"Spring Break"
Season 2, Episode 5 (?)
Airdate May 6, 1991
Writer(s) David Assael
Director Rob Thompson
Guest star(s)

←   Episode sequence   →
"What I Did for Love" "War and Peace"


Temporary madness sweeps through Cicely as the townfolk await the ice meltdown and the arrival of spring.


Maggie and Joel are walking through a lush, tropical jungle. While Maggie stares in wonderment, Joel complains about animals and tropical diseases. Maggie discovers a snake, pulls an apple off of a tree, and offers a bite to Joel.[1] After Joel takes a bite, Maggie points out that he's naked, and suddenly she is as well. Joel appears comfortable in his nakedness, and as Maggie begins kissing him, she awakens in bed with a groan.

Chris in the Morning explains that the surrounding ice is preparing to crack. But, until it does, the citizens of Cicely will be affected in different ways. Joel enters Ruth-Anne's store looking for his lingerie catalog and Ruth-Anne is glad to help his libido by giving him an issue of Playboy to read. Maggie enters shortly thereafter to return some videos, and both are a little nervous until Joel leaves, when one of the videos Maggie rented is "Beefcake Bingo". When Joel returns to his truck, he finds that his radio has been stolen.

Joel visits Maurice and complains about the theft. Maurice is quick to dismiss it, saying that the theft happens every spring, a result of temporary insanity. However, since there is usually no crime, there are no police to report to. Joel is unsatisfied, and leaves angrily.

Back at The Brick, Holling has undergone a personality change; instead of his normal, casual demeanor, Holling is adversarial and trying to pick a fight with everyone in the bar. Yet no one is willing to challenge him, even when he resorts to stomping on someone's toes.

The scene quickly cuts to Joel, who is in the middle of a Robert Palmer music video, singing "Simply Irresistable" and surrounded by several of women. As the music cuts off, the women surround him and tell him that they want him. Joel refuses at first, knowing that his is dreaming, but he is finally convinced to consummate his fantasy.[2]

The next day, Maurice's CD boombox is stolen, driving him to call the police. Officer Barbara Semanski arrives at the KBHR door, annoyed at having to drive in from Sourdough to investigate a stolen radio. Maurice is clearly attracted to her, both by her physical presence and her businesslike demeanor. After a little goading, Semanski ends up in Maurice's weight room, benchpressing 222 pounds, much to Maurice's amazement.

At Joel's office, he is preparing to dial a phone sex line, when Ed barges in and asks him several questions about the stolen radio. Ed has taken it upon himself to solve the mystery, but Joel is distracted by his overactive sex drive. Ed offers to pair Joel up with a girl he knows but Joel politely refuses.

That night, the townspeople gather at the Brick for a potluck. Maggie runs into Joel in the kitchen, and they engage in a rather pointless argument covering everything from Jell-O to medical school. Right as the argument reaches its peak, Maggie and Joel freeze and their eyes lock. Their bodies smash together and they begin kissing passionately, and somewhat clumsily, bouncing around the kitchen and knocking down pots and dishes. Just as quickly as they started, they stop and, as they pull back, Joel is shocked and Maggie appears surprised (and a little pleased). They rush out of the kitchen trying to figure out what happened. Each person feels that they were the one who started it and Joel and Maggie decide they both need to find a sexual partner and run off in separate directions.

Later, Ed and Joel enter an igloo, and Ed introduces Joel to his cousin who happens to look exactly like Maggie. Joel immediately warms to her, but she rejects him and Joel wakes up in his office. That night at the Brick, Officer Semanski is asking around about the stolen radios and Ed follows along with questions of his own. Hearing about her boxing prowess, Holling challenges her to a fight and she accepts. Later, in a moment of vulnerability, Maurice admits his deep affection for her but she merely shrugs it off and Maurice does not mention it again.

In Joel's office, Maggie comes in speaking seductively and taking her top off as Joel stares. When she says something about catching a thief Joel snaps out of his daydream and finds that Ed is in the room with him. Ed claims he is zeroing in on the criminal.

That night, at the Brick, a boxing ring is set up for Barbara and Holling. Marilyn and Maggie are fervently knitting, presumably to relieve some of the sexual tension. Holling and Barbara exchange blows but the cracking of the ice causes Holling to lose the desire to fight and Barbara knocks him out. Maurice simply watches proudly.

Late that night as Chris is finishing up his shift at KBHR, Ed comes in, having figured out that Chris is the thief. However, Ed does not know what action to take so he simply asks Chris why he did it. His answer is, "Wildness, Ed, wildness!"

