Put down that ferret.
I didn't come up here to kill an innocent animal. Put it down!
- Maurice threatens Ed
I lost everything tonight.
My life savings, my job, my self esteem. But I feel somehow ennobled,
like I've been through fire, like I've been forged, tempered.
I don't want this life!
I'd rather practice medicine in some hick rural outback than stay here
- Joel comes back to reality
"It's not always black
and white, Ed. It rarely is. It's not our job to judge.
We're hired eyes. Eyes, and eyes only. A word of advice?
"Don't play God."
- Renaldo, the PI, to Ed
"In Biblical times
they would have a high priest and he would symbolically place all of the
sins of the entire community on the head of a goat and drive it off into
the desert, which is where we get the term scapegoat I believe. There
is a saying, on Rosh Hashan it is written, on Yom Kippur it is sealed."
"That's a great story Dr. Fleishman. That's right up there with 'Tale of the Otter People.'"
- Joel and Ed discuss Yom Kippur
"Open unto us the gates
of mercy O God before the closing of the gates. Yea, the day vanishes,
the sun is setting, let us enter thy gates. May the Lord bless your
going out and your coming in. From this time forth and forever."
- Rabbi recites prayer as Joel watches the sunset
"Let me tell you what
Marx's mother said. 'If Karl, instead of writing about capital, had made
some capital, things would have been much better'."
- Ruth Anne to Lenin
"OK, excuse me. I just
need a little break from you Fleischman."
- Maggie, trapped on a grounded plane beside Joel
"Electron, that's negative.
Proton, positive. Not a value judgment, just tagged that way to keep them
- Chris on the air, discussing electricity
"Ladies and gentlemen,
today we're here to honor electricity, the charge that charges everything
from those electrons snapping in our brain to our father the sun.
What's the sun? It's kind of like a brain. Electromagnetic
field, solar flares sparking back and forth from those nerve cells.
We're all one,
folks, giant blobs of electricity, all of us. Positive & negative, electromagnetic fields just circling each other. Positive, negative, north, south, male and female. Looking for that electric moment. Magnet to magnet, opposites attract."
"Hey, wait a minute,
listen to us. Fleischman, O'Connell, O'Connell, Fleischman. We're living
together and we're still calling each other by our last names! ...It's
kind of ridiculous, don't you think?"
"It is, it's like we're in high school or something."
"So what do you say? Joel?"
- Maggie and Joel practice using first names
"Was that my gun? That's so weird! ...I was sure I had the safety on. I did!"
"That gun is loaded? You're telling me you keep a loaded gun in the bedroom?"
"This is Alaska, Fleischman."
- Firearms discharge when Maggie and Joel get together
"Ah! Oh my God, what's
"Get down! Get down! It's a drive-by!"
"...I don't know what happened. I was just walking by. I didn't even touch the trigger."
- Maggie and Joel, after Hayden's rifle inadvertently goes off
"Well, we did manage
to consummate the act. However, I have to admit, it was not my finest hour.
Focusing on lovemaking is not too easy when you're waiting for small arms
fire, if you know what I mean."
- Joel to Ed
"Here you are, guy
from New York city. You're tanning hides, you're out spearing fish,
drying salmon, and me, the guy who was born here, what do I know?
All I know is who took top honors at the Banff Film festival."
- Ed to Joel
"It happened again.
Do you realize that every single time that you and I are physically intimate,
a gun goes off? ...I know, there was a time that I never would entertain
a notion like this, but I don't know what to say. Here we are. This is
not a coincidence. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is, well, you know,
three times is, as far as I'm concerned, by design. And even if it happened
two times out of a hundred, I think this is completely unacceptable. It's
- Joel, detecting a pattern
"We just moved in together.
We just need time to get used to each other, that's all... You don't have
to make excuses with me, I'm not expecting the Kama Sutra."
- Maggie to Joel
"Look, if there is
a connection between you and me and cordite, I think that's kinda fun!"
- Maggie to Joel
"God, this is so like
you. You know, everything has to be so controlled and so safe. What is
the point in living life like that?"
"The point? Well, how about getting to your 85th birthday with all your limbs intact and without a metal plate in your head? How's that?"
- Maggie and Joel
"Couples fight. It's
so clear to me. That's all. That's just what we have to understand. Fighting
is part of the process... See, that is how couples get to know each other
is through conflict, right? There'd be no growth in relationships if people
were only nice to each other... I know, really, I know, I gotta relax,
and I gotta be, just, more open to what comes down the pike."
