Six Feet Under

Season 4 Episode 8

Coming and Going

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Aug 08, 2004 on HBO
out of 10
User Rating
141 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

James Dubois Marshall

It is a typical Sunday morning at Fisher & Diaz Funeral Home, Claire is putting the moves on her new lover Edie, Ruth is pressuring George to go to Catholic mass, Nate goes for a jog and all is well until David announces "that death spared L.A., there are no bodies in the prep room". David & Ruth then leave for church and an older gentleman pulls in, soon after he has a heart attack and dies.
Federico still asleep at Sophia's from the evening before is awoken by his flame, Sophia and tells him that he needs to go home. He asks if he can stay because he was thrown out of his house, however she says that her relatives stay at her apartment. Soon after, Sophia is confronted by Vanessa and her sister and a fight pursues. Then, Sophia breaks up with Rico. Rico with no place to go ends up at the Fishers where Ruth welcomes him in with open arms.
Ruth however, is extremely upset at the fact that George is focusing a lot of time on other things but not on her. Such include debating with Claire's friend Anita and "murdering" or pruning her favorite tree in her garden.
Brenda checks in with Nate and wants to do something with Nate who is busy getting ready to go to an amusement park with Maya. She tags along and soon the two get cozy. Joe then walks in and like Sophia breaks up with Brenda.
David still recovering from Post-Traumatic stress welcomes a familiar face from the past, Sarge (his and Keith's paintball buddy) into his home. After an afternoon of sex, Sarge decides he's tired and goes home, David becomes angered and demands that he stays however David is soon pushed to the floor.
The following evening, George, David, Claire and Nate sit down to KFC and "The Simpsons" to find a note on the table from Ruth, she has gone to stay with Bettina and will not be coming back any time soon.moreless

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  • Spitting Games Written by Nancy Oliver Directed by Daniel Attias

    As you can guess by the teaser, the latest episode in this fantastic fourth year is not only an instalment that features a lot of spit roasting but plenty of rather spit(e) fuelled comebacks with some very mixed results. With the odd brilliant two in there, the majority are slightly wide of the mark.

    First of, Joe now knows that Nate's the mystery man Brenda's been seeing on the sly and they are some rather astounding fireworks as a result, compared to last week's (still better) "The Dare". However you can't help but be unimpressed with Brenda's lame attempts of justifying her cheating by using her sex addiction as an excuse but Joe's spit fuelled riposte about her being addicted in the art of betrayal stunned and Nate begging him to cause a scene in front of Maya upon being caught with his ex reeked of hypocrisy. I remember Nate wasn't so eager to take his daughter's presence into account when he slept with that serial killer's daughter last season.

    Although I blame Brenda more than anyone here, Nate should have made some effort to reject her advances and on both occasions he didn't and even though I still love the pair, it's Joe who warrants the most sympathy here and his comments about Nate being an emotional cripple do ring true but as for Brenda being addicted to betrayal? Sure, she deliberately sabotaged her relationship with him when she felt the pressure was being applied and even though I don't condone her actions, this has always come across as more of a warped defence mechanism for the character rather than an act of pure malice and in her weird way, maybe she did care for Joe (obviously not enough) and now that he's gone, the only thing standing between her and Nate inevitably reuniting is themselves and the writers risk of falling in the convenient trap hole practically every other series fall into. I want them back together, don't get me wrong, but I don't want to be fobbed by any old cheapo storyline or just for the sake of the chemistry between Peter Krause and Rachel Griffiths. And I don't know about anyone else, but I will actually miss Joe. He was a decent bloke and didn't deserve what Brenda put him through. Bad Miss Chenowith.

    The problems for David keep mounting as his latest efforts of sexorcising his current mental state coincide in the much unexpected and slightly welcomed return of the gorgeous Sarge. Seeing as we only saw him last (and only) in "Tears, Bones And Desire", I had guessed that maybe he was chained down in Terry's basement with pooper dog, Trixie on watch but luckily he escaped for viewing pleasure and while I enjoyed his and David's sexploits and crafty double entendres, was I the only who was freaked by David trying to force him to stay. Even though Michael C Hall continues to deliver sympathetic performances and wonderfully demonstrates the depth of his alter ego's recent ordeal, David so totally needs to talk to the people he pushed away as well as a shrink and FAST. And after Keith's debacle with Celeste, the sooner the better.

    Celeste - you evil bitch. She lulled Keith into a false sense of security and after he turned down Javier's advances, she made her move. It's not just the fact Keith actually slept with Celeste (although watching the pair sure as hell made me cringe more than I would have cared to have), but armed with the fact that the mini-brat's "breakdown" came across as pathetically petulant and still managed to appeal to Keith's better nature and horribly, her bed. Even though Javier's a smarmy prick, i'm sure i'm not the only who would have prefered keith had banged him six times til Sunday than going near that vapid little wench. And adding insult to injury she then fires him for sleeping with her, but if means no more Celeste - then, Amen to that. And I doubt Keith is the only bodyguard she's done this to, nor will he be the last. But unlike David, at least Keith looked sort of forthcoming with his sexcapades and at risk of repeating myself - this whole "open relationship" (which was supposed to have finished last ep) is getting old and you almost feel like tieing them pair of them together in order to stop from becoming the next Bern and Margaret. It's also rather disappointing that David seems to depend on sex since his car-jacking and hopefully after this one, we'd better get some major talks between both lovers. You're still my fave couple on the series but enought with the extra marital screwing already.

