The sixth and final season of Northern Exposure opens with the typically self-reflective "Dinner at Seven-Thirsty," in which Joel Fleischman (Rob Morrow), New York-born doctor of the Alaskan village of Cicely, envisions what life might have been like had he never left home. In a similar inward-looking vein, "The Letter" allows local mail pilot Maggie O'Donnell (Janine Turner) to contrast the dreams and desires that she'd had at age 15 with the realities of her early thirties. And just when you think that things can't get any funkier, Satan himself shows up in the guise of a whirlpool salesman (Charles Martin Smith) in the episode "The Robe," and "Zarya" finds the regular cast members assuming the roles of certain people living Russia at the time of the Bolshevik Revolution. Of special importance is the fact that, after six years of verbal sparring, Joel and Maggie have finally realized that they love each other. In fact, they briefly move in together, but when Maggie registers a protest about Joel's obsessive-compulsive traits, the temperamental doctor leaves Cicely and is assimilated into a nearby Eskimo tribe. At this point, Rob Morrow is no longer a series regular, and Cicely's premier entrepreneur, Maurice Minnifield (Barry Corbin), is compelled to send for a New town doctor, Dr. Philip Capra (Paul Provenza), who sets up camp in town in the company of his journalist wife, Michelle (Teri Polo). Joel Fleischman makes his final appearance in yet another "cosmic" episode, in which he and Maggie take a journey of the mind to the strange land of Keewaa Anni (which looks curiously familiar to both Joel and the audience!). As the series approaches its finale, Maggie is elected mayor of Cicely, and Maurice finally pops the question to his female counterpart, tough-talking Officer Barbara Semanski (Diane Delano).
by Hal Erickson synopsis