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Six Feet Under: I'm Sorry, I'm Lost

David: "Is that all life is? We just go through it replacing people?"
Nathaniel: "Pretty much. Some people just do it faster and more often than others."

Nate hit bottom in a great big, self-destructive way. And after weeks of degenerating behavior and lashing out at everyone, Nate officially became a widower on the very day that Ruth remarried. Marrying Lisa was a selfish act and he knew it. He can never make it up to her now.

It's a tribute to Peter Krause's acting talent (and quite possibly his great big soulful eyes) that Nate is so lovable that I still felt for him. I mean, really. He left Maya alone, verbally abused a grief-stricken client, screwed a strange woman (who made her little boy leave the room, so sad), and picked a fight in a bar so that he could get a stranger to punish him. That scene near the end where he was drunk and covered with blood, driving around with his dead father riding shotgun and yelling at him to kill himself, was pretty intense.

Nate said over and over that he didn't want to die, and he came very close to death again in this season finale, just as he has in the previous two finales. I think Nate is terrified by death, but he finds it seductive at the same time: no more problems, no more pain. Fortunately, instead of killing himself, Nate turned to Brenda. Who has made some good changes in her life. Will the two of them reconnect and make it work? Or will they just destroy each other again?

Claire's sweet, uncomplicated vision of the afterlife was surprisingly moving, an alternate dimension where everyone was happy and everything was made right. Gabe was there, happily taking care of his little brother Anthony. Lisa was there, taking care of Claire's aborted baby for her. Claire has softened, become so adult and genuine; she found it easier to talk about her feelings, to tell Nathaniel and Gabe that she loved them. Her recent bitter disappointments and losses have been tough. Which was probably why she lost it and started sobbing uncontrollably and inappropriately at Ruth's and George's "marry in haste" ceremony at the Guadalupe Wedding Chapel.

At least David and Keith have reconciled, and that felt good. They went back to their beginnings — church, a safe place, and where they met — and talked honestly about their feelings for the first time in a long time, and possibly ever. I loved seeing them like that. Keith finally said the things that David needed to hear. Why hadn't he said it before? Sometimes I guess we have to lose something before we see its value. The two of them talked about doing the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing, not for the hope of heaven. I think that also dovetailed nicely with all of the other themes in this exceptional episode.

Bits:

— The Opening Death was one of my favorites. The father who released the pigeon said that God might have other plans for it. And then it inadvertently caused a chain reaction that ended with a bizarre urban legend death by blue ice. It was Dead Like Me funny.

— The first line in this episode was the father telling the daughter, "It's time to say goodbye." We said goodbye to Lisa. And, in a way, Nathaniel.

— Brenda met her neighbor, Joe, who feeds stray cats and plays the French horn, an instrument that isn't intended to be heard alone. (Oh, no, I feel a pun coming on... he's horny, isn't he?) Brenda was giving Joe all sorts of reasons why she couldn't sleep with him waaaaay before he asked, which made me think she's absolutely going to sleep with him at some point.

— Angelica was wearing one of Rico's shirts. She's taking his place in his own home.

— The stripper who picked up Rico was named Infinity. I thought it was interesting that Rico was so married in his head that he didn't really know how to cheat correctly.

— People were leaving the Fisher kitchen with coffee cups and not bringing them back. Symbolic of people leaving and never returning.

And pieces:

— "Anahid Hovanessian, 1951-2003." And "Lisa Kimmel Fisher, 1967-2003."

— We still don't know how Lisa died. And is Gabe really dead? Or was it just what Claire was expecting would happen to him? Maybe Claire just needed to say goodbye to him in her head.

— Nate and Ruth finally had the screaming fight they never had about him staying in LA because she asked him to. The Fishers don't often have screaming fights.

— Again, Brenda was so happy, so composed and calm, so in control of her life for a change... because she was away from her exceptionally toxic family. I liked her celibate and meditating a lot more than when she was sleeping around. (Does that mean that deep down, I'm a prude?)

— Ruth's creamy wedding suit and long hair style was just gorgeous and showed how beautiful she could be. Huge difference from brown duds and a bun.

— In alternate universe cemetery-land, Anthony had to go to the bathroom. That's not fair. I think if you're dead, you shouldn't have to go to the bathroom any more.

— George started his tenure as head of the family by calling a family meeting at 4:30 in the morning. Although I give him credit for at least trying to help Nate.

— Lots of really interesting music in this episode. The most striking ones were "It keeps you running," which related to Nate, and "Move it on over," which was what George just did to Nathaniel.

— Nearly everyone saw Nathaniel. Ruth saw him in the pantry right after her wedding. He looked at her reproachfully, and she couldn't bring herself to speak to him. That was sad.

Quotes:

George: "Nate, I love your mother. And she loves me."
Nate: "Yeah, it's just so fucking moving I can hardly stand it."
Come on. Bad timing much? They really should have waited.

Ruth: "Do your children approve?"
George: "They're... supportive. But Maggie says to just send pictures. And Brian said six and he's done."

Claire: "God, you're so fucking sad."
Nate: "I know."

David: "I had already seen you a couple of times, getting out of your car, all studly. You looked so intense, the way you pointed your little alarm thingy at your car, like 'fuck you, car, now you're locked'."
Keith: "Please."

Keith: "Don't you know I think you're beautiful?"
David: "No."
Keith: "And kind and smart and loving? You didn't know that?"
David: "No."
See, Keith, you actually have to tell David those things. Like, out loud. He's the insecure type.

Nathaniel: "So how's life?"
Claire: "Hmm. How's death?"
Nathaniel: "Good, good. Made some new friends, joined the chess team."

Claire: "I wish I could have helped you more."
Gabe: "Oh Claire, come on. There was nothing anybody could do. Life just wasn't the right environment for me."

Brenda: "You read all these articles, you know, how Austin's supposed to be this hip, hot enclave of artists, but God! it was more just hot. A million degrees at all times." I lived in Austin for a year and this is exactly how I felt about that city.

Claire: "Lisa, if I'd known you were going to die, I would have hung out with you more."

Four out of four stars,

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

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