Six Feet Under

Season 5 Episode 11

Static

1
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Aug 14, 2005 on HBO
9.1
out of 10
User Rating
205 votes
8

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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Paul Ronald Duncan
1983-2005

Billy returns to help Brenda through her difficult time. An inebriated Claire rejects Ted. Rico is eager to discuss the future of the business. George wants to help Ruth tend to Maya while David is consumed with fear.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The set up for the grand finale....

    8.5
    A good episode that sets up the big finale that is only 1 episode away. I really can't see what the finale will be like. I liked Claire's struggle accepting Nate's death and her conversation with Nate.. I also enjoyed Ruth and George finding eachother again. Brenda acting up shouldnt come as a surprise. Even when everything's ok, she's a psycho.



    Her vision with Billy was extremely freaky but the worst part is that I didn't think it was a vision for a moment. The episode felt a little too long overall. The problem was that without Nate we have 1 less storyline and well, I really miss it/him.



    David and his constant breakdowns were a bit drawn out I thought. Although his odd visions were awesome. The episode ends with Brenda giving birth and that's exactly what I thought would be the ending of this episode. Nate being at the birth was great too... Overall, fine episode, but clearly just setting the stage for the finale....moreless
  • 2nd last episode of the series remains fantastic.

    10
    As always I loved this, I kind of didn't know what to expect in this episode but it turned out really well. Claire's storyline was one of my favourites and I loved her drunken outbursts. I did feel sorry for Ted as he's such a nice guy but her shouting at her irritating colleague was priceless. Her and Nate's scene by where he was buried was brilliant, really showed us a certain bond they have.



    Ruth wanting to keep Maya with her was understandable but so was Brenda wanting her home. I liked having George helping Ruth through the hard times and he was some what of peace maker her, well he tried. When Brenda shouts at Ruth at the end and blurts out about Maggie and Nate I was very engrossed. Then Brenda's waters break, two months premature I might add.



    David continues to be stressed and that's an understatement. He still sees the hooded man and even the kids are beginning to be freaked out by him. But Keith finally told him to go get better, leave the house for the time being, which was a great idea and hopefully it will work. Rico and Vanessa have there eye on a place of there own, funeral director wise. I liked seeing Vanessa help Rico out and she was a natural really. Brenda and Billy, one of the most creepy scenes ever - was so glad it turned out to be a dream. Her stuff was great other than that.



    So the finale is finally here, I'm going to write my review now...... this episode was fantastic.moreless
  • Review

    9.3
    Billy returns to help Brenda through her difficult time. An inebriated Claire rejects Ted. Rico is eager to discuss the future of the business. George wants to help Ruth tend to Maya while David is consumed with fear.



    I must say I didn't like Claires involvement in this episode. I really thought that her and Ted could have something and I was dissapointed to see Ted and her have a fight. I suppose the next episode could seem them rekindle, but I dont see it happening. Davids random attacks 6 weeks after his brothers death is kind of odd to. He shouldnt be doing that I thought that was kind of stupid.



    I did like Nates parts in this episode...appering to his mom, Claire, and Brenda. I liked the "Static" monologue that he did as well. Cant wait for the finalemoreless
  • Cold Wind Written by Craig Wright Directed by Michael Cuesta

    10
    Can’t you just feel that mental clock ticking in your head? Well I certainly can. This week the UK are starting to tuck into the fifth and final season which started on E4 on Tuesday, while for the past two and a half months, I’ve been happily experiencing this succulent season along with HBO viewers and this next to last episode sent the kind of shockwaves through my system that I’ve been accustomed when watching this series with a plethora of sparkling and engrossing plots mainly centring on Late Nate Jr’s death in one way or another …



