The fourth season of Northern Exposure originally aired Mondays at 10:00-11:00 pm on CBS from September 28, 1992 to May 24, 1993.
Maggie must come to grips with her 30th birthday and the ghosts of her dead boyfriends by using an Indian ritual allowing her to lay the past to rest. Marilyn decides it's time to learn to drive and gets Ruth-Anne and Chris to give her lessons. Maurice drives the citizens crazy when he begins to write his memoirs.
Joel is charged with energy as the sun hasn't sent and he uses his pent up energy to try to coach Cicely's basketball team to victory. Holling is distracted by Shelly's cheerleading outfit. The traveling salesman/tailor comes back to Cicely to sell his wares and he romances Ruth-Anne.
Chris kills a pet loving mathematician's dog; he falls in love with her and then while taking care of the rest of her pets, a parakeet drops dead. Maurice takes delivery of a clock he paid top dollar for and is delivered with the guy who will set it up. He becomes less than enamored with it when it doesn't keep the perfect time he expected.
A heavy metal rock star comes to Cicely and gets Ed to make a documentary on a rock festival he is holding with local Indian drummers. Shelly is star struck by the arrival of this star. Meanwhile Chris' mentor, Tooley, comes to Cicely in a crate and Chris ponders how to eulogize, bury and send him to the great beyond.
Cicely's newest resident, Mike Monroe, is confined to live in a plastic bubble because of M.C.S. (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity), which makes him allergic to nearly everything manufactured in the twentieth century. After Maggie meets Mike she becomes interested in him. Ruth-Anne's son Matthew, the investment banker, comes to Cicely to try to get away from it all when he is fired from his job. Maurice's prospectus on making Cicely a place for sick people to move to and recover from their illnesses draws Matthew back into thinking about money.
The ever-quiet Bob returns to Cicely, with "The New Perception Players" and still hopes to win Marilyn's affection. Maurice receives a package from his son and it reminds him that he needs to adjust his will to cover his Korean offspring. Maggie tries to develop her relationship with Mike, by helping him with the revisions to Maurice's will. Ed is suffering from a creativity block and finds a ring with the initials F.F. engraved on the inside, and then he begins to have Fellini-like visions.
Holling's less than honest daughter arrives in Cicely and begins to operate. Holling and Shelly have a disagreement about his "sterility" and starts hanging out with his daughter. Marilyn decides it may be time to move out when she decides her mother has made one too many changes she doesn't like and asks Maggie to find her dream house. Ed goes to meet "Princess," a crane that returns every year, though after taking with Chris he begins to think it isn't such a good idea.
The Indians in Cicely celebrate Thanksgiving by throwing tomatoes at white people. Joel is Ed's first victim and he is angered because in his words he is "definitely not white." The town gets decorated with skulls and pumpkins as they also celebrate "The Day of the Dead." Joel also gets bad news in a letter telling him that he must serve another year on his contract. Mike's latest reactions to the environment are caused by something he can't trace so he thinks about moving to Greenland. Chris waxes nostalgic and decides that the something missing from his life is "the joint" when he finds a can of beans that he remembers from Thanksgiving.
An ex-Soviet member of their state security comes to Maurice and offers to sell him the file of all the information they have in his dossier. Maurice is discomforted by the fact that the information in the file is legitimate and shows things about the past he would prefer not knowing, like the fact he may have divulged top secret information. Maggie is reminded of her mortality when a pilot is killed making a flight she was supposed to make. The health inspector comes to inspect "The Brick" and besides finding many violations is interested in Shelly. Maggie decides to be positive to everyone, including Joel, to the point where is begins to affect her health. The ex-Soviet tries to sell other items of interest as barter for goods & services.
Chris is taken into custody for an extradition trial to bring him back to West Virginia, where he currently has a parole violation. Chris knows he is guilty and really isn't interested in his defense. Mike comes up with an angle that he can prove to the judge that the Chris Stevens that skipped bail is different from the Chris Stevens standing before her.
Ed becomes gloomy about the future and begins to share Mike's visions about the future. Maggie digs up some artifacts from an ancient female in her front yard and Maurice wants to turn it into a major excavation. A young boy who runs away from a survival camp gets a job at "The Brick" to cover his room and board; he also falls madly in love with Shelly. Maggie and the rest of the women band together against the men who have dominated the dig in her front yard.
Ruth-Anne pays off her store which gives her great satisfaction and Maurice's great pain; however, Ed feels the most pain when these two old friends begin to fight after she begins to change the store and he finds himself caught in the middle. Chris goes to religious retreat to become a monk for a couple weeks. He thinks he has a problem when really feels an attraction for one of the other monks. Joel is going stir crazy when no one in town has sick for two weeks.
