"The Big Kiss"
Season 2, Episode 2 (?)
Airdate April 15, 1991
Writer(s) Henry Bromell
Director Sandy Smolan
Guest star(s)

  • Floyd Red Crow Westerman as One Who Waits
  • Eloy Casados as Smith
  • Geraldine Keams as Great Aunt
  • Jessica Cardinahl as Girl
  • Albert J. Hood as Bingo Caller
  • Carolyn Byrne as Mrs. Emerson
  • David J. Guppy as Townsperson 1
  • Don Eastman as Townsperson 2
  • Rosetta Pintado, Katherine Davis, Susan Morales, Oscar Kawagley as Bingo Players
←   Episode sequence   →
"Goodbye to All That" "All is Vanity"


Ed turns to the 256-year-old Indian spirit of One Who Waits to learn who his parents are. Chris turns to a local beauty for a cure after he's rendered mute by a beautiful woman passing through town.


As Chris in the Morning espouses the virtues of true love, a beautiful woman stops in and asks him for directions to Route 1. Chris is surprised and, after she leaves, he finds that he can no longer speak. He rushes in to see Dr. Fleischman, who cannot believe that he lost his voice because of a beautiful woman.

After being reminded of his lost parents, Ed wakes up to find the spirit One Who Waits in his bedroom. The spirit wants to help him find his parents, and the two of them set off the next morning on their quest. Ed shows the spirit around town, and discovers that One Who Waits is invisible to the white man. At the Brick, the two of them have lunch, and One Who Waits tells Chris, through Ed, that to regain his voice, he must find the most beautiful girl in town, and sleep with her. Maurice tells Chris of a similar Arthurian legend, and as Chris ponders this advice, Maggie walks in. Chris finds out that Rick is out of town, and stares at Maggie in wonderment.

The next night, Maggie shows up to the radio station to fix the heater, only to find that Chris has prepared a meal for her. Through notecards, he tells her that she is the most beautiful woman in Cicely, and she is very flattered, and obviously attracted, to Chris. When Maggie later tells Joel of the interesting evening she had, Joel tells her of Chris' plot to sleep with the most beautiful woman in town. But instead of being angry at Chris, Maggie lashes out at Joel, who thinks that she doesn't have what it takes to give Chris his voice back. Maggie is very defensive, talks about her womanhood, and considers it a challenge to give Chris his voice back.

One night later, Chris shows up at Maggie's cabin, to find it surrounded by townspeople who are there to see if Chris gets his voice back. Joel is among them, and is shocked that so many people have showed up for the event. Maggie answers the door in a sultry dress, Chris is obviously nervous, and Maggie ends up backing out. However, she convinces Chris that by kissing him she can give him his voice back. He stumbles out minutes later, takes a breath, and says, "Wow." Joel is aghast, thinking that they slept together. Later, at the radio station, Joel attempts to find out whether or not they really slept together, but Chris keeps quiet about the event, and Joel leaves a little jealous.

The spirit is unable to help Ed find his parents, and Ed bids him farewell. However, when driving home, Ed stops to help a man fix his truck's flat tire. The man introduces himself as Smith, and it is only after Ed leaves that he realizes that the man is in fact his father. He smiles to himself, and drives off.


Chris (on-air): They say dreams are the windows of the soul[1]--take a peek and you can see the inner workings; the nuts and bolts.

One Who Waits (to Ed): It's important to begin a search on a full stomach.

One Who Waits: Do you believe that all things in nature are alive, Ed? The sky, the trees, the rocks...
Ed: Oh yes!
One Who Waits: Good.
One Who Waits: This looks like a good place to ask for answers.
Ed: Ask who?
One Who Waits: First, I'll ask the wind...(opens arms) Spirit of the wind! Who are Ed's parents?! (listens intently)
Ed: Wh-what's it saying?
One Who Waits: Shh...(sighs)...the wind doesn't know! Or the wind doesn't wanna tell us. The wind can be stubborn! There's no use trying to force it... We'll ask the water.
Ed: Yea, let's ask the water!
(they walk to a stream)
Ed: What now?
One Who Waits: First we ask...then we listen! (opens arms) Tell us, spirit of the water, who are Ed's parents?!
(they crouch down and listen intently)
One Who Waits: (sighs heavily)
Ed: Well, what does the water say?
One Who Waits: We've got a little problem here...

