Six Feet Under

Season 2 Episode 5

The Invisible Woman

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Mar 31, 2002 on HBO
out of 10
User Rating
159 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Emily Previn
July 14, 1954 - September 2001

Claire gets extremely upset when her friend gets another girl to take her SATs for her. Ruth takes an odd interest in the death of a single woman that has no family. Keith needs temporary attention from David, which causes issues in his current relationship. Brenda gets particularly wrapped up with one of her clients who happens to be a prostitute.


Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • 205

    Six Feet Under continues with an outstanding installment to the second season. Episodes like these or the last episode don't have to be necessarily eventful, but the quality of the writing, the acting, the story lines, they're all just so well-done, it would be a crime to give this episode anything less than a 9.5.

    I really didn't expect to see Adam Scott on Six Feet Under, his appearance was noteworthy, and his scenes with David were pretty great as well. I kind of would like to see their relationship develop. It's funny to think that that Keith played such a minor role in the first season, it's interesting to see him having his own story lines like he had tonight.

    The Claire development was great, and I called some sort of romance between the counselor and Claire in the premiere, so I liked that things were finally brought to light subtly here. Brenda's story line was strange but entertaining. Brenda proposes to Nate? A very nice scene, I felt like this episode set the tone for the rest of the season. Superb episode overall.moreless
  • Review

    Season two, dispite still being in the upper 8's as far as average goes, is most certainly miles and miles below the power of season one. I think some of the characters are in need of a switch up in terms of there relationships. Ruths main storyline this season is mainly with regards in trying to bring more of her family into her life, which is fine except that no one really is coming into her life and she remains on the outside looking in to this family. The relationship with Nate and Brenda is one that I thought would take a turn for the worse before it took a turn where they are getting married. I would be very surprised if they made it to the end of the season, I just see Nate with someone else here in the near future. He cannot last the entire series with Brenda, it just doesnt all add up. The individual death in this one brought a whole new perspective to this show. Dying Alone. It can be a fear for everyone and this episode brought that into the light. I really dont like Brenda on her own storyline, it does bore me a little bit. I think she needs to be with one of the main characters in this show in order to be really compelling to watch. How she interacts with people is very interesting, but I guess I just want to see her act more with the main characters of the show.moreless
  • Every life is a contribution, even if we don't see how.

    A very depressing episode.... and you know it's scary that this could actually be based on a true story.

    I guess the moral of the story is that.... you need to make sure that once you die, there are people who would go to your funeral.

    I also enjoyed Ruth alot which I thought I'd never say. Her fear of dying alone is a valid feeling. The episode was filled with lot of depressing drama and some really cool comedy too. But, almost as always, there's one odd storyline that keeps the episode away from achieving a perfect score. Brenda this time. She's basically back to her early season 1 annoying self. Her storyline was pointless, dull and didn't feel connected to the rest of the episode at all. Her proposal at the end did nothing to me, unfortunately.

    Oh well. Apart from that: excellent.

    Sidenote: excuse me if some reviews tend to be more negative than positive, but I am simply more into analysing the mistakes of a show. I mean, everyone can see and understand why this show is good. Realizing errors on the other hand is often much more difficult.moreless
  • The Mystery That Is Women Written by Bruce Eric Kaplan Directed by Jeremy Podeswa

    Ruth takes a singular interest in the death of a single woman with no friends or relatives. Brenda, in search of a literary muse, turns to one of her clients, a prostitute named Melissa for inspiration. David's promising relationship with Ben Cooper is thrown for a loop when Keith, after shooting someone arrives for comfort, resulting in both former lovers having sex. Claire is disgusted that her friend Parker used another girl to sit her SAT's, and is intrigued when Gary admits that there's a "sexual tension" between them. And Nate's relationship with Brenda takes an unexpected turn.

    Fantastic. If last week's episode proved disappointing, then the writers get back on top with this superb piece, laced with some truly brilliant character moments. Ruth's all too personal interest with Emily Previn's death is a great as she finds herself identifying with the woman's situation as her attempts of connecting with Nate, David and Claire falls on deaf ears.

    There are a couple of interesting theories on why Emily was alone, but Federico's one about her probably being a well meaning person who found it difficult to connect with others does seem the most likely. This week's death also makes you realise that besides sexual partners, the Fishers themselves don't really have a whole bunch of friends or people they can really confide in, as they rarely do it with each other.

    For instance, not only does Ruth find it difficult to get her children to open up, but it seems she may not have that intimacy with Nikolai. Speaking of which, where is he anyway? We haven't seen him since the opener and no-one has even mentioned him since then either.

    Claire's friendship with Parker also seems murky at best. Let's be honest, these two are hardly the type of people to usually give each other the time of day, never mind be friends. But at the same time maybe Claire overeacted a tad. I mean, yes with what Parker did was wrong, but unlike the previous company Claire hung out with, at least she never shot nobody - even if she is a character hard to sympathise with.

    Speaking of shootings, a confused Keith bones David, just as the latter starts a relationship with someone actually likeable, then dismisses Dave the next day and heads back to his colorless relationship with Eddie. Unlike Keith/Eddie, at least David and Ben (great guest star in Adam Scott) exude some nice chemistry. Only disappointment would be David's balking at a kiss Ben tries to plant on him outside of the restaurant they had dinner in.

