Six Feet Under

Season 5 Episode 7

The Silence

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jul 17, 2005 on HBO

Episode Fan Reviews (9)

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  • Nate and Brenda's relationship worsens again.


    The more I watch this show, the more I wonder whether or not Nate and Brenda are meant to be together. Sometimes, when a couple is together for awhile on a television show, it becomes easy to root for them, to hope that they'll stay together in the end, and even if they don't, we can pretend that they'll get together after the show has ended. However, it's clear that Nate and Brenda's connection is gone and all that's holding them together is their baby.

    This was another episode where the Nate and Brenda stuff was working perfectly, half of the other plots worked pretty good and a couple sort of fell flat. Once again, the back and forth between Nate and Vanessa just feels so separated from everything else. I feel like a broken record in these reviews but I guess that's what these are for.

    One of the more interesting developments this season has been the connection between Maggie Sibley and Nate. From the second they started interacting with each other, it was clear that there was some sort of connection and that it would be a matter of time before they got closer. They haven't hooked up yet but Nate's interest in the Quaker prayer group is sort of a hint. The scene at the end where he soaks in the silence is very telling.

    At first, I wasn't sure how much I'd like the plot surrounding David and Keith's adopted children but so far, the writers are doing a pretty good job of not going over the top. It was awesome to see David and Keith go and see the kids' play and was a touching moment.

    We're past the halfway point and I'm really not sure what direction we could go in.

  • Is this the bottom of the barrel? Hopefully.

    Not the worst episode of SFU, but not much was missing for it to be. Ruth continously getting spotlight is just plain annoying, frustrating and questionable. She's uninteresting and has absolutely stupid motives. I felt really sorry for George again. Sure veryone deserves to know the truth but we all know that that was not the way to go, stupid psycho retarded Ruth.... jesus christ, I get so annoyed of her screaming. I think the writers think it's cool to have her randomly scream sometimes but it's not. It's bad for everyone's health.

    Another problem with this episode I thought I had was the... dullness. Just like the last episode, Keith and David are the saving graces wit their adopted kids storyline.

    Although i enjoyed Nateand Brenda "sort of" spliting up for the hundreth time.
  • Great storylines all round.

    I can't believe I'm into the last five episodes of this show, things continue to be just as good as the last four seasons. Ruth was great as always here, I was shocked when George told her he was getting remarried, and he said it so casually as well. I loved how she shouted at him at the end, plus it was hilarious when she confronted the fiancé.

    Claire was good here too, her work place is funny and I'm interested to see what will happen with the guy she seems to like, he seems to like her too. Rico and Vanessa are apparently back together, yeah right. It was funny to see Vanessa so disinterested, but it seems that things are in the open now.

    David and Keith hiding there porn from there new kids was funny. As was how they went to Darnels play without telling him. It's not good for Nate and Brenda, when she finally tells Nate that things aren't good. Plus Nate still seem to be attracted towards Maggie. What's gonna happen here, I can't wait to see what happens to everyone.
  • Review

    This is the episode I think turned Season 5 around as a whole. Nate and Brenda have funnaly come to the conclusion that they will not be able to make it as a couple in the long run. Nate and Maggie seem to have a little something, maybe just a spark for now but I definatly see Maggie and Nate having a little something in the episodes to come. Ruth ruining Georges relationship with whatever her name was was funny. Rico and Vannessa are at wits end with one another and David and Keith have ups and downs as parents in this episode. This was the best episode of Season 5 so far.
  • A Kind Of Hush Written by Bruce Eric Kaplan Directed by Joshua Marston

    Boy, again I’m sorry for the delay of this review but it took me almost forever to find the right download and get this baby but finally I managed to get it yesterday evening and watched it a few hours later and while this episode (if you catch the teaser) is a little less exciting than last week’s, there was still some top-notch moments with nearly every plot speeded forwards in some ways or the other…

    First off, Nate and Brenda the ever important issues for them in this episode begin with test results indicating that their unborn child could be at risk for downs syndrome or spine ebifida. That’s possibly mind but Brenda understandably enough takes offence when Nate suggests a termination. Anyways the incessant conflict of interest (underneath it some sage advice from maniacal Margaret) brings up the real issue between them – that big, wider than wide, gaping distance that’s been ever since Brenda’s miscarriage in the premiere. Two seasons ago, Nate would’ve been seen as the sympathetic party but he’s most definitely not here. He’s married to a woman who loves him for who he is and doesn’t condemn him for it as well as being a healthier influence on Maya than he is often and yet he continues to act like he’s been suffocated by her presence and the reality of their relationship.

