Six Feet Under

Season 5 Episode 12

Everyone's Waiting

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Aug 21, 2005 on HBO
out of 10
User Rating
818 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The drama about a Los Angeles funeral home meets its maker after five compelling seasons. Three weeks ago, Nate Fisher Jr.’s death ended speculation about which of the show’s major characters would die. But in the hands of creator Alan Ball, who wrote and directed this episode, you can bet the finale will be anything but anticlimactic. One issue certain to be resolved involves the health of Nate’s unborn child, since tonight, Brenda goes into labor. While the last two seasons have been downbeat, the writing has remained original, the acting terrific. Like Nate, the series will be missed.moreless

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  • A Proper Burial

    "Help, I have done it again / I have been here many times before"

    So begins "Breathe Me" by Sia, the song that plays throughout the series' final 6 minutes as Claire Fisher drives away from her family and looks into the future. After spending 5 seasons and 63 episodes with the Fisher family, the groundbreaking HBO comes to a close in one of the greatest finales of any show. Period.

    I don't think any show has ever put me through so such an intense emotional roller coaster ride as much as Six Feet Under has. I could go from loving a character to hating them, and them feeling sorry for them all in the span of ONE SCENE. Kudos to creator Alan Ball and the fantastic team of writers behind this show.

    The series comes to a satisfying end after a very emotionally draining last season. What happens in the finale of this show is something that doesn't happen in many finales: every character has an ending. And with a show dealing with death, in what better way to do this than by killing every main character? As morbid as it sounds, this is the most appropriate way to end this series and it is a very happy and positive outlook of the future. We see glimpses of the characters in the future and each finds peace with themselves and each other.

    In simpler words: it was perfect.

    Never before had I cried that hard watching a television show. I mean, I actually sobbed because how beautiful it was. I don't think there is ever going to be an ending as perfectly emotional for a very long time, if ever. One of my favorite hours of television and a close to one of my favorite shows.moreless
  • You can't take a photo of this, it's already gone.

    Very seldom in life do we come across absolute and breathtaking perfection. This is what the finale of Six Feet Under is. With many TV series, for some reason, the writers have trouble coming up with an ending that leaves the audience feeling as if all the time they've invested in the series is worth it *cough the sopranos cough* but this show really gave a more astounding ending than anyone could have expected. Of course, the heart-wrenching final moments are what people always talk about, but personally it was scenes like where Brenda sees Nate and Nathaniel holding Willa that make me tear up. Alan Ball brought each character to a satisfying resolution, and then, when you think its going to end, we see a beautiful, but disturbing montage of all the central characters' deaths. These scenes are so touching only because each is completely plausible and remind us that in some way or another, we and everyone we love will eventually die. And somehow Alan Ball brings out the natural beauty in this. As he said in an interview, "People's fear of death comes from us not being able to appreciate the natural, awe-inspiring beauty of life and You will crumble to pieces when you see Keith getting shot while running his security business, and then David seeing young Keith playing football before he dies of a stroke. Or when Ruth sees Nate and Nathaniel at the door as she passes away in hospital. As I said, simple, elegant perfection.moreless
  • I haven't cried that hard in years.

  • i have no words

    Just perfect.

    I couldn't think about a better series finale for this show...

    God, i was about to die too, with those last minutes!!!

    I started crying, and i wasnt able to stop! Even my hands were shaking for the "shock"!


    It was like... all those people who have become your friends, dying one after another... so sad... so beautiful in some other way...

    "Closing SPOILER area" XD

    Seriously... i got out of my room, and when my parents saw me... I gave them such a fright...i was all tears, like a baby XD

    I'm really going to miss this show... but if we've learnt something from this... it's that everything has a beginning... and an end.moreless
  • Absolutely stunning finale

    Anyone who says its impossible to end a series well, needs to watch this.

    Alan Ball and crew outdid themselves with this beautifully written, directed and acted episode.

    I won't bother recapping what happened, chances are you watched and already know, and if you didn't, stop reading and watch it. You won't regret it. This is the best episode of any show I've ever watched.

    The raved about last 10 minutes of this episode were the most stunning, emotional and beautiful moments I've ever seen put on film. I was openly crying watching these characters meet their ultimate demise. The whole point of this show was to experience death and how people deal with it... And now here we were, the viewers having to witness and deal with the deaths of these people we've watched live their lives for 5 seasons, who we grew to love, or hate. And thanks to the brilliant cast and crew, they felt like real people, they were so wonderfully fleshed out and developed.

    Kudos once again to Alan Ball for creating such a wonderful show, and ending it so perfectly, I don't know that it could ever be topped.moreless
Frances Conroy

Frances Conroy

Ruth Fisher

Freddy Rodriguez

Freddy Rodriguez

Federico Diaz

James Cromwell

James Cromwell

George Sibley (episode 40+, recurring previously)

Justina Machado

Justina Machado

Vanessa Diaz

Lauren Ambrose

Lauren Ambrose

Claire Fisher

Mathew St. Patrick

Mathew St. Patrick

Keith Charles

Sahar Bibiyan

Sahar Bibiyan

Dr. Peterman's Nurse

Guest Star

Patricia Clarkson

Patricia Clarkson

Sarah O'Connor

Guest Star

Toby Holguin

Toby Holguin

Armored Truck Robber

Guest Star

Brenna Tosh

Brenna Tosh


Recurring Role

Bronwyn Tosh

Bronwyn Tosh


Recurring Role

Giancarlo Rodriguez

Giancarlo Rodriguez

Julio Diaz

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (7)

    • Ruth: If my experience is anything to go by, motherhood is the loneliest thing in the world. Nathaniel wasn't even here when Nate was born. He was still in Vietnam. Even when he came home and David was born. And having terrible asthma, Nathaniel was never really here for me. Whether it was the war or just him, I don't think I'll ever know.
      Brenda: You know Nate and I were.
      Ruth: I know, I know. I know he loved you the very best he could. And I know you needed more. So did I. And I hope and pray that you put everything. Everything behind us and let me help you, because I know you're gonna need it.
      Brenda: Thank you. I will need it. I do need it.

