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Six Feet Under - 3/16/03 (1 Viewer)

Patrick Sun

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Not sure what to make of the episode, but there was definitely a lot to make note of (though how this play in the overall season, still not too sure):

1. Ruth's burgeoning lesbian affair with a shoplifter.

2. Claire finally kicking the crematory dude to the curb.

3. Claire finding her artistic voice in school. Liked the new instructor's point of view.

4. Nate pulling over to pull on himself. Things are not as happy as he wants them to be.

5. Lisa finally growing a spine, although at the detriment of her family's living situation. Nate was not a happy guy at that development either. Something's gotta give.

6. Ruth is still terrified of Lisa's wrath over handling her grandchild.

7. David's insecurities of his homosexuality being on display is still a problem for him. He and Keith still fight over small things, but get along in other moments.

8. Rico doesn't have an empathetic bone in his body.
 

Todd Terwilliger

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Lisa projects everything onto the child. I thought Nate was on the verging of snapping about that this week - he had a great look he was giving her as she remarked how the baby was "so absorbant". What is she, a sponge?
 

Michael Reuben

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8. Rico doesn't have an empathetic bone in his body.
I think that's overstating it. Rico is just discovering how difficult it is, now that he's a partner, to go from dealing with corpses to dealing with the living. His empathy is very much on display in the season 1 episode "Familia" (which I just rewatched), but he's learning a new role now. We've already seen him having to learn professional detachment from David (the separate funerals for the telemarketer and the disgruntled employee who killed him); now he's seeing Nate's special gift for empathasizing with the bereaved, which we've seen on many prior occasions.

The exchange between Rico and Nate was one of the most ominous this season. When Nate says that he can't bring Lisa and Maya "in here", my wife blanched and said, "I hope that's not foreshadowing of some sort."

The thematic key to the episode is in the title: "Another Voice". All of the plots revolve around characters hearing (and, in some cases, using) a voice that is at odds with what's become familiar to them. It starts right away with the unfortunate student who is run down in the street; instead of hearing the voice of her friends playing a prank, she heard the voice of a threatening rape gang. Ruth hears the call of the wild in Bettina's shoplifting. David hears, and briefly responds to, Keith's voice telling him to be unashamed of who and what he is. Clair hears the voice of the art teacher telling her to trust her feelings, and it inspires her to speak in a new voice to Phil. As for Nate, I think the "other voice" he's hearing is Brenda's. Is it any accident that he chose a semi-public place to jerk off? One of the things he and Brenda shared is their love of danger. Nate has given up every last bit of that behavior now (including selling the motorcyle), and it's eating away at him.

M.
 

Jack Fanning

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Outide of Lisa not discussing it with him, why was Nate so upset about leaving that house? Seems like he would much rather live with his loving (if a bit nutty) Mother than with that wackadoo. Doesn't make much sense to me.
 

Michael Reuben

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Outide of Lisa not discussing it with him, why was Nate so upset about leaving that house?
Because he no longer has a place where he can get away from the new family that now dominates his life. We saw that he needs such a place last week, when he was watching TV at Fisher and Diaz, instead of going home to Lisa and Maya.

Among other things, Nate's discovering that, like his father before him, he needs his own "room". (The discovery of Nate Sr.'s private room was one of season 1's best episodes.)

M.
 

Patrick Sun

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I was referring to Rico's professional life (and his lack of empathy on display).

I laughed when Rico didn't want to start talking about the relative hotness of their wives.
 

Michael Reuben

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I was referring to Rico's professional life
Me too. If you have the season 1 DVDs, watch "Familia". Rico's imaginary conversations with the corpse are quite moving. Rico's problem is that he hasn't yet learned how to translate those feelings into a professional demeanor suitable for the public portion of the business -- something that both David and Nate probably picked up from their father at a very early age.

M.
 

Patrick Sun

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Nate naturally has the gift of empathy, David's is more forced and has become more of politeness/decorum than actual empathy.

I didn't get the boxsets because they (to me) are a bit too expensive for 13 episodes (I'm too spoiled by Fox season sets where episodes are $3/episode or less).
 

Jodee

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I think the partnership will work if they allow each of them to focus on the areas they do best: David is the responsible business manager, Nate is best in dealing with the customers, and Rico is talented at working with the corpses.

I think between them they have all the bases of the funeral business covered. Rather than force Rico to deal with the grieving ones, why don't they let him focus on what it is he does best?
 

Todd Terwilliger

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Jodee,

I think the brothers would like to but I feel like it's Rico who is forcing them to bring him into other areas of the business that, at the moment, he is not particularly adept at.
 

ScottH

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So are those of you that were thinking that we're not seeing reality right now still thinking that? If that is the case, each week that goes by where they don't "let the cat out of the bag" (so to speak) makes it that much worse of a decision by the writers.
 

Michael Reuben

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I don't see how a credible case can be made for anything being a dream after Nate opened the coffin in "Perfect Circles". Everything before that was from Nate's point of view; 80% of everything that followed is from other people's points of view.

M.
 

Steve_Tk

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Is it a snake or some sort of tropical vine?
I love the writers for the show. That just shows how naive and innocent Ruth is, was hilarious. Seems like she is going to break that innocent shell wide open this season.

Well that was episode 3. Brenda should be here sometime soon. I think this Lisa thing is going to explode soon. You can tell just when Nate was watching Friends, that something is not right with him.

I don't think David and Keith will make it to season 4.
 

Michael Reuben

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How about the omniscient point of view in a dream?
There's no such thing. It's always, by definition, the dreamer's point of view, even when the dreamer isn't constrained by time and space.

There isn't one detail in the narrative of SFU, since Nate opened the coffin, to indicate that everything we see is from Nate's point of view. Of course, since the writers can do anything they want, they could arbitrarily declare that it's been Nate's point of view all along (shades of Dallas). But that would be nothing more than a cheat, and at least so far, SFU doesn't cheat.

M.
 

Patrick Sun

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Okay, while everything we see on 6FU is not from anyone's first person point of view, it's all from a omniscient point of view. It's whatever the director/writer wants the audience to see. So the episodes being part of Nate's dreaming on the OR table is still just as possible given the narrative choice.

I've had dreams of of ghost-like omniscient properties (seeing the events play out, but no one acknowledges my presence while viewing them). Maybe I dream weirdly.
 

MickeS

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So are "Six Feet Under" and "The Simpsons" the only shows on TV where the characters actually watch TV, like most people do? :) The only time people watch TV on other shows is when there's newscast interrupting the regularly scheduled programming.

/Mike
 

Tommy Ceez

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I have no problem with Rico's inability to connect with the customers. Hes a partner, fine, but remember that hes 'the best with corpses in LA'. He shouldnt even have to come upstairs if he doesnt want to. To claim that hes not pulling his own weight is way too harsh.
 

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