Northern Exposure

Season 3 Episode 10

Seoul Mates

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Dec 16, 1991 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • Christmas Melting Pot

    This Emmy-winning episode (1992 best writing, drama) sees Christmas though the cultural lenses of several characters. Joel bucks Jewish tradition and gets a Christmas tree, Marilyn and her tribe prepare to celebrate the Raven Pageant (the Tlingit version of Christmas), and the ubiquitous Raven decorations make Shelley long for the more traditional Roman Catholic Christmases of her childhood.

    In the main story line, Maurice is horrified to learn that he has a grown Korean son named Duk Won.

    The superb writing cannot be better highlighted than with this dialogue, in which Chris tries to help Maurice with his difficulty in accepting Duk Won as his own flesh-and-blood:

    -Chris: Maurice, think of concentric circles. The inner circle is ourselves, then the family, then the tribe, then the nearby tribe, so on and so on. The further you get away from the center, the more foreign things become. The people in the outer circles, they become the Other. If it's any consolation, Maurice, you know, your feelings aren't instinctual.

    -Maurice: No?

    -Chris: No. It's cultural.

    -Maurice: Well, how the hell could that be a consolation?

    -Chris: It's learned behavior.

    - Maurice: So?

    -Chris: So, you can unlearn it.

    Another beautiful moment is the scene where Holling sings "Ave Maria" to Shelley in the church, to lessen her homesickness. TV magic.
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