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Six Feet Under: The Room

Nathaniel: "So many questions. Why couldn't you ask them when I was still alive?"

We all want to connect with someone who knows us completely. Yet we all have our secret rooms. Letting someone in is the hard part, because when we lose them, how can we ever recover from such a loss?

This episode made me all philosophical; I think it had even more layers of meaning than usual. Nathaniel took his Vietnam photos of Ruth to his secret room with him... but he didn't take Ruth herself. He was a stranger to her, and to their children. Discovering Nathaniel's hidden depths scared Nate, because Nate worries so much about never connecting, about dying alone. Perhaps that was why Nate was voraciously devouring Charlotte, Light and Dark as if it held the key to understanding Brenda. (And maybe it does.)

Brenda, totally fixated on her brother, didn't want Claire to go near him. Billy did his best to seduce Claire, and why? To get back at Nate for taking Brenda away from him. For awhile there, I was worried that he might rape Claire. Billy is a scary guy.

I felt so bad for David. There he was, longing for Keith, feeding the poor instead of emotionally nourishing himself. Pretending to be Jim, a lawyer from Boston, and having sex with a stranger. It was telling that David immediately thought that Nathaniel's secret room was for sexual liaisons. We all project our own stuff upon others, don't we?


— The Opening Death reflected the theme of the episode. Mr. Jones couldn't leave Hattie alone in the funeral parlor because he couldn't live without her. They were together for 56 years and she was the only person who really knew who he was.

— Ruth, surrounded by relics of a life that no longer existed, looked for a connection with a new man, but was only offered sex. Ruth's suitors were Hiram Gunderson, a straight hairdresser, and Nikolai, a straight florist. I noticed that these are both stereotypically gay occupations. That must have been a deliberate choice by the writers, but I can't think why.

And pieces:

— "Mildred 'Hattie' Effinger Jones, 1922-2001." Was this our first natural, peaceful death?

— In keeping with the general episode theme of longing for a connection, Tracy stepped up her pursuit of David, and he tromped all over her. I almost felt sorry for her.

— Nathaniel took sexy photos of Ruth to Vietnam with him. Didn't Ruth look a lot like Claire?

— The scene where Nate was imagining all the crazy things Nathaniel could have been doing in his secret room (drugs, gambling, hookers, going postal with a rifle) was just classic. The rifle bit reminded me of Lee Harvey Oswald in JFK.

— Nate is a Libra. I'm a Libra. I used to date another Libra and it didn't work out. Does this mean that Nate and I would never work out as a couple? Darn.


Nate: "My father traded a funeral for oil changes?"

David: "Thank you, Nate. I appreciate your honesty, wrapped as it was in such a bouquet of condescension."

Claire: "Omigod. It's like meeting Gandhi or Jesus." Claire hit it off with Brenda because she loved Charlotte, Light and Dark. They made a fun pair.

Brenda: "Are you going to be okay here alone?"
Mr. Jones: "Everybody's alone."

The ending made me cry. Four out of four stars,

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


  1. I'm re-watching this after a few years. Still better than a lot of other series.

  2. Agreed. You pick up alot of symbolism with each repeated viewing. I especially found Billy's interaction with Claire to be amazing too.... How he's dashing and seductive to her when he's taking pictures of her at her high school, and then how quickly, and subtly his demeanor changes after he asks Claire if Nate has given signs on the status of his relationship with Brenda. He was almost like a spy trying to discern information from the enemy.

  3. Everyone in this family seems to have secrets, except for Nate maybe. He is the odd one, having left but still being connected to every family member, except maybe his dad. Ruth, Claire, David, but also the deceased dad don't feel particularily close - I wonder why?

    When you hear the line "You know nothing", you automatically add "...Jon Snow" in your head, don't you?

  4. ... and what I forgot to add: David had the saddest storyline. I had to check to make sure I haven'T left an episode out. So Keith and ihm broke up? Let's hope it's only temporary since they are so cute together.
    In another live, he really could have been a lawyer from Boston so the question what made him stay at home with his dad seems to me much more interesting than why Nate and his dad drifted apart.


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