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Six Feet Under: A Private Life

David: "It's not a choice. God already made the choice for you."

Brenda finally committed Billy. And David finally came out to his mother.

Another ghost for David, and it hit David where he lived. The ghost of Marc Foster showed us that deep down, David was still buying into his church's position: that being gay was a choice. David at least partially believed that he was going to hell for being gay. Like Marc Foster.

Marc Foster's death was (intentionally, I'm sure) similar to the tragic death of Matthew Shepard in 1998. Anti-gay protesters attended Shepard's funeral with signs like the ones we saw here. I will never understand how people who are supposed to be Christians can do sick things like that. And I'm proud to say that one of my friends who lived in Wyoming at the time was one of the counter protesters who tried to protect Shepard's family. But I digress.

Speaking of sick, Billy finally went over the edge in a big way, and Brenda finally had to commit him. She left it way too long, and was almost too late. The scene where Billy set up that "photo exhibit" for Nate was intensely disturbing. "Your sister and me, 2001." "My sister and you, 2001." "You did this to yourself, 2001." And the thing with the tattoos was very scary and realistic. I actually thought Billy was going to seriously injure or kill Nate or Brenda.

Gabe was still all sensitive and lovable, but it felt like he was going to explode at any moment. Gabe thinks Claire might be too good for him, and I think he's right. Claire's session with her school counselor was a wonderful Claire snapshot. She's part rebellious adolescent, part serious adult, and most of what her peers do just bores her. ("God. The people in this school. They have the mentality of teenagers.") I particularly liked her "freaky cyber identities" – scientologist, young Christian wife. Claire fearlessly explores what it's like to be someone completely different than herself. That's a courageous thing to do.


— Billy cut off his own tattoo (ouch) and tried to cut off Brenda's. The tattoos were their link to each other as children. Billy was trying to punish Brenda by literally cutting off their connection.

— Brenda was watching a movie called Bunny Lake is Missing. I've seen it, and I'm going to spoil it for you. It was about a woman whose little girl disappeared. Turned out her psycho brother kidnapped the little girl because he wanted his sister to be all his again, just like when they were kids. Obvious parallel to Billy.

— Ruth told David that she loved all of him, not just a part of him, like a chicken. Food again.

And pieces:

— "Marcus Foster, Jr., 1978-2001."

— David came out to Rico, and this time, he did it himself. Rico is homophobic, probably because of the culture in which he was raised. (Hopefully that's all it is.) Maybe working with David will help Rico get past it.

— Keith was obviously proud that David attacked the protester. He was also worried that David would get hurt.

— David wants to be a father.

— Claire didn't tell her school counselor about her relationship with Gabe. I think it was because there was a romantic vibe going on between Claire and the counselor.

— Ruth confessed to Robbie that she didn't "pleasure herself" until she was 52. Now, that's repressed. No wonder she was having so much fun dating.

— Sometime in the past, Brenda was in love with a guy named Trevor. Billy got rid of him by getting sick. This is what Billy does to control Brenda. It didn't work this time.


Ruth: "Nate was an extremely gassy baby, always crying. David, on the other hand, hardly ever made a peep." What about Claire? Forever the afterthought.

Gabe: "You know, it's kind of funny, me coming back to school in a hearse."

Counselor: "What happened with the literary magazine?"
Claire: "Censorship. I wrote this totally like, harmless like, cartoon story about this girl who can make people's heads explode, and apparently it was too disturbing to publish."
(Later in the episode, Claire drew a picture of her counselor's head exploding. I love Claire. I really do.)

Nate: "I finally find a woman I want to commit to, and she makes it totally impossible."
Ruth: "You think that's a coincidence?"

Protester: "God killed Marc Foster, and I'm here to celebrate."
David: (hits him) "God just shoved your stomach into your lungs, and I'm here to celebrate! (hits him again) Look! God just got you in the face!"

Exceptional episode. Hard to watch. Four stars,

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

1 comment:

  1. What a tough episode...David's struggle with his sexuality is handled not only sensitively and heartbreaking, but also eerily realistic. I usually don't mind violence in movies, but I had to look away when Marc was so brutally killed.
    It finally came to me who the actor of Billy reminds me of: Jim Morrison in his early years!He's doing a great job with the lacking material he's getting. How did Billy turn from an intriguing character to a one note so quickly?


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