    Claire, my favourite flame haired beauty is one of two characters who lost their marbles in tonight’s episode. I often forgot how quotable Claire is when she’s being abusive but after her gleeful exchange of words with pain in the ass Kirstin and her harassment of the DOTW’s mother over a “Support Our Troops” sticker, I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. No-one can play being drunk and grief stricken with such effect as Lauren Ambrose and she played a blinder here. Of course not all of Claire’s abusive behaviour was praise-worthy. She should’ve really thought before shooting her mouth off at Mrs Duncan. It wasn’t until Rico told her the woman’s son died did she relent and I totally felt sorry for Ted too. A lot of people assumed all he wanted to do was fuck Claire and he’s be done but obviously the token Republican thinks more of her than she thinks he does and he also looked really hurt when she blasted him left, right and centre too.



    Her scenes in the nature preserve with Nate were great and her deceased brother really had fun playing Swami until the sound of coyotes scared the crap out of him and he fled. Wimp! Then we had another near death when Claire crashed her hearse. She came out unscathed but the beautiful lime green hearse most definitely didn’t. I’m sorry to announce the coolest vehicle on television is now in bits which Claire sold for $950 to get a bus ticket home. First Nate, now the hearse, maybe the SFU writers really are evil but I suppose Claire’s wild night may have calmed her down a bit.



    It’s just a pity the same couldn’t be said about David who spent all of this hour snap, crackling and popping all over the place. Nate’s death has hit him harder than everyone and while Michael C. Hall totally makes you feel for his character’s plight, there were far too many incidents where David actually freaked me out a bit. Blasting Rico, arguing with Keith, his excessive paranoia over the red hooded guy (this week it was Nate) and acting like a demented version of Bree Van De Kamp on Anthony and Durrell, I was relieved in a way when Keith told him to leave. David needs to get his shit together and exalt whatever demons are still haunting him before he becomes a threat to someone or healthier yet break away from the funeral business, which is more than taking it’s toll on him.



    With Nate’s death, it’s nice the writers are addressing the future of Fisher And Diaz, which by this episode was looking unlikely to have. With David’s crazy behaviour, Rico began to question his livelihood. Unlike the Fishers, Federico could always do his job without taking it home with him but that clearly looks set to become a thing of the past when Vanessa is called into helping out with this week’s funeral and finds it somewhat satisfying. With being the least used nurse in the history of television, I’m highly in favour of this inevitable shift because she seems to have a good knack for consoling people. I liked the way she consoled Holly without spinning any “it’s going to be okay” lines, yet kept an optimistic outlook and I guess from a feminist perspective, it would be interesting to see her in a business hugely dominated by men but so rarely discussed upon. If Rico is planning to set up his own funeral business though, I’d rather see him buy David out of the home rather than buy that dodgy sounding place Vanessa kept recommending. And before I forgot, Julio and Augusto are back, about bloody time.



    Meanwhile a main crunch of the episode was with Ruth getting by after her son’s death. Unlike David and Claire, she's overcoming her anguish and despair much better even if it’s mostly because of George and Maya by her side. It was wonderful how Ruth got a guilt free visit from Nate who praised her mothering skills but then again, he never really complained about how he was raised by her, now did he? As for George, it’s great having him around and he proved useful here by trying to keep the peace with Ruth and Brenda (which even though I expected there to be tension between them, it still kind of distressed me) while Maggie, I was also sad to see go even after she turned on her father but at least she finally acknowledged her fault in sleeping with Nate. Even the most avid of haters for this character have to give her some kind of dues for that.



    The Brenda stuff as per usual was superb stuff, especially with Nate’s active encouragement for her to sleep with Billy, leading to one of the most creepiest fantasy sequences on the show. Someone recently quipped on television without pity “SFU incest is the best, put Brenda and Billy to the test”. Well consider this tested and colour me creeped out by it. The first indication that it was a dream was Brenda being predatory towards Billy. Nate played on the Chenowith siblings former co-dependent relationship in a twisted fashion but once again Brenda proved to be made of stronger stuff by kicking her brother out. Not that Billy actually did anything to annoy me but I was glad she did it nonetheless. Speaking of Billy, he was pretty great this week – getting Maya’s medical history, being a compassionate confidant to Brenda and taking it well when asked to move out, he came up trumps in this episode.



