Six Feet Under

Season 4 Episode 9

Grinding the Corn

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Aug 15, 2004 on HBO

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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  • Comic Delight Written by Rick Cleveland Directed by Alan Caso

    Sometimes this show truly amazes me beyond belief. This would be another one of those times.

    With last week's sexcapades between the pair, anyone looking for a confrontation from David and Keith certainly don't get short changed here as they come clean about their respective romps. It was universally sealed in stone that David would be far from happy that Keith slept with Celeste but a part of me wanted to gag him for his overrighteous reaction towards his lover boning mini-brat last ep. Sure, Keith was wrong for sleeping with a minor (in average intelligence) but it's not like our Dave here was the Virgin Mary during Keith's various touring either.

    But the dream sequence does raise the notion of David fearing his boyfriend/husband will leave him from a woman. Keith made no bones last season of admitting his enjoyed intercourse with the opposite sex and we did see him ogle women on a music video here (at least that's what it looked liked) but after what they've been through, I can't see either one of them leaving the other for anyone and despite their petty squabbling, the tit-for-tat dialogue is one in a long line of delicious exchanges here. And then there's the PTSD which could do with some more fleshing out.

    Which include the fact Claire's lack of an orgasm has been supposedly sent up in a way that would anyone cringe, as annoying Anita oh so seems to take pleasure in Claire's anguish over Edie as her attempts of using Russell to get at her have failed. But seeing as Edie doesn't feature here (and also due to my love for the character), i'm really hoping that Anita's little rumours are just that and when did she become so ubitiquous? She lives with Russell and Claire (KICK HER OUT - ICDEADPEOPLE) but was there to tell her Edie was "over her" just as Claire arrived to talk things out. Thankfully, Claire gets something of a last laugh when cardboard Jimmy demonstrates the episode's title on her and finally gets her to climax, leaving viewers with the impression that we'll be seeing a whole new attitude towards sex from the Fisher girl. And it looks like she won't be giving up on Edie either.

    It was wonderful to see Billy once again (he's the substitute photography teacher) with Jeremy Sisto looking rather delightful and rather sane in character (finally found the right meds?) and it was even better that for once a return Billy piece, the producers didn't have him interact with his family and among Claire's art buddies, at least she finally has a real ally in her corner and there's a great exchange between the pair in which Billy offers his own interesting perspective on perfect partners.

    That should come in handy for others in this episode as after all the bad characterisation he's gotten this season, the writers are now starting to draw some sympathy for George and it does work to a certain degree as he himself even seem to realise that marrying Ruth was something of a mistake during his crying and poignant conversation with Maya, making it even more likely that he'll be gone by the end of the season, if not before. And just wait until you see the sight of him, Nate and Federico fending off a bunch of thieves intent on stealing a valuable comic from the D.O.T.W's casket.

    Now this is where the fun and games really kicked off as Rico, a loose end since surgically cutting his ties from sour face Sophia and still at the funeral home is forced in to an inspired down time bonding session with Nate and George and the look on his face after his appetiser will have viewers in stitches.

    There's even more fun when Ruth and Bettina's little excursion in Mexico goes arseways when the former's beloved horse gives way and has to be shot. Poor Ruth - even away from the funeral home and death still manages to pay a visit, but away from George and her whole mannerism changes - brighter clothing, hair down and some choice scenes with Frances Conroy and Kathy Bates. These two still continue to be a dynamic pair but the sooner Bettina hauls her ass back to L.A. and brings Sarah with her, the better.

    The best part of the episode however centres around Rick Cleveland's attempts of giving Nate and Brenda's relationship some growth and despite the way this plot has been handled so far, things are moved so much more plausibly as Brenda wants to get close and Nate wants distance, leading to two seperate brilliant journeys and a hell of a conclusion when their real feelings for the other are brought to the fore.

    Nate's bonding session with Rico and George re: the comics follows an utterly hysterical visit from both Nathaniel as Death Man and rather more wry looking Lisa which not only cranks this arc even more but there's also some eerie foreshadowing dropped in there.

    Brenda's on the other hand, sees some old habits being reawoken when she hits the bong and almost sleeps with her dealer but before you find the time to say "you muppet" she turns things all around by attending a SAA meeting. And then there's her successful analysis of a patient during her therapy course to boot. Atta girl.

    Like I said this plot is moving along better than when it started and there's some great truth telling moment between the pair but with Maya in the mix this time around will this make this even harder for either of them to commit to the other?

    Also in "Grinding The Corn"

    Death of the week: Lawrence Tuttle climbs a shelf to reach his most prized comic. Shelf falls down and kills him.

    Nate (re Rico and George):"You guys are more pathetic than I am". - Self awarement at last.

    Female: "Hey, move it!"
    Brenda: "Fuck off you stupid bitch".

    Loved the debate on people's addiction to comics and other seemingly geeky stuff.

    David (reaction to Keith sleeping with Celeste):"You were walking by and happened to fall into her vagina?".

    Russell:"Why are you looking at me like i'm some kind of retard?"
    Claire:"Because I swear Russell sometimes you are. And for your information, labia are not internal organs".

    I have said that Peter Krause is delicious, but the scene with Nate, Nathaniel and Lisa all chomping on Nate had me in stitches. I got the symbolism parts of his former wife and father being the main people to comsume his thoughts and actions but this metaphor was just stunning.

    Even more hysterical was David with boobs. Hands up who didn't laugh? Liar, liar. Pants on fire.

    David and Keith sure as hell got portrayed as husband and wife here, didn't they? Wonder what that could mean?

