5.13 Mite Makes Right





Original Air Date: January 17, 1994 Production number: 77715
Written by:
Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider Directed by: Michael Vittes

Maggie: Life is everywhere. The earth is throbbing with it, it's like music. The plants, the creatures, the ones we see, the ones we don't see, it's like one, big, pulsating symphony.

Log line: Maggie becomes obsessed with dust mites; Maurice gets more than he bargained for when he invests in a rare violin; Chris reaches an artistic impasse on a sculpture.


Maggie develops an allergy to dust mites, microscopic bugs that live in carpets, mattresses, and basically everywhere. During an examination, Joel asks Maggie out on a date as a fresh start, but she is so preoccupied that she doesn't even hear him. Obsessing over the idea of bugs crawling all over her, Maggie frantically sterilizes her house. When Joel stops by to ask her out a second time, he is successful and they have a wonderfully romantic "first date" until he tries to kiss her. She freaks out over bacteria and ends the date. Joel tries to convinced her that we are all part of a giant ecosystem, but she remains defensive and irrational. When she dreams about a human-like dust mite that has a wife and kids and everyday troubles like real folks, Maggie sees that life is a collective symphony and gives Joel a warm and passionate kiss.

Maurice is looking to invest in a rare violin and enlists the help of a concert violinist, Calvin Ingraham (guest star Simon Templeman), to ensure the instrument is genuine. When Cal tries it out, he is deeply moved by its magnificence. Once the transaction is completed, Maurice locks it away in the safe to appreciate in value and Cal is concerned that, if not played, it will lose its tone. Insane with desperation, Cal plants a bomb in Maurice's car, which explodes, leaving Maurice unharmed but shaken. Maurice comes to realize that it was a crime of passion and brings the violin to Calvin for him to play while incarcerated.

Chris is welding a steel statue of a naked woman and reaches a frustrating artistic impasse. After talking with Maggie about her dust mite situation, he finds his inspiration in the idea of an unseen civilization. He sculpts a human-sized dust mite with the human form implied, as a metaphor that life is dirty.

(Production Bible):

Kate noticed it, so did I: does anyone else see a resemblance between Cal and former No Ex scribe Jeff Vlaming?

I'd give a paycheck just to hear Joel say "F**king O'Connell, get a grip already!"

Guest stars: Dust Mite - Jack Kehler
Trooper - A. Michael Lerner (also appears in 6.5 and 6.6)
Violin Dealer - Andreas Reinl
Orderly - Patrick Ryals (also appears in 3.15 and 4.19)
Cal Ingram - Simon Templeman

April - Angelique von Halle (also appeared in 6.19)

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

Sunny Island Blues

Un Mariage Casse - Basin Brothers (On the More Music from Northern Exposure Soundtrack.)
[Chris talks to Maggie about dust mites in the Brick.]

All the Way - Lee Morgan

Additional Notes:

Maurice hands off three more bills to Cal and says "That will keep you in Roslyn for awhile." I think the line is supposed to be keep you in rosin but I listened to it over and over and he definitely says Roslyn.

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© Copyright, 2008 • Northern Exposure is Copyright Universal City Studios. All Rights Reserved. • Created 2/6/02 • Updated 5/25/08