Six Feet Under

Season 2 Episode 6

In Place of Anger

0
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Apr 07, 2002 on HBO
8.9
out of 10
User Rating
151 votes
5

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Matthew Heath Collins

1959-2001

Mitzi Hutley comes back into David and Nate's lives, bringing with her yet another offer from Kroehner. Ruth's estranged sister Sarah arrives for an unexpected visit, David considers giving his relationship with Keith another shot, and Brenda's feelings about her situation with Nate grow more muddled. A family dinner meant to announce some happy news about Nate and Brenda goes awry thanks, in part, to Nikolai's vodka pouring influence.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • 206

    9.0
    Six Feet Under continues with it's amazing streak of good episodes. Season 2 really is shaping to be my favorite season thus far. I never thought anything could trump the first season, so I was definitely surprised.



    The Dead Person of the Week was definitely interesting. The fact that he beat his wife all those years was definitely unexpected. Brenda's story lines just keep on getting stranger, and I really don't know if I should sympathize with her character since I can't seem to find reasoning in her actions.



    Hopefully this isn't Adam Scott's last appearance on this show but if it is, he was a great recurring character, and his chemistry with Michael C. Hall was pretty great as well. David's interactions with Keith's niece are also noteworthy.



    Throughout the entire episode, I was trying to figure out Ruth's sister's age, considering she looked as old as Nate, just something to add. She was a great guest character as well, and I'm liking all of Ruth's revelations this year. Overall, superb episode of Six Feet Under, keep it up!moreless
  • Nikolai was greatly missed, but now he's back. What a shame the rest of the episode was sub par compared to the rest of the series.

    6.0
    This episode I really have to try hard to find anything that I liked. Nikolai returned to make certain scenes a bit funnier, which was great but that makes me wonder where was he for several episodes? Anyway, apart from him and the dinner scenes with the vodka, everything kinda blends.



    Ruth's sister was about as uninteresting as Ruth most of the time.... and I really didn't see how her plot fitted into the essence of the show. And Brenda really annoyed me. What is he doing? It's just horrible. Her sexual addiction only after a few days of the proposal is so out of character and upsetting, I doubt anything but a huge break up could happen to her and Nate. Overall I would say this was the weakest episode so far of the show with very little plot advancement that actually interested me. Same for character development, this just felt like a Ruth / Brenda centric episode which is an unfortunate pairing.moreless
  • Review

    8.5
    Ruths sister being such a big part of the episode was a pretty poor decision I thought, which brings this episode into contension for worst episode of the season honors. Overall, season two has had a lot of good moments, but they just dont seem to have as many as season one did. I dont know what drama is missing, but this is the time where the show is hitting back to back rocky episodes for the very first time. Every show is going to go through periods like this and for Six Feet Under this is some of those back to back episodes that I was talking about. David breaks up with his new guy because he is in love with Keith, nothing that we didnt really know. Brenda cheats on Nate for the first time since saying that she would marry him. Like I said in that review last episode, it was all too good to be true last episode. Overall, I would say the episode was "okay".moreless
  • Sister Unbliss Written by Christian Taylor Directed by Michael Engler

    7.0
    A comparison shopping widow brings a feisty Mitzi Huntley back into Nate and David's lives, with yet another offer from Kroehner. Ruth's estranged sister, Sarah arrives for an unexpected visit that proves cathartic for the pair of them, as well as the budding artist in Claire. Thanks to Nikolai's influence (yes he's back), a vodka-fuelled family dinner casts a shadow on Nate and Brenda's happy news. Federico and Vanessa find their marriage frayed their house in need of seriously expensive repairing and David's unabated desire for Keith screws his potential relationship with Ben.



    Finally, my curiosity as to what was up with Ruth and her sister gets partially resolved in this intriguing episode and what can I say, but how cool is Sarah? Okay from a sister perspective, an ultimate pain in the ass, but from a fun loving perspective she is fun, as she has a vodka-fuelled Russian sing-song with Nikolai. Great choice in casting Welcome To Collinwood's Patricia Clarkson as Sarah who provides a perfect foil Frances Conroy's way too uptight at the minute Ruth.



    Sarah also scores brownie points for at least, temporarily deflating Claire's usual cynicism due to her unabashed honesty over Claire's art. Yes, she tells her she's good, but makes sure to inform that she needs to nurture her talents, which Claire actually accepted. Was Ruth jealous of Sarah? Oh God yes (not that the writers were trying to hide it anyways). This became totally obvious in the kitchen scenes when both women admitted to being envious of the other. Ruth wished she had more fun and Sarah a more meaningful life.



