

Ed’s T-shirts:

*This is a new list I am starting. Please email me additions.

Los Angeles Rams (thanks, Judy!)

Ed Chigliak's Movie References:

Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974) (Thanks John!)


"Remembrance of Things Past" by Marcel Proust (Chris reads on the air, farwell to Pierre.)

"When from a long distant past nothing persists, after the people are dead, after things are broken and scattered, still alone, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and taste of things remain poised a long, long time like souls, ready to remind us, waiting, hoping for their moment amid the ruins of all the rest, and bear unfaltering in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence the vast structure of recollection."

Additional Notes:

Joel: So you put two and two together and came up with 22?
Shelly: Yeah.


Footnotes and additional research

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