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Six Feet Under 4/21/02 (1 Viewer)

Patrick Sun

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 30, 1999
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39,365
"Big Ass Christmas Funeral" or "The last day of Nathaniel Fisher"

This episode was a pretty clever piece of writing.

As one year has passed since Nathaniel Fisher died in the car accident on his way to pick up Nate Jr., thus bringing Nate back to the family business, each and every one of the family (plus Rico) recall their last memory with Nathaniel, some of had good memories (Rico and even Nate), others wished they did more with the time between them (Ruth, and David), while Claire had the normal badgering of getting along with Ruth from good ol' dad. Ruth's recollection was very heartfelt and touching (Frances Conroy is very good on this show).

A biker's funeral was the glue for this recounting of Nathaniel's last day on earth. The funeral was pretty funny, filled with all the usual stereotypical stuff (drinking and playing biker music/songs typifying the "born to be wild" spirit of bikers - loved the "Don't Fear The Reaper" song at the end. Nate's compassion for and conversation with the widow keeps telling him that with the ticking timebomb in his head, he might need to take some of that biker philosophy to heart in the coming days. What the widow gave to Nate was a nice gesture (too bad she didn't give him a helmut to go with it).

David and Keith try to mend their relationship, but it's not without bumps in the road. That his sister showed up at the 11th hour throws a monkey wrench in David and Keith's late night plans for Christmas.

Claire manages to piss off Tobie and she goes running back to emailing and carrying on a "relationship" with Billy (Brenda's psychotic brother). Love Billy's email handle "Billybatty". The die is cast for Claire, she's doomed to go for the guys who are bad news.

Brenda is totally out of control in her thirst for book material as she allows a total stranger to feel her up in a ritzy department store. Brenda even managed to shock Melissa with the escapade. If this is how women sow their wild oates before their impending nuptials, I want to read that book! Brenda was totally put up guard when her mother took Billy out of the mental ward to stay with her at her apartment. Brenda and Nate found this out when they went to her mother's for Christmas eve. Suffice it to say, the tension level was very high, and Brenda had nothing good to say about the new development. Billy now knows that his sister is engaged to Nate. This can't be good for Nate...

Nate finally is forced to spill the beans about his brain condition because he had a mild seizure while having sex with Brenda on Christmas night. Brenda took the news well, but I got the feeling she went back into the "taking care of Billy" mode of behavior awfully quick (but now her attention is focused on Nate's condition).

Poor Nikkolai, he appears to be the subject of a beating that stems from either "protection/insurance" gangs, or he's got a gambling problems and some tough guys broke both of his legs for his lateness in paying up on his debts. Poor David, who'll be the one to move Nikkolai within the house for the next 8 weeks while Nikkolai recuperates in the Fisher house (with Ruth picking up all the medical bills since Nikkolai has no insurance).

Rico tells Vanessa about why he needed to fire his cousin who was helping with repairing the house (caught him and another construction worker having homosexual relations in his house). Vanessa blabbed to the guy's wife, who left him, and he comes over and beats up Rico. Merry Christmas, Rico. Needless to say, Rico is doubly pissed at both Vanessa and the cousin. This is not over for Rico.

Anyhow, one of the finer hours of TV on an on-going basis.
 

Blu

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 6, 2001
Messages
1,360
Maybe it is just me but this show seems to be getting darker and darker just for the sake of being darker. Last year it was very fresh and innovative but now it is "how screwed up can we make the characters" or "what crisis can we put them into?"

Last year it had some very funny parts but this year it is more and more depressing.
 

Paul Jenkins

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 4, 2000
Messages
965
I disagree, this year is shaping up great, even better than last year. The acting is top notch and the overlays of feeling/story/characters is second only to the Sopranos, IMHO...
 

Paul_Medenwaldt

Supporting Actor
Joined
Feb 6, 2001
Messages
650
My wife and I really enjoy this show....its the one show we actually watch together!!!

Maybe it is just me but this show seems to be getting darker and darker just for the sake of being darker. Last year it was very fresh and innovative but now it is "how screwed up can we make the characters" or "what crisis can we put them into?"
The show to me seems to be getting darker, there are not many humorous situations like there were in the previous season. Granted it is a funeral home show. But I agree with Blu that every character in the show seems to be screwed up. The situations seemed to be too forced on the characters. IMO when shows start focusing on more of the charater's personal lives and less on the basis of a show (i.e. L.A. Law)the show begins to fail. I'm not saying the show is failing, because its only in its 2nd season but when every charcter in the show is having something terrible thing happend to them it begins to be tiresome. Espcially the Claire character, she is just mad at the world just to be mad. Her character seems to be to predictable, we've seen so many times in movies and shows the teenager mad at the world for some reason, but we don't know why.

