Six Feet Under

Season 4 Episode 4

Can I Come Up Now?

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jul 11, 2004 on HBO
out of 10
User Rating
147 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Lawrence Henry Mason
David's former fiancee, Jennifer, calls David in the middle of the night. Her father has been killed by a lightning strike and she wants Fisher and Diaz to handle the funeral. Being in contact with her stirs up old feelings of guilt in David. David also finds out that Keith is not out on the job which he finds rather shocking. Nate gets some alone time while Maya spends time with her relatives, but this might not necessarily be a good thing. Claire attempts flirtation with another art student with mixed results. Ruth and George receive yet another package, but this time in a kid's style dump truck. George suddenly realizes who has been doing the sending of the excrement -- a son he's never told Ruth about. Ruth, being Ruth, hunts the man down and decides they should both visit him. Brenda takes Joe to meet her mother and new "friend", our favorite art teacher, Olivier Castro-Stahl.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • A very weak episode.

    This is quite possibly my least favourite episdoe of the entire show.The problem with it was that it lacked almost everything I watch this show for.

    I didn't even for a minute feel that the show is even remotely trying to deal with death. Nate's ridicilious storyline continues as he faces a dog who he believes is Lisa.

    I'm perfectly into storylines like this but for some reason it just didn't work in this episode...... or i should say, this show. It's nto that it's silly, it's just that, it's really out of place. The rest? The poop storyline was incredibly predictable, Claire's storyline was dull, Brenda is back to her old 90% sex scenes - 10% blah blah ratio. The only relief was DAvid and Keith and their cosntant relationship drama.

    This season started off really good but this and the previous episode was really disappointing. I hope the show picks up again..moreless
  • Another great episode, entertaining throughout, I'm really liking Brenda this season.

    Another extremely enjoyable episode of the show. Maybe too little Claire scenes but it still did everything else very well. Ruth and George were good here, the whole, s h I t in a box tithing is amusing but it really interested me to know who it was, I had a feeling one of Georges relatives would come into play and his 'other' son did. I found Ruth forcing George to meet up with again funny, in character, when they did it was a revealing and enjoyable scene, the cappuccino thing was good.

    Claire was not in the episode much, but when she was, it was interesting. I still like Edie, and still am sensing that Claire may want to become involved with her. Keith at work was as usual entertaining, did anyone else get the feeling that one of his colleagues is gay David's fiancé turning up because of her dead father was interesting but was not the highlight of the episode, in my opinion.

    As I said above, I really like Brenda this series, her boyfriend too. Her mother always amuses me, I really don't like Claire's old teacher (His name, I don't remember). I liked Brenda's line "See you in a few years" when she left after dinner.

    The whole Nate, going to a psychic and her telling him Lisa was alive was a good enough storyline, it was a bit strange that Lisa's sister asked for money for the trip. Rico and his 'other' woman is actually quite annoying, because Vanessa is well again, has been for a while, hope he snaps out of it. Next episode looks brilliant, can't wait.moreless
  • Reunion Written by Alan Ball Directed by Daniel Minahan

    Lightening strikes and hits the tip of an umbrella and before you know it, poor Lawrence Henry Mason is killed and it's a funeral that yields a rather nasty surprise for David as it happens to be ex-fiancee Jennifer's deceased father. Since her appearance in season one's "The Will" and more importantly, her dinner conversation with David in that episode, it was hinted that Jennifer was aware of her former paramour's sexuality and with a new fiance of her own in tow, any ill feelings or resentment she may have harboured for David would have run their course and she would over it. Right?

    Wrong! Her pent up anger for her former fiance's deception comes out when David's attempts of consoling during her father's funeral, forcing David to maybe think about the possibility that he too may have hurt someone else besides himself while he was going through his identity crisis all those years ago, reminding viewers of what he said to Claire in "Death Works Overtime" that it's better she knew about Russell before getting any deeper involved with him, unaware that she at the time just found out she was pregnant. David may not have impregnated Jennifer but he still did hurt her really bad and thankfully by the end of their reunion she is able to forgive him.

    Jennifer's return also serves as a great reminder that while the shy and retiring David may be out and proud of his homosexuality, the normally confident and collected Keith is suppressing his as he is forced to tell David that he isn't out at work and to answer the phone until he switches all his work contact info into his cell phone.

