Six Feet Under

Season 5 Episode 11


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Aug 14, 2005 on HBO

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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  • I called this one average because there is one more to go so there really isn't anything spectacular they could do this week except transition us into the finale....

    This episode was more confusing to me than I thought it would be. I thought it would be more transitional, maybe it was and I won't realize it until I see the finale. All of a sudden Claire is out there doing who knows what, although I will say when she crashed the hearse and those rat finks let the screen fade to white I thought she was dead and they were going to kill off the whole family. Especially when Brenda had the baby and the screen went white, I thought she and baby would die in childbirth. I thought now David's going crazy and will kill himself and Ruth & Maya will die from something crazy like carbon monoxide poisoning in the house. That would leave crazy Billy alive and he has been trying to kill himself since the show started!

    But on this show I know whatever I think is never right.

  • This episode was necesary

    This episode, while maybe not pretty to watch was extremely necesary to the characters in the show. Most shows like to gloss over a death. In most shows when a main character dies there is a) the death episode, b) the funeral/dealing episode, and c) a mention every few episodes for a couple of months. But in Six Feet Under it was different.

    Here we get to see the actual raw emotions that are present days and weeks after the death of a loved one. Clare lashes out against anyone that will talk to her (and in a very tearjerkage scene she crahes the hearse her father gave her and sells the delapataed body for $900). David is losing his mind litearlly (seeing violent things that arn't there and lashing out). Ruth is clinging to anyone that will return her affection. And Brenda is thinking about what things would be like when Nate's death settles in her mind.

    This was a realy intersting episode, that delt totally with the family, making all other characters secendary in the least. It was a really needed episode, because Im sure the reprecussions of Nate's passing with the main focus in the next episode: the finale. Only a week til this groundbraking show finally closes the curtains for good.
  • The set up for the grand finale....

    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....
  • Ah, But Underneath Paul Ronald Duncan 1983-2005 Written by Craig Wright Directed by Michael Cuesta

    "I feel like my face is falling off"--David

    After an incredible 3 episodes prior, Six Feet Under has truly remained fantastic through out this season and through out the past 5 years. There is still that spark of excitement you get while watching it and I wish they could have continued on but still a exhilarating episode which leads us into finale mode.

    David awakes to the sound of a "staticy" radio which delivers a report about a man in a hooded sweatshirt abducting young children. (Could this be Jake?) Probably not. David's fears and grief begin to escalate when he becomes increasingly untolerable to both Federico, Keith and his sons. After David goes to pick up the boys from school the final straw begins when he screams at the boys after the stove begins to get smoky. Keith gives David an ultimatum: to get himself some help dealing or to leave him and the boys temporarily until he pulls himself together.

    It is revealed that Billy has been staying with Brenda since Nate's death which was 6 weeks ago. At the pediatrician's where a exchange is to be made between Ruth and Brenda, Ruth asks if Maya should remain with her for the time being. At first Brenda objects since Ruth then nastily insults her brother who has been helping her but pulls away when George and the spirit of Nate convince her to. After a bizarre dream where Brenda has sex with Billy, Brenda asks him to move out which Billy is fine with and encourages her to get Maya when she arrives at Fisher & Diaz however she goes into labor.

    Other important events in "Static"...
    *Death of the week: An Iraqi war vet's sister helps him with Euthanasia as he is legless and missing an arm.
    *Federico tries to discuss with David once again the future of the business but he learns that David is not ready. When Vanessa tells him of a mortuary for sale he pulls away at first but after seeing Vanessa deal with the Fisher & Diaz clients, he calls the realtor to see about an investment in his own funeral home.
    *Claire arrives to work drunk causing a mellow Kirsten to warn her to be careful. Claire disregards what Kirsten is trying to explain to her and that she is crazy. Claire then reveals to Kirsten that she is currently seeing Ted which leads to Ted escorting Claire out of the building. After an intake, Claire blatantly bashes the clients of the soldier for supporting the troops for which she is still obviously drunk, Federico and David manage the situation which leads Ted to mediate.

    At the coach house, Ted settles Claire in and takes away her car keys which Claire counterattacks by throwing water in his face. Later Claire goes for a drive using her spare keys and visits Nate's grave site where he explains to her that everything between life and death is static and that she should listen beyond it. Claire then runs off when she is scared off by a sort of dog or small animal. Claire then drives and skids off a dirt road when trying to avoid a deer. Claire turns out to be fine but everyone's favorite hearse is totaled. Claire gets $950 for the hearse and the buyer has little common decency when he kicks the glass, no respect!

    Overall an exciting episode which ensures that something big is going to happen to at least all of the Fishers. I am both very excited and disappointed at the same time that next week is the finale.
  • Review

    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 finale
  • Beautifully dysfunctional. Just like it should be!

    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!
  • 2nd last episode of the series remains fantastic.

    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.
  • Cold Wind Written by Craig Wright Directed by Michael Cuesta

    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.