    The best stuff still comes from Brenda's increasingly bizarre behaviour as she watches prostitute pal Melissa give oral sex to one of her clients. I think I know where this is leading to. However despite the potential bad influence Melissa could have on her, it is finally nice to see Brenda have a female pal and a cool one in Melissa too.

    Also in "The Invisible Woman"

    Why did the death note for Emily Previn show up before she was actually found? Seemed a little strange to me.

    Ben:"What are you coming out of a bad break up?" David:"No i'm coming out of a bad celibacy".

    Melissa:"Alright you get three questions" Brenda:"Oh goodie".

    Loved Claire throwing Gary's stuff from his desk at the wall in frustration.

    Claire (to Gary):"And by the way you can fuck Parker McKenna if you wanna, I don't care but if I were you I would definitely wear a condom because i'm sure that girl has a major case of hepatitis at the very least".

    Gary admitting to Claire that's there a sexual tension between, is really one of those things you don't want addressed. Besides it seems too one-sided. Claire looked more bewildered than inclined to reciprocate.

    Chronology, it's still September 2001.

    What is up with Keith's sister?

    Claire:"Why is this happening?"

    David:"I don't know. Our structures probably need new fencing"

    Nate:"And our roofs have bad shingles"

    David: "I had shingles once".

    Brenda proposing to Nate was a stroke of genius - more proof of how unconventional she really is. Pity both her and Nate are being dishonest with each other.

    This week's standout music would Nate doing a wonderful rock number of "I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" from Dreamgirls, prior to the funeral. Love those musical outburst from the Fishers.

    Excellent episode and a testament to how wonderful this season is shaping up. It's just brilliant. So many great moments through and that final with Ruth despair over her lack of closeness with her children was an added touch.moreless
  • Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness Emily Previn 1952-2001 Written by Bruce Eric Kaplan Directed by Jeremy Podeswa

    "Give me intimacy"--Ruth

    It is really sad to have no one in this world. No one to make you feel special, no one to make you feel like you. Nevertheless there is a uniqueness to solitude. Yet it also has its side effects: there is the eating alone and not having anyone to share but some people are happy that way. This week's death of the week Emily Previn (or whom we will later know as Mrs. Martha Huber on Desperate Housewives) lived a life of quietness and ultimately died alone after choking on a TV dinner. I believe Emily Previn was indeed happy. It truly is a mystery and we'll never know because we never dug deep enough.

    Which is no wonder why Ruth takes such a curious interest in the inside of this woman. Ruth declares that she does not want to be like her which is exactly what she thinks is what she is going to turn into if she does not get her "stuff" in order. She asks the family to join her to mourn the loss of Emily Previn since she is the sole mourner which leads to her confrontation with Nate, David and Claire. She asks them in return for closeness and attention which Nate believes should happen more organically yet in reality she is their mother. She deserves some major respect and loving something she had always given them. I felt so bad when she broke down at the end crying at "relics of a life that no longer exists".

    Other important events in "The Invisible Woman"...

    *Brenda finally comes to terms that her contribution to life should be made in the form of a book: which turns out to be an erotic novella which we'll later see in later episodes. She also confides in Melissa her new best friend who shares with her the secrets of being a harlot.

    *David goes on a first date with a nice, attractive attorney from a law firm. He then proceeds to go out on a second date but after Keith shoots and kills a man after going off at him in a rage, Keith turns to David for help which leads to passion and an awkward morning after.

    *Claire continues seeing Gary and is over their little feud but the plot thickens during SAT weekend when her friend Parker plans to "bag" him and hires a Indian girl with a high IQ to take her SAT causing a halt in their blossoming friendship. Gary then asks Claire about the sexual tension totally grosing Claire out.

    *Federico, "the maestro (SFU Catacombs)", the best in the business, between putting back together humpty dumpty or fixing a woman's face that got smashed suddenly can't restore a 50 year old woman who had badly decayed. Well we forgive ya, Rico. It's not your fault.

    *Brenda then shocks Nate when she proposes marriage to him using her grandfather's fraternity ring. To her delight he says yes.

    An excellent episode with the death tying in perfectly and so well relating to character, Ruth. Props to Bruce Eric Kaplan and Jeremy Podeswa, the writer & director of the episode.

Adam Scott

Adam Scott

Ben Cooper

Guest Star

Christine Estabrook

Christine Estabrook

Emily Previn

Guest Star

Eric Bruskotter

Eric Bruskotter

Keith's Partner

Guest Star

David Norona

David Norona

Gary Deitman

Recurring Role

Aysia Polk

Aysia Polk


Recurring Role

Paul Terrell Clayton

Paul Terrell Clayton


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Ruth: All I want is for us not to be strangers. I want some intimacy. Give me intimacy. Won't any of you have intimacy with me?!

    • Father Jack: People might wonder what point there is in leading a life where you don't touch any other lives. But it would be arrogant of us to assume that. Every life is a contribution; we just may not see how. I'm glad to encounter Emily Previn, even if it is in death. Everyone comes into our life for a reason, and it is our responsibility to learn what they have to teach us.

    • Claire: Why is this happening?
      David: I don't know. Our structures probably need new fencing.
      Nate: And our roofs have bad shingles.
      David: I had shingles once.

  • NOTES (2)


    • David: I had shingles once.

      Shingles is a painful disease that occurs mainly in the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. It is caused by a reactivation of the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox in children and adults. The main symptom is painful red skin lesions. Shingles is not a communicative disease--it cannot be passed from person to person--but one can contract chickenpox from a person infected with shingles.