Six Feet Under

Season 5 Episode 8

Singing For Our Lives

1
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jul 24, 2005 on HBO
9.1
out of 10
User Rating
212 votes
11

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Pilar Sandoval
1970-2005

Claire attends a LAC-Arts benefit show with new friend, Ted. Brenda gets news from her doctor. Ruth babysits for Durrell and Anthony. Nate and Brenda attend a service at Maggie's church.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The more things stay the same, the more they change

    9.0
    In this episode every single primary character makes some sort of realization about their lives, all but one for the positive.



    After failing in babysitting her new grandsons and being reprimanded by David, Ruth is back in her customary rut. Claire convinces her that after everything with George that she needs to pamper herself. This leads Ruth to seek out Hiram as he was what made her happy during the bad times in her relationship with Nathaniel. You get a sense that she is tired of being miserable and waiting to be needed by her children. She seizes the chance of fun and happiness and runs with it.



    Claire has been moping about her temp job ever since she got it. A chance encounter with Anita brings her back to the art world that she was wanting to return to so badly. With new potential love interest Ted along, she realizes that her old friends and enemies are exactly the same as they were when she last saw them. This temp job has forced her into the real world and given her a chance at a normal relationship. Plus it is fun to see characters who where so important to the show for sometime return.



    Brenda has been making strides about improving herself since season 3 but she continually reverts back into her whole defensive "I am always right" mindset. Nate calls her out on it (like both he and her mother have done before) and she again ignore it. It isn't until her friend and colleague Jackie finally calls Brenda on all her crap does it finally click about what she could be doing wrong. And willingly does something for her relationship that she wouldn't normally do just to be there for Nate.



    Keith and David continue their parenting struggle with Anthony and (especially) Durrell. More than once Keith has wanted to call it quits, but David refuses to give up Anthony. Even after Durrell steals a car and pulls a knife on Keith they continue to try the best way of disciplining him (if David hadn't been there, Keith probably would have beat the little punk's ass). It isn't until Anthony lets Keith know that both boys expect to go back into foster care and are just trying to enjoy their time out while they can. Keith and David making of plans for the future with the boys finally gives them the realization they aren't going anywhere.



    Rico has had a sense of entitlement ever since the show premiered so I (as a fan) have enjoyed the fact that he was taken down a few pegs by his actions with the stripper and losing his wife and kids. over the last couple seasons. This episode he arrogantly announces that his name on the sign is bringing in the Latin customer base and is annoyed when David disapproves of his business plans for the future. He imagines a dead woman reinforcing all his arrogant thinking about himself. This does finally empower him to confront Vanessa about their relationship, but when he humbly approaches her as opposed to his usual confrontational method he finally makes progress with her.



    Nate, on the other hand, is probably the biggest issue. While he continues to proclaim that he is committed to his relationship with Brenda and wants normalcy, he is the one who fails at it by succumbing to Maggie's whiles.



    This episode is mandatory viewing as not only does the ending lead to a huge change for one of the characters it also begins the trajectory of the other character's lives.moreless
  • Nate and Brenda get pushed to the brink while Claire runs into some old friends.

    8.5
    This is a perfect example of a show utilizing all of its characters to the best of its ability. I was sucked into everybody's plots, whether it was Rico and Vanessa or Claire and her new job. I think this season is one of the strongest ones to date and it's all because the writing, on average, has been incredibly strong. And I haven't even mentioned the ending yet, which comes as a huge out of nowhere surprise but makes perfect sense when you take everything into account.

    I'll start with Claire though. Claire has had a pretty subtle yet pretty great set of scenes throughout this season; in a way, she's been in free-fall mode for awhile and by moving away from her art career, she's seemed to not have anything to hang onto. As for Ted, the new guy she's met, this was a perfectopportunityto show her merits. He's a goofy sort of guy, very professional and career driven but also very interested in Claire and a nice guy. The scenes where Claire's old world, with Russell and Olivier and Anita and the art world, clashes with her new one, with Ted... it felt like a great set of scenes.

    And it's nice to see Rico and Vanessa finally coming to some sort of understanding about their relationship. It's been all over the place ever since Rico and the stripper slept together. However, things seem to be getting somewhat back to normal now with them.

    As for Keith and David's plot, I think Darrell pulling the knife on Keith was one of the more intense moments that they've had on the show. Obviously, Darrell wasn't going to do anything, but boy... it was still a tense moment and another example of the dysfunction that seems inherent in these characters.

    But it's Nate and Brenda where the real drama laid here. Nate, who was still completely invested in the Quaker way of prayer, takes Brenda to a meeting with Maggie and becomes enamored with it. Meanwhile, Brenda finds herself hating it. Nate and Maggie end up meeting up at Maggie's house and sleeping together. I must say, as nice as Maggie has been and as much as I love Peter Krause's work on the show, I was annoyed when it happened. I'm not sure I 100% get Nate Fisher yet, even as the show is coming to an end, but it's definitely another twist. An even bigger twist comes as Nate is leaving and finds his arm going numb and his words slurring. He has a stroke and falls to the ground and we're left with our mouths open, wondering what could happen next.moreless
  • The End is near.....

    9.5
    What a superb episode. It felt like a series of mini episodes as every storyline had a certain amount of conclusion to it. Excluding Nate and Brenda, all of the storylines were basically wrapped up in a way that if the show ended with this episode i'd be fine with that.



    I hated Ruth in the past couple of episodes but it doesn't take much for the writers to make me accept her again as her normal self is okay. Its just that, for my liking, she was very out of character. The way she treated George. She got back together with Hiram and was actually happy and not a nitpicking sadistic witch. Great. Claire's storyline wa snever better, meeting all of her art buddies once again on an exhibition.... man.... what a great way of showing how mature Claire got in this season. And oh boy, it is much better. Really enjoyed all of the scenes there, excellent comedy, especially with Olivier.



