Six Feet Under

Season 1 Episode 9

Life's Too Short

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jul 29, 2001 on HBO
out of 10
User Rating
200 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Anthony Christopher Finelli
April 12, 1995 - April 12, 2001

Claire runs into Gabe again, but not under the best circumstances. His brother died and his mother and he have come to Fisher & Sons for the services. Brenda and Nate visit several different local funeral homes posing as mourning relatives in order to help Nate improve upon his salesmanship.


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  • Growing On Me

    Even if it's taken awhile this show is seriously growing on me in so many ways - the characters for one, are starting to worm their way into my heart. I can finally say I like each of them in some way now... maybe more than like. I love how the writers brought back Gabe and the funeral scenes with Brenda had me bursting out in laughter. Overall, I can't wait to see what happens next.moreless
  • Nate and Brenda play a strange game while David meets Keith at a bar

    I thought this episode of "Six Feet Under" did a great job of taking every character of the show (besides Federico) and giving them something to do in the show that truly moved them forward, or at least gave us a better look at them. It's not that the other episodes of the show don't do this either; I was just impressed by this one, mostly because for such a dark "death" at the beginning, there were some entertaining moments.

    Fear seemed to be the force motivating people here. There was David, who seems afraid to simply let loose and let his youth out. He sees himself as an old man with Kurt, so when he goes to the bars with him and ends up seeing Keith, it's a reminder of what he truly is and what he can never be with Kurt. I'm really liking the David Fisher character and I think the writers are doing a fantastic job of giving him an arc to play this season.

    Doing just as great is Peter Krause as Nate Fisher. Nate and Brenda have this weird dynamic that is fascinating to watch, and in this episode, we get to see them pretend to be a grieving couple as they go around from funeral home to funeral home, pretending to be a couple looking to buy a funeral. This all begins after Nate fails the funeral director's test and Brenda sees this as anopportunityto get some experience in from the other side of things. She also sees it as a weird way of getting Nate used to the idea of death. Nate and Brenda have an extremely strange relationship, but the fact it can go from harsh to carefree in the matter of a few minutes says everything you need to know about them.

    Then there's the death of the week, involving Gabe, the guy who spread the "foot sucker" rumor about Claire. His brother shoots himself in the face with his father's gun and Gabe knows no where else to go except for the Fisher's home. As a result, we get a very touching, subtle set of scenes between Gabe and Claire. I hope that the show finds a way to make their relationship interesting. At first, it was built solely on that whole "foot" thing. Now, with his brother dead, maybe this is anopportunityfor a more serious side to things.

    I've never exactly been a fan of Ruth's weird tryst between Hiram and Nikolai, but I loved her little ecstasy fantasy where she meets up again with her dead husband, shares a few touching moments before kissing him. As it turns out, she was actually kissing Hiram, but it shows that she's getting over her fears and is starting to perhaps move on. I can't say her plots interest me the most, but the writers did a good job here.

    Overall, a great episode.moreless
  • 109

    A superb episode of Six Feet Under, this show has been consistently good since it started, and I can only imagine a huge payoff in the finale. We're getting a feel of all these different characters, this family, and you can really tell in this episode.

    All the characters are complex in their own way like David for instance. He is a serious man who supposedly never messes up, but the truth is, he's just as messed up as everyone else. The scene between him & Square Dance Guy was quite sad, but I'm glad Keith returned, I'm looking forward to another reunion between the two (Keith, David).

    The cold opening was quite twisted, and I couldn't help but shut my eyes in horror as I heard the gunshot. Good return of the Foot Guy from the pilot episode, I really hope him & Claire don't get back together, unless his little brother's death changes him drastically. The fight that broke out was quite intense, and definitely helped the rating tonight.

    Brenda & Nathan's plot bored me just because I find Brenda irritating, and I found the story line was quite depressing. "Everybody dies." The aspirin/ecstasy switch up was quite funny, and I really was anxious to find out who would be the one to take the ecstasy. Superb installment tonight, can't wait for the next.moreless
  • A strong comeback.

    Well it's not like the show was on a hiatus or anything. But the last 2 episodes have been lacking the magic the first few had - this however brought that magic back. The first half was still a bit slow, but the second half of the episode was very strong.

