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Northern Exposure Wiki
"Lost and Found"
Season 3, Episode 17 (32)
Airdate March 9, 1992
Writer(s) Diane Frolov
Andrew Schneider
Director Steve Robman
Guest star(s)

  • Valerie Mahaffey as Eve
  • Time Winters as Emile
  • Noble Willingham as Colonel Gordon McKern
  • William J. White as Dave the Cook
  • Gary Taylor as Mr. Swanson
  • Robert J. Zenk as Patron
←   Episode sequence   →
"The Three Amigos" "My Mother, My Sister"


Landlady Maggie calls in an exorcist when Joel hears rumblings of the ghost of a loner who committed suicide in his cabin some 40 years ago. Another menace for Joel is the hypochondriac Eve, who complains of a host of new ailments. Maurice considers it an honor to do a favor for an old colonel.


Late at night, Joel is in his cabin, writing a letter to a friend from medical school. He tells his friend about how much he enjoys the pure, elemental life in Alaska. Joel believes himself lucky to have the silence and the darkness around him, but is rather unconvincing in his praises of Alaska. Even as he writes, he looks around worriedly after hearing something, picks up a golf putter defensively, and continues the letter.

In his office the next morning, Joel asks Marilyn if she can explain the weird, almost human sounds he heard in his cabin last night. Marilyn has no explanation that can ease Joel's mind. Just then, Eve walks in and, after she refuses to leave, Joel agrees to give her a complete medical workup.

At The Brick, Maurice is telling Shelly and Ed about Colonel Gordon McKern, Maurice's former commanding officer who is coming to visit him in Cicely. Maurice is obviously respectful of the Colonel, who, Maurice says, never took anything from anyone. Joel enters and sits down, asking more people about the strange voice he heard last night. Holling and Ruth-Anne exchange glances, and then tell Joel that the voice must have been Jack, who used to live in Joel's cabin and killed himself there long ago.

In a garage, Maggie is fixing her truck when Joel walks in. He complains to Maggie about Jack, angry that she never told him anything about it. Maggie says that she forgot, but she obviously feels a bit ashamed at not telling Joel. When prodded, she finally tells Joel the circumstances of Jack's death, including the fact that, after he shot himself, he crawled over to the wall and wrote "Alone, alone" in his own blood. Needless to say, Joel is disturbed by this information, though he still steadfastly professes not to believe in ghosts. Finally, Maggie sincerely apologizes for misleading Joel but he wants her to do something about it.

That night, Joel and Ed are playing gin rummy in Joel's cabin. Ed finally gets tired and prepares to leave but Joel wants him to stay since it is only 1:30AM. When asked about ghosts, Ed tells Joel that they usually hang around when they have unfinished business. He tells Joel to ask himself why Jack would be trying to warn him and then, when Joel is completely spooked, Ed leaves.

The next day, Maurice brings Colonel McKern into The Brick to meet everyone, and Maurice is obviously trying to impress the Colonel. Meanwhile, Joel is in his office, having been awake all night worried about Jack. Marilyn tells him that Jack never hurt anyone, which is small comfort to Joel. He spots Maggie outside and tells her that she needs to give him a new cabin. She says that she has none available but, after Joel presses, she says she will see what she can do.

Back in Joel's office, he finds Eve acting as secretary, keeping herself busy until her test results come in. A patient who came in while Joel was out is in the examining room, and Eve has already prepared a preliminary diagnosis. Joel is bothered by this breach of etiquette, but is less angry when her workup turns out to be completely accurate.

Maurice and the Colonel are out fishing on the edge of a lake, when the Colonel mentions a lodge he is opening up in Montana. He tells Maurice of the difficulty he has had raising investment capital, and asks Maurice if he would like to invest $60,000. Maurice is quiet, but nonetheless agreeable to putting up the money. However, the Colonel appears very uncomfortable asking. When the men return to Maurice's cabin, he writes out the check while McKern makes a feeble attempt to start some light conversation. Maurice is quiet, obviously stricken with the mortality he now sees in the Colonel.

At Ruth-Anne's store, Joel asks to see the town records to find out some information about Jack. Ruth-Anne has a box of personal effects taken from the cabin and, as Joel pores through them, he finds that Jack was very similar to himself. Joel is unable to find a reason why the man would kill himself and Ruth-Anne leaves him alone to read about Jack.

That night, Joel has taken Jack's belongings home with him and is looking them over when Maggie walks in with Emile, a priest and exorcist. Joel asks where Jack will go once he is exorcised, and Emile informs him that Jack will probably wind up below, since suicide is a mortal sin. Joel feels uncomfortable about being the cause of Jack's eternal torment and quickly shuffles Emile out.