Late that night, Joel arrives at Maggie's cabin in a panic. Although the ice has cracked his desire for her hasn't lessened. He tells about his lustful thoughts and Maggie shares her dreams and they end their conversation in an orgasmic moment of mutual desire. After having cleared the air the two share a cigarette.

The next morning, Joel arrives at the Brick for the annual Running of the Bulls, an all-male run through the streets of Cicely. As the race is about to start Joel is shocked to find the men disrobing and Holling informs him that the race is run in the buff. After a moment's thought, Joel smiles, accepts the madness, strips off his clothes, and runs through the streets of Cicely while the women of Cicely watch and cheer. In the final few moments, Joel seems to have finally incorporated into the community where he is no longer a stranger.


Ed: Somebody stole Dr. Fleischman's radio.
Marilyn: White people. They get crazy.

Joel: Yeah I'm upset. Ya wanna know why, Ed? I'll tell you. As a physician, I realize that sexual release is not crucial to survival, say like water or oxygen. But when a healthy 28-year-old male is deprived of that release, he has an awful hard time enjoying his survival.

Ruth-Anne: Here's your lingerie magazine. I was just leafing through it.
Joel: Thanks.
Ruth-Anne: Oh, wait a minute. Uh, you're using that for onanistic purposes, huh?
Joel: What? What kind of purposes?
Ruth-Anne: Auto-erotic.
Joel (flustered): Me? No Not at all. Absolutely not! I was just going to order my mom a robe.
Ruth-Anne: I think you need something a little more exciting.
Joel: Exciting?
Ruth-Anne: Here's a Playboy. Eli Nute died a month before his subscription expired.
Joel (tries not to look interested in the Playboy): Oh no. Really?
Ruth-Anne (reads the caption): Women of Norway.
Joel: Yeah well, I mean a lot of exceptional writers contribute to Playboy. There's Philip Roth, uh, Norman Mailer, the late Roald Dahl--an interview with Shintaro Ishihara?!
Ruth-Anne: Don't worry Dr. Fleishmann, its that time of year. Everybody's libido has run amok.
Joel: They rate the top ten single malt Scotches! Now I, uh, wanna read this!
Ruth-Anne: I think I've got something for you a little racier in the back room.

Chris: Wildness, Ed. We're running out of it, even up here in Alaska. People need to be reminded that the world is unsafe and unpredictable, and at a moment's notice, they could lose everything, like that. I do it to remind them that chaos is always out there, lurking beyond the horizon. That, plus, sometimes, Ed, sometimes you have to do something bad, just to know you're alive.



  • Fritz Hyman has a pin in his jaw from a previous Holling hit.
  • Maurice had fifteen confirmed kills over Pusan.
  • Joel did the New York City Marathon and made it to Greenpoint Avenue in Brooklyn before he passed out.
  • Ed speaks an Eskimo dialect.
  • Joel is rejected by potential date with Eskimo Betty (Janine) because she thinks he looks like a chipmunk.
  • Maurice has a weight room.
  • Barbara is the state police All-Division Boxing Champ and can curl 85 pounds on each arm.
  • More annual events: The Meltdown Dance; Running of the Bulls (naked male Cicelians).
  • Shelly's earrings: watermelon halves (tells Marilyn that Holling wants to fight), blue vinyl records (confesses to Joel that the coming of spring makes her want to read), globes (at the spring party in the Brick), bowling pin and ball (at fight between Holling and Barbara)
  • Chris reads from D.H. Lawrence's The Rainbow and Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are.


  1. Adam and Eve
  2. This scene establishes a few of Joel's more interesting psychological traits. The entire episode is strengthened by the continual variety of interaction between the characters and each of their various quirks.
  3. Opening: outdoor shots of snowy Cicely. Closing: Running of the Bulls.
  4. Joel picks up a lingerie magazine in Ruth-Anne's store.
  5. Holling is itching for a fight. Ed announces Joel's radio was stolen.
  6. Joel's Robert Palmer music video dream.
  7. Maurice announces his boom box was stolen.
  8. Chris reads from Where the Wild Things Are on-air.
  9. Spring break party in the Brick. Maggie and Joel kiss passionately in the kitchen.
  10. Ed confronts Chris about stealing.
  11. Also appears in "Goodbye to All That" (2-1), and "The Big Kiss" (2-2), and "Only You" (3-2)
  12. Joel and Maggie confess that they've been fantasizing about each other.