Six Feet Under

Season 5 Episode 2

Dancing For Me

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jun 13, 2005 on HBO

Episode Fan Reviews (10)

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  • Remember The Days Written By Scott Buck Directed by Daniel Attias

    Nate (to Tom): “I really get it now that this doesn’t last”.

    For the first time in a while Nate’s story was one of the uplifting as an old high school pal got killed and another’s inner despair and boredom made him look at his own life. Even in last season if Nate had told Tom how happy he was with things he would’ve been bullshitting. Here it’s the actual truth. This time around he’s married to a woman he loves, has a daughter who he clearly adores and is finally at ease with being a funeral director. Who know, Nate may have actually turned into his father without the need for a secret room, well maybe.

    I loved his little reminiscing scenes with a younger looking Sam in the prep room. It felt very much like the old days with some truly boyish humour between the separated pals. Tom, however was also another interesting character. His conversation with Nate in a bar regarding fourteen year old girls was creepy but I’m not so sure we’re supposed to believe he’s a paedophile. After all, Nate wouldn’t have been so quick to agree to another meet if he was. I do wonder however if Tom is like some kind of ‘alternate’ Nate is some ways though. His attitude to life was pretty similar to one Nate almost had in Season Three and it was very funny watching his reaction to Nate’s castigation about his life.

    After being put on the back burner for a bit, Brenda’s psych thread is back and we got some good moments out of it. I was disappointed that Brenda didn’t actually stick it out at the free clinic. Margaret may have actually had good intentions but it would’ve been nice for Bren to ignore her narcissistic mother on this one. If she really wants to help people, she’s gonna have to follow her own instincts. However, I liked her replacement counsellor Jackie (excellently played by former The L Word guest star Anne Ramsay) and her no frills attitude with Brenda. Sure, she may have seem harsh to her but the woman is probably used to people like Margaret Chenowith pulling all these kind of strings to getting half qualified therapists into places like this. That being said, it’s fair to assume Brenda will have to learn pretty fast in her new position and prove herself worthy of a scholarship she didn’t even earn.

    Speaking of proving themselves it seems both Claire and Billy have their own artistic woes of their own. Claire’s little mini tantrum when her art dealer refused to sell the wedding photos was hilarious. Simple fact, Claire no one wants other people’s wedding pictures no matter how stylish they look and even more so did Claire actually bother to ask Nate and Brenda before even trying to offload them? The arthouse stuff doesn’t really get pretentious until Billy’s old art friends crop up and Claire’s ego trip kicks in. The Billy angle is really what makes this the most watchable even if old threads are being revisited. The signs of his imminent bi-annual meltdown continue to show as he loses his erection during sex, his “radical” art buddies force him to look at some of his recent choices and most predictably of all is having Billy flushing his medication down the toilet. We really haven’t seen anything creative from him since “The Opening” so this is a long time coming and maybe I’m reading too much into but didn’t he have a look of sadness and envy when Claire was going on about her new idea which isn’t as extraordinary as the writers would like us to believe.

    However what is extraordinary though is the Ruth plot of this episode. With George’s increasing mental deterioration, Ruth is at her ultimate wits end but I had a hard time completely sympathising with her plight. While her distress and unexpressed rage at her current situation is nicely conveyed, a part of me thinks she’s being a little hard on the guy. I wasn’t a big fan of George at the start of Season Four but he has become much more a sympathetic character of late and despite James Cromwell’s disapproval of this arc, he’s doing a bloody good job and George is trying to make things easy on Ruth. I really don’t believe he would marry her to “trap” her and I seriously don’t think she believes, it’s just the stress talking.

    It’s also nice to see the return of Maggie who continues to be a likeable character. For the most part of the episode she’s as helpful as she can be and her conversation with Ruth while George was sleeping provided some nice interplay between both women. Maggie clearly loves her father but I’m not sure if she’s gonna be entirely thankfully for Ruth and George begging her to stay.

    One thing I’m entirely happy though is how David and Keith are going about having a child. Since when has genetics or biology really mattered to either one of them? The boys’ outlandish idea of asking Claire to donate some of her eggs was also a bit odd. A part of me cheered at her obvious repulsion of the suggestion, although I was glad David took it well but like I said in my last review, this plot is going to get tiresome big time if there aren’t other things for both of them to accompany this. Still though, there’s a truly creepy fantasy sequence that will make you look at eggs in a different light as well as an excellent conversation between the pair with some realism attached, I hope for their sakes, they’ll change their attitude towards parenthood.

