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Six Feet Under - 6/1/03 - Season Finale (1 Viewer)

Patrick Sun

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Ah damn, the season wasn't a Nate dream. Poor Nate, he's stuck with this reality. Sucks to be him.

Am I the only one that thinks Brenda looks a bit like John Cameron Mitchell (in drag) from "Hedwig and the Angry Inch"?

Finally, we get to lay Lisa to rest (about damn time!).

Ruth's quickie marriage seems rash. Claire's emotional blubbering at the ceremony was a bit strange.

Glad David and Keith are giving it another shot. They lowered their fences a bit more between them.

Brenda's world is going to be complicated with Nate back in the mix, and the new neighbor.

Claire's decision to abort her pregnancy hit home in a sudden way as Lisa told her she'd be looking out for him. Claire got to make some peace with Gabe.

Nathaniel was downright scary riding shotgun with a battered and confused Nate. Nathaniel almost curling up in the fetal position in front of Ruth is a bit indicative of how the living moving on can still inflict some pain on the dead.
 

Todd Terwilliger

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Don't forget about Rico and the stripper!

I thought this was a good way to wrap the season. I just wish the emphasis wasn't almost totally doom and gloom like it has been. I know Ruth is in a good place but it may be just me but it doesn't feel right.
 

Steve_Tk

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I actually liked Keith for the first time in a long time tonight.

I thought Nate was going to die. And had no clue he would end up where he did.

And that was funny about the falling ice, even though it shouldn't be funny the jokes Rico and David were making, but I still laughed.

And I would say that I knew it wasn't all a dream. But as far as I know, they could start season 4 with him waking up from the dream. So I will not say anything.
 

Jay W

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Oct 5, 1999
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I thought the finale was really good (at least compared to the episodes this season). Somehow it just seemed to fit nicely with how the characters were evolving and an appropriate place to leave the show at this point.

Some amazing scenes in there too, Claire was great, and nearly all the scenes with Nate going off with different people were eerie. Did find it a little odd that the whole Russell situation was left untouched in this episode, I thought he might show up in the park at one point but I guess they'll save that drama for next season :). I liked the wedding, and for once the David/Keith scenes weren't tired and obnoxious. Ironic that the season ends with Nate & Brenda together (well in a certain respect). Definately not as good as the previous 2 seasons overall, but this capped it off rather well IMO (one of my favorite stand-alone episodes of the 3 seasons).
 

Michael Reuben

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Good episode, but my wife pointed out something that, for me, finally identified what's been missing this season.

The death from falling blue ice wasn't an integral part of the episode. At most, it provided yet another opportunity for Nate to show how badly he's losing it. And as I think back over this third season, that's been typical of the episodes -- a mark of how far into the background the funeral business has retreated. During the first two seasons, we had the Kroehner rivalry, first through Matt Gilardi and then through Mitzi Dalton-Huntley, both memorable characters. We had Nate getting his license, a visit to a convention, numerous side trips into the economics and mechanics of the business -- and all of it provided an essential background against which the Fishers' various struggles unfolded.

That element disappeared almost entirely this season, which I suspect is the reason that season 3 has been criticized as little more than soap opera. With occasional exceptions (e.g., the first episode), the death that begins each episode has played only a perfunctory role in the episode itself, and even when the death was more integrally connected (as with Brenda's father), it felt more like a plot device (we need to have Brenda stay around) than an essential element.

The entire arc leading to Lisa's death has had an arbitrary, mechanical feel to it. It's as if the writers painted themselves into a corner by marrying off Nate, and now they have to do something abrupt and credibility-straining to break themselves free, so that they can fulfill the audience's desire to see Nate go back to Brenda. We're falling back into the TV drama formulas that Alan Ball was so determined to break.

I think I'll go back to watching my season 1 discs now. :)

M.
 

Lew Crippen

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Good points, Michael. For me this series has never been quite as good as it seemed on the surface. Which seems a bit of a contradiction in logic. But, for me the acting (and sometimes the directing) is so incredibly fine and consistent, that I feel the writers get away with some things that they might otherwise not. This just became more apparent this season.
 

