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Six Feet Under: An Open Book

David: "Yes, men are pigs."
Tracy: "Or they're gay."

All about Brenda, a.k.a. Charlotte Light and Dark.

After a lifetime of avoiding permanent responsibilities, Nate has decided he now wants a real relationship to go with his real job. He's intrigued by Brenda because she is so different from his other women, so unconventional. But Brenda is a brilliant, damaged little girl. She was so insecure about introducing Nate to her dysfunctional family that she deliberately let him experience them without her. Nate's dinner party alone with the Chenowiths was outright bizarre. Nate has better manners than I do; I think I would have gotten up and walked out.

Brenda's brother Billy could be even worse news than their parents. Billy was waiting, nearly naked, in Brenda's apartment. The first thing Billy did when he met Nate was quote the scene in Chinatown where the Faye Dunaway character revealed her incestuous relationship with her father. The way Billy touched Brenda's chest, in front of Nate, also rang incestuous alarm bells. You could say I got the impression that this is not a healthy relationship.

One step forward, one step back. David may have finally (and unintentionally) come out to Nate (that was my favorite scene in this episode), but not telling the church official that he was gay when he knew it would make a difference: huge mistake. Not surprising that Keith was angry.

Ruth's serious attempts to repair her relationship with Claire were this week's comic relief. Cousin Hannah and Ginnie were like the Disney version of a mother/daughter relationship. Ruth and Claire are definitely more in the normal range: antagonistic, but they actually do love each other and sometimes find ways to relate. Unlike Brenda and Margaret Chenowith, who told Nate that Brenda was a master manipulator and liked to take center stage. What an incredibly cruel thing to tell your daughter's boyfriend. Even if it was true.


— I've been trying to find something in each Opening Death Scene that relates to the rest of the episode, but this one was tough. Be careful what you bring home? Rescuing strays can come back to bite you? Cats are better roommates than men, except when you leave electric curlers heating near the bathtub?

— Brenda gave Nate a key to her apartment. She officially let him in, physically as well as emotionally.

— Brenda and Billy identified strongly with Nathaniel and Isabel, two literary orphans who had adventures. Brenda and Billy were very close as children, and preferred the fantasy of being orphans. Billy even referred to the Chenowiths as "the parents" instead of "our parents." This didn't say much for Bernard and Margaret Chenowith.

— When David was being sworn in, or whatever, as deacon, he imagined that the church was filled with naked men. Come on, David. Wake up and smell the coffee.

— Hannah and Ginnie were watching Gilmore Girls on television. Actually, they were the Gilmore Girls.

And pieces:

— "Jean Louise McArthur, 'Viveca St. John', 1957-2001." The porn stars doing eulogies were just hilarious. I especially loved Sandra Oh's bit about the Xanax. Ruth's reaction to them was pretty funny, as well.

— As David was yelling at Nate to show some respect toward Viveca, I was thinking she probably would have loved Nate and Rico laughing as they relived her "professional accomplishments."

— Jeremy Sisto (Billy Chenowith) is now in the cast.

— We learned that David is 31. Claire is 17.

— Brenda is an atheist. Nate believes in God.

— Father Jack definitely picked up on David going to church in West Hollywood.

— Claire is now having sessions with a hot, young school shrink. She had a good point: that she stole a foot because she lived in a house where a foot was available to be stolen. Sort of like kids picking up guns because their parents left them around.

— A little HBO product placement: David and Keith were watching Oz.

— I would really love to see a meeting of the gay firemen and police officers club, but we keep missing it.

— Ruth had a tough childhood. She was poor, and had to care for a grandmother who had lost both legs. That revelation might have been better placed in the foot episode.

— The delightfully annoying funeral groupie, Tracey Montrose Blair, showed up at church. (Ruth: "She seems nice." David: "She seems nuts.") Was she stalking David? I guess for a funeral groupie, David would be a hot catch.

— This episode was directed by Academy award winning actress, Kathy Bates. She did a fabulous job.


Claire: "You see, she gets up on this cross and there's no talking to her."

Ruth: "This is an entire movie about expelling gas."

Ginnie: "Okay, I have the greatest idea. You guys are coming to spinning class with us tomorrow morning, bright and early."
Claire: "No offense, but I'd rather drive a rusty railroad spike through my skull."

Viveca: "You think God cares if you're gay?"

Nate: "Thanks for buying me breakfast."
Brenda: "Thank you for finding my G-spot this morning."

Nate: "This is Brenda. My, uh... my girlfriend."
Brenda: "I prefer the term 'fuck puppet'."

Nate: "I think David is gay."
Brenda: "I think David is lucky. Did you get a look at that guy?"

Nate: "How did you get her breasts synchronized? Some sort of industrial epoxy?"
Rico: "Would you ask Colonel Sanders for his secret recipe?"

Marvelous. Four stars,

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

1 comment:

  1. Maybe the opening refered vaguely to being open/honest with who you are: David being gay, Brenda being... Brenda, Claire and her mom being a mother and a daughter instead of being friends.
    I long for the gay firemen and polive officers, too! :)


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