    For all the heavy plots a lighter one is needed and once again it’s Rico’s but it doesn’t matter because it’s just so damn good as Federico learns the hard way that Sharon isn’t into him when he enters her building and she sends him packing. I really felt for the poor as the ep really depicts his naivety with the opposite sex. Unfortunately his setback leads to a despicable act when Vanessa believes Sharon is dead and decides to console Rico by taking her and the kids to dinner with him. Rico, when she finds out you’re gonna get socked again.

    Also in “Dancing For Me”

    Death of the week: Sam Wayne Hoviac died by accidentally getting his car to run over him. Ouch!

    Nate: “Hello gorgeous. Are you dancing for us?”
    Maya: “I’m dancing for me”.

    We finally got to see Ruth’s creepy legless grandmother but her fantasy sequence where she effs George out of it was better. And here it is …

    Ruth (to George): “You’re God damn right it isn’t funny. None of this is funny. You tricked me into marrying you and you didn’t tell me you were crazy. Now I have to take care of you for the rest of my life. What have I done to fucking deserve this?”

    Margaret: “You live in your head. How are you gonna deal with crack addicts?”
    Brenda: “Because I’ve had my own struggles with addiction. Because we’re all human”
    Margaret: “Oh honey, we’re not. That’s what you’re gonna learn”.

    Margaret charges $200 for her consultations yet we haven’t seen the demon woman at work and Maya called Brenda “Mommy”.

    David (re surrogacy): “Even if it all worked out, there’d still be the weirdness of having a niece you’re also the mother of”
    Claire: “Yeah that’s kinda creepy”.

    Keith: “I am the egg man”.

    Some Sam factoids included David having a crush on him and him having a USDA Prime Beef tattoo on his ass.

    The formaldehyde smell is replaced by Millennium New Era.

    Maggie (re Clinton book): “Oh I’ve been wanting to read that”
    George: “Let me go get it before I forget”.

    Art Dealer (to Claire): “The world is an evil place”. Claire also said here that she wasn’t returning to college.

    Chronology wise, two weeks have passed since “A Coat Of White Primer”.

    George (to Ruth and Maggie): “I’m sorry, it’s just my life is so goddamn pathetic. All I have to look forward to is a fucking bowl of ice cream and I can’t even get that!”

    Standout music of this episode included Jem’s “Amazing Life” (Claire/Billy sex scene), The Pretender’s “Back On The Chain” (end credits) and Wilco’s “Hell Is Chrome”.

    A very strong and impressive second episode. “Dancing For Me” played wonderfully with the themes of nostalgia all too effectively. Although not a classic SFU (Despite some truly memorable moments), the writing was consistent and sharp and the wit and fun of the good old days is well and truly back. What else do disappointed viewers want? This show is back to basic while still progressing ahead, I’d say that was fair enough, wouldn’t anyone else?

  • Old Friends and Everyone In Between Samuel Wayne Hoviak 1965-2004 Written by Scott Buck Directed by Dan Attias

    "All we have is right here, right now"--Nate

    Nate is arranging the funeral of a 39 year old man who recently ran over himself. He has no idea who this person is until his wife tells him that his name is Sam Hoviak, who graduated from Bonaventure High with Nate in 1984. Nate soon after reconnects with friends including a software technician, Tom Wheeler who turns out to be a total nutcase when it comes to Viagra and teenage girls.

    Brenda is struggling to fit in at a free clinic which showcases coke addicts and complainers. Little does she know that her mother Margaret, can get her a better internship after "f*cking half of Southern California's acadamia". Brenda reluctantly accepts and meets her new supervisor Jackie.

    David and Keith are discussing their on-going quest for a child when Keith asks one night if Claire would like to be an egg donor. David hates asking Claire but asks anyway which turns out to be humiliating.

    But what about Claire? Claire still seeing and f*cking Billy who has just flushed his meds. Enough said. Run for the hills!

    Ruth and George are still on the outs when Ruth is continually pissed off that George did not tell her a thing. I guess she didn't read the fine print. Maggie being the lovely woman she is then offers to come and help take care of George while she gets an apartment. How lovely.

    -Enjoyed that creepy "egg"-puppet dream sequence. Was that supposed to be Claire?
    -"Where's the old Billy I used to know", well it looks like your question has been answered Wolf, because he'll begin to show himself in the following episode.