    Work - last year Keith was driving in a HomeAlert uniform answers alarms set off by poodles and sucking up to rich assholes who make more in a day than he does in year (his words). This year, the only real difference is now he is being to look like a total jackass in front of his colleagues as mini-bitch Celeste ridicules him for using her private bathroom while desperate to pull a Charlize Theron and play a normal person in an upcoming movie project. Oh sorry I meant ugly (her words). She also belittles her dancers and openly insults the organiser of a charity function with her ridiculous backstage demands - diva style. I'm not sure how long poor Keith can put up little Miss Mouseketeer, but my primary concern is the whole closetness issue which is really frustrating and I couldn't help but revel in David's little payback in the process.

    Last week he was more than eager to pay $5,000 so she could have new implants but this week it seems that Federico is beginning to tire of serpent like Sophia demands and tells her where to get off. Unfortunately, his senses are taking their time to completely catch up with him as he is still unwillinng to end their toxic (and I have mentioned tedious right? Hope I didn't leave that out) relationship. Just bloody dump the insufferable wench before Vanessa gives the both of you a smackdown already.

    Meanwhile Edie's influence continues to rub off on Claire as the more time the latter spends with her new found pal, the more she seems to try and and act like her. Whether it's ripping a picture of Anita for no reason (okay it did look pretty crappy but still) or making the first moves on Jimmy, it seems Claire finally wants to become uninhibited. However her new found courage takes a crushing when she freezes up when Jimmy asks her what she likes sexually and is forced to admit to Anita and Edie that she's never had an orgasm. In fact, the girls rather frank sex discussion also confirms Edie's own sexuality which further hints of a more sexually adventurous and hedonistic Fisher girl are planted and i'll admit that Anita was alright to watch here.

    However one character who did disappoint here was in fact Ruth and her all too flighty determination that Arthur was still responsible for the poopy packages that are still being sent to her and George. This time it's in a toy truck and George is forced to confess and a major bust-up between the newly-weds ensues. At last - it was high on time that Ruth and George had their first real ruckus and what better way than to have George connected to the perbitrator of the mysterious packages.

    Enter Kyle - George's wayward son whose relationship with daddy dearest seems murky at best as it turns that George was a little negligent with Kyle and now he wants his own back. Turns out George didn't even marry Kyle's mom nor made the effort to get to know. Either way, Kyle does seem a little unbalanced but whether he will turn full-on loopy like Billy, time will only tell.

    Leading onto the main events of this episode, we have Nate finally meeting Joe (albeit in an awkward position) when he pops over to Brenda's for comfort (Maya's away with Lisa's sister and family)and then Brenda and Joe are forced to have dinner with Margaret and Olivier who are now a couple and after both of these events, there's no longer any more excuses to really hate Joe as the man proves himself worthy over and over again here. Most guys wouldn't exactly be thrilled to have their girlfriend's ex-bloke disturb them for a cry, but Joe even goes out of his way to be compassionate towards Nate, whereas last season would have freaked had Brenda came over to them if in a similar predicament.

    But more points have to given to him for managing to put up with malavolent Margaret who is in fact shacked up with Olivier, who really hasn't changed a jot since we last saw him. Whether their relationship is out of convenience, sincerity or self destructive is anyone's guess but if ever two people deserved one another, it would be these two. And then there's the topic of Brenda's MSW for becoming a licenced therapist and the posssibiluity of her wanting to have children, both of which Margaret style are scoffed at and challenged, but at least some more depth is added to hers and Joe's relationship which really is interseting to watch at the moment as it's the only one that isn't destructive for now.

    The episode takes a rather eerie end however when a drugged up Nate encounters a psychic who indicates that Lisa may not be dead. Taking on a lot of faith, there's no way her cryptic message could be about Lisa (although her place was called Manet Lisa). Although it did look like it was, i'm betting that mybe the message is referring to Brenda who Alan Ball has said before that he associate with water. And even if it was about Lisa, this sudden development would undermine the final three epiosdes of last season and what has come so far for Nate this year and besides it would be way too easy and antiseptic, something that Six Feet Under DOES NOT do.