Mike X

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"Ruth's quickie marriage seems rash."

I firmly believe that the writers intended to take the Ruth-Arthur relationship further, but decided mid stream that it just wasn't going to work. The overall plot still called for Ruth to be happily involved, so they inserted the James Cromwell character late.
 

Michael Reuben

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Lew, I do think the first season holds up very well on repeated viewings, in large part because both the writers and the actors were exploring a world not previously seen on TV (or, for that matter, in mainstream movies) in addition to characters who were layered and interesting. This season, it's as if the writers have lost interest in that world.

Rico is an excellent example. He was much more interesting as a talented restorer trying to get recognition for his work (in seasons 1 and 2) than as the frustrated husband of a manic-depressive wife with an obnoxious sister-in-law. The latter character feels like someone we've seen; the former was all new. This is not to take anything away from Freddy Rodriguez's work, which has been consistently excellent. It's strictly a criticism of the writing.

M.
 

Patrick Sun

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But, you have to wonder with Nate's brain surgery, things about the funeral home biz were placed on the backburner, and the focus was about Nate's choices (the baby bomb from Lisa is the life-changer), which did totally exploded in this finale when Nate tries to blame his predicament on Ruth asking him to stay with the family business in light of Nathaniel's sudden death. Nate went from free and breezy to shackled by family in a more intimante/personal way that leaves him very little in options IF he desires to do the right thing.

Nate struggles for an entire year, even with the new lease on life with "successful" brain surgery, with doing the right thing w/r/t Lisa and his child. And like many people who are simply human, and not totally capable with handling these new life developments, he makes mistakes, a lot of them. And just when he sort of make peace with himself and his predicament, life winds up and thrown him yet another curveball. Nate's a flawed human being. He's both likable and loathable.

I don't mind the focus of the deaths this season having just tangential impact to the Fishers. Otherwise, the show gets into a more predictable rut, mining the same area over and over again. This is not to say that the 3rd season didn't bring the viewer many more soap opera elements into the mix, but it never gives into easy solutions without showing us the repurcussions of those choices.
 

Larry Price

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It dawned on me this AM that Claires outburst during the wedding was the emotions from the abortion finally hitting her, after "seeing" her son with Lisa in the mausoleum.

I think Nate may be nominated for an award this season for various scenes recently.
 

Tim Markley

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I thought that this was an excellent ending to an excellent season. I lost interest in the show last season (not really sure why) but this season pulled me (and my wife) back in. The whole dream sequence with Claire was great and it was good to see Gabe. I've been wondering what happened to him. Did anyone else notice that Claire's baby looked really sad while everyone else there was happy? I also loved the scene with Nate racing down the road with his dad in the car telling him to kill himself and Nate screaming "I don't wanna die!".
 

John_VI

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By far my favorite episode of the season. Nate has fallen about as far as a human being can fall. He's neglecting his child, blaming his circumstance on his mother, drowning his sorrows in booze, cigarettes and illicit sex - all while his wife is missing and presumed dead. Heady stuff, but Krause pulled it off very well IMHO. Showing up at Brenda's was a bit too predictable for me, though. Would have preferred to have the season end with him sitting in his car at the top of the cliff with the broken guard rail in front of him, contemplating his choices - and finally telling his dead father and dead wife to "fuck off" as he drove away - but with no real sense of WHERE he's going or why.

Claire coming face-to-face with her aborted child was a rather bold choice for the writers and Alan Ball. It certainly gives credence to the notion that the aborted being is a child, not just a "fetus". And for Claire to see and speak with Lisa and Gabe (getting a fair amount of closure on all three of those story lines from Claire's perspective) - well, I think that Claire's breakdown at the wedding was all of that emotion finally settling in.

Nathaniel's devil-may-care, fatalistic attitide about Ruth's marriage was typical of his character over the entire three seasons. But seeing him curled up like a baby, bawling his eyes out because his wife is moving on and appears happy, was very interesting....almost like Jacob Marley's character in Scrooge, admitting that the most painful thing in death is to see what he COULD have experienced in life, but chose not to.

