Northern Exposure s01e01 Episode Script

Pilot

Don't get me wrong.
I'm not kidding myself.
Anchorage isn't New York City, but it's not Cambodia, right? Do you know how many Chinese restaurants are in Anchorage? Five.
There's 14 movie theatres, two practically kosher delis, and if we're talking about freezing, the temperature's only five degrees lower than Indiana, despite the differential in precipitation.
Ginger ale, and another Scotch for the businessman.
So, anyway, it's not as if Alaska was part of my game plan, but I've always thought that medicine was for me, ever since I played doctor with Katie Kaplan in the second grade.
I had the desire, the grades I just didn't have the bucks.
Do you know what it costs to go to medical school? A lot.
I know what you're thinking.
Scholarship, right? Let's face it.
Jewish doctors are not exactly an endangered species.
Three dollars, please.
So, 75 scholarship applications later, Alaska.
What do you mean? The State agreed to finance my medical education to the tune of $125,000.
In return, I agreed to be their indentured slave for the next four years.
What? You ever been to Alaska? Of course.
What kind of schmuck do you think I am? Elaine, she's a third-year law student at NYU We came out last summer.
We loved the place.
Well, not loved, but we both agreed it is definitely doable.
What are you trying to say? Are you trying to tell me something? Good luck.
Joe! Sorry, it's been crazy.
Great to see you again.
How was your flight? - Not bad.
- Good.
Come on in.
I got it.
I'll need a day or two to get settled in at the condo.
A phone, cable, that sort of thing, before I check in at the hospital.
- I've got some exciting news for you, Joe.
- Joel.
Really? - Ever been to the French Riviera? - In France? My lady and I were doing Europe.
We did the Rivieras - French and Italian.
And then we jumped up to Scandinavia - she's Danish, a model - before jumping down to Zermatt in Switzerland.
- Sounds great.
- Do you think? Actually, it was incredibly disappointing.
Really? Why? Because, Joel, once you have experienced Alaska - and I am talking about the rea/ Alaska - everything else pales in comparison.
Which brings me to my big surprise.
We don't need you.
- What are you talking about? - You're expendable, Joel.
Superfluous.
You're pulling my chain, right? We overfunded and we have more physicians than we need.
This is great news(!) What you're saying is you don't need me.
That's right.
- This is great news! - So we've decided to set you up in Cicely, situated in an area that we Alaskans refer to as the Alaskan Riviera.
Ideal weather, breathtaking scenery, shopping, dining Aspen's got nothing on this place.
- Where is this Cicely? - Bus ride from Anchorage.
We've arranged for your lodging and office, and the city is extremely excited.
OK, um - What if I don't like it? - You'll leave.
Let's just get this straight.
If I don't like it, I can leave? Absolutely.
Well it does look pretty.
It's gorgeous.
(creaking bird ca//) - Dr Fleischman? - Yeah? Hi, I'm Ed.
- What about rap? - What about it? - Well, are you into it? - No, not particularly.
Here we go.
Richard Berry.
R&B classic.
("Louie Louie") - You're a doctor, right? - Yeah.
Look, where are we? Not like Dr Toni Grant.
She's on the radio.
Helps with your personal problems.
"He's in sinus tach.
Give me an x-ray, stat: Cervical, spine, chest and abdomen.
" "Call ortho for his leg.
Call thoracic.
" "Tell 'em we've got a pneumothorax, possibly secondary to fragment.
" Just St E/sewhere.
I love that show.
/ sai/ the ship a// a/one / never think /'// make it home And Louie Louie We//, me gotta go - Hey, where - See ya! Where are you goin'? Home.
Are you kiddin' me? You gotta take me to Mr Minnifield! You can return the tapes to me later.
Hey! Hey! Oh, my God! / sme// the rose in her hair And Louie Louie We gotta go We//, Louie Louie We gotta go Me see Jamaican moon above /t won't be /ong me see me /ove Me take her in my arms and then / te// her / never /eave again And Louie Louie We//, we gotta go / said now Louie Louie We//, we gotta go / said we gotta go We//, we gotta go Dr Fleischman! Minnifield? What part of New York are you from, son? - Flushing.
- What part's that? Bronx? - Queens.
You know New York? - No, I can't say that I do.
