Northern Exposure Wiki
Northern Exposure Wiki

1-7 maggie06.jpg

Mary Margaret O'Connell (born 1962), known as Maggie, is played by actress Janine Turner.

Maggie was born in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. She became a bush pilot at an early age and went to Alaska with her boyfriend Dave, who was writing a book on mountain climbing. He fell asleep unprotected on a glacier and froze to death.

Maggie remained in the small town of Cicely, Alaska, flying an air taxi and supplementing her income as the local real estate agent.[1][2] She serves a term as mayor of Cicely.[3]


Maggie is a strong-willed, independent feminist but also has a soft side. Her main role model is Amelia Earhart.[4] When she was a child she wrote a letter to herself and, later in life after rediscovering the letter, manifests her younger self.[5] She also wanted to be detective extraordinaire Nancy Drew.[6] She gets to be a Homecoming queen[7] and becomes obsessed with dust mites.[8] One of the earliest moments of tenderness from Maggie comes when she reads Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 at the funeral for the unknown man.  [9]


  • Mother, Jane O'Connell (who visits and burns her house down and tells her she is divorcing her father[10] and she sees again at her grandmother's 80th birthday)[11]
  • Father, Frank O'Connell, the youngest CEO in automotive history (who comes to visit her once; calls her "Peanut")[9]
  • Brother, Jeff ("Jeffie")[11]
  • Grandmother ("Grammy")[11]


  • Bush Pilot
  • Air Taxi
  • Postal Worker
  • Courier
  • Mechanic [12]
  • Engineer [13]
  • Real Estate Agent [14]
  • Landlord [15]
  • Property Superintendent [16]
  • Entrepreneur [17]
  • Mayor [3]

Maggie owns her own Cessna 170 airplane and works on it several times [18][19] [5] ... and even put together a kit plane with her own modifications and other improvements. [20] Besides her handywoman skills, she also works on her pickup truck and snowmobile,[21] and helps Chris restore a Ford Model T. [22]

Love Life[]

She has a love-hate relationship with Joel, who she thinks she has sex with once, [23] [24] eventually does have sex with [25] ("forgets", but he reminds her: "last Tuesday in a barn at 1:46 PM"), [21] and even gets engaged to. [26] They finally agree they have a "mutually desirous incompatibility". [27] However, in the end, she ends up with Chris. [28] When she was growing up in Grosse Pointe, Jed liked her. [11] [29] She has a brief "spring fantasy fling" with a bear deity. [30]

Victims Of The "O'Connell Curse"[]

Maggie's past boyfriends all died in improbable accidents. Cicely residents attribute this to the "O'Connell Curse", though Maggie hates talking about it.

  • Steve Escandon was hit by lightning while photographing an oil rig for a corporation's annual report.
  • Harry ate tainted potato salad on a picnic.
  • Bruce had an unspecified fishing accident.
  • Glen took a wrong turn while driving his Volvo Car (according to Chris) onto a missile test range.
  • Dave took a nap on a glacier and froze to death.
  • Rick Pederson (a recurring character in season 1) was hit by a falling artificial satellite shortly after learning he did not have cancer.[31]

Since The Curse[]

On her 30th birthday, while camping next to a river, she gets sick and "meets" them all in a hallucination / vision.[32]

During season 4, Maggie has a brief relationship with Mike Monroe, a lawyer with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. [33] In his case, the curse works in reverse: he is cured of his condition and inspires to practice environmental law. [34]

It is implied that Joel would have died from the curse if he stayed with Maggie. [35]

Maggie's mother may have the curse too. [36]


P.O. Box 86 Cicely, Alaska 99729 - 0086.


  1. Pilot (1-1)
  2. "The Bad Seed" (4-7)
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Realpolitik" (6-10)
  4. Joel first likens Maggie to Earhart in "Brains, Know-How, and Native Intelligence" (1-2). Maggie mentions Earhart as a "woman who didn't toe the traditional female line" in "Get Real" (3-9). In "Heroes" (4-4), Maggie says Earhart is more of an influence than a hero. Maggie's brother Jeffrey asks Joel if Maggie's plane-flying is some "Amelia Earhart complex", in "Grosse Pointe 48230" (4-14).
  5. 5.0 5.1 "The Letter" (6-4)
  6. "The Mystery of the Old Curio Shop" (5-2)
  7. "A River Doesn't Run Through It" (5-5)
  8. "Mite Makes Right" (5-13)
  9. 9.0 9.1 "All Is Vanity" (2-3) Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "2-3" defined multiple times with different content
  10. "Burning Down The House" (3-14)
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 "Grosse Pointe 48230" (4-14)
  12. Season 3, Episode 3.
  13. Season 5, Episode 20.
  14. Particularly Season 4, Episode 7 ... The Bad Seed.
  15. Pilot.
  16. Season 4, Episode 7 ... The Bad Seed, among others.
  17. "The Graduate" (6-17)
  18. "Oy, Wilderness" (3-3)
  19. "Kaddish for Uncle Manny" (4-22)
  20. "A Wing and a Prayer" (5-20)
  21. 21.0 21.1 "Love's Labor Mislaid" (4-17)
  22. "Lucky People" (6-16)
  23. "It Happened in Juneau" (3-21)
  24. "Our Wedding" (3-22)
  25. "Ill Wind" (4-16)
  26. "Full Upright Position" (6-7)
  27. "Family Feud" (4-19)
  28. "Ursa Minor" (6-21)
  29. "Blood Ties" (5-23)
  30. "Wake-Up Call" (3-19)
  31. "Sex, Lies, and Ed's Tape" (1-6)
  32. "Northwest Passages" (4-1)
  33. "Duets" (4-13)
  34. "Homesick" (4-20)
  35. Season 6, Episode 8.
  36. "The Mommy's Curse" (6-14)