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Six Feet Under: Coming and Going

Ruth: "Marriage is not a gas station, George. You can't just pull in and fill up whenever you remember you have a wife."

David desperately needed Keith, but Keith was away. Ruth needed George to act like a husband, but he wouldn't. Claire wanted to be gay, but wasn't. Rico wanted to go home, but couldn't.

This episode was full of inappropriately expressed rage, as well as lots of sex. David needed someone to hold him and be there for him (actually, David needed therapy) so he tried to turn a one-night stand with paintball group-sex Sarge, of all people, into something meaningful. Celeste was feeling much like David did, and Keith ended up comforting her instead of David. At least he's on his way home now, after having sex with Celeste. I sort of felt that one coming, no pun intended.

George the tree-murderer was flirting with Anita, something he probably does all the time with his young female students, and it brought on one of Ruth's bouts of rage. But truthfully, what did she expect? She was engaged for five minutes to a man who had been married six times before. Ruth needed someone so badly that she didn't think about finding the right someone. Where did Ruth go? To Sarah and Bettina, I assume?

Rico tried to move in with Infinity and ended up on a slab in the basement. (And just think of all the subtext that can be assigned to that sentence.) I was surprised that Sophia didn't jump at the chance to get Rico to move in with her; I thought that was what she wanted, but I guessed wrong. And I loved Vanessa and Angelica attacking Sophia and trashing her car like a couple of teenaged gang girls. Again with the repressed rage expressed inappropriately.

Joe walked in on Nate and Brenda. Gee, what a non-surprise, since Brenda so obviously wanted to get caught. She deliberately threw Joe away, like a disposable wipe. Joe was a good guy and could have been a good husband, although the dom stuff would have gotten old if she wasn't into it. But we could just tell that Brenda really wanted Nate back. Hard to tell what Nate wanted.

And Claire wanted to be gay, because she thought it would turn her problems into something that was culturally defined instead of free range, external instead of internal. (I get that.) She finally realized that her attraction to Edie was aesthetic instead of sexual. Edie probably saw that coming. Or not, pun intended. Onward, orgasm quest, onward.

The final scene was of most of the family, adrift without Ruth, watching the Simpsons together. A cartoon family of caricatures living an artificial, over-the-top life. Symbolism R Us.


— Usually, the Opening Death has something to do with the theme of the episode. In this case, I think it was meant as a contrast. The guy lived a productive, happy life, chose the time and place of his own death in order not to burden his loved ones, and was given a joyous funeral that was a true celebration of his life. "Oh happy day."

— The Travel Town trains supposedly went to Vegas. Brenda sort of got a quickie emotional divorce from Joe.

— Ruth likes to be in control of food. She left something in the oven to burn when she left George.

— David had constant heartburn in this episode. Stress? Fear? Repressed anger? Symbolism?

— Nate liked the house Brenda and Joe bought. Whose house was it? If it's Joe's, Brenda won't be there for long.

— Sarge didn't even know whose number he was calling. He certainly got a wrong number.

— Celeste fired Keith because she thought it was unprofessional to screw the boss. Very funny.

And pieces:

— "James Dubois Marshall, 1923-2004." He drove up and parked, put his hat on, sighed, and died.

— In keeping with our theme, Javier did some inappropriate acting out with Keith. And at work, Angelica was dressed like a cross between a vampire and a dominatrix. No comment.

— Rico moved into Claire's old room. Practically everyone in the cast is living in that house now.

— At one point, Dan and I were going, "Keith!" "David!" "Celeste!" "Rocky!" I guess you had to be there, but we thought it was funny.


Ruth: "George, come to church with me."
George: "Agnostics don't usually go to church, Ruth. That's part of the appeal."
He won't do anything for her. He won't bend at all.

Brenda: "No ulterior motives. I just want to ride the rails."
Nate: "Brenda, we always have ulterior motives."

Ruth: "You've butchered the most beautiful tree in my yard."
Literally as well as figuratively. That tree was Ruth and George's marriage.

Ruth: "What's wrong with you men? Always turning your back on what you have, always sniffing around for something new?"
Rico: "Me? You've had three boyfriends since Mr. F., and that's not including the affair with the hairdresser." Touché, Rico.

Ruth: "I'm your seventh spouse. George. How much warning do you think I need?"

David: "I have to get control of myself."
Claire: "David, if you were any more controlled, you'd be a sculpture."

Claire: "I wouldn't have to deal with unfamiliar sex organs."
David: "They're all unfamiliar unless they're yours."

Joe: "You neurotic, tedious, self-absorbed bitch. You don't give a shit about me. You never did."

Joe: "Oh, blah blah fucking psychobullshit! It's not sex, it's betrayal. That's your fucking addiction."

Three stars,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

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