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Six Feet Under: Grinding the Corn

Nate: "Who are you supposed to be?"
Nathaniel: "Death Man. I wanted to be the Grim Reaper, but the folks at Marvel already had a copyright on it."

The last episode was about cheating and doing things for the wrong reasons. This one was more about commitment, and doing things for the right reasons. Or better reasons.

Nate had a disturbing dream about his father, Lisa, and Yippy the dog feasting on his own dead body on a slab in the basement. Nate kept running out of the basement — running from death — and ending up back there again. (Xander had a similar dream on Buffy, but without the morgue accessories.) Nate's dreams related to the dollhouse Claire created that had a coffin in every room, and the horse that was shot at the end of the episode. Death is where we live, especially if you're a Fisher. It's where we always end up, anyway.

Brenda and Nate have switched places since season one. This time, she was the one who said I love you first, the one who wanted to settle down and commit. When Nate at first rejected her, she immediately plummeted off the wagon. I was actually proud of her when she went to a sex addicts meeting, reeking of pot. When Nate showed up at her door with Maya, it was like a karmic reward for Brenda making the right decision. I just wonder if Brenda's change is permanent, or if she'll find another way to screw things up for herself.

Ruth indeed went to Bettina, the total opposite of George, and she had a great time doing things with Bettina that George wouldn't do. Ruth should think seriously about what makes her happy. I swear, so many women marry someone because of societal and cultural pressures, because they're supposed to. Wouldn't Ruth be a lot happier doing things with her friends and her family than trying to make a decent husband out of George? I mean, George's advice to Rico about Vanessa was, hey, go find another one. This is not a man who should be married; he has no idea what commitment is.

David and Keith, who were a total hoot, have decided that their relationship isn't "open" any more. David, terminally insecure, was worried about Keith possibly switching teams. (While Edie was apparently angry at Claire for not switching teams.) I honestly didn't think that Keith would switch teams, no matter what he was watching on television.

Just one more thing. As a sci-fi geek myself, I always get rather put off when I see the sci-fi geek community portrayed the way we were in this episode. I've gone to cons and known geeks my entire life. We get degrees, go to parties, hold down regular jobs, and some of us even get married. Yes, I'll admit sometimes it's a Klingon civil ceremony, but still.


— The Opening Death illustrated that you really can't take it with you. Tuttle was unwilling to part with a comic book in order to pay his rent, and said he'd be buried with it. What a waste. If there was an object I loved that much, I'd leave it to someone I loved. Then again, Tuttle didn't really have anyone, did he?

— Brenda's patient was afraid to cross bridges for fear that he would be tempted to jump off.

— We heard about (but didn't see) Edie's performance piece on Claire. How awful and insensitive. Forgive my sexism, but that sounded more like what a guy would do.

And pieces:

— "Lawrence Tuttle, 1969-2004." Tuttle actually had a Superman spit curl. Nice touch. Except, as I'll tiresomely repeat, most of us sci-fi geeks aren't like that.

— George and Nate finally bonded, over buying local vegetables and kicking geek ass. They also both started crying for no reason at all, although not when they were together.

— Billy Chenowith, substitute teacher until the end of the semester. I got the feeling that Claire was ready to throw herself at any guy who could satisfy her in bed, and for a few moments, I was really afraid it would be Billy. Thankfully, no. Not yet, anyway.

— "Grinding the corn" is a sex technique. Seemed to work, at least for Claire. Apparently, all she needed was someone who was good in bed.

— Billy said he and Brenda were still estranged. Good news. I wonder how Billy will react to the news that Brenda is back with Nate.

— Bettina and Ruth were riding horses on a beach that looked a lot like Southern California to me.


David: "You're serious? You slept with Celeste?"
Keith: "It was just once. It was an accident."
David: "You were walking by and you just happened to fall into her vagina?"

Claire: "Pussy, per se, does not gross me out. I just didn't know what exactly to do with it." Pussy, per se. Hilariously alliterative.

Bettina: (on the phone) "Well, I don't like lawyers, but you give him a blow job if you have to."

Bettina: "Horrible and terrible often lead to fun and adventure." Or not.

Nate: "I love that little coffin refrigerator."
Claire: "Thank you."

Keith: "Look, I fucked Celeste, you fucked veiny guy from La Habra. Tit for tat. We're even."
David: "Okay, you don't get to say the word 'tit' to me, ever. I'm taking a shower."
Keith: "Yeah, well don't blow anybody while you're in there."

Three stars,

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


  1. Hi Billie! I've loved reading your reviews after watching each episode. I usually just read a summary afterwards with shows I'm watching. I'm definitely enjoying the bonuses you add. I must say I second your thoughts on how the sci-fi community is portrayed. I am a HUGE BTVS fan. I'm in my 30's and I've been obsessed with Buffy since I was 6. I love reading your references to Buffy in your reviews. I consider myself a bit unconventional when it comes to what is considered a 'sci-fi geek.' First of all I am hispanic. People usually make assumptions about me. Like you said we get degrees, haha! I teach elementary school. I'm married with 2 girls. Oh and I totally Vasquez from Aliens! I love her I love her! I geeked out when you mentioned her in another SFU review. I was like look who it is! Anyway, again, I love your reviews.

  2. Anonymous, thanks so much for your comment, from one sci-fi geek to another. :)

  3. I think the horse getting put down reflected of Ruth and her marriage: that trying to save it would be like beating a dead horse.


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