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!