Six Feet Under

Season 1 Episode 6

The Room

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jul 08, 2001 on HBO
out of 10
User Rating
220 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Mildred "Hattie Effinger Jones
April 16th, 1920 - March 21, 2001

Nate continues to learn disturbing things about his father. This time he finds out that sometimes his father would barter for funerals. In one case, he traded a room. While David is pursuing a closer relationship with his church, a divorcee tries to pursue a closer relation with him. Claire meets Brenda's brother Billy and they hit it off extremely well. Ruth is still with Hiram, but is now also being pursued by her husband's florist, Nikolai.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Not the Worst Episode

    Not a bad episode in terms of character development - more mystery comes to light with Brenda's brother and Nate and David's dad. It was nice to see the death relate to Ruth and Nate's storylines and how they grow in this episode alone. Looking forward to seeing how David resolves his issues as well as how the other characters develop.
  • Nate finds a mysterious room.

    It's strange… for an episode that has so much great material in it, I was left feeling sort of under whelmed by "The Room" upon a second viewing. Perhaps there was some scenes that slowed the momentum down, or maybe the episode just wasn't as good as I originally thought. Either way, while half of the episode is absolutely brilliant in its character development, the other half sort of lags behind.

    The episode gets its name from a strange room that Nate finds that his father used as a home away from home. Nate learns that his father would sometimes take sympathy with people who couldn't exactly afford a funeral. In some cases, he'd trade for services (free oil changes for life) or product (free weed for life) but in the case of one restaurant owner, he traded a funeral for an empty room. According to the man, he would show up on occasion, spend some time there and then leave. Nate grows frustrated because he can't figure out what this room meant to his father. It's a new piece of a puzzle that can never be solved now that he's dead. In one of the best scenes the show has had to date, Nate imagines his father dancing to rock music here, smoking weed with hobo-like people, buying a hooker and eventually shooting people from his window. It's one of those oddball scenes that few shows other than "Six Feet Under" pulled off.

    Meanwhile we get an equally interesting, though very different, set of scenes with David. Now that he's a deacon at his church, David finds it harder than ever to reconcile with his sexual orientation. He has that super-annoying church woman pining for him (her name escapes me, but she's like a mosquito that won't die). Plus, now that Keith has broken up with him, he doesn't really have a shoulder to lean on anymore. As a result, the character of David Fisher takes another dark turn: he goes to a gay bar and has a fling with a teacher or something like that. Michael C. Hall delivers some of his best work here as a man who just doesn't know what to do with his life. Hall does a great job going slightly over the top as Dexter Morgan, but the work he does here is just amazing.

    I mentioned a slower half of the episode and it comes in the form of the plots given to the Fisher females. Claire, who was slowly but surely being built up into an intriguing character, takes a step backward after she somehow hooks up with Brenda's brother. It doesn't really lend anything to the episode, but at least it was more entertaining than Ruth Fisher's men troubles. I've never really cared for the hairdresser Hirem, mostly because the idea of her having an affair is better than actually seeing it. Throw in Nikolai, the Fisher's florist, and you have a pointless plot.

    As I said, there's a good mixture of good and bad here. Thankfully, the good is REALLY good. Richard Jenkins is wonderful as usual, most of the main cast gives their best work and the subplot involving the death of an old man's wife is funny, tragic and great all at once. Even if some of the episode drags, the rest of it shines.moreless
  • 106

    Good episode of Six Feet Under, we got a lot of ongoing themes brought to light. Like life is wasted on the living, or posthumous occurrences that brings things to light, like for instance, the room. It really makes you think doesn't it? You can't get to know someone after their dead, all their secrets are kept with them, and there's no way you'll ever know them. Other than this plot, we got two or three other story lines going on, but they were for the most part pretty weak.

    We got hilarious interactions between David & Tracy, David goes to a gay bar, misses his ex - virtually got any substantial development with this character but it was funny when he was interacting with Tracy. Claire getting screwed over by a guy? What else is new? No, but really, I did like the interactions between Billy & Claire, it was quite unexpected, and you can't help but feel bad for Claire in the end.

    Six Feet Under is a good show, but you can't help but be annoyed by the anti-climactic endings this show has. The past two episodes have been lines from Brenda (the least important), and then the episode ends. But this was just almost laughable. It ends with Mrs. Fischer going back to her ex-boyfriend, and it cuts to credits. I don't think that's going to settle well with anyone, but I digress. Good episode overall.moreless
  • Focusing on the wrong characters?

    The previous episode while was weaker then the ones leading up to it, it still managed to maintain the quality of the show.