Spent some time on the East Coast, mostly around Washington DC.
Satellite Beach, Florida.
I've only been to New York one time, for a parade.
- Macy's Day? - Ticker tape.
Goin' down Fifth Avenue in the back of an open Caddy.
- I was an astronaut, son.
- Really? No kidding? Sit.
Wow, that's incredible.
I've never met an astronaut before.
I watched those missions as a kid.
- Ever go into outer space? - Took my ride.
Joel, I wanna take this opportunity to be the first to welcome you here.
When I heard we had a crack at a Jew doctor from New York City, I jumped.
You boys do outstanding work.
Thanks.
There's lots of opportunity here.
When I first came here 20 years ago, there was nothing but natural surroundings.
Unseen by white man since before time began.
First thing I did, I bought 15,000 acres of land.
Second thing I did, I started a radio station and a newspaper.
Why? Communications.
If a man's got something to sell or something to say, he'd better get it out there.
And by golly, I had it, and I still do.
We've got an outstanding little town here, Joel, ready to step up in the world.
We've got natural resources, we've got land, we've got wildlife, just waiting to be fondled.
And now, Joel Now we've got you.
Come on, son.
Let's do it.
(car horn greeting) Is this it? Is this the town? This is it.
This is Cicely.
She and Roslyn founded the town Rumour and innuendo notwithstanding, they were just good friends.
A hippy passing through painted that picture.
He was so high on weed that he forgot the apostrophe S.
I squeezed that in myself.
- But where is the rest of the town? - It's coming, son.
A big Burger King, shopping malls, 31 flavours It's all gonna be here.
Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but it's coming.
I can guarantee you that.
(Joe/ coughs) Son of a I told that Ed I wanted him to throw a new coat of paint on here.
This place needs more than a paint job.
Son, I had no idea this wouldn't be done before you got here.
Before I got here? This is my office?! A few curtains, a couple of heads on the wall, you're in business.
Come on, son.
Sit down.
Relax.
Get a feel for the place.
While I find out what the hell that Indian's been up to.
(footsteps) - Who are you? - Marilyn.
I'm here for the job.
- Phone? - Back there, on the wall.
Pete Gilliam, please.
Pete? Joel Fleischman.
I'm in Cicely.
I've taken a look around.
I've checked out the place and thought about it long and hard, and I want out.
I don't have my contract.
I'm on a phone in a bar in the middle of nowhere.
What? It says what?! No, no, no, listen to me.
You said if I didn't like it, I could leave.
No, I don't "don't like it".
I hate it! I demand to leave! You're not the one who has to spend the next four years in a godforsaken hole-in-the-wall pigsty with a bunch of dirty, psychotic redne I am a graduate of Columbia University School of Physicians and Surgeons.
I did my residency at Beth Zion hospital, one of the finest medical facilities in New York - and the world.
I will not spend the best years of my life in the worst place on earth! Let me tell you, if you think (/ine goes dead) Collect call from Joel, please.
Hi.
Honey.
Yeah, I'm here.
Look, um Yeah, it is, it's lovely.
Do me a favour.
Run through my contract.
Is there a stipulation as to location of medical practice? Just suburban Anchorage.
Could you do that for me? Today.
Yeah, OK.
I miss you too, sweetheart.
The number is 907-555-7823.
I'm gonna wait for your call, OK? OK, yeah, no, me too.
OK.
Women.
- My stomach's a mess.
You got a seltzer? - Seltzer? Yeah, you know.
Seltzer.
It's water with bubbles.
Hi.
Have you heard the new Bel Biv Devoe? What? I think that one's gonna go platinum.
Maurice asks if you've got the 16 cases of lemon-lime for the festival.
I couldn't get lemon-lime, so I got orange.
- OK, that'll do.
- Do you have any aspirin back there? I was gonna call Maurice and tell him about the change myself.
(Ed) You were gonna call Maurice? I'm thinkin' about it.
I don't think you should do that.
- Do what? - Call Maurice.
Why is that? Lt'll set him off and then he'll be blowing your brains out.
If we bury you, it will ruin the festival for everybody.
I'll take that into consideration, Ed.
But there is a time for everything and in my opinion, it's time for me and Maurice to settle things once and for all.
I hope you don't do that.