    • Nate: Claire, you wanna know a secret? I spent my whole life being scared. Scared of not being ready, of not being right, of not being who I should be. And where did it get me?

    • George Sibley: [Making a toast] To Nate.
      David: To Nate.
      Bettina: To Nate.
      Claire: To Nate.
      Keith Charles: To Nate.
      Ruth: To my firstborn.
      Anthony: To Uncle Nate.
      Durrell: Yeah, to Uncle Nate.
      Brenda: [to Maya] Can you say "To Daddy"?
      Maya: To Daddy!
      Brenda: To Nate.
      Raises Glass

    • Claire: It's just I'm eating fruit salad in bed with a naked frat boy who voted for George Bush.

    • Nathaniel: So you're really going to sell your legacy? Your birthright?
      David: Yeah. And good riddance
      Nathaniel: I can't say I'm surprised. You never had it in you.
      David: Neither did you. The only way you could handle it was to have a secret room over a really bad Indian restaurant.

    • Claire: Oh, I will take a picture of everyone.
      Nate as a ghost: You can't take a picture of this, it's already gone.

    • Margaret: Ruth, it isn't the '50s anymore. No matter how you dress.

  • NOTES (5)

    • The episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Miniseries, Movie or a Special.

    • Featured Music

      "Empty Spaces" by Lifehouse
      "Sur Le Pont D'Avignon" performed by Peter Macdissi (Olivier)
      "Avolta" by Arsenal
      "Take Me In Your Arms" (Rock Me A Little While) by Kim Weston
      "Doctor My Eyes" by Jackson Browne
      "Always Worth It" by Sarah Blasko
      "I Changed My Mind" (Stereo MC's Rattlesnake Remix) by Lyrics Born
      "What'll I Do" by Nat King Cole
      "I Just Want To Celebrate (Mocean Worker Remix)" by Rare Earth
      "Breathe Me" by Sia Furler

    • Ruth is watching "Just Shoot Me" on TV when George walks in.

    • The glimpses into the future:

      2005: Ruth (59) and Bettina plays with a yard-full of dogs. Evidentially Ruth gets her doggie daycare idea off the ground.

      2005: David (36) explains the embalming process to Durrell (11).

      2006: The family celebrates Willa's first birthday. Attendants are Brenda (37), Maya (3), Ruth (60), George, Margaret, Olivier, Billy (with a puppy!), David (37), Keith (38), Anthony (8), Durrell (12).

      2009?: David (40) and Keith (41) tie the knot. Anthony (11) and Durrell (15) are best men. Father Jack performs the ceremony. Guests include Brenda (40, pregnant with her third child), Maya (6), Willa (4), Brenda's new husband, Rico (35), Vanessa, Ruth (63), and George. Claire (26) takes photos. (According to Entertainment Weekly's "No Small 'Feet'" column, Brenda's new baby is named Forrest, and her husband is Daniel Nathanson.)

      2025: Ruth (79) dies in a hospital bed with Claire (42), David (56), and George by her side. Before she passes, Nathaniel and Nate appear to her.

      2025: Ruth's funeral. Attendants include Claire, George, Keith (57), and David. The man at the grave with David is Durrell (31); the man sitting to Keith's left is Anthony (27). The woman sitting to George's right could be Maya (22). Ted shows up to meet Claire. (Note that the same actor who plays Adult Anthony can be seen sitting behind Maya in the clip from 2009.)

      2029: Keith (61) drives an armored truck for his own company, Charles Security. He unloads the back and thieves shoot him to death.

      2030?: Claire (47) and Ted marry. Guests include David (61); Anthony (32) and his boyfriend/husband; Durrell (36), his son, and pregnant wife; Brenda (61), Daniel, and Forrest (21).

      2044: A huge family gathering. Claire (61) and Brenda (75) talk at a picnic table. David (75) sits with his boyfriend (again, according to EW) and watches a family football game. Keith appears to David, and he dies.

      2049: Rico (75) on a cruise with Vanessa. He gets off his deckchair and heads for the door, but has a heartattack and dies.

      2051: Billy pontificates to Brenda (82) as she dies of ennui.

      2085: Claire (102) dies in bed with a nurse nearby. Her eyes are clouded with glaucoma. Photographs on the wall include George and Ruth (2005?); Ruth and Bettina (2005?); Brenda, Maya, Willa, and Daniel at David's wedding (2009); Nate from Claire's collage-mask series (2004); David and Keith (2020?); Nate and Brenda from the wedding series (2005); Maya (2005?); Claire and Ted at their wedding (2030?); and Ted in bed from earlier in the episode (2005).

    • The song in the end of the episode is : "Breathe Me" from the singer "Sia"


    • The title refers to the song "Waiting" by The Devlins which is played at the end of the pilot. The phrase was also uttered by Nate when he addressed Claire in the final ten minutes of the finale.