Six Feet Under

Season 1 Episode 2

The Will

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jun 10, 2001 on HBO

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

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out of 10
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  • The Fisher Family Legacy Continues

    This episode didn't amaze me but I enjoyed how Dave's character continues to grow. We're seeing a bit more of each individual and I appreciate that as a whole. Hopefully the structure of this show will allow it to expand in its scope psychologically and plot-wise.
  • The Fisher family receives Nathaniel's will

    The second episode of "Six Feet Under" falls into the usual rhythm that most shows do following a fantastic pilot episode. That's not to say that "The Will" is a bad episode. Now that we know the characters and who they are, it's fun to watch the situations they get into. In a way, the second episode gives us even more of an idea how the show will proceed, and just like the pilot, this episode was filled with so much small details, great written lines and subtle plot developments that it's a shame a single review can't cover the whole thing.

    Following their father's death, things somewhat return to normal for the Fisher's. However; Nathaniel's will is released, and David is furious to learn that Nate, the son who moved away from the family business and did his own thing, got a cut of the business. The common line here is "Well, it is Fisher and Sons," but David doesn't want to hear it. As a result, Nate ends up doing what he moved away to avoid doing: helping with the business. And it's clear he has no clue what he's doing. He leaves a body in the heat and lets it crap itself, he loans a casket to a woman who can't afford to pay for it and loses out on about six thousand bucks. Much of the episode's tension comes between arguments between Nate and David, or even David and his mother. It's clear there's a lot of unaired bad blood between everybody, and I'm sure as the season progresses, we'll be seeing more and more of that.

    Even a character who doesn't get as much to do, such as Claire in this case, is getting some good scenes that give us a glimpse into her psyche. I'm not sure how much I care about her little tryst with Gabriel, the guy who gave her crack, but it's the other scenes I enjoy, the ones where she stands up for David when Nate is giving him a hard time about who he had sex with the night before, or when she voices her frustration at being given a college education when that's not even what she wants. I have no idea what the rest of the show will entail for her, but I'm curious at how she'll grow from here on out.

    The episode, for the most part, kept me as intrigued as the pilot. There's clearly a lot of stuff going on in the background that will probably come to have a bigger role later (the Matthew Gilardi guy trying to buy the Fisher business, Ruth's hairdresser boyfriend, David and Keith's affair) but I'm willing to just watch the Fisher family be the Fisher family for now. I like the way the episode begins with death and how the theme continues throughout the rest of the episode. I'm also glad Richard Jenkins is still showing up. I hope he's a presence throughout the rest of the show, because he reminds me of Dexter's dad in a way in the show "Dexter." But the show is still extremely well written and every character we've been introduced to so far seems to have some of those wounds that Brenda was talking about throughout. I'm sure a big part of the show will be exposing those wounds and seeing what lays underneath.
  • 102

    An episode with definite development, we got to learn a bit more of the main ensemble, and the Fischers continue to grieve over their father's death.

    The format of this show is very intriguing, with someone new dying in every episode, and how the Fischer's deal with the body and such. The cold opening was interesting and it gave us a feel of what future episodes will be like. Claire starts dating a stoner with a foot fetish, meanwhile David sees his ex-fiance and lies to his boyfriend about it, we get to learn about him too. And Nathan continues his relationship with Brenda. Nathan & David get 50/50 in the family business, Clare gets a trust fund, and the mother gets half a billion dollars in life insurance. This upsets David since Nathan did nothing to deserve it. Nathan starts to get a hang of things at the mortuary, once he starts running it in his own way. The Fishcers get threatened to go out of business, this leaves things in the air. The end was sad, and I'm definitely excited for episodes to come even though this episode definitely wasn't as strong as the pilot episode. Great episode overall though.
  • I think this was actually better than the pilot.

    Oddly, I thought this was even better than the already great pilot, which is a nice achievement by the show.

    The first traditional episode... I guess from now on, most episodes will go down like this. A random person dies, and the family has to set up the funeral.

    It sounds good enough to me. While a bit too structural, if they keep the character development / business at this percentage, I think it will take many many episodes to get boring.

    In the pilot we learned plenty of the characters, but in this episode we learn more. Especially about David. His character really stands out to me. The best part of the episode was probably the reacting to the will. Almost everybody had problems with it which besides drama also created some comedic scenes. Mostly involving Nate and him dealing with the dead...

    Nathaniel appearing in visions is great, I hope we'll see more of him. The only issue I had with the episode is the uninteresting romance of Claire's, I really don't see the point. But other than that, first-class episode.
  • 1.02: Definitely improving. I'm loving this series by the episode.

    After watching the Pilot episode for Six Feet Under, I was left wanting more. LOTS more. I wanted to see some character development, and I wanted to see how they were going to continue the series.