    I just knew last week that Claire wasn't really bisexual, never mind becoming a lesbian but I was still disappointed by the way her disentaglement from Edie was handled after such the brilliant build up in the past few weeks and the red hot but nicely done chemistry between Lauren Ambrose and Mena Suvari. I concur that Claire looked slightly uncomfortable during Edie's tries to get her to climax but over this season i've grown real attached to the performance artist and fascinated by the openess Claire has gotten as a direct result from being around her. Now that she's gone we're still lumbered with Russell, automaton Anita and cardboard Jimmy. I do hope at least Claire and Edie are at least on friendly terms, but given the teaser for next week's episode it's frustratingly left up in the air.

    With all the spit roasting going on here, Federico is given a rather harsh reality check when Sophia also kicks him out and Ruth slaps him (but lets him stay in Claire's old room). There is some progress made with this plot, which is more satisfying the previous three with Rico telling Vanessa about sleeping with the stripper and just wait until you the truly priceless showdown between wifey and mistress, aided by Angelica's wonderful reappearance and the casual reminder about having to pick up Julio and Augusto, post scrap will have even the most straight laced of viewers cracking up.

    Last but not least, the final straws have clearly been yanked from Ruth's gardening hat as George's tiresome behaviour sends her into overdrive. First he eschews church to flirt with Anita (while discussing something philosophical - I may have tuned out there), overprunes a treasured tree and then takes off without word. Frances Conroy pulls in an excellent job of conveying Ruth's increasing frustration and you'll be applauding when Ruth gets her own back and takes off too, if only for the classic dumbstruck look that George pulls. So does that mean more Sarah and Bettina then?

    Also in "Coming And Going"

    The death of week was definitely eerie and oddly poignant. The 80 year James Dubois Marshall knowing he was gonna die and arrived at Fishers & Diaz. Most inventive death sequence this season, no doubt.

    Federico (re David):"He's not fine"

    Nate:"You think?"

    Anita:"Aw look it's Gertrude and Alice"

    Edie:"Well look at her. Were we supposed to dress all 80's and no one told us?"

    Vanessa (to Federico): "You break your vows, you fucked that whore and you blame me? You coward, you bastard, you son of a bitch. You make me sick".

    Angelica and Sophia's boob clashing. Immature but surprisingly funny - to a certain degree though.

    Sophia:"You're just jealous of my tits"

    Angelica:"Oh bitch please".

    How sweet was Keith talking up David and referring to him as "my man" to Javier. Wonder what his next gig is. He lasted three months with cacophonic Celeste. Longer than I had thought he would.

    Celeste:"I don't get fucked in the ass"

    Keith:"That makes one of us".

    Shouldn't Keith be able to sue Celeste for sexual harrasment or unfair dismissal? Hit the bitch where it hurts - her bank balance.

    Loved and laughed at Sarge's faux sign language especially for the "Do you have a deafness problem?" response.

    George:"That is not what I meant".

    Ruth: "I'm your seventh spouse. How much more warning do I need?"

    It's still February 2004. I was expecting the producers would moved to mid-March by now. Isn't their quota for each finale to be set in June or July?

    Joe (to Brenda):"Shut the fuck up. You neurotic, tedious, self absorbed bitch".

    Celeste's "ciao baby" kiss to Keith. How cool was that? Pity it wasn't the other way around though.

    Standout songs of this episode: Phoenix's "Everything Is Everything" and Sam Ilya's "Heavenly".

    Well, to be honest, despite some truly terrific moments here and there, I have to admit this wasn't my favourite episode this season. Sure, we got plenty of sex here - more so than usual, but that still doesn't make up for David and Keith current problems, Edie's depature or even Jimmy's essential uselessness. Still, on the plus side, at least we've got rid of Celeste and possibly Sophia (I think the writers have explored every area they've needed to with that character) and let's hope both Sarge and Angelica will be hanging around for a while. Not great, but better than most series clunkers.moreless
  • .

    Ruth and George are just really something else now. What is their point? Why does it have to take multiple episodes for Ruth to finally say that George is "too much"? Why do we have to go through several things that George does wrong?

    He's not that important of a character, neither is Ruth so... yes. Uninteresting. Ruth going away was good though.

    I enjoyed the rest though. Especially Nate and Brenda getting caught by Joe. So awkward. So. Awkard. Loved how Joe called Brenda a psycho b*tch... that's what she is, and it's so funny that it only took Joe such a short while to realize that.

    David's struggle was very good too. A bit over the top maybe, but rather dramatic. I like how the show randomly brigns back absolutely unimportant characters instead of bringing in new unimportant once. (Referring to Sarge here)

    I thought Keith sleeping with Celeste... was... well, odd. Is this foreshadowing something? Probably. Either way, it was fun.