    As for Brenda versus Ruth in the case of Maya, it’s really hard to take a side because both women were doing the right by the little girl. I still kinda wished Brenda hadn’t blurted that Nate slept with Maggie even though it lead from Ruth getting high and mighty on Brenda to assisting her as she went into labour two months early. In a way the birth of the last Fisher-Chenowith we’ll see on-screen could be really cathartic for Ruth. She wasn’t there when her husband and eldest son both died or when her first grandchild was born, so it was a beautiful touch to have her there by Brenda’s side in the latter’s time of need. Talk about preparing to make an entrance. Willa, can’t wait to see you next week.



    Also in “Static”



    Death of the week: Holly Duncan assisted her former soldier brother in euthanasia by using a fluid that is used to put dogs down. Another taboo on this taboo-busting series done.



    Holly Duncan was played by Michael C. Hall’s wife Amy Spanger, who in my opinion did a terrific job.



    Kirstin: “Okay I’m wicked pissed. You are so going to be fired”

    Claire: “Yeah, well I’m fucking Ted”

    Kirstin: “No way!”

    Claire: “Way!”



    When getting the sack from her job, shouldn’t it have been either security or someone from HR showing her the door instead of Ted?



    David (to Rico): “I have a fucking husband, I have two children. When are you gonna realise I’m a human being just like you? When? When?”



    Mrs Duncan (re Claire): “She seems like she’s on drugs”

    Rico: “She usually is”.



    The plot involving Maya’s ear infection echoed concerns Nate had with Lisa cleaning her ears in Season Three. Could Lisa have inadvertently caused this?



    Nate (to Brenda): “I’m just saying you only get one life. There’s no God, no rules, no judgements except the ones you accept of create for yourself and once it’s over, it’s over”.



    It definitely wasn’t me because those camera angles between Nate and Brenda in the elevator were a little weirder than usual.



    Claire: “Are you high?”

    Nate: “I am actually, yeah, quite high”.



    Billy: “That’s what you penis would look like if you were a boy”

    Brenda: “I was thinking the same thing”.



    Maggie (to George): “No Daddy, I don’t have family here. I have some people that I’ve ruined and that I’ve ruined myself in front of. That’s all I have”.



    Maggie mentions her brother Brian but I notice she didn’t mention Kyle. She either doesn’t know he exists or chooses not to acknowledge him. I’m going for the former though.



    Time wise, it’s July 2005, six weeks after Nate’s death.



    Paul (to David): “You’re more scared now than you’ve ever been in your life. You thought you knew fear when Jake poured gas all over you head but this is simple, unavoidable fact. You’re alive and alone and someday you’ll be dead”.



    Astrologically Maya’s Gemini (so am I) while George is an Aries.



    Holly (re Paul): “He was fine. That’s all he needed to be, that’s all anyone ever needs to be. They shouldn’t have to get destroyed”

    Vanessa: “You’re right”.



    Standout music in this episode was Interpol’s “Direction” and Arcade Fire’s “Cold Wind” both of which feature on the latest soundtrack.



    To be honest, a lot of preludes to series finales can be pretty iffy but “Static” bloody well wasn’t as this penultimate episode to the best show on television kept me glued to the screen and hit all the right spots. With one more episode to go, I’m seriously going to miss this show like hell and good luck to Craig Wright in his next project, Season Two of Lost. Fantastic stuff.









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  • Beautifully dysfunctional. Just like it should be!

    9.3
    Totally entertaining and consistently interesting, "Static" is Six Feet Under in great form. I for one never found any of the character's actions "out of character," or thought of certain plot points and choices "far fetched." This was a fantastic episode, and actually even a bit better than the funeral of last week. (That's almost-blasphemy, I know.)