    Making the death of the episode a bit more personal was a good idea. Gabe's brother shoots himself accidentally... he was only 6 years old. As usual, every family member had his/her own plot, only sharing a few scenes. What stood out to me is Ruth's storyline which actually was surprisingly good. Maybe because I only realized at the very end that she took David's ecstasy which made her camping with Hiram much more fun. And she wasn't even aware of this... her dream/vision with Nathaniel was good too.

    David lets go of himself as he's now doing Rico's job too. He finally meets Keith again who seemingly found someone. I wonder how they will get together, if they ever will... This episode continues to show how Nate's and David's relationship has gotten better in the past few episodes. To me, this is surprising because it's so early in the show. It's a great thing though. I like their dynamics.

    I was really surprised to find that Brenda and her brother was not annoying at all this episode. Nate and Brenda randomly "testing" funeral directors was fun to watch aswell.

    The episode was all around a success. Some great plots with no mistakes, and it also had a nice set of punches too.moreless
  • Review

    Really emotional episode, with the death in the openeing scene having a little bit more of a meaning because of Gabe being the older brother of the boy that died. The death really had an effect on the rest of the main cast, mainly Claire who now is dealing with a greiving Gabe at the end of the episode. David and Nate are starting to learn that life is too short. David was partying in this episode like it was his last day to live, it was interesting to see his character switch when around the Square Dancing guy but in the end he turned back into the David we all know. Nate and Brenda going around to the different funeral homes provided a lot of comedy for the epsiode and was the primary stepping stone for Nate to realize how big death is going to be someday. I really think you see how his character grew in the final moments of the episode when he has to talk to Gabes father. Ruth scenes in this episode were better then with most episodes. The scene with Nathanial in the dream was very good. Overall, very good episode.moreless
Richard Jenkins (I)

Richard Jenkins (I)

Nathaniel Fisher (uncredited)

Guest Star

Gabriel Cade

Gabriel Cade

Make-Out Guy

Guest Star

Hal Ozsan

Hal Ozsan

Man in Flower Shop

Guest Star

Ed Begley Jr.

Ed Begley Jr.


Recurring Role

Ed O'Ross

Ed O'Ross


Recurring Role

Paul Terrell Clayton

Paul Terrell Clayton


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Nikolai: Are you going with your little friend, the one with the funny car?
      Ruth: It's an electric car and it's very good for the environment.
      (Nikolai laughs)
      Ruth: Why are you laughing?
      Nikolai: Because you're not.

    • Nate: What kind of sane person isn't afraid of death?
      Brenda: I'm not!
      Nate: Yeah, well I said "sane" perosn!

    • Claire: What was in the aspirin?
      David: He gave me some pills, and now I'm gonna have to say, "Sorry, I lost them, because I'm this old guy geek and I'm completely uncool in this world in which you seem to thrive, you perfect distillation of human evolution."
      Claire: Ok, is this split personality thing like something that happens when Mom goes out of town? Cause I like you this way better.

    • Billy: A man should know the history of his chosen proffesion if he expexts to be anything more than an amateur.
      Nate: So I'm an amateur?
      Billy: I'd prefer the term "dilettante".
      Nate: And what are you, Billy? Running around with your camera, taking pictures of other people's lives. You really think knowing a bunch of arcane National Geographic shit is gonna help me cope with a 6-year-old who shot himself in the head?!

    • Brenda: You know what I find interesting? If you lose a spouse, you're called a widow or widower. If you're a child and you lose your parents, then you're an orphan. But what's the word to describe a parent who loses a child? I guess that's just too fucking awful to even have a name.

  • NOTES (5)

    • - Italian title: "La vita è troppo breve" (= "Life's Too Short").

    • Matt McCoy played a funeral director in this episode. He also played a funeral director in an episode of The Nanny.

    • Music featured in episode: TUU - All of Our Ancestors, H2S04 - Little Soul, Planet Perfecto - Bullet in the Gun(Solar Stone remix), H2S04 - I Need Feel, Antonio Vivaldi - The Four Seasons: Winter, The Januaries - The Girls Insane (Thievery Corporation remix), Mandalay - Beautiful (Victor Calderone remix), Mellowtrax - In Da House, Liadov - The Musical Box.

    • Federico, played by Freddy Rodriguez, did not appear in this episode.

    • The song playing in the background while Brenda, Nate and Billy eat supper is "Tuu - All Our Ancestors".