    Overall a very well written episode.
  • Another brilliant one here. It's humour is just so entertaining and now I feel like I know the characters.

    Season 5 gives us another excellent episode. What a good first two episodes, in a way it's kind of like going back to basics. Don't get me wrong, I personally think it has always been a brilliant show but something about these last episodes have really shone. The humour seems to be coming at us throughout, a great part of the show.

    How they mix drama and humour is just so entertaining. I'll start with Ruth and Georges storyline. Probably my favourite of the episode, Ruth's annoyance at George was just so amusing. We see how irritated she gets by every one of his comments, her reactions are bound to make anyone laugh. But it still had a sad tone, when both George and Ruth told Maggie she needed to stay. Which I'm looking forward to.

    Nate's best friend at high school dies and brings back old memories and his other best friend, it kind of shows you how you grow out of people, people may not have evolved like you have. We see that with Nate's old friend, who makes a comment about young teenage girls which shocked Nate, in fact me too. But I liked it, it was done well. David's touch in the story, about having a crush on him in high school was amusing.

    David's story with Keith was also great. David's dream was hilarious and I like that this aspect to the show is returning, reminds me of the first season. When he asked Claire about her eggs, it was awkward but very funny. There comments about names were good too. Claire herself I'm starting to like more again, last season she was a bit of a snob. Billy is getting interesting, I think that's just his character. As he is now not taking his medication anymore, Claire is in for some trouble, which I look forward to.

    Rico, my god was he desperate at the end. The whole storyline was amusing and when he finally was told that the girl wasn't interested in, you had to laugh at how she broke the news. But then he told Vanessa she was dead, talk about desperation. I enjoyed it a lot though. I'm glad to see Brenda getting a job, though it wasn't focused on that much, I look forward to more.

    This season is already going well and it's only two episodes in, bring on the rest.
  • A truly brilliant eposide, highlighting everything that is wonderful about Six Feet Under.

    I had waited so long for this final series, and I was certainly not disappointed. It has been a while since I have seen an episode of Six Feet Under and this episode definitely reminded me how truly brilliant this program is. It would be a a good place to start, even if you have not seen an previous episodes. The depth of character and true emotion comes through strongly in this episode. I have learnt so much about life from Six feet Under, and this was no exception!
  • Slightly better than the already good season premier, "Dancing For Me" is at once both slightly awkward and a genuine return to the classic feel of the old.

    I'm one of those incredibly annoying "Six Feet Under" fanboys who will defend the episode "That's My Dog" until the day that I die. I'll admit it; after watching the episode, I went to my beloved (now no longer available, obviously) and rated it a generous ten. I still believe it's a fantastic episode, and the way it makes you stay with David throughout the horrific torture is simultaneously unsettling and exceptionally well done. I was on the edge of my seat, giving up all hope that David would make it out alive.

    Wait a second! This isn't about "That's My Dog." Er, sorry. Like I said before, I'm an annoying fanboy, so I'll probably try to state my opinion on the episode in as many ways and places as I possibly can.

    What I mean from all of this "fanboy" talk is that I really enjoyed season four. I watched every single episode like it was brand new chapter in a classic novel. Thinking back on it, though, I can sort of understand some of the naysayers reactions... if you're not immediately pulled into the murky yet somehow fascinating and compelling waters of later-day "Six Feet Under," you're going to find it incredibly tedious and dull and etc. Every episode in season four will seem to be even more dour than the last; characters will say and do stupid and depressing things "out of character," and you'll want some of those talking dead people to liven things up.

    Although I don't agree, I see where you're coming from. And for you people, you have this episode. "Dancing For Me" is at once a return to the old, darkly humourous feel of the first couple of seasons while filtered through the more appealing aspects of season four. For all of those old school fans, this season has started out pretty damn good.

    If you'd like me to list the more first/second season-esque qualities of this episode, I'd be more than happy to:

    +Incredibly weird dream sequence with David and a puppet version of Claire that rivals anything from the first season in terms of uncomfortable-ness. Not to mention Keith dressed as a farmer, driving a tractor. I have to admit he looked pretty hot in that outfit.

    +THE DEAD GUY SPEAKS! The death of this episode in particular is an old buddy of Nate's from high school. Him along with another guy (who turns out to be secretly perverted) used to be his best friends. Nate has an argument over some girls they slept with, and it's handled very nicely.