    Taking place six (ha!) weeks after the funeral, David is still coping with intense paranoia. "I feel like my face is falling off," he notes. Of course his wonderful husband Keith (what he technically should be) is understanding, but he makes things clear for David. "You're scaring them," he says, referring to their recently well-mannered kids Durrell and Anthony.



    In one fantastic scene, David is in Must Embarass Myself As Much As Possible mode (yep, all in caps), getting the kids out of school early for no reason other than to watch "gay" silent pictures and eat snacks. What he really needs is his family, and being around them seems to be a tonic for his constant paranoia. What he forgets is that there's a viewing at the same time.



    His ever slipping sanity is notably apparant when he refuses to discuss business manners with Rico. He just doesn't seem to care anymore now that Nate's gone.



    Claire gets drunk off vodka and comes to work, telling a certain co-worker that she "fu**ed" Ted. "No way," the out-of-touch co-worker replies, in all her mockable nerdiness.



    And I love it when Claire leaves the office (of course for good); she tells everyone nice and loud how "important" their work really is in the grand scheme of things. You know how much I'd like to do the very same thing at my dull-as-heck office? Sure, she was drunk and all, but the nerve to do something like that is just near-heroic for me. Even when Claire is sober, she's brutally honest and mature while whining about her art and whatnot. She reminds me of myself, except, of course, much much more wittier and, gasp, cooler.



    Somewhat expectedely, she explodes on Ted (mostly for being Republican) when he tries to take her car keys away from her. He's making complete sense, and even though she throws a cup of water at him and verbally insults him like there's no tomorrow, he's still so Goddamn loyal. Now, where can I find a guy like that?



    Claire also gets mighty pissed at a "Support Our Troops" bumper sticker. It's interesting; many complain about how "liberal" (gasp) the show can be when I never see this side of the political fence on any other fictional program, at least concerning current events. Sure, it's very very obvious where the makers of the show stand for the most part, but we do have Ted. And he's a Republican. So what about that? He also likes really bad pop music, but that's a bit beside the point I guess.



    And how about the "ewwww!" factor this week? Brenda and, my God, freakin' Billy? I was in complete disbelief watching her "touch" his... you know. Ugh, ugh, ugh. Thank the heavens above that it was all a dream.



    But as gross as that was, it was always slightly obvious between the two. Billy somehow had the nerve to say he loved her, in an, um, unappropriate way. More than once. And as much as she rejected, which is natural and *right*, she definitely had some sort of mutual attraction as well.



    I'm just glad she kicks him out of her apartment the next morning.



    Ruth and George are somewhat back together, taking care of Maya for Brenda. Not surprisingly, Ruth grows fond of the girl. Somewhat annoyingly, she considers keeping her. Uh, no? After a bit kicking and screaming, Brenda even thinks it might be a good idea. But by the end she thankfully changes her mind.



    When David continues his wacko act and skips an the viewing, Rico desperately calls Vanessa for help. Wow, what a beautiful character she really can be; how she came to his need and did such a good job at the viewing. I wouldn't be surprised if they took over the business. In fact, I'm kind of hoping they do.



    The death of the week is another thing that makes this show so relatable and Goddamn significant: Paul Duncan, a recent Iraq veteran, has lost both his legs and one of his arms. He obviously can't cope, and it's rather, sadly, understandable. His choice of committing suicide is an almost uncomfortably painful thing to watch.



    The way they tie in a death sequence that is relevant in today's world carries a certain and genuine importance. And the death of this week will never date: it'll just show the reality of what can happen when you're in the midst of a war.



    Another thing to R.I.P., but in a less emotionally painful way and in more an amusing one: the green hearse. Drunk, Claire just barely dodges a deer on the dirt road by Nate's burial ground and flips the car. When she does this, you're in shock and very well should be. But the writers do something that is a bit cheating: after the uneasy moment, a fade to white. Yeah, it happens during every episode several times, but after that, I halfway expected her name and date of birth/death. Thank God she survived.