    Also in "Can I Come Up Now"

    Death of the week: See opening paragraph.

    Keith (to David):"Every woman needs to go through falling in love with a gay man. It's a total female rite of passage".

    David: "Hi, you've reached David and Keith but we can't come to the phone right now because we're too gay".

    In the chronology department it's now December 2003, so will next eppy be a christmas themed fair or will they jumpstart into 2004?

    Joe:"I love having your ex-boyfriend invited in when i'm trussed up in the other room like a christmas ham".

    Nancy: "I think you're a gigantic bitch and I will no longer allow my daughters to listen to your music"

    Celeste: "I'm sorry? You're either trying to weasel out of what you agreed to or were too stupid to even read it and i'm the bitch?

    Another anti- Bushism during Claire,Anita and Russell conversation in LAC Arts. And at a time when he's desperate to be re-elected too. Coincidence much.

    That dog Nate sees in his vision. Hint for next episode? And what was with the significance of the number three that "Lisa" told him to ignore.

    Claire(to Nate): "I've got a date with the Matthew Barney of LAC Arts even though i'm so not the Bjork".

    Although complimenting Margaret in any capacity goes against my beliefs, had to admit the red hairdo was kinda fetching.

    Brenda: "Do you think you're a good shrink?"

    Margaret: "I think i'm a very good shrink"

    Joe: "Does that mean you're very fucked up?"

    Margaret: "Abso-fuckin'-lutely".

    Is it me or are we getting more and more hot blokes this season than usual? Besides our main studs, we've now got Joe (who looked scrummy during his bondage antics with Brenda), Jimmy, Kyle (in a gawky kind of way) and some of Keith's new co-workers. Hell, even some of Celeste's dancers weren't bad looking.

    According to Keith, him and David have sex five or six times a week, yet so far this season we haven't seen them at it.

    Kyle(to George):"What is it, you find my shit offensive?"

    Michaela gave a book to Nate to give to David. I think it was called "Stiff". Anything significant with this I wonder?

    With Margaret and Olivier back in the game, how much longer do we have to wait for Billy, Sarah and Bettina, cos the more fireworks, the better.

    Standout music here would've been Stardust Twins' "Legend In Yout Own Mind".

    With no other episode to his credit this season, Ball's first scripted piece since "Nobody Sleeps" is simply fantastically crafted stuff. "Can I Come Up Now" easily emerges as the season's first real standout episode, although given what we're set to encounter next week it could be beaten. Still though, this is blindingly riveting stuff and finally cranks up the action to a few much needed decibals. Roll on next episode.

  • Reunited and It Feels So Good Lawrence Henry Mason 1938-2003 Written by Alan Ball Directed by Dan Minahan

    "She's not dead... she's trying to get back to you"-- The Psychic

    After waiting 2 weeks since "Parallel Play", I was very excited and anxcious to see this episode. It looked very good from the previews.

    David is awoken one morning to find out that his ex-fiancee Jennifer (from Episode 2)'s father had just been struck by lightning and died. David agrees to do arrange his funeral which leads to a discussion about sexuality the next morning over breakfast with Keith. David however witnesses the fact that Keith has not come out to his co-workers. David, angered and hurt is disappointed since Keith broke up with him for his not coming out. It is soon resolved after David has a heart-to-heart with Jennifer.

    Ruth tired of being sent "poo" finally gets to the bottom of it and threatens legal action against Arthur if this continues. George then steps in to tell her that his estranged son is the person sending them the excramint. Ruth relieved and angered asks George about his encounter and his relationship to his son and soon Ruth reunites the two.

    Claire critiques Anita's work in class which leads to a confrontation and a date with Jimmy. Claire then tells the girls while painting that she's never had an orgasm. Harsh!

    Nate is relieved of his parenting duties when Barb and Hoyt take Maya to Lego-Land. Bored, Nate visits Brenda who currently is having agressive sex with Joe. The three have pizza and beer and talk about Maya. The following evening when having dinner with Margaret and uh... Olivier, Brenda expresses her desire to have children of her own. Joe thoughtfully agrees.

