6.14 The Mommy's Curse

Jane: I think it's them, Mary-Margaret. Men. They have no fortitude. They're always dying or skedaddling off at the first sign of trouble. So tell me this, who is left to pick up the pieces, ship the body. clean out the closets? Us! And they have the audacity to call us the weaker sex.

Original Air Date(2): February 1, 1995

Production Number: 77814

Written by(1): Robin Green and Mitchell Burgess

Directed by(1): Michael Lange

Log line(1): Walt tries working for Ruth-Anne but ends up moving in with her; When her mother's boyfriend dies, Maggie's convinced there's a family curse; and Holling's new friendship with Phil has Maurice seething with jealousy.

Synopsis(1): With Walt getting a little old for the rigors of training, Ruth-Anne suggests he retire and offers him a job in her store. The two continually disagree on everything when Walt tries a marketing strategy which clutters up the aisle, makes a customer uncomfortable by being nosy about his personal purchases and pilfers snacks from the store. Ruth-Anne does what she feels is right and fires him for being belligerent to her and fresh with the customers and they part in anger. But when Ruth-Anne tracks him down and asks him to move in with her, all is forgiven and he arrives with an old leather suitcase and toaster in hand.

Maggie's mother, Jane, and her new boyfriend Leland come to town for a visit and to deliver Maggie's trust fund which Jane has shrewdly built up to $250,000. Mid-shot in a pool game, Leland peacefully dies. Maggie learns that her mother has a long history of dead boyfriends and is certain it is a family curse. After striving her whole life to be different than her mother, Maggie is depressed that she still ended up with the same piranha-like fate. Yet, Jane convinces her that there is no curse ... men simply have no fortitude. Viewing her mother in a whole new light, Maggie solicits investment advice from her mom and may follow that guidance by purchasing the old movie theater.

Holling and Phil's newfound friendship leaves Maurice feeling left out, especially when Holling forgets their standing date to go to the steam bath.

Hurt with jealousy, Maurice responds by asking for his loaned television back and buys up all the varnish in town, knowing Holling needs it for his boat. A public tussle ensues and Maurice stomps and tears Holling's cherished hat. When it occurs to Holling that Maurice is jealous of Phil, he subtly explains the comforts of an old, dear friend and they patch things up ... including Holling's hat.

Details(2): Robert Service -- Poet laureate of the wild.

Maggie's trust fund currently set at $210,000.

Manhattan a la Leland Cole -- Two dashes Angostura Bitters with four jiggers bourbon.

Jane O'Connell's romantic casualties = Cappy Moss, Robert Henzell, Leland Cole.

Fastest selling winter item -- Dinty Moore.

Most Memorable Quote: "I'm just like Mother. A clone. Ma. Jane Stowe O'Connell, replicated to plague the earth all over again."

Guest Stars: (1)
Phil Capra - Paul Provenza
Michelle Capra - Teri Polo
LeLand Cole - Linden Chiles
Hayden Keyes - James L. Dunn
Jane Stowe O'Connell - Debra Mooney
Barbara Jean - Jane Ryan
Dwight - Jeff Harry Woolf

Music: [Help! Email me if you know these missing tunes.]
• female blues singer ("If you don't believe me ...") when Maggie talks to Eugene about her mother's curse and all the men who died.

Shelly's Earrings:

Additional Notes :
One of the poems Phil and Holling recite is the Cremation of Sam McGee
"There are strange things done in the midnight sun ΚΚΚ
By the men who moil for gold; The Arctic trails have their secret tales ΚΚΚ
That would make your blood run cold; The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, ΚΚΚ
But the queerest they ever did see Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge ΚΚΚ
I cremated Sam McGee.
" See more.

In the Production Bible, this episode comes before 6.15 The Quest. Perhaps they rearranged it for sweeps week? Joel does show up briefly in this episode which would have been weird if he had already gone back to NY.

Maggie's mom, Jane O'Connell was previously played by Bibi Besch. I am not sure why she was unavailable for this episode; however she died of breast cancer 9/7/96, so perhaps she was ill at the time of filming.

I love it when Holling calls Maurice "that son of a bloodhound..."

I hate that Shelly's voice has started to sound like the lawyer character from 6.1 Dinner at Seven-Thirty - is it because of motherhood??

Footnotes and additional research:
1. MCA TV Promotional Kit dated 9/27/95
2. Revised NE Bible: New and Improved fro 94-95 season! Memo from: Ursula Wendel and Cynthia Cohen- Gugisch
3. Print-out of Jude Shabry's music list from the Moose's Guide to Northern Exposure.
4. Intertain 2000 collection of NX music online
5. Geoff's Miscellany
6. Kevin Wright's Culture NX Quotes for Season 6.

Created 3/3/02

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