Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Six Feet Under: Time Flies

George: "No, omen. It's pronounced 'omen'."

Nate actually killed the bluebird of happiness. I love this show.

That bird was probably the most obvious bit of symbolism in a series chock full to the brim with symbolism. Nate was actively destroying his chances for happiness. In fact, the whole episode was like a foreshadowing-of-death extravaganza for Nate. The bird kept disrupting the party, and the party kept disintegrating. It ended with Nate apologizing to the bird, who was lying dead in the trash can. This can't be good.

Yes, life begins at forty, but it's also one big step closer to death. Nate told Maggie that he felt alone, and lonely. He and Brenda had a screaming fight (about Billy, what a surprise) while waiting in line for their own bathroom. And he was about to make a pass at Maggie. I mean, really, Nate. I love him, but he's such a dog.

Billy finally disintegrated enough that Claire couldn't help but notice. I thought the little scene where Billy and George commiserated together on the porch, compared meds, and did "Daddy sang bass" was just a gem of a scene. Just two unwanted nuts on a porch.

The Keith and David parenting quest has started to feel like brief moments of sanity, although this time, it was more like comic relief. "Proposing" to Mary the surrogate. Parenting practice with Roger's kids, who were wildly sexually precocious and acting like over-analytical little adults. What is Keith doing working for Roger, anyway? All he apparently does is run errands. At least it worked out for them in a karmic sort of way, if Roger's wife can get them back on the adoption track.


— Nate and Lila, the Opening Death, had the same birthday. And Brenda discovered she was pregnant on Nate's fortieth birthday. The Opening Death in the bathroom segued into Nate in the bathroom completely oblivious to the pregnancy test Brenda left right out in the open.

— Brenda and her boss were making origami cranes that were hanging all over Brenda's and Nate's house. I assume it was the wish thing and related to Brenda's pregnancy: if you make a thousand origami cranes, your wish is supposed to come true. But this episode was also about a foreshadowing bird of death.

— A bird interrupted Nate's and Brenda's wedding in the season opener, too.

— In the restaurant, the waitress asked Mary if she was finished with her eggs, and she said yes.

— Ruth was "unwinding" in a knitting class.

— Brenda sent Nate to Whole Foods. That sounded just like Lisa, who frequently sent Nate to Whole Foods. And whom he also knocked up, married, and didn't love.

— Rico had dinner with Vanessa and the boys, and turned down the Fritos that represented Angela and infidelity.

— Billy's "Ski Iraq" tee-shirt wasn't just anti-war; it was also a contradiction.

— The ghost of Nathaniel was back in the house. Maybe he was no longer feeling threatened by George. Or Nate was seeing it that way.

And pieces:

— "Lila Simonds Coolidge, 1909-2005." There are much worse ways to go than dying on the john at the age of 95 after leading a productive, happy life.

— David was tempted to cheat but stayed faithful to Keith. Finally.

— Camping trip Todd was getting a divorce. Not a surprise. Although I was surprised that Claire slept with him.


Claire: "What is your problem?"
Billy: "Nothing. I just don't think I can wear clothes today."
Yeah, that's normal.

Nathaniel: "The next forty fly by much faster. It'll be over before you know it."
Nate: "Time flies when you're having fun, huh?"
Nathaniel: "No, huh-uh. Time flies when you're pretending to have fun. Time flies when you're pretending to love Brenda and that baby she wants so much. Time flies when you're pretending to know what people mean when they say 'love'."

Claire: "Light from a cake is such a great light. We should just live in cake light."

Ruth: "These past five years with you have been a gift, Nate." And yet more foreshadowing.

Ruth: "Seriously, what kind of plan is that, to let a sick bird run wild in the house pooping?"

Claire: "No. I don't want to go. It's my brother's birthday. There's a bird in the kitchen."

I loved this one. Four stars,

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


  1. When the bird flies into Claire and Billy's room, Coldplay's 'Speed of Sound' is playing in the background. Less than five seconds after it flies in, the song gets to the line 'birds come flying at the speed of sound.' Also, if the motif is birds representing a chance of happiness, then it's like a reverse of Poe's The Raven - or it could be the same way round; a bird keeps interfering with the protagonist's chances for happiness.

    1. Agreed.
      That is Arcade Fire Rebellion playing though.
      I know it says it's Coldplay in the credits but that is wrong.

    2. It is Coldplay and then the episode ends with arcade fire. Great music throughout, thinking back to a Radiohead around the bonfire

    3. Both “Speed of Sound” by Coldplay and “Rebellion” by Arcade Fire are played at the party.

  2. I seem to be the only person I can find that thinks the bird is a symbol for Lisa in re-incarnation... The bird disrupting the wedding, disrupting his birthday party. I think there's some other bird symbolism too but I always thought it was just Lisa showing herself in his life.

  3. I love your take, though I always thought the bird symbolised Nate feeling trapped in his life. No matter what he did or who he was with he just felt trapped and unhappy.

  4. The Daddy Sang Bass song that George and Billy (of all people...) were singing is about soon being reunited with family after death. More foreshadowing, and fitting with Nate and Nathanial's chatting about life a bit earlier.

    1. I didn’t notice that until reading your comment. That’s a good observation. I’m going to watch the series again. I bet that there’s a lot that I’ll notice the second time watching

  5. Camping trip is in two episodes: one where Nate kills a snake and another where Nate kills a bird.


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.