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Six Feet Under: Tears, Bones and Desire

Ruth: "You'll have to help yourselves. I'm out of control."

This episode had a couple of interesting, conflicting themes: inappropriate sexual behavior, and doing what makes you happy. There was "Daddy" with his four wives and many children. There was Ruth and Arthur redefining the term "odd couple." Olivier the teacher seducing Russell the student. And Keith and David having a paintball war as well as a threesome. Okay, the sexual behavior was mostly unconventional, not necessarily inappropriate. Except Olivier's.

I loved "gay paintball day." It was quite possibly the funniest sequence in the entire series. And as usual, there was a lot going on beneath the surface. Keith and his big, athletic cop-like friends, and David, with gay men's chorus friends, were literally shooting at each other, which was a wonderfully uninhibited way of showing discomfort with each other's lifestyles and choices. Keith was in his element for a change, and having a wonderful time. And then it segued into a threesome with Sarge, who was very much like Keith. Keith apparently enjoyed that a lot, too, while David seemed to be mildly freaked out by both experiences.

The strange little "Daddy" cult, wandering around the Fisher home spouting happiness and eating cheese, may have been way out there, but who were they hurting? (Well, other than spreading lice, which didn't do Vanessa and Julio any good.) "Daddy" was apparently so lovable that the women chose him, not the other way around. They practiced what they preached. The "Book of Daddy" told them all to sing and dance and to be happy, and they stayed that way even after his death, which was a lovely way to honor his memory. Not that I think polygamy is a viable lifestyle, since it mostly victimizes women. Polyandry, maybe.

Teenager Mary Jane was flirting with Nate, who was certainly the male at the Fisher house that I'd choose to pursue if I were "becoming a woman." She gave him a tiny mop with his name on it, which felt like a strange primitive custom of marking the man she wanted, and/or signalling her availability. It just felt inappropriate, though, because she was way too young, as well as fixated on Monterey Jack.

I was weirded out by Ruth's out of control sexual pursuit of Arthur, and then surprised when he reciprocated. When Ruth kissed Arthur the first time, she said, "Shit, shit!" and he said what she always says when someone swears: "Language!" It was like role reversal, with Ruth as the horny young man and Arthur as the little old lady. At least Ruth was honest about what she felt, and she wasn't Arthur's boss or teacher. What Olivier, teacher, obviously just did to Russell, his student, was completely out of bounds.

I can sort of get why Lisa decided to meet Brenda in such a subterfugy way. Lisa had to be terribly curious about Brenda. But trying to pump Brenda about her personal life, hoping she would mention Nate? That was shifty. I mean, call her, talk to her, see if she'll go out to lunch with you. Do it above board. Oddly enough, Lisa came out of the massage room feeling a lot less threatened by Brenda. Maybe that was because she saw Brenda in her professional persona, not how Brenda really was.


— Spending every Sunday in a graveyard isn't healthy? Pot, kettle. Rico takes his kids to work. Gee, I wonder where Vanessa could possibly have acquired a fixation with death?

— Lisa was naked in front of Brenda, both physically and emotionally.

— Mops. An old-fashioned, traditional women's role sort of thing. The "Daddy" cult was selling them to make money.

— The wives were singing "Horse with No Name" in the opener. "Daddy" and "The People" had no name.

And pieces:

— "Daddy, 1940-2003." Followed by another tombstone: Vanessa's mother, Deyanita Suarez, 1946-2003. Mommy.

— "Got mud?" was on a fridge at Carmen's place.

— Sarge hinted that he was going to try to take David away from Keith.

— Arthur has always felt so asexual to me that I was really surprised that he responded to Ruth's passes.

— All that anger on Rico's part, and the lice wasn't Vanessa's fault. Vanessa needs a grief counselor.

— Completely pointless observation. Keith was angry about the leading lady game in which he was supposed to be Jeanne Tripplehorn. And Jeanne Tripplehorn is now starring in a series called Big Love in which she is head wife in a polygamous marriage.

— The cheese thing reminded me of the fourth season Buffy episode, "Restless," where Cheese Guy kept showing up for no reason.


Nate: "Holy fuck!"
Considering it was a religious, polygamous group he was commenting on, how appropo.

Claire: "You could do, like, a Warhol series, only with polygamous Mennonite concubines."

Rico: "Oh, man. Why us?"
David: "They live three blocks away. We're neighbors."
Nate: "Neighbors with children of the fucking corn."
Rico: "I don't want to be down there alone with sharp things and a Manson chick."

Terry: "Hi. We'd like to play with the other gay children."

David: "I gave you hints. How could you forget Waterworld? It was three hours long."

Patrick: "Where are we supposed to go?"
Terry: "To Magic Mountain, like normal fags."
David: "Sarge said there's good cover a couple meters that way."
Patrick: "I can't do metric conversion in combat, David."

Keith: "Come on, you fa-la-la mimosa motherfuckers."

Arthur: "They have some interesting beliefs."
Ruth: "They certainly believe in dairy. All the little ones beg for cheese."

Claire: "I really should..."
Carmen: "Look, you're a really white person. The desert is dangerous to you. It's like driving in a microwave."

Claire: "I'm not fucking him."
Carmen: "Oh. Is he having a boy year?"

Great episode. Gay paintball day alone made me want to give it four stars,

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

1 comment:

  1. I felt so sorry for Lisa. That's a first. She's so insecure about her relationship with Nate that I don't see it possibly working out. For some reason she just doesn't trust Nate. I'm sort of sad that we didn't get to see the start of their marriage, because we're missing context. They didn't start out as this unhappy couple, or they wouldn't have married. Whatever caused their relationship to implode, they need to break up. Neither of them is getting anything positive out of it, nor will their daughter.


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