As Eve enters the next day, Joel informs her that her symptoms are real and that she is pregnant. She is understandably surprised but, when Joel suggests that they schedule a prenatal exam, Eve thanks Joel for his help but informs him that he's not qualified to be her obstetrician. Joel is stunned as Eve walks out. Soon after, Maurice comes in and his Cadillac is seen outside being towed with the front-end smashed in. Maurice tells Joel that he was so flustered, because the Colonel asked him for money, that he lost control of the car and drove it into a tree. Joel fails to see the importance of this act but Maurice is obviously overwhelmed with a new view of Colonel McKern.

Maggie enters The Brick just as Holling is closing up, and finds Joel sitting alone at a table reading more about Jack. After hearing a few pieces of personal information from Joel, Maggie informs him that he and Jack are one and the same. Maggie points out that Jack had no friends, to which Joel claims that he has lots of friends. When he asks Holling if they are friends, Holling says that Joel always keeps to himself, and makes sure people know he isn't permanently staying in Cicely. Maggie leaves and Joel is left thinking about his past attitudes towards the town. This is a monumental moment of self-realization where Joel has an opportunity to change his entire attitude toward the people of Cicely.

The following morning, Maurice escorts the Colonel to his flight and McKern tells Maurice that he didn't turn down the space program; he was just never asked. Maurice looks at the man with a newfound sense of respect and they part ways.

At Joel's cabin, he is throwing a party and cooking burgers for everyone. Maggie asks him why he has suddenly changes his attitude and Joel tells her that maybe the town isn't so bad after all. Eve is talking to Shelly and Marilyn about her baby, Maurice is telling Ruth-Anne about Colonel McKern, and Holling gathers everyone together for a group photo. At the flash, the scene returns to Chris at KBHR, late at night. He has the picture hanging on his wall and, as he talks about the role of friendship, the camera pans across each character in turn, while the sounds of laughter from the party can be heard. The final shot is of Maggie and Joel, sitting together, with their faces frozen in a moment of laughter.


Joel (writing letter): Life here is so real. Without the interference of civilization you can really experience things like...silence; silence and darkness in its purity. Right now, right outside my window, all I can see is a black void...endless darkness. It's totally exhilarating...and I feel very lucky to be here...very, very, very lucky.

Eve: [Pregnancy] changes everything. The ego falls away, and you stop worrying about yourself; you just focus on the baby. You think: this person inside me, what will she be like?
Shelly: Yeah.
Eve: Will she be asthmatic? Will she pronate? Will she have her father's malocclusion? It's all such a glorious mystery.



  • Joel writes a letter to "Mark" who did it -- Methodist, DeBakey.
  • Last month, Cicely had a 4-point trembler where Mel's Guns & Ammo building was demolished.
  • "Jack" (aka John R. Larson), died in 1948 at 30 yrs. Jack was an old, unmarried, white male, with short, dark brown hair, brown-eyed geologist from Indianapolis, prospecting for gold.
  • After blowing out his brains, Jack wrote, "alone...alone" on a wall with his blood. (Though how can one write after shooting oneself in the head?)
  • Holling's bar was called "The Bearded Nail" back then.
  • Why Maurice idolizes Gordon: in the spring of 1951, they were sent to hit a bridge near Taegu. Gordon flew lead, and Maurice and a kid named Davis were his wingmen. Davis was hit and went down. Maurice and Gordon took out the bridge but, in his report, Gordon said Davis hit the bridge so his family would get the Navy cross.
  • Joel's grandma taught him how to make burgers with breadcrumbs.
  • Joel has 3 years, 8 months, 22 days, and 15 hours left to his "sentence".
  • It has been 3 years since med school for Joel.
  • Gordon asks Maurice to invest $60,000 in his Montana lodge and Maurice totals his Caddy.
  • Ruth-Anne has the town records in her store's cellar, along with marmots.
  • Eve collects fin de siècle bronze.
  • Adam writes a column for The New Republic and is lecturing at Le Cordon Bleu.
  • Shelly's earrings: watermelons (talks to Maurice about his car and the Coloniel coming to town)
  • Ed's movie reference: Ghost (1990) (Joel asks Ed if he believes in ghosts)
  • When digging in the basement of the general store, Ruth-Anne finds a picture of The Bearded Nail. This was the name of The Brick in the movie The Runner Stumbles. It's also a tawdry jab at The Brick's sign.
  • Maurice and the Colonel fish for Dolly Varden trout.


  1. Joel finds out about Jack.
  2. Maggie works on the truck and Joel demands a new cabin.
  3. Maurice introduces the Colonel to everyone in The Brick.
  4. Chris talks about a brick from Mel's Guns & Ammo.
  5. Ruth-Anne and Eve discuss antacids.
  6. Joel looks over Jack's things. Maggie brings an exorcist.
  8. Chris talks on-air about the dead.
  9. Joel's party
  10. At end during group picture