Well, I'll see you later.
You been perched here for a few hours.
You must have worked up an appetite.
Oh, thanks.
What do I owe you? It's my pleasure.
- Joel Fleischman.
- Holling Vincoeur.
Pleased to make your acquaintance.
Look, um, I guess you heard before when I was Anyway, no offence intended.
I was just I was a little a little upset, that's all.
- You haven't heard from your attorney? - No, but these are complex legal issues.
They take quite some time to sort out.
Besides, she's got finals.
Well, best of luck to you.
- Mr Vincoeur? - Holling.
Do you mind if I ask you a personal question? Go right ahead.
Why is Maurice gonna kill you? Well, that's a long story.
Do you see that young lady over there? She's quite something to look at, isn't she? - She sure is.
- Miss Northwest Passage.
Maurice brought her up here to marry her.
At that time, Maurice and I were best of friends.
Like most folks around here, he and Shelly spent a lot of time in this establishment.
One day Shelly appeared at the bar without Maurice, said if I wanted her, she was mine.
I did.
Well, since then, Maurice hasn't set foot in here.
He said if I ever tried talking to him again, he'd blow my brains out.
Wow.
And you haven't spoken since? Not yet.
- Can I get you something else, Joel? - No, that's fine.
Thanks a lot.
(phone ringing) Hello.
- Yeah, hold on a second.
- Dr Fleischman? Clem Tillman! Telephone! - I'm Maggie O'Connell.
- Yeah, so? Clem Tillman? - I've been looking for you.
- What kind of name is Clem? - What's it short for? Clemton? Clemlock? - I don't have a lot of time Are you Clem? Keep it short cos I'm expecting an important call.
If you'd rather spend the night here than at my place Where did you go to trade school? This petulant-aggressive thing is a real turn-off.
- Look, buddy - I'm engaged to a real knockout.
Do yourself a favour and take your business someplace else.
I am not a hooker, you jerk.
I'm your landlord.
I wasn't trying to be rude.
If you'd been direct, there wouldn't have been any misunderstanding.
By the way, I appreciate your help with the luggage(!) - You making a fire? - Yeah.
Good, it is a little nippy in here.
- What do you do for heat? - This is the heat.
There's a wood-burning stove in the kitchen.
- What do you do for wood? - Chop it.
Ah.
You know, this place really is charming, in a - you know - charming sort of way.
I'm not really big on the great outdoors, but I can tell a person might So, what, um The State pays you to rent this place out to me, is that it? Maurice pays me.
- It's an interesting profession.
- It's an investment.
I fly.
What, you're a stewardess? I'm sorry - flight attendant.
Which airline? - I own my own plane.
I'm a pilot.
- Wow.
It's not a 747.
I run an air taxi.
(sighs) - There are clean linens in the closet.
- Great.
Look, um, does the phone work? It's just in case I get hungry.
I wanna order in some takeout.
Look, again, I'm sorry about the brouhaha.
I'm leaving tomorrow, so if I don't get a chance to say goodbye, thanks again for your hospitality.
Goodbye.
- What about this garbage bag? - Just put it out back.
- It's a gigantic rat! - That's right.
(squeaking) (mousetrap snaps shut) Oh, God.
Oh, God.
Oh, God Oh, God.
Oh, God.
Oh, God.
Oh, God! Oh, my God! (dog barks) Did you run all the way into town, Dr Fleischman? - Uh-huh.
- That's a seven-mile run.
- Uh-huh.
- You must be a serious runner.
Not since the seventh grade.
- Just the water, then? - Yeah.
- No, gimme a bagel and cream cheese.
- What's a bagel? - I'll just take the beef jerky, OK? - Take a spicy one.
Three dollars.
Look, I heard a rumour on the road that the first bus out of here leaves today.
No, I haven't heard that.
Would you like a schedule? Yeah.
- What are you all doing here? - They're waiting to see the doctor.
Well, um, yeah, see, look.
I am a doctor, but I'm very sorry.
I can't see any of you because I'm not staying.
See, I have a bus schedule, so Although I am a doctor, I'm not really I'm not the doctor.
Yeah, so, um It might be improper for me to establish any relationships in a situation that's that's going nowhere, so, uh Very nice meeting all of you, and I wish you all the best of luck.