    The funnest of all was probably Claire and Edie "trying" to sleep together. Claire must feel truly Lost...moreless
  • A lot happened here and I liked it all. Though sometimes it bordered on overboard .....

    What I'm talking about is all the sex and affairs, Rico with Sophia, Nate with Brenda, David with 'Sarge' and Keith with Celeste. While these were all exciting and interesting, it was at times a bit strange, how they all seemed to be having these affairs. However, I'll go through what I liked in each story.

    I thought it was hilarious when Vanessa and her sister confronted Sophia, and the sister had a bat. This was an all around, exciting and funny scene. It was amusing how after all the violence, Vanessa slips in that they have to pick up the kids. Ricio was pretty stupid and he was asking for it when he told Vanessa about sleeping with her, some of his comments were plain stupid. I do wonder if there issues will resolve themselves.

    Nate and Brenda, not surprised to see them at it again. I do feel sorry for Joe, he obviously loves her and she loves him back. I know Brenda was trying but she deserved everything she got from Joe when he walked in on her and Nate kissing and close to more. It was an engrossing and well done scene, will this be the last of Joe?

    David's desperation is fairly upsetting but is done very well. It was interesting to see him cling on to Sarge (the guy he and Keith had the threesome with) There sex scene was the most shown one but it was needed due to David's issues. I liked that he finally told Keith to come home, in a great way. But sadly Keith was fired after sleeping with Celeste, again not surprising. I did like Celeste at the end, about trust and such.

    Claire and Edie, you just know this isn't going to work. I didn't actually like Edie as much here and even Claire at times wasn't at her best. maybe its because I feel it's a bit pointless, we know it's a phase. They end up telling each other they know that it won't work, which is good.

    Ruth ands George, things have seriously gone wrong but is strangely amusing to watch them like this. With the tree and Georges annoying habits.

    It interests me to know where Ruth is, hopefully we'll find out next week. A great episode but a tad overboard at some points.moreless
  • Great episode

    This was an excellent episode, pivotal in its ending, and good at depicting David in a crisis due to post-traumatic stress following his having been at gunpoint and abducted by a carjacker. Also pivotal as to where Keith gets in his new employment.

    Just wanted to make a correction to the episode summary. Ruth did not invite George to "Catholic Mass." Ruth, like her son David, is Episcopalian. The person who wrote the review might be confused by the fact that their clergyman is the closeted "Father Jack." Episcopalians have priests (who are allowed to marry) and usually do call them "Father." I should know. I'm an Episcopalian.moreless
  • Nate gets with Brenda. Rico gets with Sophia. Keith gets with Celeste. David gets with Sarge. Claire gets with Edie. George gets with a "Special Tree". Ruth gets with George. Joe gets with Brenda and Nate. Things are spiraling even further out of control.moreless

    If things were bad before, they are worse now. The lives of the characters are now becoming even more so figuratively and literally out of control. When Georges ruins the, "Special Tree", this symbolizes the ruin of either the safety and sanity of the characters and/or their various relationships. This is a really great episode because it strips away yet another layer of each character, leaving them that more vulnerable for things to come. This is the beginning of the end of the way things were for The Fishers and the people who encounter their lives. The handwriting is on the wall and they are the only ones who can't see it. You can feel the passing of the old and the stirrings of a new chaotic order within these lives.moreless
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

Justina Machada

Justina Machada

Vanessa Diaz

Guest Star

Bobby Cannavale

Bobby Cannavale


Guest Star

Michelle Trachtenberg

Michelle Trachtenberg


Guest Star

Mena Suvari

Mena Suvari


Recurring Role

Justin Theroux

Justin Theroux


Recurring Role

Peter Facinelli

Peter Facinelli


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Claire: It's so much easier to be gay.
      David: Oh no!
      Claire: Yeah, I'd have a really define subculture.
      David: Overrated!
      Claire: We're both women, I'd have some idea of what she was thinking and feeling.
      David: Not necessarily.
      Claire: I wouldn't have to deal with unfamiliar sex organs.
      David: They're all unfamiliar unless they're yours.

    • George: If you have no interest in the past and you don't read history, how can you possibly comprehend the present?
      Anita: George, history is not what really happened, history is some stupid war-mongering patriarchal idea of what happened! Who gives a shit about that?

    • Ruth (To George): I'm your seventh spouse. How much more warning do I need?

    • Celeste: I don't get fucked in the ass.
      Keith: That makes one of us.

  • NOTES (4)

    • This is the first episode not to feature the regular "deceased of the episode" scene at the very beginning. Instead it takes place just afterwards.

    • Brazil title: "Indo e Vindo" ("Coming and Going")

    • Songs:
      Phoenix - "Everything is Everything"

      Greyboy - "Genevieve (Quantic Remix)"

      Paco - "Shaded"

      Hangdogs - "Memo from the Head Office"

      Karen Abrams - "Always Came Back"

      Gare Du Nord - "Kind of Cool (Miles Et Juliette Mix)"

      San Ilya - "Heavenly (San Ilya remix)"

      Edwin Hawkins Singers - "Oh Happy Day"

    • David, George and Claire are watching "The Simpsons" when Nate comes in.