"Northwest Passages"
Season 4, Episode 1 (39)
Airdate September 28, 1992
Writer(s) Robin Green
Director Dean Parisot
Guest star(s)

←   Episode sequence   →
"Cicely" "Midnight Sun"


The fear of aging grips Maggie when her 30th birthday sheds light on everything lacking in her life. Her solution: an Indian ritual laying the past to rest. Meanwhile, Maurice composes his memoirs and Marilyn asks Chris to teach her to drive.


Maggie decides that her 30th birthday is the perfect time to cleanse her soul so she can begin the next segment of her life with a clean slate. To do this she acts upon an ancient Indian ritual that allows one to resolve issues with people in one's past, living or dead, by sending them a letter via the great river. While camping alone, and after "mailing" letters to all of her dead boyfriends, Maggie is overcome by a sharp pain and a high fever, which cause her to hallucinate. In her delirium she visits with all of her past boyfriends before being rescued by Joel and Ed and treated for appendicitis.

Chris is amazed by the fulfillment he derives from being a teacher when Marilyn asks him to give her driving lessons. Maurice takes a stab at writing his memoirs and drives everyone crazy with his neverending note-taking and muttering into a minature tape recorder. Eventually Ruth-Anne takes charge and stops his madness.


Shelly (to Maggie): Yeah, but 30! You get crow's feet and chicken chin. Your nips start heading south and your bum turns to yogurt!



  • One of Maggie's best friends growing up in Grosse Pointe is Lynnie Lawrence, now a proud mother of two.
  • Maurice is from Tulsa, Oklahoma.
  • Shelly is "looking down the snout of the big two one" (almost 21 years old).
  • Joel's grandmother's name is Lillian.
  • During her hallucination, Maggie discovers another dead ex-lover, Steve Escandon. They went to see Chariots of Fire in their college years and slept together.
  • Steve (another of Maggie's boyfriends) worked on an oil rig when he was struck by lightning.
  • Shelly's earrings: thermometers (Shelly talks to Maggie about turning 30)


  1. Maggie and Ruth-Anne talk about birthdays and babies.
  2. Maggie sits at the bar and talks about her birthday.
  3. Marilyn asks Chris to teach her to drive.
  4. Also in 3-9 and 3-16.
  5. Maggie convinces a camper to move his campsite.
  6. Joel and Ed drive to save Maggie.
  7. John Hurley? Sharon Cash? Smoggy Valley Boys? Not Jack McDuff.
  8. Also in 3-3, 3-8, 3-11, 3-20, and 5-9.
  9. Maurice and Holling chat in the bar.
  11. Ruth-Anne smashes Maurice's tape recorder.
  12. Joel visits Maggie in the hosptial.