I would like to see the plot lines expanded to include more of the funeral home customers and the interactions with Nate and David.

Paul
 

MickeS

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2000
Messages
5,058
I don't feel that every character is screwed up, or that the show is "darker" than last season.

Nate has a disease, but he's pretty normal.

Ruth is lonely, but she's pretty normal.

Claire has big chip on her shoulder (it was so refreshing to hear Toby tell her that she really has nothing to complain about), but otherwise she's pretty normal.

Nikolai is pretty normal (although he might be in bad company).

David, gay, but pretty normal.

Keith, gay, but prett normal.

The only really messed up ones are Brenda and her family, but that was the same (worse, even) last year.

I found the biker funeral to be very touching (loved the comment about Jay Leno), and the last scene was great.

The situations they are in might seem a bit out of the ordinary, but hey, it's TV. Plus, when you think about it, don't most families have problems similar to these, if not as often?

/Mike
 

Shawn C

Screenwriter
Joined
May 15, 2001
Messages
1,429
I was wondering when Billy was going to show up again. The Billy-Claire relationship kinda came out of left-field. I would have liked to see them corresponding earlier on in the season, when he was still in the hospital. I would have like to have seen who was contacted first.

The flowers from Jay Leno were great. He's a 'biker' himself, sorta. I wonder if he really does send flowers to biker funerals?

Brenda is so seriously screwed up. The instant Nate told her about his head, she went directly to the "I won't let anything happen to you" mentality. She is now going to try and take care of Nate the same way she tried to take care of Billy. Her mother is even more screwed in the head. What a freak her mother is.
 

LarryDavenport

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 15, 1999
Messages
2,973
Yes, Don't Fear the Reaper is BÖC. And Yes bikers, in general, like BÖC (their first album had a song, Transmaniacon MC, which is about a motorcycle gang). I think "Reaper" (at least the chorus) is appropriate for a funeral.
 

Roberto Carlo

Second Unit
Joined
Apr 14, 2002
Messages
445
Maybe it is just me but this show seems to be getting darker and darker just for the sake of being darker. Last year it was very fresh and innovative but now it is "how screwed up can we make the characters" or "what crisis can we put them into?"
I agree. Characters like Brenda and, increasingly, Claire have become almost unwatchable. They are so self-destructive, so self-centered, that I don't care what happens to them as long as it doesn't happen in front of me. The others are okay. Their stories are sad but poignant.
 

John Berggren

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Jun 17, 1999
Messages
3,237
Another excellent episode of SFU.

The recurring theme of Nathaniel's final encounters with his family was very powerful. Ruth's last moment with Nathaniel was particularly heart wrenching. That kind of moment eats at you. I know it would eat at me. There are times I feel like I should cry for Ruth, but I think she may just be the strongest one of the bunch... even if her cracks do show from time to time.

Speaking of cracks... Brenda is cracked! I was predicting that without Billy to take care of that her own problems would start to resurface - those that she buried to take care of someone worse off. Certainly they have. It'll be interesting to see if her crutch for stability becomes Nate now that she knows he needs caring for. I look forward to next week to see if all of her own symptoms begin to dissapear.

I also imagine that Nate might bristle at her if she gets too doting. The dynamic of their relationship may just change dramatically. I'm glad she knows though. It would have been so much worse for her if he had died last night rather than just having a seizure. That's not something you get over too easily.

David and Keith look to be getting back together. I'm glad. I think they belong together. Maybe not forever, but certainly right now they do. Keith's sister is unfortunate though. Her return certainly is not going to help Keith or her daughter. Also Keith would have a hard time seeking custody since he's gay. I am quite sure they are headed that way though.

Billy and Claire... oh boy.

Rico needs to deal with his own feelings of homophobia. His cousin certainly should not have been actively engaged in gay sex while married though. I think it's probably a culture thing that had him married, but I think the fact that our culture (and moreso hispanic culture) puts such an emphasis on marriage and the traditional family is unhealthy both to the gay person (man or woman) and their spouse should they bend to peer pressure. I feel for all parties involved.

My partner, David, pegged the motorcycle gift about when they announced it was being restored. I personally hate motorcycles. I think they are dangerous, and I've known people who have been seriously maimed (some to the point of paralysis). However, I think it'll be a good thing for Nate. He needs an outlet for himself. Something he can do some living through. I just hope he buys a helmet.

