Six Feet Under

Season 3 Episode 9

The Opening

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Apr 27, 2003 on HBO

Episode Fan Reviews (4)

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  • 309

    Well... after weeks of mediocrity, Six Feet Under finally delivers a quality installment. We got some pretty solid interactions from the whole cast. I liked how the whole episode was centered around Claire's art show, it made it distinguished in a way. Yes, Lisa & Nathan's fighting was the same, some familiar themes, but this episode definitely stood out from the rest.

    I wonder how long the this whole 'friends/lovers' thing is going to last for Lisa & Nathan. The confrontation between Brenda & Lisa was interesting. It's also interesting that Brenda is at every event Nathan's at, it seems. We also got the return of Billy, him being Olivie's student was a good tie in to Claire's story line this season. The David & Kieth scenes were good but I can only imagine this being the demise of their relationship.

    The Arthur & Ruth scenes are just strange, I'm interested in seeing how they unravel as the rest of the season continues. The opening scene was chilling. And it somehow did relate to Vanessa's problem, so that's definitely a step in the right direction. You can't help but feel bad for Vanessa & Rico though. Solid episode tonight.
  • Art to Die For Melinda Mary Bloch 1965-2003 Written by Kate Robin Directed by Karen Moncrieff

    "Maybe that skirt would work if you got rid of that ass"--Brenda

    This has to be one of the most different episodes of the series. Everything seems to point in a different direction when you compare "The Opening" to others, not that it's a bad thing. For one, the direction was a little different this week it felt more like a movie then an actual show which is what the producers seem to kind of convey. Most of the scenes took place in an art gallery which was different but unique for a Six Feet Under episode since most scenes either take place in the kitchen or another part of the Fisher & Diaz Funeral Home. The writing still sharp and the plots seemingly interesting.

    Claire is currently celebrating her success that she, Russell and others are having their artwork displayed and purchased at the LAC-Arts Alumni show. Claire immediately asks Olivier if she priced her work to low since she gave it the very low price of $75 whereas Olivier's whose piece sells over $10,000.00. And while the curator gave Claire a wonderful location to display her somewhat disturbing art, Russell has been placed in the back with his Double Helix sculpture, a beautiful piece selling for $500. At the show, Russell's work has been purchased yet Claire endures the entire night as nobody seems to want to buy her piece. When someone does, Claire immediately wants to know who bought it who turns out to be Russell. She confronts him "Why" but Russell says it is an investment and the two embrace. When Russell says who purchased his piece he claims it was Olivier. Claire then ponders the question of his reasons which Russell does not answer so quickly.

    Nate and Lisa continue their on-going feud as the love triangle with Brenda continues. Nate is clearly tired of having the same conversation over and over but Lisa is still not ready to let go. Lisa asks if he wants to leave but Nate tells her she would have to leave since it is his home. They halt talks of separation for the moment for Maya's sake but keep a vow of silence. At the alumni show, Nate and Lisa run into Brenda who is there supporting her brother Billy also in the show. When Nate introduces Lisa to Brenda, Lisa hesitates and the two pretend they've met for the first time. In the ladies' room Brenda asks why she would do the thing she did and Lisa just wanted to know who she was. Brenda claims that seeing your husband's ex-fiancee is something a child would do and is kind of stalkerish. Lisa apologizes and explains to her that there is still love there. Brenda reveals that there was never any love. Nate and Lisa then reconcile in a huge pyramid where they vow to be more like friends but to still be lovers. They are interrupted by Brenda but they warmly welcome her in as they relax for a while in place of tranquility.

    David and Keith search for movies to rent at Video West when they run into David's pastor (from his Season 1 deaconing days) Father Jack who they finally learn is a gay priest due to his choice in movie rentals. They later decide if they will have the discussion with their therapist if they should still continue their little threesome charades. The therapist suggest it is a good idea to save a relationship yet both parties should be comfortable. The two set groundrules and after Claire's opening they go to a gay bar where they take home a rather tall man. The next morning there is awkwardness as the man leaves with David and Keith still asleep.

    Ruth though trying to keep a good friendship with Arthur is struggling since he doesn't want it to be sexual. Since Arthur doesn't want to be romantic Ruth decides that he should go as her date to Claire's opening to support the family and all. Arthur thinks it is a very nice gesture and that they would have a good time. It turns out to be a success and later the two cuddle in Ruth's bed until Arthur tells her he has to go thus ending the obviously fun evening.

    Other important events in "The Opening"...
    *Death of the week: a woman carefully prepares to pack up things and organize them leaving her belongings behind. She then goes into her car, makes herself look pretty and closes the garage door. A very clever but sad way to end an obviously depressing life.
    *Federico compares the woman's death to possibly what Vanessa might be going through since the person who arranged the funeral was her ex-boyfriend who had broken it off with her two weeks prior. Rico doesn't want to see his wife end up that way since she is on that road at the present time.
    *The art opening scenes were very entertaining and humorous. The Chenowiths were the centerpiece of the good time as Margaret gets high off of Bern's cancer pot.
    *Video West seems to be David and Keith's favorite video store since it is constantly mentioned throughout the series.
    *Russell, Claire, Billy and Olivier all had very nice pieces to put in a home and I would probably buy all of them except Olivier's. That's a little too much.