I agree it was refreshing to see Keith and David having a real, heartfelt discussion. When Keith expressed surprise that David didn't know how Keith felt about him, I felt like yelling at the TV, "It's because you never told him, ASSHOLE!!". And the line, "Fuck you, car, you're locked" was indeed classic!

All throughout the episode my wife kept asking, "Where's Arthur?" I really didn't give a shit, since I thought the Arthur character was too weird to keep around, even for this show. But his appearance at the reception and his reaction to seeing Ruth and George so happy was a good ending to his character.

I hope Ruth and George stick it out for a while. I like James Cromwell and Ruth has never looked prettier than she did in this episode. Happiness does wonders!

Rico, Rico, Rico.... Kick that manipulating, vindictive, self-centered bitch out of your house!!! Enough is enough! Get ahold of your life already!! Or....let her stay around while you get your jollies from strippers and hookers. That girl who gave him the hummer last night was a hottie, but I can't imagine that a stripper is going to want to be his girlfriend without some serious cash involved. Perhaps a little blackmail is in order for next season?

So, when does the next season start? Next March??
 

Marty M

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Nathaniel almost curling up in the fetal position in front of Ruth is a bit indicative of how the living moving on can still inflict some pain on the dead.
Wasn't all the dialogue between Nathaniel and each living character all in their imagination? So wouldn't it be Ruth just imagining Nathaniel curled up? In any case, I have really missed him this season. I was glad he made an appearance in the season finale.
 

Quentin

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Great episode, indeed.

But, I think Michael is right...the season, on the whole was missing something, and it may well have been the funerial tie-ins.

I think Claire's balling at the wedding is indicative of the change we see in her character in this episode. She has always been the stereotypical shut-off, defenses fully in place, rebellious teen. She felt like an outsider, and as such chose to keep everything at a distance. Now, she seems to have allowed herself to open up and be emotional. Telling her mom she loves her, visiting her dad's grave, etc. I LOVED seeing this change in her character.

Plus, how does this show get such great actors? Kathy Bates (who also does a lot of directing), Cromwell, and now Justin Theroux (a fine character actor). I'm sure we'll see him next season in the neighbor/Brenda/Nate triangle.

I found it fitting that last season Brenda hit rock bottom and this season it is Nate. They can finally understand each other on more than a carnal level.

And...beware Arthur! This dude has always been scary. I think Cromwell may be in for some trouble from our friendly neighborhood psycho intern.
 

Lew Crippen

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Lew, I do think the first season holds up very well on repeated viewings,
I have not re-watched the first or second season, so you may well be correct. I guess that this is reason enough (excuse enough) to get the first season and put it to the test.
 

Michael Reuben

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"Gabriel's dead?"
"How should I know? It's your thing."
I agree. It's also a very important exchange in light of some of the episode's later visions (like Clair's child and Ruth's vision of Nate Sr.). These are not ghosts so much as projections.

M.
 

John_Lee

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Mar 31, 2000
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I loved the episode, though the end, with the intercutting of Mom's mania, Rico's drunken dalliance, Claire's weeping and Nate's self-destruction was surreal to the point of being 'Twin Peaks-esque.' Did anyone else get a distinct Rocket Romano vibe off Nate's descent? How 'bout a Magnolia opening credits vibe off the ice block death? I thought Arthur's announcement that he'd 'enjoy his cake back in his room' was picture perfect.
 

Scott Van Dyke

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Kieth and David had me ROFLMAO! "Now your ripping on my style!" -Kieth to David.

I absolutely loved the exchange between Nate and his Mom. Reminded me of the Tony and Carmella exchange when we saw them last. Great acting.

This was indeed my fave episode in quite some time.

Side note: The only thing Brenda's got going for her IMO is her girls.:D She's not all that.

I thought Nate was going to open a can of whoop-ass on that dude in the bar. Too bad.:frowning: He just kept getting up.

Too bad I also missed the first 15 minutes of the show. I'll have to catch an encore.
 

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