    And his involvement with Maggie doesn’t make things better in my opinion. I like the woman and she does genuinely seem like a good person and even if Nate has no intention of bedding her (yeah right), he’s still having a more intimate relationship with her than he is with his wife. Revealing nearly all of his innermost thoughts and feelings to her is definitely grounds for an emotional affair and to some extent, Maggie has to be aware of that. She notices the tension between Nate and Brenda and while she’s not doing anything to directly egg it on, she could at least try and maybe get Nate to open up to Brenda a bit more. Maggie’s faith which is Quaker is quite interesting. I have to admit I’m not privy of it but given her and even David’s descriptions, Quakers seem to have more inner peace and commune with God in silence rather than prayer. It’s the same faith that kept her sane after her son’s death and it’s another attractive Nate has to her as he seems to embrace the Quaker way of thinking by the end of this episode.

    While we’re on embracing, the David and Keith plot continues to pick up nicely as both men still have their ups and downs on the parenting front. First off is their hilarious attempts of getting rid of their porn after Durrell and Anthony take a peek before school and then there’s Durrell’s school play which reaps all kinds of scenes including a melodramatic rant from David about being a single parent. Give me a break, Dave. Keith’s struggles with embracing the kids has been intriguing but the next time he wants advice don’t ask the Pasqueakers , they’re just too freaky for my taste. Still though by the resolution of this plot Keith and Durrell begin to find a common ground and hopefully this means less housewife outbursts from David, who’s beginning to sound like his mother.

    As for Claire, it’s so great she’s getting her shit together as the character continues to redeem herself by settling into her new job fairly nicely. Okay so she isn’t initially keen on socialising with her new co-workers which I don’t entirely blame given their love for using a phrase that was momentarily kinda sexy last year but seeing as there’s no lesbian performance artist or a guitar lying about, it’s just plain annoying. However the arrival of hunky but slightly smug lawyer Ted bumps the angle up, especially when the two kick off the mutual flirting and revealing personal stuff to each other. Ted’s the lowest paid lawyer in the building (is he really bad at his job?) and Claire’s in an artistic dry spell (technically she’s been that way since those bloody collages but still), which could be one reasons why she finds him attractive but I really hope the writers don’t make Claire a total corporate chick even if she’s succumbing to some of the office politics in her new work place.

    Elsewhere with Ruth things are more frustrating as her new single status proves to be more trouble than it’s worth. Her protests of liberation to her clearly bored knitting circle were utter bullshit even before she started acting hysterical at Victoria’s bash and the biggest shocker is George quickly moving on by demanding a quicker divorce so he can get married once again. Yes, that’s right George moves faster and is obviously just desperate to be with someone just as much as Ruth. While neither party are remotely sympathetic here, did Ruth really have to reveal all about George’s personal history to his new fiancé? She can dress it up all she likes but even I think there was some malice attached to her little bombshell. I love the woman but she’s beginning to get on my nerves. If she wants George, then take him back but if not then she needs to mind her own business. As for George, there is a slight chance he could be conveniently getting engaged yet again just to annoy Ruth.

    But whether they end up back together or not at least there’s a flicker of passion with the two, unlike Federico and Vanessa. They may be reunited and even sharing the same bed but their relationship is still cold enough, I’m surprised Rico hasn’t gotten frostbite at this stage. Vanessa spent way too much here reading magazines and rolling her eyes and body features in excruciating pain and imposition every time her husband was any time near and in a truly brilliant scene with Ruth (why did it have to be a fantasy sequence?), Rico wonderfully describes the non benefits of his return home. The limbo between the pair is well played between Freddy Rodriguez and Justina Machado but with only five episodes left in the series full stop, can it really be stretched out any further?

    Also in “The Silence”

    Death of the week: Peter Thomas Burns died in the theatre either by heart attack or stroke. He was also a friend of Maggie’s and a catalyst for the Quaker plot.

    Keith: “You know I’ve been noticing how much I’m watching my temper and I’m really trying to be patient but those boys are not easy”
    David: “Yes I know and if I forget you remind me at least once a day”.

    It’s been mused on the HBO forums but if David and Keith didn’t want the boys finding their porn stash, don’t you think they would’ve put in a much safer place than under their bed or just locked their room?