Suit yourselves.
There is no job! One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.
Number one? OK, what's your problem? I'm feeling achy and I'm hot.
All right, for how long? About three years.
You do feel warm.
Let's get a temperature.
How the hell do I get that without a thermometer? There is no job.
You could have just wheeled it in on a cart.
Go take a seat out there for a few minutes.
Number two! Hi.
Wow, what's that? - It's a beaver.
- Really? - Yeah, I've seen these on PBS.
- (knock on door) - What number are you? - Six.
Go out and wait your turn like everybody else.
- I'm sorry.
So what's your problem? - I think his teeth hurt.
- The beaver's? - He hasn't gnawed any wood lately.
(knock on door) Number six, I told you.
Go out and wait your turn like everybody else.
If you can't do that, I'll ask you to leave.
I'd like to help you with the beaver, but I'm not a dentist.
Couldn't you just look at him? All right.
Lift his lip.
Oh, my God.
Number six? You're bleeding all over the floor.
I've seen this calibre before.
Saturday night special.
Though nowadays you see it every day in your finer hospitals.
It's a gun of choice of your basic pimps, drug dealers and pre-AK-47 gangsters.
- I'll wrap him? - No, thank you.
I can wrap him.
So who shot you? My wife.
Why? She said "Loud doesn't work with me any more.
" - What? - We've been married 17 years.
- Man, oh, man.
- Hello, Ed.
Hi, Walter.
Hello, Dr Fleischman.
- What happened to you? - Edna shot me.
- Wow.
- Ed, what are you doing here? Maurice wants to talk to you.
Tell him to take a number.
I have people here.
Oh, OK.
I'll wait.
- Bye, Walter.
- See you.
- Bye, Marilyn.
- Bye, Ed.
Sit down, son.
- Do much hunting, Joel? - Just on the Lower East Side.
For bargains.
(duck ca//) You know, Joel The most important thing in the world to me is friendship.
I never believed the written word was necessary when a rock-steady handshake would do.
A man's word is his honour.
I'm talking about commitment, son.
Loyalty.
I believe your people refer to it as the "Ethics of the Fathers".
You get my drift? - Well, I'm sure I will.
- You signed a contract, Joel.
But much more important than that you gave your word.
I intend to hold you to that word within the bounds of the law.
If necessary, without the bounds of the law.
- Are you threatening me? - If you have any notions of running, there's the $125,000 that the good people of Alaska put into your medical education.
As far as I'm concerned, Fleischman, that's my money.
Who do you think you're talking to? I am not some putz just off the caribou farm.
I'm from New York City.
I've walked 42nd Street at midnight and taken the Lexington Avenue line at 2am.
I have stiffed cabbies.
So don't try this strong-armed cowboy crap on me, cos it won't do squat! Nooo! (Maurice whist/es) So, anyway, after med school, Elaine and I moved into her place so I could finish my residency.
Elaine is from Brooklyn, Canarsie.
You're from - Grosse Pointe.
- Michigan, right.
Grosse Pointe.
Isn't that an ugly name for a rich city? So you left college and came here with the mountain climber He was a graduate student, writing a book on climbing.
The book, right.
Mountain of something Mountain of my Misgiving.
Something funny about that? So what happened to him, up there on the mountain? He never actually climbed it.
He left.
He dumped you? No, he didn't dump me, not that it's any of your business.
He happened to be wildly in love with me.
- You got cold feet, huh? - No, I didn't get cold feet.
I liked him OK, I just didn't love him.
OK? Besides - He's dead.
- Dead? Dead, as in deceased? - Ooh.
- What do you mean, "ooh"? I didn't kill him.
We were on a glacier.
I take a hike.
He decides to take a nap and froze.
- What? - You have the reddest lips I've ever seen.
I mean, Elaine has red lips, but I don't think I've ever seen lips that red, except maybe on a birthday balloon.
You're drunk.
Not only that, but do you realise you're pretty? Not great-looking, but you are definitely pretty, in a clean sort of way.
- I'll get the check.
- Not only that (fly buzzing) Morning.
Where am I? Maggie's.
She had a mail run this morning.
- Do you mind if I? - No, help yourself.
Who are you? Rick.
She left the keys to her truck.
