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Six Feet Under: The New Person

Rico: "I'm never going to become a partner, am I?"
Nate: "I can't offer you that. Unless you want to marry Claire."

The Fishers may be the Addams Family, but the Chenowiths are the emotional equivalent of the Mansons.

Billy's exhibition was brilliant, visceral, inappropriate, and sick, and so was he. And so was his mother. Billy and Margaret were like self-absorbed human hand grenades. Margaret was drunk and hitting on everyone, including Nate. Billy managed to hit Nate in a completely different way, invading his privacy and exposing him, quite literally, to ridicule.

As strange as it seems, it turns out that Brenda is the sane one. For me, the story Brenda told about giving up her scholarship was a perfect capsule portrait of the Chenowiths. Margaret told eighteen-year-old Brenda that Billy had committed suicide, and that was most certainly NOT a Freudian slip; Margaret was punishing Brenda for her success, and for trying to leave. Adolescent Billy's motives for experimenting with bomb-making may not have been as clear, but he certainly didn't want her to leave, either. Brenda gave up her scholarship. They won, and she lost. I felt sorry for Brenda, for the first time.

The inappropriate behavior theme also applied to the much lighter and funnier misbehavior of Angela, Rico's short-lived replacement. Sexy clothes, scented candles, uncontrollable gas, Angela was too out there even for Nate. But my, she was funny. And at least we now have Rico back. I missed Rico.

Claire, who confessed to Nate that she felt like an "annoying extra person" (does she feel like an unwanted child?) was dealing with her own grief by helping Gabe with his. Even though I'm glad Gabe gave Claire a truly heartfelt apology for his earlier behavior, I still think that anyone who kisses and tells is bad news.

This episode ended with Angela inadvertently outing David to his mother. Guess we'll have to wait until the next episode for Ruth's reaction.


— The Opening Death was sort of about inappropriate behavior, too, with John Billingsley from Star Trek: Enterprise playing a boring motor-mouth describing every excruciating detail of his workday to his wife. She didn't have to kill him, though. There is such a thing as divorce.

And pieces:

— "Jonathan Arthur Hanley, 1946-2001." Poor guy. His only crime was being boring.

— Illeana Douglas was just wonderful as the unconventional Angela.

— David threw himself at Keith. David wanted Keith back in the worst way, but he was going about it all wrong. Keith didn't just want sex. Keith wanted a partner who accepted and loved himself.

— David did a fantasy song and dance about having a lot of living to do. Michael C. Hall has a wonderful voice.

— Ruth started dating Nikolai. Saw that coming, even though he sort of scares her. I think she's more afraid of herself with him, than of him.

— Brenda's description of Dr. Feinberg, the author of Charlotte, Light and Dark, was just wonderful: "He's a fucking evil dead fish of a fucking Nazi fuck."

— Billy trashed Feinberg's office. His rage is escalating. He's getting dangerous. And Brenda just told Billy that she loved Nate. Uh oh.

— Tracy, the funeral groupie, was back. And obviously confused by the vibes she got from David and Keith.

— Keith mentioned a sister with a drug problem.


Margaret: "That explains why you're looking at me like I just took a giant dump on your front lawn."

Angela: "Give me a break, David. They're just nipples."

Billy: "Bren, I am not threatened by your boyfriend." I can't believe he actually said that.

Nate: "She's a little hard to take."
David: "She's a lot hard to take."
Boys, boys, boys. Why didn't you do a reference check?

Angela: "I spilled some beet salad on someone's wig, so David said I should eat up here."

David: "My god, you could eat off this skin."

Ruth: "Thank you. I've had the best time coming to this funny restaurant and having you yell at me in the bathroom."

Nate: "Okay, no offense, but your family is fucked up beyond comprehension."

Another good one. Three stars,

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

1 comment:

  1. Is Gabe going to kill himself? Suicide in borad strokes was after all a theme in this episode: Brenda's betrayal by her parents with the fake out suicide. Angela doing professional suicide and getting fired really quickly. David killing his 2nd chance with Keith (boo!).
    But can I say Ruth's storyline is so boring? More Claire, less Ruth please. I wouldn't mind if Nate and Brenda broke up too. Their relationship feels like an endless, pointless struggle.


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