5.18 Fish Story



Original Air Date: March 14, 1994 Production Number: 77722
Written by: Jeff MelvoinDirected by: Bill D’Elia

Chris: “Time is but the stream I go a fishing in. Henry David Thoreau.”

Ed: “Pass me a sandwich. Ed Chigliak.”

Log line (1):

Joel has an otherworldly experience when Maggie wants to prepare a Passover dinner for him; Ruth-Anne abandons the store for the open road; Holling takes up paint-by-numbers.

Synopsis (1):

When Maggie wants to surprise Joel with an authentic Passover seder, he is uncomfortable with the idea. While fishing with Chris and Ed, Joel hooks a humongous fish, soon identified as Gunaakadeit, a legendary sea monster known as Goony to locals. Battling the fish throughout the day and night, Joel is forced to move into a rowboat and drift out into the huge lake as Goony drags the line. In an allegorical dream, Joel encounters his rabbi from New York and they end up in the belly of the beast. The fish imagery and Rabbi Schulman's (guest star Jerry Adler) guidance lead Joel to realize he is denying Maggie intimacy by not sharing Passover with her.

Meanwhile, Ruth-Anne reaches her boiling point with rude customers. She closes the store and takes off on Chris' Harley full throttle. At a roadhouse diner, she hooks up with the Diablos, a hard-core biker gang, and rides through the night. As Ed loyally guards the store, Ruth-Anne heads home when she realizes she has run out of road, both metaphorically and physically speaking.

Holling enters the subjective world of art as he takes up paint-by-numbers to kill time while babysitting Randi. Flattered by Shelly's compliments, he hangs a finished "work" in the Brick. While everyone else sings his praises, Maurice scoffs, hurting Holling's feelings and killing his appreciation for the hobby. Chris tries to talk him out of quitting by emphasizing the process of creating, rather than the judgment of the finished product. Holling decides to continue his art and simply give to those who appreciate his talent.

Details (2):

Goony is a big sturgeon, weighing an estimated (by Ed) thousand pounds. The first modern sighting was in 1931.

Ruth-Anne's bikers, TURK, FROG and TINY, belong to the Diablos gang.

Guest stars (9): Rabbi Schulman - Jerry Adler (also appears in 6.3 Shofar, So Good and 6.23 Tranquility Base)
Turk Tortelli - Stephen McHattie
Tiny - Mickey Jones (also appears as Tooley in 4.4 Heroes)
Frog - John Fleck
Hayden Keyes - James L. Dunn
Owen - George Barril
Doris - Sharon Galloway
Townsperson - Marsha Stuekle Neal
Waitress - Amy Caton-Ford
Store Clerk - Haynes Brook
(Note music listed is from the original TV airings. The DVD may differ.)

Surf Riders of Waikiki

Banjo Blues

Nice and Warm - Tab Benoit

What Am I Here For - Duke Ellington

One Morning in May - Mel Torme

Time Flies - Sass Jordan

Dachstein Angels - Wally Badarou

Shelly’s Earrings: Fish [Talks with Chris when Ruth-Anne takes off with his bike.]
Something blue? More fish? [Shelly and Maggie join the search for Joel.]
Long Wooden things? Lures? [At Seder meal at the end.]
Filming Sites: The Diablos are looking for the Rattlers to run the gauntlet. They end up eating frozen yogurt at the Ravensdale Market - this is really in Ravensdale, WA (another former coal mining town like Roslyn/Cicely) on 27534 Southeast Kent Kangley Road. It is off of I-90 outside of Renton.
Additional Notes:

July '68 - Walt was the only other one to hook Goonie on the line. Got his finger caught in the line.

The Rabbi smokes but “doesn't inhale.”

Joel finds his old baseball bat, and a spider man comic.

Rabbi finds his father's mishna and an old skate key.

The scenes with Ruth-Anne and the Diablos on Grumbler's page. This episode was on of Peg Phillips' (Ruth-Anne) favorites.

From Grumbler's page: Chris' Harley-Davidson FLH 1200. Sold at the Northern Exposure Auction in July 1995 for $13,500. John Corbett's (Chris Stevens) initials said to have been engraved on bike.

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