Six Feet Under

Season 3 Episode 1

Perfect Circles

1
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Mar 02, 2003 on HBO
8.6
out of 10
User Rating
171 votes
9

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Nathaniel Samuel Fisher
1965-2002

What would it be like if Nate died? Or, if Nate and Brenda had a kid? Or, if Nathaniel Sr married someone different? Or, if Nate's surgery didn't go so well and he became brain damaged? Or if Nate was an existential redneck? Nate experiences alternate realities but which one does he choose? Fisher & Sons is now Fisher & Diaz, and Rico is taking a stand. He does not want to be a "gofer" anymore, and makes sure everyone knows he is now a partner. Claire becomes "gofer", for 50 bucks a shot, and takes a body to the crematory where she meets a worker named Phil. She plays hooky from art class the next day to be with him. David and Keith start couples therapy, which only seems to anger Keith more. Ruth gets a bit obsessive with her granddaughter Maya, but Lisa puts her in her place. Lisa also deals with the quirkiness of her frenetic boss and landlord, Carol.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Season 3 Premiere

    7.0
    Great premiere of Six Feet Under, I did notice a lot of things were different from where we left off last season, and we got a slow burning feel this season, but maybe that's for the better, especially the way they built up too things last season.



    Claire's story line: Maybe she's meeting another psycho this season? First Gabe, then Billy, and now this guy? I'm intrigued. The absence of Brenda proved to impact the show a lot. Hope she comes back soon, Lisa seems interesting enough.



    What I loved about the episode was the entire concept: how everything is just so random like Nate's conception, also loved how they explored the alternate realities of the situation. Great premiere overall.moreless
  • What a change!

    8.5
    So I'm on the 3rd series re-watch and I remember being quite disappointed when I first watched this...I wasn't really the 2nd time around. The opening few minutes were excellent with Nate seeing different types of his world...from being dead to having a kid with Brenda. He is in fact alive and married to Lisa. What a huge change for him as a character. That's what is so apparent here, how different the show is in regards to him.



    I must admit that I like Lisa sometimes but other times she seems so needy. I liked her scene with her boss Carol, that was funny. David and Keith are having trouble and I found the therapy session amusing. Claire is at art school, not sure if she got in that one that she loved or not...the perfect circle thing was sort of interesting, her potentially dating that rock guy wasn't that interesting to me here...I was happy for Ruth cos she now had Maya to spend time with...but now she feels alone without here. A good premier which changes a lot.moreless
  • Good opening, good story, good ending.

    9.7
    This episode has one of the best opening sequences in all of the entire Six Feet Under series. Determining all the ways Nates life could have gone was a great way to bring back the season from a prolonged break from season 2. What would have been different if Nate had really died? Would the series have been able to go on without him? Along with some of the shows from Season 5, this episode ranks as one of my favorites just from all the flashbacks that Nate experiences. I did like that they used the scene that he dreamed with Lisa again later in the episode. He made a decision on which life he wanted to live and after seven months thats the life he was living.



    Not so sure how much I like Lisa becoming a series regular, didn't see that coming after the end of last season to be honest with you. I like how all of the storylines now are something I'm interested in again. Ruth is connecting with Maya and Lisa, Claire is off in college, David and Keith are in theorpy, and Nates got the best storyline with Lisa. All of the storylines are now fresh. Old Score: 10/10

    New Score: 9.7/10moreless
  • A bit disappointing episode on a whole, after the amazing first 15 minutes.

    8.0
    What a weird episode. It feels as if Alan Ball was ready to make something huge, then suddenly he stood down and returned to the regular storytelling.



    The first 15 minutes were the best sequence of scenes of the show so far. Nate between life and death - seeing what outcomes are possible. What if he dies? What if he dies but suffers from brain injury? What if he stays with Brenda? What if he marries to Lisa? Etc.



    It was brilliant, but... it ended too soon. I think there was a huge missed opportunity here. Maybe show one outcome throughout the entire episode and only at the end reveal that it's not the reality. But instead.... no. Besides the first 15 minutes I really enjoyed David and Keith and their relationship troubles. The roles are seemingly switched; David seems confident and very stable whereas Keith is having a personal crisis. The rest: average. Though, I enjoyed the "flashes" Nate had, especially in the end. One of his "visions" came true. Overall, average episode with an incredible start, which of course bumps it up .moreless
  • As much as I like this episode, in my opinion this was a weak one to kick off the new season.

    8.6
    First off I need to say that I thought the first scene was very brave and cutting edge. I am a huge fan of dream sequences in general (for example I simply adored the controversial Sopranos episode "The Test Dream") and I found this one to be a worthy addition to the evergrowing surrealist elements that define this show. Alan Ball obviously still knows the tricks to keep this show fresh and poignant.



    Sadly everything that followed just didn't live up to what we've already seen from Six Feet Under. It looks like Nate has undergone a frightening transformation that renders him without any personality. Creepily, he's now suddenly become a doormat husband who's happily married to Lisa and only cares for her and their oh-so-cute baby daughter. Maybe it's just the aftermath of the brain surgery Nate went through at the end of season two, but I'm completely not at ease with how they developed his character that way. I hope the writers are going to give us some explanations soon.



    The others were pretty much behaving the way they always do, except for Ruth, whose newfound smothery grandmotherness totally annoyed me. I hope she finds some new activity/job soon so we get to see some of the old Ruth back. All in all, a disappointment. Hopefully things'll improve with the next episode.moreless
J.P. Pitoc

J.P. Pitoc

Phil

Guest Star

Catherine O'Hara

Catherine O'Hara

Carol

Guest Star

Arye Gross

Arye Gross

Frank Muehler

Guest Star

Robert Cicchini

Robert Cicchini

Todd

Recurring Role

Richard Jenkins

Richard Jenkins

Nathaniel Fisher

Recurring Role

Ben Foster (I)

Ben Foster (I)

Russell Corwin

Recurring Role

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