6.11 The Great Mushroom



Original Air Date: January 4, 1995Production Number: 77810
Written by: Diane Frolov and Andrew SchneiderDirected by: Jim Hayman

Joel: I'm grateful to you. If it weren't for you, I'd be in Cicely right now and I'd still be running that rat race, still locked in that commute. Id be totally stressed, I'd be totally ignorant of what my life could be. I'm happier now than I've ever been.

Log line (1): Maggie goes to Manonash to save Joel 's life on his birthday; the Capras have enlightening house guest; and Ed discovers and then loses the cure for shingles.
Synopsis (1):

After Maggie dreams of Joel sinking in quicksand she is distraught and makes a birthday visit to Manonash. She feels responsible for driving him up the river and wants to protect him from the same untimely death of her previous boyfriends. When she arrives to find he is a wooly mountain man carving a totem pole, Maggie is convinced he must be miserable and continues to envision his demise. Joel swears he is profoundly happy and explains that, deep down, she needs him to be dead because his happiness is a tremendous blow to her self-esteem. While she reels on this revelation, he reassures her that he never really left her because they are both really one, like the little mushrooms on the ground that are all part of the same organism connected under the earth.

The Capras think they're having a dinner party for twelve until their invited guests bring their own guests in the Cicely fashion. At the end of the night, Marilyn's friends, the Thompsons, find the road home is snowed in and want to spend the night with the Capras, to which they uncomfortably agree. After days of struggling with ways in which to evict the Thompsons, the Capras grow to love having them around. But the road clears and they leave without a trace, except for a small token of appreciation and a lasting impression on Phil and Michelle.

Meanwhile, Ed develops an amazing cure for shingles but can't remember the plant that was the key ingredient and his shaman notes are a mess. Determined not to lose another cure, Ed conquers his fear of computers when he realizes that the binary code is just like Leonard's description of the universe.


Details (2):

Honey mushrooms are outcroppings of the same fungus -- Armillaria bulbosa. They run underground for a minimum of 35 square miles and is the largest living organism in the world.

Manonash cuisine: Joel's special ragout -- bear root, spatterdock and fiddlehead ferns. Crowberries and bunchberry brandy compliment the meal.

Ed finds then loses the cure for shingles.

Ed is scared of computers.

Michelle uses a cervical pillow.

Phil and Michelle moved 7 times in 6 years.

Most Memorable Quote: "Pacific Rim cuisine is just Cantonese without hoisin"


Phil Capra - Paul Provenza
Michelle Capra - Teri Polo
Elli Thompson - Molly McClure
Warren Thompson - George Randall
Patient - Gary Taylor
(Also appeared in 1.2, 2.5, 3.5, 3.17, 4.3, 5.20)

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

[Help! Email me if you know these missing tunes from the original TV airings.]

• instrumental when Joel is hunting and falls in the quicksand in Maggie's dream

• something latin at Michelle and Phil's dinner party

Gimmee Three Steps - Lynrd Skynrd
[Phil sees PC in Ed's closet and helps him set it up.]

• jazzy 20s tune - "Don't you mess around with me" when Michelle talks about her article with Elli and Warren.

Caminando por la Calle - the Gipsy Kings (from the album Mosaique - thanks, Maureen!)
[Ending, Michelle and Phil work at the puzzle]

Ed’s T-shirts:

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

Additional Notes:

The rock that rolls over Joel in one of Maggie's visions - in storage behind KBHR - picture taken at Moose Days 2001.

Joel's Rock

Previous Episode Footnotes and additional researchNext Episode


© Copyright, 2007 • Northern Exposure is Copyright Universal City Studios. All Rights Reserved. • Created 3/2/02 • Updated 5/22/07