One-Who-Waits returns and has positive information on the location of Ed's father and takes Ed to the construction site where he works. Ed gets a job and tries to come up with a way to tell the foreman that he is his father. Mike asks Maggie to fly to a mountain range where he thinks he will be able to identify the chemicals that were part of a container spill. A blind man comes into "The Brick" and offers to tune and rebuild the piano but begins to get on Holling's nerves. Maggie tries to hold off Mike's advances by telling him about her "curse."
Joel accompanies Maggie as her "boyfriend," in a trip to back to Michigan, where he has been promised tickets to a Knicks - Pistons game. Maggie goes to attend her grandmother's 80th birthday party; for the event, "Grammy" has locked herself in the upstairs bathroom and Maggie is the only one allowed access.
Holling decides to go back to school to get his high school equivalency certificate. Marilyn goes on an adventure in Seattle and Joel is worried for her safety so he tries to over plan her trip for her, plans she just ignores. A worried Joel, ventures down to Seattle to locate her. Maggie is at odds with the teacher over her philosophy about female combat pilots and sisterhood.
After breaking his nose, twice, Joel and Maggie have a wild fling in her barn. Chris saves Maurice's life, a debt that he is set on repaying. After witnessing that event and surrounded by psychic instability, Ed thinks about death in its many forms. A shepherd's flock wanders into town and he talk to the locals about his problems, Ruth-Anne thinks he is having a mid-career crisis.
Maggie forgets about having sex with Joel. Holling and Ruth-Anne go out to find a Siberian Tit, a bird rarely seen in Alaska. Ed's uncle arranges a marriage for Ed; however the bride already has a boyfriend.
Joel goes on strike when the state of Alaska will not allow him time off for a Caribbean vacation he was planning. Chris has trouble seeking inspiration for his new sculpture. A vagrant's presence on Main St. outrages Maurice, when he learns the man is an ex-marine he tries to become his benefactor. Maggie debates about having sex with Mike. Holling spends his time in hibernation. The town of Cicely strikes back against Joel.
A totem pole carved in tribute to the Raven clan reopens a bitter rift between them and the Bear clan. Shelly gets medical advice telling her that getting married may help her to get rid of the strange hallucinations with dancers that she's been having. Joel confronts Maggie about their "whatever" and her relationship with Mike; together they decide they're "mutually desirous incompatibles."
Maggie is excited when she thinks she has "cured" her latest beau, as opposed to killing him; however she is crushed when he tells her that he leaving to work for Greenpeace in Murmansk. Holling is disgusted by Shelly's redecorating of their bed & bathroom. Maurice moves his childhood home to Cicely and it stirs up memories of his brother.
When Maggie distributes the invitations for Maurice's 25th Anniversary Bash for Minnifield Communications an event "everyone" is attending Joel doesn't get one. Shelly accidentally breaks one of Maurice's expensive bottles of wine and tries to find a way to replace it. Adam and Eve return with the baby, Aldrich, and Adam takes over the food preparation of a special dish.
Joel seeks out other Jews to help him mourn his uncle and Maurice calls out the troops to go out and round some up. Chris gets Bernard to help settle a 150-year-old feud between the Millers and the Stevens; something Bernard has some trepidation about participating in especially since it involves fighting, something he's never done. Marilyn drafts Holling to be her partner in a Cajun dance contest.
Spring comes to Cicely and Holling pays to get a job on a farm pulling a plow, because of his wish to sow seeds. Maggie saves Dave's life, a tape from Mike and other events get the people of Cicely thinking that she has healing powers. Maurice buys a pig for routing out truffles for the annual Mosquito Festival, but the pig may become the main course at a luau. Holling throws his back out and Shelly finds out that she is pregnant.
Maurice's son comes to ask for his permission on his choice of a bride. There is a little hitch, Ron thinks that the new bride maybe the daughter of North Korean Colonel Pak Soon Ye, the butcher of Yang Dok. To help in the preservation of his native tongue, Ed decides to dub The Prisoner of Zenda. Holling's "needs" (an average of 4 times a day) are being held back and he seeks a way to relieve them. Ed runs into trouble with the star of his movie, a man with experience working in Hollywood and no time for Ed's inexperience. Maurice runs into mixed emotions on his feelings about his own personal feelings and the feelings of his son.
The town's oldest tree is dying. Shelly wakes up and finds that she can't talk, but she can sing. The town asks Joel to diagnose Old Vicki. Chris goes wireless and is freed from the confines of the broadcast booth. Shelly's singing starts to get on Holling's nerves. Maggie tries to be pleasant to Joel and the result of all this kindness is that Joel keeps getting injured. Maurice is intent on bringing the tree down. Shelly becomes worried that she may never talk again. After the felling of Old Vicki, the town has a wake. Maurice feels remorse after the felling of Old Vicki. Maggie and Joel cut a deal to try keeping Joel injury free.