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Six Feet Under: Dancing for Me

David: "He was run over?"
Nate: "Yeah, he ran over himself."
David: "How do you do that?"
Nate: "I have no idea."

Ruth sabotaged her chances of being happy with George with her anger over old issues. David sabotaged Keith's baby plans because he wanted to adopt, instead. Billy sabotaged himself by not accepting what being unmedicated does to him. Nate's old friend Tom wanted his youth back and translated that longing into an inappropriate yen for underage girls.

Has illness, his wife's murder, and working at the funeral home really changed Nate, who used to run from death? With his fortieth birthday approaching, Nate told Tom that he'd been through so much that he was just happy to be alive, that if you're not happy, change your life. But wasn't Nate deeply unhappy about his job not that long ago? That whole conversation felt uncomfortably of foreshadowing. I'm very aware that the end of the series is approaching, and I've always had the feeling that Nate would die.

I was right about Keith wanting Claire's free range eggs. That surreal egg fantasy wasn't as good as their usual dream/fantasy sequences, it was sort of over-the-top creepy. Yes, I got it; David's insecurities again, worry that Claire and her eggs, or even a baby, would take Keith away from him. Instead of giving it a fair shot, David talked Claire out of donating her eggs even before she had a chance to consider it. I think if he had approached her differently she would have said yes, although it seemed doubtful that she could stop getting high long enough.

The Claire/Billy stuff felt like self-sabotage, too, like trying to recapture youth. Claire was forcing herself to do more collage when she wanted to move forward; it made her seem like a failure at twenty-one. And Billy, teaching but not creating art, medicated to the point where sex was sometimes impossible, felt the loss of his youth and promise. I knew he'd stop taking his meds again at some point, and bingo. I almost can't blame him. I said almost.

George was trying so hard to get his marriage back, but Ruth had completely closed down. All she could see was that she had inadvertently married her grandmother. The two of them finally imploded in front of Maggie. When they asked Maggie to stay, it felt like a return to season one when Nathaniel died and Ruth asked Nate to stay in Los Angeles. Apparently, Ruth makes a habit of asking other people to completely restructure their lives for her whenever she experiences a huge life crisis.

Bits:

— I think Margaret has softened toward Brenda because Brenda finally chose Margaret's profession. I can't believe I didn't think of that before. I should have thought of it. The only time my musician grandfather ever liked me or spoke to me was when I was taking piano.

— Claire was planning to expand her previous collage work by doing the whole world in fragments.

— Along with the eggs and adoption stuff, there was a lot interrupted sex. Billy couldn't finish with Claire. Nate and Brenda were trying to make a baby and got interrupted by Maya. George walked in on Rico and Sharon.

— Ruth and Maggie had a long conversation with George asleep between them. I think that represented that the two of them were making decisions about George's life without actually including him, like he was a child.

And pieces:

— "Samuel Wayne Hoviak, 1965-2004."

— Dealing with death literally every day of his life, Rico would of course think that something had happened to Sharon. That was rude of her to just not answer his calls.

— Rico's fiasco with Sharon drove home the point that it's not all that easy to start fresh. Rico changed direction and started pursuing Vanessa. Not a surprise.

— Maya got lines again. Like "Hi, Mommy," and the title of the episode.

Quotes:

George: "Do you know what they call an Italian hooker?"
(Ruth was not amused)
George: "A pasta-tute."

Margaret: "Really, Brenda. Let me find you a better internship, one that's more suited to your talents. I hate to let the fact that I've slept with half of southern California's psychiatric academia go to waste."

David: "Even if it all worked out, there would be the weirdness of having a niece that you're also the mother of."
Claire: "Yeah. That's really kind of creepy."
David: "It could make Thanksgiving dinners a little awkward."

Nate: "I really get it now that this doesn't last, and I'm no different from anybody else. Yes, indeed, this will happen to me. It is happening to me a little bit each day. And that doesn't freak me out. If anything, it's liberating."

George: "All I have to look forward to is a fucking bowl of ice cream. And I can't even get that!"

This episode got to me. A lot of Six Feet Under gets to me. Everything seems possible when we're eighteen, but we grow older. Our energy level drops, our choices dwindle. We're probably never going to go skydiving after all, or meet a handsome stranger on the streets of Paris in the spring, or have a fabulous career in New York. When my sister died tragically and way too soon, it changed me. From that point on, it was easy to see death coming for me. I wish I had Nate's zen-like attitude about it, but I don't. But fortunately, I don't feel like his friend Tom did, either.

Anyway. Four stars,

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

5 comments:

  1. Just wanted to thank you Billie for all the work you've put into this blog about Six Feet Under. I enjoy reading your synopses, analysis and insights. It really was one of the best tv series ever and your input has made it that much more enjoyable for me. thanks Mike.

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  2. You're very welcome, Mike, and thanks for your comment. SFU is definitely one of a kind.

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  3. Rico found a perfect way to start pursuing Vanessa: by lying to her about another woman.

    The show is great as always. It's become a LOT more serious since the first season (where are the missing feet?), but that just makes it better. It reminds me so much of Buffy.

    I dread the final season. In a show about death, how can they not go there? I'm thinking not Nate, because they already did that once.

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  4. So, after my comments from "That's My Dog (Episode 4.5)', I promised I would finish my thoughts on the show here.

    Here is where I gave up on SFU. I may skip ahead to see the finale, but I'm done following the show.

    After the harrowing "That's My Dog" came the excruciating process of watching David recover and cope from the experience. Yes, it's realistic, and yes, people do take a long time to heal, but like the assault itself, I really didn't need to witness it.

    I couldn't really go back to watching quirky episodes after that bombshell. It's like seeing your ex after a divorce. The relationship is completely different now, and there's no going back. I found myself not caring about the entire Chenowith clan, nor the Diaz family. Nor, really, the David + Keith story.

    I rooted for Ruth for a while, but damn it all! George lost his marbles, and Ruth lost her whimsy. I had so hoped she and Bettina would have made a go at it. It's obvious she has not skill at picking stable men.

    And Claire. Oh, Clair. She's tasted success (in a very narrow area of the Art world), and she's willing to do anything to get more. Her character journey is the most understandable of any on the show, and she finds out that even her teenage cynicism isn't adequate to navigate the world she now finds herself in. Caring about what other people think, yet trying so hard to deny other people's expectations as a motivator (like the choice to crank out more mosaic pieces rather than explore a new direction). I found it quite telling that actress Lauren Ambrose has been steadily losing weight each season, so she can 'fit in' as a viable Hollywood commodity. Ms Ambrose was perfect just the way she was.

    When I saw Billy go off his meds, I gave up. We're going to get to see another psychotic episode, this one on Clair instead of Brenda? No, not me. I'll catch yas later.

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  5. The sequence with the eggs was allay on the musical “Oklahoma,” another layer to the stereotypically Broadway aware gay culture. The scoring even sounds like “Rodeo.”

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