    +Nothing extremely "soap-y" or over-dramatic here. One of the more popular complaints of seasons three and four (but mostly the latter) is that "Six Feet Under" has turned into a huge, lumbering mish mash of soap opera cliches. I, again, don't agree, but I do notice that absolutely nothing that could be seen as hokey and soap opera-ish is found here. Just a lot of great dialogue and interesting scenes. No one dies, no one finds new clues about Lisa's death (thank God), and hell, no Lisa! How about them apples?

    +The death sequence actually has to do with the plot! Like I mentioned before, it's one of Nate's old buddies, so there's a lot of talk about it with another former friend. Unfortunately, Nate finds out how much he has changed over the years and how he really can't relate to the friend. (Which in itself is a very interesting subplot.)

    +Billy's gonna go crazy again! It's just obvious. At the end of this episode, he throws his -- what I think is -- lithium into the toilet, and we all know what happens when a once crazy person (he tried to carve a tattoo off of his sister's ass) stops taking his meds. Goodbye sanity!

    Too bad Claire is living with him. I'm expecting them to break up rather soon, mostly because of her fear of his past craziness.

    Onto the rest of the episode:

    Ruth is stuck with George, and she won't let it get past her. Although George is actually doing very well from what we see (he even makes a dorkily cute joke about an "italian prostitute"), she won't deal with it. Instead, she's a constant ticking time bomb, yelling within a moment's notice and completely ignoring the very obvious attempts from George to rekindle the fading flame of their marriage. George is doing alright, Ruth. Back off a little. You're the one who hastily married the guy without really knowing much about him.

    It's also interesting to note that the actor who plays George (James Cromwell) recently complained about the story arc for his character in an issue of TV Guide. He apparently does not like the way the writers started out this season with him going balls-out crazy. Well, uh, James, what did you expect? You were talking to yourself by the end of season four... things would eventually lead to getting shock treatments and what not.

    George's daughter Maggie comes to visit, and for some reason she seems even more reserved about her true feelings and quiet than she did in the last season. Something is not right.

    David and Keith are still struggling with the whole adoption/surrogate process. Keith suggests Claire be a surrogate... which thankfully backfires. It'd be pretty awkward at all of the various dinner functions, don't you think?

    Speaking of Claire, she's still the narcissitic bitch that she was in the end of season four. Like Oliver once said, "and so the corruption begins." She can't seem to handle that her new photo project isn't good enough to warrant her own show, so she throws a fit in front of the gallery owner. He thankfully doesn't respond, or at least not that much.

    Brenda beings work as an intern at some crazy psychiatric clinic, only to grudgingly resort to her mother's help to get her out of there and into a place more suited for her (somewhere not as depressing).

    Probably the most minor subplot is the one that involves Federico. His new "girlfriend" fails to call him back for a lunch, and to Rico's disappointment is not incredibly interested in him. He stupidly lies to Vanessa ("she died..") so he can have dinner with her and the kids. You know she's going to find out sooner or later; it's a wee bit predictable.

    All in all, "Dancing For Me" (which, if I'm not mistaken, takes it's title from little Maya's line in the sort of awkward beginning scene) is a fine episode that harkens back to the older days. Should keep both sides of the fence quite happy.

    RATING: 8.8
  • Nate re-connects with some high-school friends.


    Another great episode of Six Feet Under here. Every character is getting some great scenes to chew on without going over the top, especially James Cromwell as George.

    In this episode, we find Nate meeting up again with a friend from high school after a friend they both had runs himself over with a car (one of the funny gags of the episode is whenever somebody asks "how does somebody run themselves over?") David and Keith's adoption attempts continue forward after Keith suggests that they have Claire donate some eggs to them so it can be like they're really having a baby. Brenda continues her attempts to be a psychologist, with the help of her mother, while Billy's attempts to stay sane becomes a difficult task. Ruth continues dealing with George, who is trying his best to remain sane but finds it more and more difficult every day.

    The thing I like about this season so far (of course, it's only two episodes in so far) is that every character gets something meaningful to go through, even the minor characters. Billy is a character that has sort of popped in and out of the show throughout it's four seasons. Who would've thought he'd have one of the more interesting plots heading into Season 5? And while I've been pretty critical of David and Keith's relationship throughout the show, I think adopting a kid could be good for their character arcs. And man... Cromwell is batting a thousand so far. His mini-breakdown near the end of the episode was absolutely superb. I have no idea how he never won an Emmy, but either way, he's doing a great job.

    I hope Season 5 remains as good as it is so far.

