"It Happened in Juneau"
Season 3, Episode 21 (36)
Airdate May 4, 1992
Writer(s) David Assael
Robert Rabinowitz
Director Michael Katleman
Guest star(s)

←   Episode sequence   →
"The Final Frontier" "Our Wedding"


Joel anticipates a weekend in Juneau, Alaska in the company of attractive female doctors, but instead he's stuck in the same hotel suite with Maggie, who cramps his style. Back in Cicely, Chris becomes tongue-tied as Bernard, his "karmic doppelganger" brother returns from Africa.


Chris in the Morning announces that Joel will be leaving on a weekend trip to Juneau for a medical conference. Suddenly, Chris' sentences begin to get jumbled up as words drop out. Chris confusedly turns off the microphone and stops broadcasting.

Joel is in his office, talking to Marilyn about finding available, single, female pediatricians at the conference. He is obviously looking forward to "hooking up" with someone in his own perceived social class. Marilyn is preparing his slides and fumbles them, mixing their order, and Joel reprimands her.

However, when he goes to catch his chartered flight, he discovers that Maggie is flying him instead of Red, since Maggie wants to see the touring company of Les Mis in Juneau. Joel is not happy at spending a long flight with Maggie, but has no choice.

At KBHR, Maurice asks Chris what is wrong and Chris has trouble answering. Almost immediately after, Chris' half-brother Bernard drives up, having returned from Africa. But when they greet each other, they are no longer mentally connected: Chris is thirsty, while Bernard is hungry. They go off to The Brick in confusion.

In Juneau, Joel and Maggie find that, due to a water leak, several of the hotel rooms are under water, so Joel and Maggie are forced to stay in the same suite together for the weekend. Joel is not happy with the situation, but agrees as long as Maggie promises to keep her distance if he has guests. That night, as they prepare for their respective social events, Maggie comments on Joel's intended purpose to "bag some bimbos." Joel merely tells her to make sure that they don't run into each other. At the conference, Joel foregoes the idle conversation with a male doctor in favor of hunting down a prospective female. He is approached by a woman named Linda who bluntly says that she would prefer to skip past the idle chatter and get right to intercourse. Joel is a bit intimidated by her though and makes an excuse to leave. She catches up to him later and apologizes for coming on so strong. Joel makes another excuse, and Linda hints at his possible impotence before finally leaving him alone.

At The Brick, Bernard is showing the townspeople some of his slides of Africa. However, Chris, who is normally in sync with Bernard, guesses every slide wrongly. Later, as Bernard talks with Ruth-Anne, she comments on the half-moth encased in amber that he wears on a necklace. Bernard tells of the man who sold it to him and told him that he was destined to have it.

Late that night, Joel is alone in his hotel room watching television when Maggie bursts in rather clumsily with a gentleman in tow. She apologizes to Joel and is a little drunk. The two retire to Maggie's bedroom and Joel goes to sleep. The next morning over breakfast, Joel asks Maggie whether or not she and her date slept together, and Maggie finally admits that they did not. His jealousy is apparent, although he makes a feeble attempt to hide it.

That night, Joel is stuck once again after the conference making small talk with the bellboy. Linda tracks him down again and invites him up to her room. He leaves the offer open but ends up retiring to his room once again, alone. Maggie shows up a bit later and says that she returned because she wanted to be with Joel, thinking he'd be alone. Joel asks if she'd like to go to dinner, and as Joel reaches for his coat, they lock in an intense kiss. They agree to get ready for sex and meet back in the middle of Maggie's bed in 5 minutes. But, when Joel shows up, Maggie is fast asleep--the result of 36 hours of sleep deprivation. Joel tries to wake her up but she is immobile. Finally, frustrated, he returns to his own room.

That same night, Chris and Bernard sleep in Chris' trailer, dreaming of Africa. However, while Chris dreams of the body and feet of a giraffe, Bernard only gets the neck and head. They suddenly wake up and start discussing the half-dream they experienced. Bernard makes the connection with the half-moth because the moth is supposed to represent the soul in many cultures. He gives the moth to Chris, who begins speaking normally once again.

The next morning, Joel and Maggie have coffee, and Joel brings up the subject of the previous night. Before Joel gets a chance to complain about Maggie falling asleep, Maggie begins talking about how wonderful it was. Joel realizes that Maggie doesn't remember anything that happened and is trying to cover it up, assuming that they had sex. Joel plays with her a little bit, pretending to be disappointed with her performance. She is clearly uncomfortable at not being able to remember anything. When they arrive back in Cicely, Joel is about to tell her the truth about what happened. But, once again, Maggie interrupts him and asks that he not tell anyone about what happened. As Joel listens in amazement, Maggie eplains how embarassed she would be if anyone found out that they had slept together. Joel agrees to forget it ever happened, although he knows it never actually did. He is understandably angry about her attitude towards him and does not reveal to her the fact that they didn't have sex. They leave on very shaky terms and it is apparent that there is trouble in the near future for the two of them.


Chris (on-air): I'm sorry, people, I seem to be problems. I-I seem, I seem to be blems getting the words out...t-technical difficulties?

Chris (on-air): "In dreams begin responsibilities", so wrote the poet. So it is, perhaps. Could it be we take our dreams too lightly, those images from places unknown? Could they in fact be angels in flight; our souls aloft? You know, recent experiences have made yours truly take another pass through the metaphysical thickets. As unlikely as it may sound in this rational age, I emerged on the side of those that cannot help but put their faith in that which cannot be easily explained. Be open to your dreams, people. Embrace that distant shore. Because our mortal journey is over all too soon. "Those cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, the solemn temples. The great globe itself. Yea all which you inherit shall dissolve and like this insubstantial pageant faded. Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff as dreams are made on and our little life is rounded with asleep."[1]



  • Bernard is back from 3 months in Africa, including Botswana. In Dar-es-Salaam, an old peddler put a necklace in his hand, half a moth; he woke up with an urge to get rid of his western clothes.
  • Joel's conference presentation: "Early Detection of Middle Ear Effusion in the Alaskan Child."
  • Red Murphy has got a "hot date" in Fairbanks".
  • Air time to Juneau: 3 hours.
  • Maggie says Joel can't drive a stick.
  • Bernard sets up a Pan-African boutique at Ruth-Anne's store.
  • According to Bernard, certain cultures believe that, when you dream, your soul becomes a moth that travels the world and they don't allow cats where they sleep because they don't want their souls captured before returning.
  • Ed's movie references: The Bicycle Thief" (1948)[12]
  • The hotel scenes were filmed at The Edgewater in Seattle, Washington.[13]


  1. The Tempest: Act IV, Scene 1, Shakespeare
  2. Bernard arrives in town.
  3. Also in "Only You" (3-2)
  4. Dr. Linda Volpe hits on Joel.
  5. Linda continues to flirt with Joel.
  6. Maggie and Joel have breakfast together.
  7. Joel turns down Linda's advances.
  9. Chris and Bernard dream about Africa.
  10. Chris and Bernard tap their feet as Chris gets back his rhythm.
  11. Chris on his closing monologue.
  12. Joel and Maggie at breakfast
  13. 'Northern Exposure' Episode Based in Juneau - Sort of, Associated Press, May 1, 1992

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