    Ruth: “Sometimes you think you’re better than everyone else”
    Claire: “Hopefully I am”.

    Okay this just may be me but did anyone else think the dive bar Claire and her co-workers went to was like one out of Desperate Housewives? There was even a Nicollette Sheridan lookalike riding a mechanical bull.

    George: “Do you want to talk about you feelings?”
    Ruth: “Strangely enough, I don’t think I have any”.

    David: “From now on say it’s Keith”
    Durrell: “Yes Master”
    David: “I told you I don’t like that joke”.

    Some character bits here – Margaret’s cheating on Olivier, Billy’s gone for a while (not a bad thing), Brenda’s beginning to show and I don’t remember seeing Maya in this episode. Plus we learn Maggie’s son was called Jesse.

    Federico (re Vanessa): “I want my wife to want me so bad that every time I walk by she wants to squeeze my ass and grab my - ”

    Keith: “Of course I have a soul. What a terrible thing to say to your partner”
    David: “Yeah well it’s a terrible thing to feel about your partner”.

    Chronology wise, it’s supposed February 2005 but Durrell’s play was on April 15th, so what is it really SFU writers?

    This week’s fantasy sequences, Nate imagining Brenda and Maya were taken from him could be foreshadowing something bad, Federico on what he wants from his marriage and David as a sailor boy. God, did Michael C. Hall just pull that one off.

    Joy: “Maybe none of this is true, maybe you’re just a bitter, angry, psychopath”
    Ruth: “I am not angry”.

    Great casting in Cynthia Stevenson as George’s fiance. Her character in Dead Like Me was also called Joy.

    Brenda (to Nate): “For once in your life just do what you want, not what you think other people want or what you should do because I just don’t give a fuck anymore”.

    Standout music this week was Sarah Mc Lachlan’s “Fallen”, Black Toast Music “Ya, Ya, Ya" and the end credits score piece.

    A less noisy and chaotic episode than previous instalments, “The Silence” is probably Season Five’s “weakest” episode and if this is what weak episodes will be on this show for it’s remainder, then the standard is pretty damn high. Another great episode, just roll on the next one.

  • An average plot and average death, but you need to see it before you see the next episode.

    The introduction death was poetic however not as poetic as previous deaths in the series. During this episode we discover how Ruth is coping with her new single status, how Rico is getting on with his wife and what risks are present for Ruth's new baby, which could affect Ruth and Nate's relationship. There are other plot lines included in the episode but none so important as these, because if you don't see them you'll be lost next episode. Six Feet Under has always had a tendency to make me cry, however in the past few episodes I just haven't felt it.
  • Great... But does it feel like the end?

    I really like this episode, but it doesn't feel like they are trying to wrap things up. I can think of a hundred different ways they could continue this series.

    Anyway, let's start with David and Keith. I just love this story line with them. From the beginning, they have always had a wild and crazy existence together. And although they are going through some stuff now, it's more...normal for lack of a better word. I loved that Keith finally came on board the family train and that Darrell was happy that they came. It was just the cutest thing ever. I wonder what is going to happen with the baby situation though.

    Nate and Brenda... I used to agree with Nate most of the time, not being a big fan of Brenda's. But his reaction to this would have been grounds for divorce as far as I'm concerned. He didn't even act like the possiblity of killing their child was a hard decision. Let's kill it and move on if it has some problems. Now I didn't agree with Brenda not getting the amnio, but I understood her hesitancy. And what the hell is this thing with Nate and Maggie. That scene at the end where Brenda sees them together was great. I loved her telling Nate exactly what I have been thinking forever. Make up your damn mind. Quit the lollygagging, and make a decision. And one that is based on what you want to do instead of what you think you should do for others sake. He needs to stop BSing and grow up!

    Claire's story line was cute, but not pivotal. I liked that she admitted that her relationship with Billy wasn't all his fault, that she wasn't ready for it. I'm intrigued to see what happens with this new guy. Although, if I had to work with people who say "Yeah Baby" all day long, I would shoot myself. I mean come on! How lame!

    I feel bad for Rico. Vanessa made her decision to take him back, but then treated him like crap. Why not just try another nanny? She is just as messed up as him. And if she didn't want the Nanny, she should have worked something out with Rico, let him know what she wanted, instead of letting him think he had his old life back. I was so thrown off by his little daydream with Ruth. I just kept hoping it wasn't real. You never know on this show.