She didn't think you'd feel like jogging into town today.
The bed I slept in last night is the same bed Maggie slept in? No.
We sleep in the other room.
Oh.
Oh.
Hey, Marilyn.
This is the last time I'm gonna have to tell you this.
There is no job.
Would you please stop smiling at me? You're constantly smiling at me.
- What is he doing here? - She did it again.
For God's sakes! What did she use on you, a steak knife? Swiss army.
She snuck up behind me.
If I didn't bury the gun I'd be dead by now.
- Give me the keys, Walter.
It's my truck.
- Who are you? - Over my dead body.
- Six's wife.
- If that's the way you want it, Walter - Hey, hey! - What's the problem here? - Him.
He's the problem.
You've gnawed through my nerves like a rat through plaster, and I've had it.
- Lay it off on me(!) - I'm gonna finish you! - Come on, you wanna do it? Let's do it! - Quiet! This is my office! People get sick, people get shot, people get hurt, I don't have a problem with that.
Believe me, I wouldn't have it any other way.
You know how close you came to killing this man? If you hadn't hit his scapula or bounced off a rib, you might have punctured his aorta or a lung.
With really bad luck, you might have hit the muscle, strangling his heart.
If that didn't finish him off, you might have severed his spinal cord, leaving him belly-up like a bug on its back.
I had no idea it was this complicated.
Well, it is.
So I ask you again: What has this man done to deserve a cardiac tamponade? - I'm invisible - I told you I've tried kindness, I've tried crying, I've tried laughter.
I'm at the end of my rope, Walter.
If I don't kill you, I don't know what I'm gonna do.
- Number nine? - Number six.
I don't listen to her because no matter what I do, it's wrong.
She doesn't want me to drink in bed, I don't drink in bed.
She doesn't like me with the guys, and then she complains I'm home too much.
So I've tuned her out.
Well, what are we gonna do now? As far as I can tell, we have three ways to go.
Divorce, separation, or you can start talking to one another.
How many hands do I see for divorce? Separation? Well, then - (distant ringing) - Is that a phone? That is definitely a telephone.
Well, start talking.
(muffled ringing) What? Elaine! No, I know I'm not in Anchorage.
Why am I in Cicely, Alaska? Long story.
I promise I'll explain when I get back.
The most important thing is what my contract says.
Uh-huh? Huh.
And if I leave? $10,000 or 18 years in jail.
And 18 years in jail?! They're still talking.
I'll stitch him up.
No.
It's OK, I'll do it.
(band p/ays "Good Go//y Miss Mo//y") Good golly, Miss Molly Sure likes a ball When you're rockin' and a-rollin' Did you hear your momma call? (app/ause and cheering) All right! The town of Cicely wants to welcome all of you to the ninth annual Arrowhead County Summer Wonderland Festival.
We'd especially like to welcome our friends from Middlechurch, who came here to celebrate with us - that's 300 miles away as the crow flies.
Hello, Dr Fleischman.
Mooseburger or caribou dog? Mooseburger.
(Maurice) And I'm proud to be here to celebrate that fact! You all have a really good time.
Sit back, enjoy the food, drink and fellowship, and have a hell of a good time! North to the future! What time is it in New York City now? It's around midnight.
So I guess maybe you and your fiancée'd be coming back from a movie about now.
Maybe stop by a little café for a cup of espresso, pick up the Sunday edition of the New York Times, and some fresh, hot bagels for breakfast tomorrow.
Sounds about right.
How do you know about bagels? Oh, I saw Manhattan.
I think Woody's a genius.
Maurice? I got nothin' to say to you, Maurice.
But I'm sayin' it anyway.
How's she doin'? She's fine.
I miss you, Maurice.
I miss you bein' around.
Things kinda got turned upside-down.
Gravity.
It keeps you rooted to the ground.
In space, there's not any gravity.
You just kind of leave your feet and go floatin' around.
Is that what it's like, Holling? What? Bein' in love.
(band p/ays "Singing the B/ues") How do you like the mooseburger? - Little gamy.
- Well, you'll get used to it.
The dream is gone I thought was mine There's nothing left for me to do But cry over you Well, I never felt more like singin' the blues Cos I never thought that I'd ever lose Your love, dear You got me singin' the blues