Home

Episode: 4.21

Title: The Big Feast

Written by: Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green

Directed by: Rob Thompson

Aired: March 22, 1993

Log line: To celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of Minnifield Communications, Maurice plans an extremely elaborate party; Adam and Eve return to Cicely with their new baby.

Listen to the podcast discussion of the episode here.

4-21_Eve-Joel01

Multiples

In 4.21 “The Big Feast”, Maurice throws what Shelly calls “the ultimate kegger” and we see preparations for a huge and sumptuous party. Indeed, Maurice has spared no expense, from importing the best wines, entertainers, and produce (including beluga caviar and white asparagus from Holland). This episode has the most over-the-top mentions of French food, including the “glace de viande” which requires 40 steer, and the $10,000 KBHR cake.

It is interesting how this excess is represented visually, with multiples of things. We see identical objects all in a row, which emphasizes the richness of the event and adds to the decadence of the party.

Bottles upon bottles of booze (and wine):

4-21_booze

4-21_cellar

Rows of beef in the cooler:

4-21_Maurice02

Identically dressed servers, and identical chefs in white:

4-21_servers

In the shots of the party, the camera highlights the lavishness of the party, emphasizing the multiples:

4-21_Group-Party014-21_party05

Twins

While the images of multiples point to the decadence of the party, the episode also contains moments of doubling and twins. One object is placed side by side with its alternate, or one object tries to replace another. This idea is exemplified in the Shelly storyline, where, with Eve’s help, she replaces the contents of a very rare and expensive French wine with regular wine (and peat moss, vanilla, pepper, among other things).

4-21_Eve0

In the very beginning of the episode, one bad fish is chosen over a good one.

4-21_fish

Maurice struggles to replace one world-class violinist with another.

4-21_violinist

Maurice creates a miniature KBHR twin on top of a cake:

4-21_cake

Ron tells the group people used to say that he and Charles Boyer looked like twins.

4-21_twins

Ruth-Anne calls herself a “regular two-faced Annie” for her mixed emotions of criticism and anticipation when talking to Joel about Maurice’s party:

4-21_RuthAnne02 Of course, Adam has a little “mini-me” of his own:

4-21_Adam03

The episode “The Big Feast” is a joyous one, full of amazing sights and beauty. It’s a strange episode in a way, because nothing much happens; however, we spend a lot of time with the townspeople and there is an amazing feeling of celebration at the end. We truly feel that we are among Maurice’s guests, mingling with the flowers, guests, and piles of food. Salut!

4-21_party09

Songs from the episode’s original airing:

  • Tracy Lawrence, Runnin’ Behind
    [replaced in DVD version]
    At The Brick, Holling, Shelly, Ed and Joel talk about the invites.
  • Ferlin Husky, My Reason for Living
    At The Brick, Shelly asks Joel about wine.
  • Vernon Dalhart, Prisoner’s Song
    Joel confronts Maggie at her cabin.

4-21_Adam02

Themes / Recurrences: Food; excess; appearances vs. reality; death.

The Good: The feast itself is delightful. And we love both Adam and Eve in this episode.

The Bad: One of us (On) thought there should have been more images of the food itself. This episode also lacked the philosophical and emotional weight of some of the very finest episodes of the series.

The Notable: We are introduced to little Aldrich for the first time.

On’s rating: 9 out of 10.

Shane’s rating: 9 out of 10.

4-21_Ed02

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “4.21 The Big Feast

  1. Nicely done, guys. I’d only started listening at ‘Revelations’ (which was the last ep I’d seen when I’d discovered your podcast), and I’ve since been playing catch up. Great insights and cool to hear a bit of your own personalities and backstories coming through on this one, as well. Looking forward to listening to the rest of your work covering seasons 1-4 and beyond. Cheers.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s