    Fianlly Ruth, she has been my favorite storyline this final season. I didn't agree with what she did to George, but when he told her he was getting married again, I was glad she got out when she did. He is one big nut job! And the scene where she told George's fiance about how crazy he was! On the one hand I thought she was wrong to butt in, but at the same time, the woman deserved to know. I loved when the fiancee told her that she was angry and Ruth says I'm not angry then breaks the vase on the table. It was brillant! Then her yelling at her friend at the party was a laugh riot! "I'm seven million years old!" And finally her screaming at George at the end. If she does not win an Emmy for this season there will be no justice!

    As always I can't wait until next week!
  • Papa Don't Preach Peter Thomas Burns 1948-2005 Written by Bruce Eric Kaplan Directed by Joshua Marston

    "I just want to be left alone so I can shrivel up in peace!"--Ruth

    One of the great things about Six Feet Under is that you never know where the opening death is going to take you. A husband and wife, wait I thought that guy was gay! Oh, wrong show! (He plays a recurring character on HBO's Entourage who is a gay producer). Anyway, the husband complains that he really didn't want to go see a play and the wife tells him to suck it up. The two enjoy the play for a little while until Peter starts to get chest pains. The wife then makes a huge scene and bursts out into tears as the entire audience and cast of the play watch.

    Nate receives a phone call very very early in the morning. I wonder who this might be? Now what sounds like a new-age cordless phone is actually one of the phones that looks like could be in Fisher & Sons, (yes the old Fisher & Sons before the brothers updated it into the 2000s). Nate then gets the shock of his life when Maya and Brenda are kidnapped and an unknown voice is on the receiver. Ooops... only a dream, but the real person calling is Maggie. Turns out a friend from her Quaker church just passed away and asks Nate to take care of the funeral.

    After receiving "ambiguous" news about their baby, Nate and Brenda think the worst which could mean the baby may have special needs. The doctor offers an amniocentesis for more information which Nate wants but Brenda refuses giving her reasons and accusing Nate of again not wanting the baby. I'm kind of mixed on this issue, although it is a challenge to take care of someone with difficulties, it is still very rewarding yet everyone has free will and I think Brenda is making the right decision. Perhaps it might just be a precaution, the baby might actually be a healthy, adorable little bundle of joy.

    Other important events in "The Silence"...
    *The Quakers seem very interesting. I'm going to do some research on this because it seems unlike so many other religions. Maggie has that feeling that she may have been a Quaker.
    *David and Keith try to give their new sons some rules when they find their porn collection! The funniest scene but then dump it ASAP. David then finds a pamphlet from Durrell's school inviting the parents to a play. Though Durrell would rather not have his parents there, David insists quietly with Keith while Keith goes on to ask "the freaks of nature", Tate and Enzo Pasquese. They end up going to the play which causes unexpected good that comes out of it when the whole family goes out for pizza afterwards.
    *Claire meets a nice, handsome lawyer at work who digs up info on Claire about her past. And though at first Claire plays hard to get, she slowly lets him know events from her past. Ted intrigued tells her of his past and the two then leave the staff lounge.

    "You know masturbation can relieve some of that stress"--Ruth
    *Ruth keeps herself occupied with several activities and attends a party for Victoria. She then learns George is engaged for the 8th time, this time she goes and warns his fiancee causing a counterattack from George.
    *I would have loved it if Federico and Ruth's discussion about sex was real. That was hilarious, like a mother and son moment. Speaking of Rico, though back in his house and with his wife. Vanessa though happy is stubborn whenever Rico shows her intimacy. Rico then asks why he is even back home?
    *Enjoyed David's little fantasy and the whole chorus at Durrell's assembly.

    Brenda looked really nice in the ending scene when she just said "Fuck it" and yearned to be happy walking away from her troubles. And we know Nate & Brenda are still together because of the preview for next week.

    Great episode!
  • Very good episode. But Maggie needs to go.

    Maggie, please go away. SFU writers, if you're reading this -- go back in time and re-write the upcoming episodes. Thanks in advance.

    Anyway, the death of the week wasn't bad. In fact, it was pretty interesting -- as a stage actor, what do you do when a member of the audience noticably dies? Do you just continue? Well, of course not. (And if you do, shame!) The poor guy (Peter) does so in the middle of an amateur, borish play. Not a great way to go, I'd say.