    This one however fell really low. Pretty much the only thing I enjoyed was Nate finding "The room" which actually developed Natheniel's character a little. I really enjoyed his vision too. But really, other than that.... everything was either average or below average. For one, Brenda's brother is just as "out there" as Brenda. His presence felt really useless. Then, I just didn't care too much for Ruth's drama either. She is a good side character but when she's in the focus, the show becomes a bit dull. The death of the episode was meh, much like in the previous episode it got very little focus, it was almost completetly unncessery, though the way it was wrapped up was good. I called Mr. Jones dying but still, the way it happened was somewhat emotional. I liked the musical montage in the end. Ultimately, the problem was that there was very little focus on Nate and David. Instead, the writers focused on the less interesting side characters.

    Overall, it wasn't a wasted 60 minutes, because it was entertaining, but definitely not near the standard of the show so far.moreless
  • Review

    Didnt care for the death in this episode, with the old guy pretty much having a scene with each of the Fishers. There was a lot of internal conflict with Ruth in this episode in deciding if she wanted to go back to the hairdresser which has been eating her up since the death of her husband a few months ago at this point in the timeline. There was really nothing amazing in this episode, a couple of of nice scenes with Nate and Brenda and another couple of nice scenes from Claire but I do think that this is the worst epsiode of the series to date. It isnt a horrible episode by any stretch, I just dont have the connection to Ruth to care much about an episode that is focused around her so much.moreless
Bill Cobbs

Bill Cobbs

Mr. Jones

Guest Star

Shishir Kurup

Shishir Kurup

Restaurant Owner

Guest Star

Jeffrey Corbett

Jeffrey Corbett

One Night Stand

Guest Star

Ed Begley Jr.

Ed Begley Jr.


Recurring Role

Richard Jenkins (I)

Richard Jenkins (I)

Nathaniel Fisher

Recurring Role

Ed O'Ross

Ed O'Ross


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • When the record player in Nate Sr.'s secret room is shown, the phonograph needle is set to "78" (the "78" is visible on the right side of the tone arm in a close-up) rather than the obverse, which would read either "LP" or "45" and appear on the left side of the tone arm. Using the heavier needle designed for 78s meant that poor Nate Sr. was ruining his LPs every time he played them.

  • QUOTES (10)

    • Nate (About Nathaniel's Sr. secret room): You think we should tell Mom about this?
      David: Sure, why not? You won't be happy until this whole family's in therapy!

    • (Billy tells Claire, that "Charlotte Light and Dark" is about Brenda)
      Claire: Oh my God! It's like meeting Ghandi or Jesus!

    • (Nate is imagining a conversation with his deceased father)
      Nathaniel, Sr.: So, I'm walking along one day, and this asshole stops me and asks if I'm alright. He says I got a look. He'd seen a man with that same look once and had ignored it. And that man had jumped out of a 9 story window. (laughs) You know the reconstruction involved in a death like that? This business gets under your skin. It's like a fucking virus. They can even see it on your face. Smell it on you.

    • Nate: You know, your wife will always be with you in your memories. When you love somebody that much, they never really--
      Jones: You sell that shit to somebody who's buyin' it cause I ain't. You don't know nothin' about love. Some pretty little thing catches your eye, and the next thing you know it's been 56 years and you've shit all over yourself in the movie theatre, and she the only one to help you clean it up. That's love.

    • Billy (about Claire's house): Pretty cozy... for a morgue.

    • Brenda: Nate, if you didn't know him when he was alive, you never will.
      Nate: I don't wanna be somebody who when I die nobody knows who I was.
      Brenda: So don't be.

    • Nathaniel, Sr.: Life is wasted on the living.

    • Tracy: Oh my God, Brazilians are the most beautiful people alive. They're like these fabulous mongrels who've incorporated all the very best attributes from ever race. I mean, all that crossbreeding, hello!

    • Brenda: Are you gonna be okay here alone?
      Jones: Everybody's alone. You're born alone, you die alone, goddamn it.

    • (Brenda asks Clair if Nate is around)
      Claire: No, I haven't seen him. I can help you move it, though.
      Brenda: Uh, no, thanks.
      Claire: So what? I'm no good because the whole cabinet thing is just foreplay for you to fuck my brother?
      Brenda: No. I'm just not into babysitting high school girls. No offense.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Mathew St. Patrick (Keith) does not appear in this episode.

    • Music featured in episode: The Amboy Dukes - Journey to the Center of the Mind, Classics 4 - Spooky, Spylab - Celluloid Hypnotic(Hypnotic remix), Chris Walsh and Dave Beran - Shake, Craig Armstrong - Let's Go Out Tonight.

    • - German title: "Das geheime Zimmer" (= "The Secret Room");
      - Italian title: "Nel nome del padre" (= "In the Name of the Father")


    • Nathaniel, Sr.: Life is wasted on the living.
      This is a pun on the famous quote - "Youth is wasted on the young" - uttered by George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), an Irish playwright and winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925.

    • Tracy: (to David) Well, what if Cindy Crawford were to walk up to you and say, "Just use me for sex"?
      Cindy Crawford is one of the most famous American supermodels in the world.