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?