    The death of the week is written into the script in a more minor way than the few previous episodes. Maggie, George's annoying daughter, was a friend of Peter. They went to the same church and practice a religion completely new to Nate and the family. During the funeral process, they keep quiet, for some peace thing or something. Which is interesting.

    Maggie sure fits into the whole peaceful quiet thing -- she's one of the most boring characters, ever. She carries the weight of the world on her shoulders, via her halfway crazy dad and her dead baby. Sure fits the mood of SFU, albeit in an even more morose way than needed.

    Nate finds himself more and more (as subtly expressed) attracted to Maggie. They relate to each other on a lot of various dramatic things, and the opportunity to spoil his marriage never deters him from always seeing her. He's even considering adopting the religion she practices.

    Brenda isn't fooled, or at least I don't think she is. A weird breaking off of sorts occurs near the end of the episode -- and, finally, thank God -- Brenda confirms that their relationship is as hollow as anything. She puts Nate in his place; it's obvious as hell that Nate doesn't want to do the whole marriage/family thing. He's only doing what others want him to do. And, thankfully, he doesn't argue the fact.

    It's interesting and I like the development. Like you well know, I don't care much for Maggie, but I was growing tired of Nate's constant eternal conflict concerning Brenda. It was getting considerably old.

    They never really agree on anything, and there's always an uneasy air to the house. Nate sits on the couch, reads something or watches TV, while Brenda surfs the Internet for support of any kind. What a fantastically relatable issue; the way a sticky mess a marriage can turn out to be.

    One issue of note that they certainly didn't agree on is abortion. Blood tests give way to vague information concerning Brenda's unborn child; there is a(n incredibly) slight chance that it may carry Down syndrome or some other worrysome problem. Nate wants to find more information about it and, well, "off it," and Brenda doesn't. She'll love it no matter what it is. Arguments a plenty.

    While gaining more respect for her fellow office chums ("yeah baby!"), Claire meets and befriends a rather attractive (I'd say so, at least) and charming co-worker. Ted's the name. He's confident and actually appears interested in Claire's art and whatnot. In a lovely little sequence, Claire admits that she doesn't know for sure if she's an actual artist. Life's hard, and I find her current storyline simply irresitable (isn't that the name of a horrid movie?). I can relate to it on so many levels.

    Thankfully, her old artsy fartsy friends are coming back next week. A little more interaction with an alienated Claire never hurt. Anita, where art thou?

    Vannessa still apparently hates Federico, despite sleeping with him and sharing the same bed. Easily the least interesting storyline. Yawn.

    Ruth's old sewing circle friends are less interested in the newfound "go get 'em" attitude she has. George is effectively gone, although she appears ambivalent towards the whole matter -- personally, I know she's lonely and George certainly is too. But her pride hurts enough as it is.

    Upon visiting good ol' George (who's beginning to read newspaper articles again.. regardless of content, that's a big "uh oh"), we find that George wants to do a quickie divorce, for he has recently fallen in love with a new person.

    Ruth is visibly shaken and stirred. Things are not going HER way, NOT fair. She pops up at the George's new fiance for a tell-all, to which the lady replies that Ruth looks like a crazy person.

    "I am not a crazy person!" she yells, and then promptly picks up and throws down a glass bowl. Glass shatters. She then runs out of the room. You have to admit, that's kind of funny, even if it has the usual SFU sad overtones.

    And last but certainly not least, Keith and David's relationship with the kids seems to get better and better. "I'm really glad they kept the kids," I remarked to my friend while watching. And everything seemed to be going well. But then -- of course -- they are caught watching their daddy's gay porn and laughing. Those damn kids.

    It's sort of cute, though. Durrell has a part in an upcoming play about "biodiversity" (quite a yawner) and is so embarrassed that he says he'll kill his parents if they show up. David is such a loving guy, though, so he ends up showing and in the end they share more smiles and whatnot. I'm really loving this storyline; the kids are charming and David and Keith seem like the most normal couple on the show.

    Wait a second -- they are! And they always have been.

    I love the moment when they're trying to throw away the gay porn after the aformentioned incident. David's attempts to place it in the dumpster prove futile, and the porn ends up going everywhere outside of the bag. Keith just laughs, and I just wanted to be friends with these guys. Such a nice couple.

    Anyway, it wasn't a bad episode. Pretty damn good, actually.

    The only time I got semi-annoyed was when the camera did the same thing it's done since episode one -- focus in on Nate when he's standing there during the funeral. I so expected him to tear up, but he didn't, thankfully.
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