    Then, Keith and David.... oh that was great too. It's nice to finally see them resolving their problems with the kids. I was really happy for them. They really deserve happiness. This storyline was rather funny too... especially the dinner scene with the plastic knives... lol.



    Rico finally told Vanessa what he felt and oh boy, was it about time?! They are starting anew, so there's not much to say about them. May they succeed with it.



    Really, there's only one arc left... Nate and Brenda. Nate sleeping with whatshername wasn't too surprising but his sudden passing out was. It's pretty obviously something wrong with his brain. I wonder if this means... well... with only 3 episodes left... does this mean.... Nate dies...? Oh god. I gotta see the rest of the show. Now.



    Brilliant episode. Every arc was superb, and the ending truly shocked me. Buut it will certainly be better, as the end is extremely close, so im holding off with the 10.moreless
  • A brilliant instalment, talk about a shocking end!

    10
    With only five episodes left I was sure that Six Feet Under would deliver excellent final instalments and so far I'm right. 'Singing For Our Lives' was a brilliant episode that left you wanting more. I think I'll start with Nate's story.

    He and Brenda are still having great difficulties in their marriage and the fact that Nate is drawn to Maggie doesn't help.



    We've been expecting it for ages now and they finally do it, Maggie and Nate sleep together. They seem to connect, something that Brenda and Nate have trouble doing. The whole thing was done very well, the Quakers church was at first amusing due to Nate standing up and Brenda being obviously not into the idea.



    They get into yet another fight when Brenda makes her feelings about the whole thing clear. She is right, I think Nate is doing it to escape. But then her friends bluntly tells her to get over herself and do something about it, which is what she does by going to the Quakers church. But Nate, who was meant to be there with Maggie, is no where to be seen.



    After getting dressed Nate tells Maggie he didn't plan on this and then out of no where he makes a complaint about numbness in his arm and within a minute he's dropped to floor, I immediately thought AVM but how evil were they to then end the episode. I seriously couldn't wait to see the conclusion to this, luckily I watched the next episode straight after.



    On a much lighter note, Ruth pursues Hiram, the man she was having an affair with while married to Nathaniel Sr. This was very amusing and at times hilarious. It was brilliant to see her so happy and shown to be having fun. When she asked Hiram up to her bedroom I was nearly in fits. Ruth then suggests going camping, which Hiram agrees to.



    Claire's story was probably my favourite of the episode because I'm just so glad to see her back to her old self. She obviously hates her job but at least she's trying. There definitely hinting that Ted could be the one for her and to be honest I'm okay with that. Basically every guy she's dated has turned out badly so she needs a break.



    I love that she bumps into Anita and her old life comes back to haunt her in a sense. Not really because she's happy to go to an art show when Ted says he'll come along if she'll go somewhere with him. She agrees and we soon see them in a bar chatting away. The art show itself was great, old faces like Russell, Anita, Jimmy and others appear.



    Russell seemed more messed up than usual and it was amusing to her Anita's story about him being in love with Jimmy after a drunken scenario. After a talk with Olivier she realises that nothing has changed which makes her quite happy. She says her goodbyes and they leave. The next day, Ted kisses her in the supply closet, which was good.



    Now David and Keith, its an amusing storyline but also interesting. Ruth babysitting was humorous and how she left was even better. Why David hid Durrell's problem with the car from Keith is above me, just tell him. This soon leads to Keith finding out and Durrell putting a knife on him.



    It was quite funny to see Keith hide all the knifes and for them to be replaced with plastic ones was brilliant. But Keith soon realises that the kids think that they'll be sent back soon. So he makes it clear that that's not the case by mentioning a family holiday. I'm glad it's working out for them.



    Finally Rico still has problems with Vanessa, who really does treat him like crap. But he confronts her when she tells him she does love him but can't forgive his 'affair'.

    This episode really was brilliant, the next four look promising!moreless
  • Review

    9.4
    This is the Six Feet Under that I have craved since the start of Season 5. Season 5 has been good dont get me wrong, but I feel this is the first time that back to back episodes have been amazing just to watch.



    The return of Hirum was great as I think that Ruth can really find a future with him. I could see her being happy with him and for the most part with only a handful of episodes to good I think hat Ruths storyline is over. David and Keiths storyline is also just about over, with the kids now knowing they are there to stay.



    That leaves Claire and Nate, the heart and soul of the series. Nate fooling around with Maggie and then dropping dead was the best ending the season has had so far. Claire and Ted dont seem like a together forever couple but you never know...we have 4 episodes left to judge that.moreless
Justina Machado

Justina Machado

Vanessa Diaz

Peter Krause

Peter Krause

Nate Fisher

James Cromwell

James Cromwell

George Sibley (episode 40+, recurring previously)

Mathew St. Patrick

Mathew St. Patrick

Keith Charles

Frances Conroy

Frances Conroy

Ruth Fisher

Lauren Ambrose

Lauren Ambrose

Claire Fisher

Tina Holmes

Tina Holmes

Maggie

Guest Star

Dianna Miranda

Dianna Miranda

Pilar Sandoval

Guest Star

Christine Tucci

Christine Tucci

Marianne

Guest Star

Ben Foster (I)

Ben Foster (I)

Russell Corwin

Recurring Role

Ed Begley Jr.

Ed Begley Jr.

Hiram

Recurring Role

Peter Facinelli

Peter Facinelli

Jimmy

Recurring Role

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