  • Review

    Not a whole lot of excitment in this episode. David and Keith still havent gotten very far with what they are going to do about there child. Weve seen them have the same convos over and over in the first two episodes now. With only 11 episodes left I would like to see them get a kid very soon, hopefully via adoption.

    Nate and Brenda didnt spend to much time on camera in this episode, which is where I feel Six Feet Under really shines.

    Georges problem is getting old, though I did like how Maggie said she would stay at the end of this episode, making me think something dramatic may happen with her and one of the fishers.

    Ricos "She died" was kind of random. You would think the truth that she isnt dead would come out in a few episodes, but I doubt it
  • Six Feet Under is like totally kinda going back to it's roots, like. Yeah. What?

    In season 4, SFU got a bit too over the top at times and kinda forgot what the show was about. Judging from the first two eps of season 5, it's had a nice big tasty bowl of memory soup, and the soup is just the right temperature. It's not too hot and IN YOUR FACE, oh no, it's just right. If you haven't seen the first few seasons of SFU, then you probably can't fully savour just how tasty this soup is. Well, I guess it could use some salt.

    Anyway, all broth metaphors aside, "Dancing For Me" was a good old Six Feet Under episode. We had talking dead people, which in other shows might be disturbing but here it's a welcome reprise, a DOTW (death of the week) relevant to the episode, maya talked, claire annoyed me, billy is still the coolest man to have ever lived.

    Oh man, let's talk about Billy. Why the fuck isn't he a main cast member again? He's more intregated than half of the main cast already, and has potential for a GREAT storyline this season. I am so happy he's doing away with his medication. I don't want him to kill Claire or any of that shit, but I'm looking forward to some lapses in sanity.

    I'm feeling sorry for George, he got a few good lines in this episode (Pastatute, ho ho) and Ruth is being majorly annoying. Fuck you, Ruth, just get over it and shag the man. You'll feel better and if you don't then well why don't you just go and, eh, well, go and wash some fucking dishes or something. Yeah, wash some dishes.

    Claire is a pretentious art arsehole.

    Nate and Brenda. Well what's to say, things are looking christmassy. I liked Nate's scene with his old buddy in the bar. I don't think the guy was actually a paedophile, sure a bit pathetic but there's been alot of "WHAT A CREEP" talk. He wasn't THAT bad, though I don't think Nate will actually be meeting up with him for any more beers.

    Also, Nate said "thank you god". Does Nate believe in god? He's changed his mind about that a few times. I hope he actually doesn't though, it'd lower my opinion of him a bit. Yeah, I'm an atheist and I think people who believe otherwise are a bit stupid, or kidding themselves. I won't hold it against them though, I'm just not gonna like you as much.

    Haha, and I liked the guy in the free clinic, "There's no way that woman reads newsweek". Too true, random clinic worker, too true.

    Well good fucking night I am off to drop a turd.

    Oh by the way - 8/10.

  • How can you run over yourself?

    Nothing outstanding but it had a vibe to it that I loved. The show since it's 3rd season has been constnatly missing good deaths of the week.There were some cases which were, but, for the most, they were simply irrevelant. We saw someone die, and probably another 30second scene with the corpse but thats it. Now this episode, the death is finally revealnt again,heck... it was personal. One of Nate's old friend dies. I really enjoy George's storyline but Ruth is so freaking annoying and unfair I wish someone would smack her. This I can't take as a negative element as it's sort of... SORT OF... fitting with her character. However the pacing of the episode was painfully bad at times, so... 7.5 .
  • Six Feet Under is going back to its roots...

    What a great episode! It began answering a question a lot of people could think about: How can you run over yourself?... Finally, after a long time we get to see again the dead people getting involved with the main character's life.
    What's wrong with Rico?? Is he trying to emotionally buy Vanessa??.
    The dreams sequences were awsome, I was laughing out loud when I saw that baby-monster in the basket, but Ruth's dream was the best, screaming like a crazy person (and I think, just like her, that George tricked her into marrying so she could take care of him).
    I think Billy will kill himself at the end of the series, I mean, all signs point to it... I couldn't care less about Claire, she had evolved to be my least favorite character, not that she isn't great, but I just don't feel for her as I do for the other characters like Brenda (she is the best), David, Nate or Ruth.
    I really like Maggie, but I think we still have to find out who she really is when she stays a little longer in the Fisher House...
    Keith and David's deal about having a kid is a great plot point, it's alredy showing David's new insecurities...
    Well, It's a great episode, maybe this season would turn out to be the best...