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Six Feet Under: Death Works Overtime

Mr. Su: "And now, she's taken away from me. How can she not be here? One minute she's there. The next, she's gone like she was never there."

There was a "center cannot hold" feel to this episode.

There were several pointless deaths, with the funeral home full to overflowing. There was an earthquake, too, symbolic of upheaval in everyone's life, particularly Nate's; he was frantic, completely losing it. (Maybe he really does love Lisa, after all.) And all they found of Lisa was her abandoned car and a can of Dr. Pepper. It was like she fell off the face of the earth. What the hell happened to her? She is not the type to run off on impulse without her stuff, and she seemed too happy to be taking off to kill herself. Was she kidnapped? Killed?

Billy confessed to Brenda that he was in love with her. What do you say to something like that? Does Brenda feel the same way? I've gotten the impression that part of her does love Billy in a sexual, romantic way, but the other part of her is too smart and too focused on self-preservation to ever allow it to happen.

Claire was in a somewhat similar situation as Brenda, with Russell telling her over and over that he loved her, like repetition would make a difference and obligate her to love him back. I didn't get why Claire was cross-examining Russell about exactly what had happened sexually with Olivier until (duh) the pregnancy test. She was thinking HIV, obviously. I thought Claire was smart enough to use condoms. Guess not.

Ruth was in complete denial about Lisa until the end, when she lost it in front of a total stranger. Who happened to be played by an Academy award-winning actor. Which meant that this had to be an introduction and he'll be around for more than one episode. After Hiram, Nickolai and Arthur, each inappropriate in a different way, I thought James Cromwell's character felt perfect for Ruth. It was like they fit together, physically and emotionally. Although meeting under such wretched circumstances might be a bad omen.

Bits:

— Margaret's determination to do something meaningful with Bern's ashes and her ultimate decision to dump them over the balcony probably related to the multiple stupid and unexpected deaths.

— The song playing in the gym when the athletic young guy dropped dead was "I'm finding it hard to believe we're in heaven."

— Claire told Olivier off in a most satisfying way, and it was even in a final meeting where he gave her a grade for the semester. She called him exactly what he was: a manipulative, phony loser who used his students. She told him that she knew what he did could get him fired, too. I'm sure she got her A.

— When the series began, the Fisher siblings were in their own little universes. Near the end of this episode, and with many heavy problems of their own, Claire and David drove several hours just to be with Nate. I found that touching.

And pieces:

— "Dorothy Su, 1945-2003." "Edward Tully, 1955-2003." "David Raymond Monroe, 1971-2003." Three pointless, unexpected deaths. Claire mentioned celebrities dying in threes. Would that mean Lisa isn't dead?

— Our two more stable couples felt like they were breaking up, too. Angelica may have finally succeeded in taking her sister away from Rico. David said he felt numb when he was with Keith, and better when they were apart.

— Arthur actually did pretty well with his first intake. Maybe he has a gift for it. I also noticed that with everything falling apart, everyone reacted by picking on Arthur.

— That brief Lisa dream Nate had felt so real.

— Brenda told her new landlady that her entire family was killed in a flood. Brenda probably would be better off if they had been. Maybe that was why she said it.

Quotes:

Arthur: "I find statistics to be comforting in times of stress and uncertainty."

Brenda: "This is so Day of the Locust."
Landlady: "Oh, no locusts here. Cockroaches maybe."

Claire: "I'll take an A."
Olivier: "Undeserved."
Claire: "Unimportant."

Margaret: "I'd like to at least pretend that we all love each other and that your father and I created something worthwhile."

Brenda: "What about the beach in Malibu?"
Margaret: "No, that's where everyone throws their ashes."
Brenda: "So?"
Margaret: "So, I don't want him co-mingling with total strangers."

Margaret: "There. Now he'll be in Westwood for all eternity."
I thought this was hilarious. I've spent a lot of time in Westwood. It's not where I'd want to spend eternity.

Ruth: "I'm so sorry. I just cried all over your jacket and you're a complete stranger."
George: "Not anymore, I'm not."

Three stars,

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

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