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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out of 10
195 votes
  • 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
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