    She sells the totaled wreck for $950, 'cause the guy buying needs the car parts. Hell, Claire even tries to bargain $1500, but he reminds her that she should be happy she's still alive and simultaneously brings her back to planet earth.



    Coming from the beautiful simplicity of the last episode, "Static" returns to the standard (but oh so great) SFU formula as of late: lots and lots of interesting dysfunction, all handled with complete grace. It's superbly directed and acted and written.



    However, it's not much like, you know (sigh), the first two seasons. It feels like a great season four episode.



    And there are now many loose ends that will (possibly?) be resolved come the next and final episode. However, you do definitely feel a certain "final-ness" to the whole proceeding, and the realization of this is rather difficult for me to swallow. No more "Six Feet Under" after next week? How the hell am I going to survive this television wasteland?



    I guess we can always have the rather overpriced DVD boxsets. Yay!moreless
Frances Conroy

Frances Conroy

Ruth Fisher

Freddy Rodriguez

Freddy Rodriguez

Federico Diaz

James Cromwell

James Cromwell

George Sibley (episode 40+, recurring previously)

Lauren Ambrose

Lauren Ambrose

Claire Fisher

Mathew St. Patrick

Mathew St. Patrick

Keith Charles

Michael C. Hall

Michael C. Hall

David Fisher

Kendre Berry

Kendre Berry

Durrell

Guest Star

Fred Fein

Fred Fein

Crossing Guard

Guest Star

Billy Lush

Billy Lush

Paul Duncan

Guest Star

Brenna Tosh

Brenna Tosh

Maya

Recurring Role

Bronwyn Tosh

Bronwyn Tosh

Maya

Recurring Role

Chris Messina

Chris Messina

Ted

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Amy Spanger, who plays the dead soldier's sister, was Michael C. Hall's wife at the time of filming, but they separated in 2006.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Ruth sits by Maya's bedside, nursing her ear infections. Nate appears to her.
      Nate: Thank you, Mom. I couldn't imagine anyone else raising her but you.
      Ruth: I love her so much.
      Nate: I know you do.
      Nate sees Ruth tenderly stroke Maya's forehead.
      Nate: When I see you touch her forehead, I can almost feel it on mine. In this room, when I was a little kid, before Claire, before David, when it was just you and Dad and me. When I knew everything was going to be all right.

    • Claire (Having a hysterical breakdown): "Support Our Troops"? What a bunch of bullshit! Why don't you try driving something that doesn't require so much gas for starters if you're so fucking concerned! Yeah, we wouldn't want to offend anybody while they're "supporting our troops". Dozens of Iraqis are still dying every day. The whole world hates us for going in there in the first place. And terrorists are still gonna be blowing shit up in this country for the next 100 years. And the best thing she can think to do about it is put a sticker in that enormous shit box! You know they still bring the wounded soldiers back at night so the press can't even film it and nobody sees! American soldiers are still being fucked up everyday and they don't even tell us! And it's all so you can put gas in this enormous fucking car to keep everybody feeling really fucking American!

    • Claire: Nate, what is that?
      Nate(as a ghost): I don't know
      Claire: You know everything about the entire fucking universe but you don't know what's out there right now in the dark?!

    • Nate(as a ghost): Stop listening to the static.
      Claire: What the fuck does that mean?!

    • Nate: I am pretty sure that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver are brother and sister, and they're making it work.

  • NOTES (1)

    • While David, Keith, and the kids are eating supper, David's hand cramps up when he starts getting angry. This is a sign of peripheral nerve disease. It is triggered by trauma, which makes sense because David's post-traumatic stress has returned.

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • When Claire visits Nate's burial place, she can hear and see a wild animal nearby. The speed of the animal and the strange roar it gives off signifies that the creature could very well be the cougar that was seen in Ecotone.

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