    Keith (reaction to David sleeping with anyone these days):"Fine. Just don't blow anyone while you're in there".

    Chronology wise, it's March 2004.

    Bettina (to Ruth):"Horrible and terrible are often two underrated qualities when travelling in a foreign land. Horrible and terrible can often lead to fun and adventure".

    Jimmy:"You wanna know what it called?"
    Claire:"It has a name?"
    Jimmy:"Yup. It's called 'grinding the corn'".

    We don't see Claire's "O" face, although the 'Wow' reaction more than suffices and i'm sure i'm not allowed to describe sexual techniques on this website unfortunately.

    Nate:"Who are you supposed to be?"
    Nathaniel:"Deathman. I wanted to be the Grim Reaper but the folks at Marvel had a copyright on it".

    Lisa:"I'm sorry, but I have to take something with me. Being alone for all eternity sucks like you wouldn't believe". She sure is a lot funnier dead these days, huh?

    Standout songs of the episode include The Killers' "Somebody Told Me" (Anita/Claire convo), Snow Patrol's "How To Be Dead" (Claire/Billy convo) and Ryan Adams' "Burnt Photographs" (Brenda seeing her dealer).

    After last week's unsatisfying piece, we get a killer of an episode loaded with comic and heartfelt moments, cutting to the core dialogue and some truly priceless moments all round. In fact this episode is steeped in even more comedy than per usual and it definitely doesn't detract things. With only three episodes left to go (make it four HBO), "Grinding The Corn" definitely sets the ground running for a calvacade of events to come. You'd be completely soulless not to love it.

  • Relationship troubles all over the place.

    A rather light hearted episode I thought. Pretty good, pretty good. There's not a whole lot to say; for the most the episode aimed for the funnies rather than the drama. Good example is the death of the week: a comic book geek dies and his last request was to be buried with a certain very rare comic book. Then, his friends attempt to steal this comic book fromh is coffin, and it is up to George, Nate and Rico to stop the geek squad........

    Yes, it was hilarious. Also David fantasying about Keith liking women again was hilarious too. Overall, very good episode. Only part I thought was unncessery was... welll, Claire's new lover. Doesn't seem like a very interesting guy...
  • Review

    This episode had a little bit of everything that you would expect from Six Feet Under.

    The scenes with Rico, George, and Nate sitting around the table eating were good to watch. Are they all really in the end the same person? They all seem to suffer relationship breakdown (or currently be suffering from). this could be a little much for Six Feet Under, which has a lot of that.

    Nates three part continous dream was fun to watch. From his dog dying to death taking his family to his dog, Lisa, and his Dad around the table getting ready to take him in. This could be foreshadowing in the sense that Nate was the next one to die in the series. All in all, everything you would expect from Six Feet Under
  • Bedtime Stories Lawrence Tuttle 1969-2004 Written by Rick Cleveland Directed by Alan Caso

    "Life is a series of accidents, one after the other"--George

    This week's episode of Six Feet Under, also known as "Grinding the Corn" is one of those rare episodes that comes around and the ideas for future episodes still remaining can't seem to compare to the original prototype that created what is about to happen in future episodes.

    Seeing that Ruth has moved into Bettina's home temporarily the men of Fisher & Diaz: Federico, George and Nate decide that they are now living in the funeral home as roommates. But not that cheesy kind of "Three's Company" roommates, it's more kind of excitement with a mix of drama and useful information. While sitting down to dinner one evening, George prepares giant portabello mushrooms for dinner. When Federico comments on this, George responds with the geological farness of where the food is being prepared.

    The meal ends with an attempted break-in downstairs from would be "grave robbers". The robbers attempted to steal a very valuable comic book from the casket of the deceased who specifically wanted this buried with him. The men manage to save the day when George trips them, Rico beats them with a frying pan and Nate sends them off. Job well done.

    Other important events in "Grinding the Corn"...
    *Death of the Week: A comic book owner/worker tries to find a solution to use for economic problems. When attempting to grab a very valuable comic from the shelf, the shelf literally falls on him. End of story.
    *Title meaning: Claire literally gets her "corn" grinded by Jimmy when it is made clear by Edie in revenge that she had never had an orgasm. Jimmy then uses this technique on Claire which turns out unexpectedly successful for both parties.
    *Ruth and Bettina head to Mexico where they have a wonderful adventure trying to enjoy a girls getaway including turning "chicken shit into chicken salad" meaning making things that turn out to be bad, actually pretty good. Ruth then tells off the hotel manager and gets free use of the jacuzzi and all goes well until Ruth's horse gets shot right near the end of the show. Still a pretty fun journey, if you think about it.
    *Nate gets cozy with Brenda, but when Brenda says that she loves him Nate gets a little turned off. She then slips into a familiar habit but turns to old friends at a Sex Addicts meeting before getting sucked in. Nate then has a terrible dream showing that everything he has in life is gone, the next day he goes to Brenda's with Maya where she welcomes them in with open arms.
    *David continues to suffer from post-traumatic stress but when he learns that Keith used his "free gift" on Celeste which causes David to freak out until David confesses he slept with Sarge, the Paintball guy. Keith then calls it a tit for tat which David doesn't buy. Well there's always next episode.

    *Enjoyed Nate's little dream with Nathaniel as Deathman and where Nate was being served "All You Can Eat" with Lisa, Nathaniel and Yippe! his dog.

    Overall an excellent and satisfying episode with adventurous plot and comedy. I think they should have reversed the endings though with Ruth's beforehand and Nate's as the last scene, but I guess that's life.