    This episode didn't really strike me as 'Brilliant', but it was definatly a good watch and it still didn't make me want to turn off.

    What I like about this series, and what I'm hoping happens in future episodes is the fact that Nathanial Sr is always watching over his family. I love that. I really like how his point of view and his influences really pass on and live long despite his death.

    In this episode, Nate and David each get half of the Fisher and Sons business. David, at first, isn't happy.. but soon resigns himself to the fact that he's now working with his older brother. Claire isn't very happy that she only gets a College Grant or money when she's 25 and becomes quite bitter about it and considers trading it in for the money.

    I found this episode quite entertaining and was once again left for more. I liked the Chandler Swanson storyline about the women with the debt. That was a refreshing break from the main plot, and I'm presume this will happen in every episode.
  • Review

    During a get together around a pool, people discuss a franchise pyramid scheme. Chandler Swanson dives into the pool, but he doesn't come back up. He leaves a wife and an infant daughter. Nathaniel Fisher's will is read and Ruth gets money, stocks and insurance money. Nate & David are both given the funeral business. Claire receives college tuition, but she considers trading it in for cash. In an effort to help the Widow Swanson, Nate starts learning a few things about the funeral business. First up, caskets cannot be rented. By law, a used casket cannot be re-sold. I thought this was a really good episode to follow the Pilot episode of the seaosn. I thought the person that died in this epsiode (which looks like will happen in every episode from here on out) was really interesting. This man spent his whole life lying to his wife and his wife had a tremendous reaction. Nathianal Fisher Sr also sort of lied to his wife a couple of times on the phone before he died, like when he picked up the cigerette and started smolking. Overall, I would say this was a very solid character devolopment episode where we learned a lot more about things we were learning in the pilot episode.
  • so far so good

    i have to admit, ive just started watching this show today, but i like it. its not like anything else i watch, its realistic, a little cold, even, but at the same time, i appreciate its humor and deepness. i really dont get the mother, i mean yeah shes just lost her husband, but she's really hysterical, its annoying.

    my fav character has to be Claire, the youngest, the not understood, only girl. i think shell have some surprises. :)

    ill definitely keep watching this show. i know they air it on HBO, but thats far ahead, im gonna have to catch up.
  • Moving on

    An excellent second episode, not equally as good as the first episode but still definitely up there.

    I really love the scenes with the father and love the dreams, they are very smart and original.

    There were also a couple of things that were hysterical, like Claire’s out bursts and the penis scene in the hospital (I was like, ‘…oh’)

    I don’t like the guy who wants to buy the house though, he’s very irritating.

    Anyway, in this episode they get what the father left them.David and Nate both received 50% of the morgue which upsets David.

    They all go through something.
    Ruth breaks up with her boyfriend because she feels watched by her husband.

    Claire falls inlove with a guy that has a feet-fetish (very disturbing if I may say so)

    Nate continues with his girlfriend Brenda who suddenly has a tattoo of his at the back.

    And David ofcourse who keeps screwing things up, with his ex-girlfriend and now with Keith who keeps being lied to but finally takes the first step.

    David has held everything in and Nate thinks that David doesn’t feel anything, eventually Brenda takes them to the bus that killed their father and David finally takes it all out.

    A nice moving on episode that continues this wonderful show, filled with humor and also drama.
    A great second episode.
  • Better :)

    I liked this one a lot better than The Pilot. It was funny, cool and even kinda sad.

    The death this episode was really weird. I didn't really get how he died, I thought at the beginning that that guy was a bad guy, but then he died and I figured he was just someone trying to do business. But I guess he kinda was a bad guy. He left his wife all alone, with no money, and a child. She must hate life right now.

    Nate was just great this episode. He was trying to to all good, by giving people discount and stuff. And the way he comforded that wife was really good :) He doesn't really get why his father gave him 50%, but I understand. The father wants the family together, even though he's gone now.

    David is still not sure what he wants with his lover. At one time, he runs to him and at the other time he keeps running away. Is he ashamed of himself? Or is he scared that his father is watching or something. Just like his mother did (who btw. dumped a guy in a very strange way *-)) Well anyway, he should get things straight ( no pun intented ).

    - Claire is weird. Just weird. She is funny though :) She has a lot of cool quotes.
    - Brenda and Nate are cool!
    - Why has Brenda a name tatoed on her ass?
    - And why did Brenda look for that bus?
    - I loved the joke from Nate about David :) Hihi, they should put more things like this in the show, because it's just great.

