"Sex, Lies and Ed's Tape"
Season 1, Episode 6 (?)
Airdate August 14, 1990
Writer(s) Joshua Brand and John Falsey
Director Sandy Smolan
Guest star(s)

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"Russian Flu" "A Kodiak Moment"



Inspired by the visiting filmmakers from a previous episode, Ed is working on a movie idea. While watching Maurice yell at Chris, he has a daydream of them in a scene from the film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. However, he soon finds that he has writer's block.

In Holling's bar, a young man shows up looking for Shelly. He tells Shelly that he drove 600 miles to see her, and wants to marry Cindy, Shelly's best friend from back home. Shelly is upset and asks why he needs her permission. Wayne responds that before he can marry Cindy, he has to divorce Shelly. Holling hears this, and is stunned.

In Joel's office, Rick is being given a physical. Joel finds a small growth on his chest, causing Rick to become extremely agitated. He brings up the fact that all of Maggie's previous boyfriends have died, as a result of the "O'Connell curse". Joel is a little confused at his paranoia, but agrees to remove the growth and have it analyzed.

Back at The Brick, Holling is upset at finding out about Shelly's husband. Shelly tries to pass it off as no big deal, but Holling refuses to live in sin, and thinks that they should separate. Shelly is hurt by this decision, but has no choice.

The next day, Rick and Maggie are in Joel's office getting advice on Rick's tumor. Joel tries to reassure them that the odds are high that the growth is not malignant, but Rick is not very accepting. Meanwhile, Maggie is continually seeking reassurance and tries to convince Rick that there is nothing to worry about. Clearly, Rick is "living in fear".

Later, Holling and Shelly are in Joel's office, and Joel tells them that Shelly is not actually pregnant. Shelly accepts this since she doesn't want a baby now that Holling isn't sure whether he loves her anymore. She stomps out and Holling is left in a wake of confusion.

That night, Shelly is setting up a bed at Maggie's, and they talk about men. Maggie confides that Rick has left town, not on business, but out of fear of her. She is clearly bothered by his behavior. Wayne shows up to talk to Shelly, deciding to take her back. Shelly refuses but considers the option since Holling kicked her out. The next day, Shelly and Wayne are dancing at the Brick to make Holling jealous, and Holling suddenly gets a crick in his neck. At Joel's office, Holling asks Joel's advice. Joel tells Holling that he should have stuck by her. Finally, Shelly tells Wayne to leave and, after an abject apology, decides to take Holling back.

Maggie and Rick are in Joel's office, waiting for the results of the biopsy. Both of them are desperately trying to reassure themselves that everything will be okay, and that they will emerge from this hardship stronger than ever before. When the results come in, the tumor is found to be benign and, after a hug, Maggie tells Rick to get out, since he ran away before.

At the Indian talent show that night, Joel tries asking Maggie about Rick but she is unresponsive. The show ends with the two of them watching Marilyn's dance for the talent show, and Ed working on his movie on a computer, his writer's block finally gone.


Holling (to Joel): You mean to tell me her nipples are hard as sapphire, she's eating like two horses, her breasts are growing by leaps and bounds, and she's not pregnant?

Shelly (to Holling): Cuz, if I can't count on you when something as piddly as a husband pops up, what happens when the really big stuff hits?

Maggie (to Rick): Let me tell you something, buster, you might not be dying, but you're gone.



  • The episode name is word play of the 1989 film Sex, Lies, and Videotape.
  • Joel and Chris act out Midnight Cowboy ("I'm crossing here!"). Maurice, Wayne, and Shelly are in a generic western.
  • Shelly is from Saskatchewan.
  • An old judge married Wayne and Shelly after a hockey game and they had a couple of beers.
  • Marilyn's last name is Whirlwind; she dances at the talent show and plays piano.
  • Before the episode's final draft, Ed's last name is established as Chigliak.
  • Cicely's population is 839[11] here (500 in original pilot script).
  • Rick and Maggie have been together for almost a year.
  • Dr. Serrano's first name is Phil.
  • Earl the Barber makes his first (uncredited) appearance.
  • The actor who later plays Dave the Cook (Bill White) can be seen as an extra in this episode. At the end, right as Marilyn starts dancing, Joel starts to leave but sits back down in the benches; in the front of the crowd is Bill/Dave wearing a bandana.
  • Joel tells Shelly she will gain 80 pounds by the time the baby is born if she "keeps it up".
  • Ed works on Maurice's Macintosh Classic (but later he is afraid of Phil's old PC in "The Great Mushroom", 6-11).
  • Shelly's earrings: flamingos (Dr. Joel's office, etc.), dice (Shelly finds out she is not pregnant), blue vinyl records (Shelly tells Holling he's out of her life but then rubs his neck and he woos her back)


  1. Only appearance of this actor as Dave.
  2. Shelly tells Holling of her past with Wayne.
  3. Wayne tells Holling of his history with Shelly.
  4. Wayne and Shelly share a tender moment.
  5. Shelly and Wayne dance to their song in The Brick.
  6. Rick hums this in Joel's office.
  7. Ed's daydream--an oldtime Western fight.
  8. Shelly tells Wayne she doesn't love him anymore.
  9. Shelly and Holling discuss getting back together.
  10. Townsfolk sing as they await Ed's presentation.
  11. Inside joke: the early episodes were shot on a shoestring budget of $839,000. (from Film and Television In-Jokes by Bill van Heerden, McFarland & Co., 1998, ISBN 978-0-7864-3894-5)