    Nate has a psychic rendezvous after seeing a dog that has a resemblance to Lisa. He follows the dog to a psychic's home who entertains him with the fact that she sees a woman, water, a dead man and that he has stopped loving the woman. He believes it's Lisa... but I believe it's Brenda.

    During this, Nate is briefly entertained at the fact that Lisa might still be alive which angers and frightens Barb.

    Lisa still alive? Crazy, but not happening.

    Overall a very well written episode by Alan Ball.

Peter Krause

Peter Krause

Nate Fisher

James Cromwell

James Cromwell

George Sibley (episode 40+, recurring previously)

Mathew St. Patrick

Mathew St. Patrick

Keith Charles

Frances Conroy

Frances Conroy

Ruth Fisher

Lauren Ambrose

Lauren Ambrose

Claire Fisher

Freddy Rodriguez

Freddy Rodriguez

Federico Diaz

James Cromwell

James Cromwell

George Sibley

Guest Star

Peter MacDissi

Peter MacDissi

Olivier Castrol - Stahl

Guest Star

Michelle Trachtenberg

Michelle Trachtenberg


Guest Star

Justin Theroux

Justin Theroux


Recurring Role

Joanna Cassidy

Joanna Cassidy

Margaret Chenowith

Recurring Role

Sprague Grayden

Sprague Grayden


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • During the scene where Claire and her friends are painting the wall in her new room and discussing if she ever had an orgasm, the amount of paint on the walls constantly changes from scene to scene. In some scenes there is hardly any paint on the walls and in others it is nearly completely covered.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • David (About The Rock): We'd definetly tap that ass!

    • Margaret: Oh, Brenda's feeling eggy.

    • Olivier (Commenting on Margaret): The cunt has spoken! Now the world sits in silence.

    • Ruth (About George's other son): Why have you never told me this?
      George: Because he's never really been part of my life.
      Ruth: If he's sending us shit in the mail, he is a part of your life!

    • Russel (Watching a documentary about cave paintings): That's where everything started. In those cave paintings there was the creation of the idea of image, of the representation of ourselves.
      Claire: Exactly that's when we stopped living inside nature and started living inside our heads.
      Anita: Yeah, just while we can just sit back and watch while greedy corporate bush suckers destroy nature, since we're no longer a part of it.
      Russel: if you take humans out of nature then all there are left with is human nature.
      Claire: Ok, that sounds really good, but what the fuck does that mean?

    • David (Consulting Keith what to wear on the job): Helmut Lang jeans, black tee-shirt the faded banana republic one with the stretch, and black lace-up boots.
      Keith: David, this is a profession, ok? There's an image to project. That image isn't fucking Keith of Finland.
      David: Are you not out on the job?
      Keith: No one's ever asked.
      David: You big whore!

    • Lawrence Henry Mason: Nothing is anybody's fault.

    • David: (taping an answering machine message) Hi! You've reached David and Keith but we can't come to the phone right now because we're too gay!

    • Nate: (Seeing a toy truck that's filled with feces) Kinda brings a new meaning to the term "dump truck", huh?

  • NOTES (5)

    • Alan Ball & Mena Suvari worked together in the film "American Beauty".

    • Brazil title: "Angústias" ("Anguishes")

    • Songs:

      Stardust Twin - "Legend in Your Own Mind"

      Smooth - "Walking on Space"

      BT - "Somnambulist"

      Chopin - "Twelve Etudes, Op10 No. 3 in EM"

      Martinez - "Sambalate"

      Jacknife Lee - "Fear of Nothing"

      Astrud Gilberto - "Might as Well Be Spring"

      Magnapop - "Texas"

      Mozart - "Romance SNA 464 "

    • Claire and friends are watching BBC's "Sister Wendy".
      Keith is watching the 2002 film "The Scorpion King" when David walks in.

    • Only episode in Season 4 to be written by Alan Ball, although he does direct "Untitled".

      Although she doesn't appear, Lili Taylor's voice is still heard during Nate's nightmare phone conversation.


    • Margaret: Abso-fucking-lutely!

      This is a reference to another HBO show, "Sex And The City". About 4 single women, who make their way in New York. Sarah Jessica Parker's character's boyfriend used the same punch-line in the Pilot and in the Finale of the series.