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Six Feet Under: In the Game

Nate: "I'm going to try and put this all out of my head, no pun intended, and just get on with my life."

Nate may be dying. But at least he passed the funeral director's test.

Brenda said, "Maybe that car accident we had gave me some weird Oliver Sacks blow to the head disease." That was just so Brenda; she's the center of the world, and nobody else exists but her. Nate was having a serious personal crisis. Yes, he wasn't talking about it, but he was clearly upset about something and she was totally oblivious. In the final scene on the beach, Nate fantasized about walking right into the ocean and killing himself. I think he's terrified of death, but sort of fascinated at the same time. Or maybe he just wanted to get it over with, like going to the dentist.

Nate's "dream" was just fascinating, and the meaning was obvious. Nathaniel saved a place for Nate at the death table. Death (a white man) and his partner Life (a black woman) were playing Chinese checkers. Life said to Nate, "It's your turn." And then Life and Death started boinking. "Big cosmic mystery. Right there, right in front of you." The spirit is deathless and eternal, Nathaniel told Nate. Life and death are different sides of the same game.

Keith, also known as Mr. Gay Black America, appeared to have the perfect boyfriend and the perfect life, while David was out in the cold, looking for someone like Keith. Unfortunately, that nice fireman who wanted a stable, long-term relationship wasn't interested in David.

Comic relief was provided by Ruth's well-meaning bring-your-sex-partner-home-to-dinner party. Oh my, so funny. Incredible awkwardness, Nikolai's inappropriate prayer-fest, and Nate stoned out of his mind on that stray tab of X that was indeed lurking in the aspirin bottle. Some people are just delightful when they're high, and Nate was just that: delightful. It certainly broke the ice.

Bits:

— Becky had no family, no real friends, and was working on a pointless slasher flick when she accidentally OD'd. A pointless life, followed by a pointless death, and she went to the crematory in a cardboard box. It was like she never existed at all. I think Nate was seeing his life in those terms.

And pieces:

— "Rebecca Leah Milford, 1980-2001."

— Jeremy Sisto was nowhere to be seen and no longer in the cast. Richard Jenkins (Nathaniel) was back as a guest star, though. I was worried that his appearance in the first season ender was kind of final-like. Thankfully, no.

— Claire was still trying to fix Gabe. Give it up, Claire.

— Surgery didn't seem to be a possibility for Nate. I loved how Nate told that jerk of a doctor off. I never have the nerve to do things like that.

— David got himself tested and all he had was the clap. He was lucky.

— We met Rico's sister-in-law, she of the cat food commercials. I didn't like her.

— Becky's funeral was outright silly, with that hilarious, asinine song her boyfriend made up, and her friends snorting her ashes out of the Thai mini-urns. Poor Becky.

Quotes:

Brenda: "My whole life seems like a bad dream. It's like somebody else's life. Like, if my life were a movie, I'd fall asleep or I'd walk out." This sort of alluded to Becky, our Opening Death.

Brody: "Then we could scatter her ashes some place she really liked. Like Griffith Park, or the Lava Lounge on La Brea." The movie Nate was watching also mentioned Griffith Park.

Ruth: "When I was your age, I actually had a little crush on Jane Fonda."
Claire: "Well, she's single again, so now's your chance."

Nate: "I read somewhere that you should take an aspirin every day. It keeps the blood thin."
David: "Please. If our blood were any thinner, we'd evaporate."

Nathaniel: "You're in the game now, buddy boy, whether you like it or not."

Four stars, mostly for that wonderful dinner party and Nate's dream,

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

1 comment:

  1. That must have been the funniest episode so far. Nate high as a kita was such a treat :) Everyone in the family had now been high so far, right? Loved the shot of David with the lamp right over his head like a halo.
    Brenda is so annoying though, and indeed completely oblivious to what's going on with Nate. Why is he dating her again?
    The end didn't seem like a suicide daydream to me, more like a "I run for miles even though my doctor says I shouldn't" thing.

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