    I'm not so convinced that this little heart to heart will get Ruth to move on from whatever issues she has with her sister, but it's a start at least. Even Sarah doesn't believe Ruth will forgive for letting a 15 year old Nate have his way with a woman twice his age. Sarah also notes Nate's continued interest in complicated women when she finds out that Brenda is in fact "Charlotte: Light and Dark".



    Which leads to two other things here. First of all Ruth's all too vocal disapprovement of Nate and Brenda's engagement and then there's Brenda's continued lust for other men due to her sex addiction - and i've biting my tongue trying to decide which episode is appropiate to mention it and it has to be this one as it is the first for Brenda to really stray when she jerks off one of her own clients, after a horrible in which Nate tried to suffocate her. Looks like she isn't too thrilled with the idea of marriage either. Any chance her is a Gemini or any other form of an air sign? She seems to fit the bill -cerebral, detached and a mistress of sarcastic remarks. No wonder her character continues to fascinate me.



    Also in "In Place Of Anger"



    Death of the week: Idiotic Matthew Heath fell overboard and it didn't happen a moment too soon.



    Brenda:"-she's like Hermonie in the Harry Potter books".

    Nate:"Which would you rather have? Some overly educated gasbag like Trevor or a semi literate fuck machine like me?"

    Brenda:"That's a no brainer. No pun intended".



    We find out Margaret and Bernard are getting divorced. Should we really care?



    Sarah (to Ruth):"You wild woman. Nikolai is adorable and hot, the sex must be spectacular. Good for you."



    Nate (to Claire):"David and I went to stay with Aunt Sarah for one weekend and I kinda lost my virginity".



    Fisher & Sons have neglected putting their licence on a couple of advertisments. Maybe Mitzi has a point about thier business ethics.



    David:"I thought you had to prepare for a hearing tommorow?"

    Ben:"I'm thinking about blowing that off. The guy's like totally guilty and i'd rather spend the day with you".



    Chronology is November 2001.



    Ruth (re Nate):"He was molested"

    Sarah:"He was a horny fifteen year old who couldn't believe his luck".



    Standout music from this episode is Royksopp's "Sparks" during Nate and Brenda's last conversation.



    However the episode does misfire as well, particularly down to the unsatisfying conclusion of David and Ben's relationship. On the plus side, it looks like Keith and Eddie are next, judging by next week's trailer's. Another sore point would be Federico's current story arc (or kind of lack of it). I really hope his wife is cheating on him with his cousin. It seems way too cliched and this is a show that usually tries (and mostly) succeeds to avoid them. As for the Kroehner plot - could have been more interesting and how much more can the writers exhaust out of it, anyway? Either Fisher and Sons sell up (that part is sarcasm. I don't want them to sell up) or Kroehner go bust (yes please), but either way this thread needs sorting pretty soon.moreless
  • Put Aside the Differences Matthew Heath Collins 1959-2001 Written by Christian Taylor Directed by Michael Engler

    9.0
    "You're an artist, Claire. If you focus you can become something or self destruct like the rest of us. It's a blessing and a curse".--Aunt Sarah



    Imagine yourself widowed for 13 months, you called your sister immediately after your spouse died and several times in between. She has not yet returned any of your messages and you are becoming quite worried. Then to top it off, the sister arrives several months later unannounced, flirting with your significant other, reminscing on awkward moments in the past and filling your daughter up with something that will bring her nowhere or possibly somewhere if she is that good. This is exactly my point of view on how Ruth felt when Sarah, her sister who Claire has never seen and thought she had been deceased shows up and presents herself.



    Ruth later on confronts her on all of the above and also claiming that she had had more fun when they were growing up since Sarah left after high school and Ruth stayed to help her ailing grandmother. Sarah then explains herself that she didn't have the fun Ruth gets to enjoy. Sure she fills herself with good instead of bad, telling her sister she is a terrible artist but surrounds herself with good and that she could never have children because she is reproductively challenged. So who really feels like the jerk now?



    Other important events in "In Place of Anger"...

    *Death of the week: a drunken man at a holiday party falls off a boat and gets chopped up by a propeller. The widow, being a bargain hunter thinks about her decision and decides to go with a Kroehner funeral home. David then poaches the funeral back. She then asks Nate for her to see the badly decayed and destroyed remains.