So many times I've wonderred if it's Nathaniel Fisher's last episode. If they don't intend for him to be a part of the show from the beginning to the end, this was a wonderful exit. I'd be happy for him to return though. It seems they've gotten away from the deceased having conversations with the Fishers. Perhaps they just haven't had reason for a bit.

I almost wish I weren't going on vacation this weekend. I don't want to miss SFU next Sunday.
 

Jodee

Screenwriter
Joined
Jun 13, 1999
Messages
1,044
The quote of the week:
"What did I do to get 3 such morose and surly children?"
Ha ha. You got to love Ruth, despite her flaws. She has no idea that she is morose and surly herself. :) I was cheering for her when she asserted herself to David over inviting Keith to dinner. She finally spoke up and said "hey I am trying here, give me a break." I do see a contradiction in her character: she wants to be this accepting mother and have a big Norman Rockwell family, yet she treats her future daughter-in-law like the plague. I see alot of my own mother-in-law in her. She wants the "illusion" of a big, happy family, yet she doesn;t always act the way that would inspire one.
I have to love those AOL screen names:
"BillyBatty" and "ICDeddPeople". LOL!
 

Blu

Screenwriter
Joined
Oct 6, 2001
Messages
1,360
I was just wishing that there was more humor injected into this season like there was last season. Every character has gone into some kind of tailspin at one point or another this season. Not one hasn't been effected and if that wasn't enough they introduce characters like Ruth's sister to add yet more disfunction to the show. I am fearing that the spirit of last season is just missing this season. Perhaps it is that the characters have been taken as far as disfunction allows so they have to resort to the Me vs. The World storylines of Brenda and Claire. Brenda has just become almost unwatchable.
 

Larry Price

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Jun 30, 1997
Messages
97
Thought the Reaper song was a great ending to a very good episode. There was another song towards the beginning which also had a good ring to it.

Since noone mentions it - Ill say I think the sets are fantastic and do such a great job of revealing the personalities of the inhabitants. Especially the kitchen in the time warp with those avocado green appliances.

Perfect reflection of Ruth. Claires purple room (which I think we say the first time last week or a few weeks ago) and Brendas artsy(?) house (which by the way seems to have no curtains on it , even though many things go on in that living room).

How many episodes left for this season?
 

Shawn C

Screenwriter
Joined
May 15, 2001
Messages
1,429
I do see a contradiction in her character: she wants to be this accepting mother and have a big Norman Rockwell family, yet she treats her future daughter-in-law like the plague.
Maybe that's because she IS like the plague! I think Ruth has a little bit of 'crazy-dar' working. I think she knows by some sort of motherly instinct the Brenda is no good for Nate.
 

Dave Morton

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 19, 2000
Messages
753
Real Name
Dave
I thought this weeks episode had so many funny moments. Some people had mentioned. The thing that I thought was funny was how giddy David got when Keith and his neice showed up for x-mas dinner and that when Keith said grace, David looked at him and he was in an angel outfit with a halo around his head.

Nikkolai always cracks me up. Him wanting Ruth to not wear panties at work and always being horny is quite amusing. Especially when he tells her to take them off in the back room.

And when Brenda was sticking the guys hand up her skirt in the department store and the store worker told the guy that his wife wanted him to see something was priceless. Then she asks if they validate when she gets kicked out. She has some nerve.

I think the guy that plays Enrico is pretty true to real life. I think he portrays the anti-gay person pretty well and I think the writing is probably true to life in many aspects of that point of view. I'm not agreeing with it, but it is a common attitude among homophobic people, from what I've seen in my life.
 

Dave Morton

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 19, 2000
Messages
753
Real Name
Dave
I think it is one thing to know someone who is gay, but quite another thing to actually see the act done in your house by a family member who you are paying to do work.
 

RafaelB

Second Unit
Joined
May 10, 2001
Messages
447
Well, it's just rude to be having sex in your cousin's house while you're supposed to be working- it doesn't matter who it's with.

As a Cuban/Latino man, I totally understand Rico's machismo and homophobia, but as a gay man, it makes me think that there's more there about Rico and homosexuality than they're letting on. I remember the episode when David came out to him and Rico went on this tirade about how "that's not something that we talk about openly" (I'm paraphrasing).

Still, all in all, an incredible episode. I'm glad that someone finally told Claire to stop b*tching and Brenda's 'activities' are really creeping me out and that final shot of Nate just made me feel good and (cautiously) optimistic.

Rafael.
 

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