Holling (to Chris): I never was much good at talking in front of people. 'Course, talking to a microphone isn't exactly public speaking. But, even though I couldn't see them, I could feel them out there, listening... People sitting in their cars, gun shops, sweat lodges--all of them waiting to hear your voice...and getting mine. (puts his hand on Chris' shoulder, patting him) Chris, you have a talent--a real gift. Well, at used to, anyway.

Maurice (to Chris, raising his drinking glass): Here's to your voice, son, may it come back soon. If not, look for work.

One Who Waits (to Ed): There's an old saying that, if you come back to the place where you became a man, you will remember all those things you need to be happy... That saying never made sense to me, but I thought it was worth a try.

Maggie (to Joel): I'm not some flat-chested, junior league, Grosse Pointe wimp!

Maurice (on-air): Sometimes, when you look back on a situation, you realize it wasn't all you thought it was. A beautiful girl walked into your life. You fell in love. Or did you? Maybe it was only a childish infatuation, or maybe just a brief moment of vanity.

Chris (on-air): After my recent brush with voicelessness, I thought I'd share with you a few thoughts about speech. Don't take it lightly, my friends. If music is the pathway to the heart, as Voltaire suggested, then speech is the pathway to other people. Live in silence and you live alone.

Chris (on-air): We all carry around so much pain in our hearts. Love and pain and beauty. They all seem to go together like one little tidy confusing package. It's a messy business, life. It's hard to figure--full of surprises; some good, some bad.



  • Maurice brought Shelly up from Dawson City. Holling got a stiff neck when he first saw her and Maurice was sitting right next to him. According to Maurice, "great passions pack a wallop -- if you don't feel any pain, it's not the real McCoy" (Shelly had cramps and a headache when she met Maurice).
  • Chris' first true love was Leslie Ferguson.
  • Ed creation myths: according to his Great Aunt, they found him wrapped in a blanket (or was that a seal coat?) by the meadow, down by the river, by Light Feather or Wind Dancer or Fast Cloud, in the bushes next to his cabin (but Fast Cloud used to think he was Joe DiMaggio). Great Aunt said his mother was a white teacher in Skagway--or maybe a missionary; father's name was Smith.
  • Mrs. Emerson: Ed's "neighbor lady".
  • J.F.K. Memorial Hall is where bingo is played.
  • Cicely Wash & Dry is the town laundromat.
  • Shelly's earrings: gold houses (Shelly gives cheeseburgers to Ed and "his new invisible friend"), tropical fish (asks Maurice if he wants his coffee warmed up), bowling ball and pin (talks to Maurice about when they met)
  • Ed's movie reference: Boys Town (1938)
  • Chris prepares Maggie glazed carrots; this recipe is in The Northern Exposure Cookbook by Ellis Weiner.
  • The Light Feather mentioned who may have found Ed is probably not the same Lightfeather Duncan that he falls in love with later,[21] unless she found him when she was a toddler.
  • One Who Waits is a 256-year-old Native American. Is it strange he can read English? ("Wash & Dry" sign and The Brick menu).
  • When One Who Waits wakes Ed up, makeup spots are visible on Darren's back covering his tattoos.


  1. "The dream is the small hidden door in the deepest and most intimate sanctum of the soul", Carl Jung, "The Meaning of Psychology for Modern Man" (lecture given in Cologne and Essen in 1931)
  2. Ed watches Boys Town.
  3. Chris is taken wth a beautiful woman and loses his voice.
  4. Ed and One Who Waits ask the spirits who are Ed's parents.
  5. Ed brings One Who Waits to The Brick.
  6. Holling and Maurice talk to Chris.
  7. Maurice tells a tale of a woman who stole a man's courage (Sir Dwayne).
  8. Maggie talks to Chris in The Brick.
  9. Maurice daydreams about Shelly's beauty pageant (this scene was cut in some syndicated showings).
  10. but doesn't sound the same--not classical; more of a twangy western/country sound
  11. Joel and Maurice in The Brick talking about the effects of women.
  12. Also in "Goodbye to All That" (2-1), "Spring Break" (2-5), and "Only You" (3-2)
  13. Maggie has dinner with Chris.
  14. Doesn't sound the same as the reggae "Reach Out and Touch" supposedly in "Slow Dance" (2-7)
  15. Maggie tells Joel of her dinner date with Chris.
  16. One Who Waits tells Ed about when he fell in love with the woman he married.
  17. Chris arrives at Maggie's house in hopes of getting his voice back.
  18. Maurice and Shelly talk about their first meeting.
  19. Joel asks Chris about his evening with Maggie.
  20. Ed helps a stranger (could be his father) change his truck tire.
  21. "War and Peace" (2-6)