    "The Opening" was a very entertaining, funny yet morbid hour which shifts between the success and failures of the Fishers and the fact that death is still an important theme on the show even though some plots have shifted more on relationships.
  • On Display Written by Kate Robin Directed by Karen Moncrieff

    Lisa: "But what if it's never good?"
    Nate: "Then we know we really tried".

    Yippee, we have finally reached the ultimate breakthrough in Nate and Lisa's shaky marriage and it's down to a lot of sniping as the pair once again blame the other for their problems, parelelling as Nate cannot help but see a similarity between his wife and suicide victim, Melinda Bloth who killed herself when her boyfriend jilted after staying with her years after he wanted to leave. Kinda the way Nate felt about his own marriage. And then there's Lisa and Brenda's conversation in the ladies in which the latter reassures Lisa that she'll have Nate forever - if she really wanted him.

    I'm not so sure about that, but at least all of these three significant moments in "The Opening", provide an eye opener for the pair. And not only does Nate and Lisa's marriage finally look possible, but for once they are in sync with one another as well as they now can be themselves, without having to edit themselves for the other. So, if they do divorce, at least it will be a more amicable split and both parties can honestly say they tried.

    Melinda's death also draws some rather unsubtle parellels towards Vanessa's current behaviour as despite taking medication, she shows no signs of improvement and Federico's rather inappropiate way of trying to get her out of herself by attempting to renew their sex life falls flat on his face. Poor guy, but wouldn't you think he would trying to get her to talk to a therapist, instead of halfhearted attempts like this?

    It looks like it may be over before it's really begun as already we're beginning to see cracks in Ruth and Arthur's relationship when the latter balks at getting intimate after Claire's opening. And it was Arthur who starting the gentle rocking in the bedroom with Ruth, not the other way round.

    The issue of Russell's sexuality is further raised when Claire learns that Billy was sleeping with Olivier when he was a student, but to be honest it was kind of obvious that Billy was gonna say that before he said it. Then there's the fact that Olivier bought Russell's sculpture. Come on, Claire - your boyfriend's screwing around. Pity about his choice of people, though.

    The more interesting subplot in "The Opening" would be the further cracks between David and Keith as the latter is still keeping up with his new found interest in three ways and drug taking. Heck, his session with Frank in which he protests about the freedom these give him was almost exactly what Brenda said in "The Secret" when she went to see Dr Michaelson. What's even worse is David's refusal to speak up louder as his meekness to his boyfriend's almost character change is rather distressing.

    Also in "The Opening"

    Death of the week: Melinda Mary Bloch commited suicide in the opening scene.

    Federico (re medication):"It takes a month for anything to happen?"
    Vanessa:"Well I gained five pounds already so something's happening?"

    There was a certain creepy irony to using "There She Goes" as the song that Melinda would kill herself to.

    Margaret:"That blouse might actually work if you got rid of the bra"
    Brenda:"Yeah and that skirt might actually work if you got rid of that ass".

    Billy:"It was a sex thing, not a gay thing"
    Claire:"Isn't that a fucked up power dynamic?"

    Some truly hilarious comedy as Brenda walks in on Margaret and Olivier having sex. What's even more funny is how pathetic Olivier is depicted as he screws Margaret while looking at one of his own paintings. His exasperated expression when Brenda walks in is also the first time we've ever seen look apologetic. A part of me would have preferred had it been Claire and Russell who had walked in, but it might not have worked as well as it did had it been them.

    Brenda:"Who could ever get enough of Mom's pussy? It's like a trip down memory lane".

    Olivier:"What do you think of her piece?"
    Ruth:"Oh well, I think it's very sweet really"
    Claire:"It's supposed to be disturbing".

    Also her and Billy are getting really closer - she's just moved in with him. This can only end badly.

    Russell buys Claire's piece under the pseudonym - Fifi Rochdale. My mum has a dog named Fifi.

    A lot of cool ethereal sounding music during the exhibition. Better music at that gay bar where David and Keith go crusing for their next bedfellow though.

    Chronology is May 19th 2003.

    Liked Billy's painting. As Brenda put it looked "cool" and "painless". Keith's view on Claire piece was more interesting and original than anyone else's.

    Other standout music included was the brilliant FC Kahuna's "Hayling".

    Another great episode, "The Opening" lived up to it's title and proved to be an illuminating hour. A basic mini-set up for the events, but a great one nonetheless with all key relationships being taken to newer levels, things can only get more intriguing.

  • The Exhibition

    Great episode... Claire's exhibition was fun. Lots of comedy. Brenda showing up was nice too. Yes, nice. S3 Brenda is much better than S1-S2. Lisa came off a little weird though. She's starting to annoy me.... flipping out about every single thing. What I thought was somewhat pointless is Vanessa... Rico needs more screentime, not his family.

    David and Keith do a 3some again but this time it's very obvious that David is not into it. I think before the finale the two will have a break up . Or not. Who knows. Regardless, it's quite interesting. Gay couples are not much different than regular couples, but still, watching them interact is far more interesting because it's something that hasn't been done to death unlike heterosexual relationships.

    The thing is that while this was a great episode, we're really drifting away from dealing with the dead. What the heck was the point of the death in this episode? That overall 30seconds worthy of airtime that dealt with it afterwards? Hmm....
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