    *David continues to see Ben Cooper who loves spending time with him but David feels uncomfortable when the family wants to meet him. After running into Keith, David breaks up with Ben.

    *At breakfast, Nate wants to announce the news of their engagement to the family at Sunday dinner. Brenda advises Nate that it is not a good idea but Nate then formally proposes since Brenda proposed to him. At the dinner which include Aunt Sarah and Nikolai, Aunt Sarah asks Claire to stay at Topanga Canyon for a weekend which Ruth objects to. Later Claire learns the story about how Nate lost his viriginity one weekend while staying at Aunt Sarah's. He was 15 and she was 32, her name is Fiona Kleinschmidt and we will meet her in the next episode.

    *Federico has a bad case of mold at his house which has to be fixed immediately before the situation worsens. Federico then implies the idea that his cousin, Ramon can help. Rico then tells Vanessa to shut up when she calls Rico, "David's lapdog".

    *On the second visit of Mitzi Dalton-Huntley, she demands them to go on a little trip with her to Palm Springs where she once again offers to purchase Fisher & Sons. Nate then rips up the check in the hot tub where Mitzi announces they are going under no matter what.



    Overall a pretty satisfying episode, the first of many appearances of Patricia Clarkson as Aunt Sarah. The episode leads into what could be argued two of the series' best episodes (Back to the Garden, It's The Most Wonderful), in my opinion.moreless
Harriet Sansom Harris

Harriet Sansom Harris

Catherine Collins

Guest Star

Julie White

Julie White

Mitzi Dalton-Huntley

Guest Star

Adam Scott

Adam Scott

Ben Cooper

Guest Star

Patricia Clarkson

Patricia Clarkson

Sarah

Recurring Role

Ed O'Ross

Ed O'Ross

Nikolai

Recurring Role

Paul Terrell Clayton

Paul Terrell Clayton

Eddie

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Ricardo Chavira and Harriet Sansom Harris will both later appear on "Desperate Housewives". Chavira as Carlos Solis and Sansom Harris as Felicia Tilman.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Sarah: Vodka is to Russians what therapy is to Americans.

    • Nate (To Brenda): What would you rather have, some overly educated gas bag like Trevor, or a semi-literate fuck-machine like me, come on.

    • Sarah: I met Vollhoffer at a party once and he came on to me. But I'd just dropped acid for the first time and I thought he was some Mayan death priest who wanted to cut out my heart and throw it into a pit. So I blew him off.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Brazil title: "Raiva" ("Anger")

    • Songs:
      Iffy - Super Bad Girl (Mint Royale remix)"
      Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - "Milan String Quartet #1 in A Major, Allegro"
      Frank DeWolfe - "Like a Friend"
      Wanda De Sah - "So Danco Samba (Jazz n' Samba)"
      George Shearing - "If I Should Lose You"
      John Beltran - "Collage of Dreams"
      Royksopp - "Sparks"

    • Brenda also has visions of pillows falling on top of her in the Season 4 episode "Terror Starts at Home".

  • ALLUSIONS (3)

    • Brenda: You know, my Constance Chatterley.


      Constance Chatterley is the main character in D.H. Lawrence's racy 1928 novel Lady Chatterley's Lover. When the young Lady Chatterley's wealthy husband is rendered paralyzed and impotent, her sexual desires lead to her have an affair with her gamekeeper, whom she eventually marries. Critics believe that Lawrence modeled some of the events in the book after his own rather unhappy domestic life. The book's explicit language caused it to be banned in Britain for thirty years after its initial publication.

    • Brenda: She's more like my Humbert Humbert.

      Humbert Humbert is the central character in Vladimir Nabokov's 1955 novel Lolita. In the story, Humbert is sexually attracted to underage girls, particularly to a twelve-year-old named Dolores Haze, whom he nicknames "Lolita." He goes to great lengths to be close to her--including marrying her mother--but she ultimately runs away with another man. Brenda's character Christina, therefore, is likely a manifestation of her sexual desires.

    • Nate: Well, now who's Christina? Is that like your fictional alter ego? Your Holden Caulfield?

      Holden Caulfield is the protagonist in J.D. Salinger's 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye. Many critics believe that Salinger shaped Caulfield's character from Salinger's own experiences.

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