- Joel, unprepared for Maggie's sledgehammer
"Joel, you exhaust
me. There's just too much of you. And it's always working so hard... Look,
you hold on to everything so tightly that your knuckles are white, and
I need somebody who can let go a little. Maybe some distance and some time?
This is not the way I want it to be. Maybe we could try this again."
"Ed, will you take
a message for me? Tell Maggie that there's not a day that goes that I don't
think about her."
- Joel, gone 'Up River'
"It's amazing isn't
it? All this life?"
"Too much maybe. Not too much, just lots."
"Give yourself some time. Listen. You hear that? That's a sound we never heard in Los Angeles. Silence. Isn't that something!"
- Phil and Michelle
"Chris, if you had
the power to go back and change the future, would you? Just
say you could go up to Bruce Willis and say, 'Don't make Hudson Hawk'."
"You'd be messing with the space-time continuum. You pull one string, you never know, the whole crazy quilt might unravel."
"Yeah, the prime directive from Starfleet Command ó do not change history."
- Ed & Chris
"I'm worried about
Joel. I'm concerned."
"You mean, because all your other boyfriends died such an untimely death?"
- Maggie and Holling
"I'm grateful to you.
If it weren't for you, I'd be in Cicely right now and I'd still be running
that rat race, still locked in that commute. Id be totally stressed,
I'd be totally ignorant of what my life could be. I'm happier now
than I've ever been."
- Joel to Maggie
"Debra Tannin said,
'men see the world as a battle to be won, women see it as a community to
be preserved.' I say, let the women fight it out for a while. I'm
digging this noncompetitive groove."
- Chris at the meeting
"For five years I've
had to listen to you whine how you can't stand this place, how you can't
wait to get back to New York, and now that you can, now that there's nothing
holding you back, you're not going?"
- Maggie to Joel
"I'm finished with
men. I don't need another MIA on my conscience."
- Maggie, to her mom
"I think it's THEM.
Men. They have no fortitude. They're always dying or skipping
our at the first hint of trouble. Tell me this, who is left to pick
up the pieces? Ship the body? Clean out the closets?
And they have the audacity to call us the weaker sex."
- Maggie's Mom reacts to Maggie's lament
"Personal injury suit?
I don't believe you'd do this, Bernard! You're a Republican!"
- Maurice comments on Chris's lawsuit
"When I was a kid,
I remember thinking that nothing was real. It felt like a movie set,
and if you turned your head fast enough, you'd catch God changing the scenery."
- Joel to Maggie
"How do you keep the
one you love?"
- Joel answers Adam's riddle (Gustav the Gatekeeper)
"I used to think of
all the billions of people in the world, and of all those people, how was
I going to meet the right ones? The right ones to be my friends,
the right one to be my husband. Now I just believe you meet the people
you're supposed to meet."
- Maggie to Joel
"New York...the jeweled
- Maggie, in disbelief
"New York is a state
- Joel's postcard to Maggie
"If I ever have offspring,
I'd want it ready made about 10 or 11 years old. A boy of hunting age."
- Maurice to Shelly and Holling
"I want to tell you
about the time my friend Chris Stevens flung a piano with a medieval siege
weapon known as a trebuchet. Chris is our local DJ, a self-taught,
ex con, mail-order minister with a passion for the transcendent."
- Ruth Anne
"You read Kierkegaard?"
"No. I don't like the sound of his name."
- Chris and young girl
"Hey, Walt, is it me,
or is there anything crueler than a 13 year-old girl? I know lifers
in the joint who weren't so judgemental."
"Bad age, no doubt about it."
- Chris and Walt
"I'm the teflon kid.
Dozens of chicks, nothing sticks."
- Chris to Ed
"If they could see
how the sun's setting fast,
And just like they say, nothing good ever lasts
Well, go on now and kiss it goodbye,
But hold onto your lover,
'Cause your heart's bound to die,
Go on now, and say goodbye to my town, to my town.
I can see the sun's going down on my town
Good night... good night..."
- Iris DeMent sings "Our Town"
Donít you miss Northern
Exposure? Havenít you wondered how come, with hundreds of channels, we
get endless reruns of Matlock and nothing but radio silence out of Cicely,
Alaska, a sort of Buddhist Macondo and Arctic Circle New School where Darwin,
Freud, Trotsky, Einstein, Sontag, and Napoleon could be counted on to show
up in the middle of a gay wedding or an Albigensian heresy, where high
modernism and pop culture went ice fishing once a week, in the deep waters
of an all-night deli, for madeleine cookies, pickles, and a rib?
- John Leonard, reviewing Rob Morrow's latest show "Numb3rs" in the "New York Metro"
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