  • Rewards And Blackmail From Beyond The Grave Written by Chrstian Williams Directed by Miguel Arteta

    Second episode in and let's begin by mentioning the death of the week (a routine of kick starting all Six Feet Under episodes if not neccesarily my reviews for them) and the unlucky victim this week happens to be an investor of a pyramid scheme who meets his grisly fate when he jumps head first into his own pool.

    Even worse for his widowed wife is that he has left a mountain of debts and Nate's solution of renting out a top line casket and then cremating the body it can be re-used doesn't sit well with David.

    David - Let's talk about him because he is definitely the most discussion worthy character in this episode for a number of reasons. We know he's gay (thankfully not portrayed in a Will & Grace/Queer As Folk kind of way) but clearly closeted,much to Keith's obvious frustration. He instantly panicked when Nate asked him about his night out, oblivious to the fact of the true extent of David's relationship with Keith. As far as he is concerned Keith is simply David's "racquet ball partner".

    But it's the sibling rivalry between these two that is fascinating as David clearly resents Nate for leaving Pasadena before getting tied to the funeral home business and seems to resent him even more upon learning from his father's will that him and Nate, who feels blackmailed over it both get Fisher and Sons. There is also his clear and more vocal disapproval of his mother's relationship with Hiram, along with lying to Keith over meeting up with ex-fiancee Jennifer (whom David later unsuccessfully attempts to proposition after a few drinks).So far out of the Fisher clan he is definitely emerging as the most conflicted with excellent moments for Michael C Hall.

    As for the actual will of Dead Dad, Ruth winds up getting all stock, bonds and insurance money while Claire is less than thrilled over her "cut" being college tuition. Like Nate she too feels as if she is being blackmailed from beyond the grave.

    Moving onto my second favourite character in this series we have an insighful shiatzu session with Brenda as she puts her best techniques to use (on Nate of course). We also learn that she has the word "Nathaniel" tattooed on her back, much to Nate's shock, though she insists it was prior to them meeting.At first I wasn't neccesarily convinced that it didn't have anything to with Nate, but it looks like I was wrong. Also Brenda doesn't seem the clingy type. God, at least I hope not.

    Second episode in and we have got plenty in terms of sexual antics - Brenda and Nate getting the sex show on the road, David and Keith (much to Dead Dad aka Nate Sr's distaste - "which one of you is the wife?").

    Heck even Claire gets down and dirty with the creepier than thou Gabe (yes you would be right in assuming that this one relationship I am not in support of)which includes a round of toe sucking. Well, whatever turns you on I guess.

    Also in "The Will"

    Death of the week: Chandler James Swanson took too big a dive and banged his head of the bottom of the pool.

    Keith:"Don't forget about the meeting tomorrow night"
    David:"You'd think i'd miss a meeting of gay police and firemen?"

    Didn't Michael C Hall look kinda of like QAF's Peter Paige in this episode?

    Nate:"Morning Dave. Are those the same clothes you had on last night?" David:"Everything I own looks alike"
    Nate:"I sense you're not being completely honest with me, Dave".

    David's middle name is James. Wonder what Nate and Claire's are?

    Ruth:"Maybe i'll move to Florida"
    David:"That's ridiculous Mom and it's not helping" Ruth:"You're all adults and Claire will be leaving next year"
    Claire:"Yeah to join the marines. I wanna learn how to kill, kill, kill".

    Kroehner own 157 funeral homes in the California state. My, they've been busy.

    Nate:"You always analyse guys on the first date?" Brenda:"Only if they're interesting"

    Nate:"Oh, so you think i'm interesting?"
    Brenda:"Oh yeah. I don't meet that many men with dead guys with hard ons in their car".

    Liked Dandy Warhol's "Bohemien Like You" in the background. Funny how Six Feet Under and Buffy the Vampire Slayer used the song before it became a bit hit UK wise and featured it on their soundtracks.

    Nathaniel:"Is that the best they could come up with? Father, husband, caregiver".
    Nate:"What would you have preferred? Introvert, sadist, mindfucker?"

    Chronology is January 2001, three weeks after the first episode.

    We also meet Federico's wife, Vanessa (who seems pleasant) and Hiram (also pleasant) but given all of the other storylines and plot threads in the episode their brief scenes are the least interesting of the whole affair. The episode's final moments however are the most unforgettable with Brenda getting both Fisher brothers to get on the bus responsible for their father's death. Particularly powerful is that it finally gets David to break down and mourn for his father's passing, something really did need to be done and it's truly compelling to watch. Better than the first episode? Hard to say but definitely on a par.
  • Diving In Head First Chandler James Swanson 1967-2001 Written by Christian Williams Directed by Miguel Arteta

    "What am I some knocked up Victorian wife that has to be hidden from view"--Claire

    After the Pilot aired, Six Feet Under was on the top of my list as one of the best things to come on television since "The Sopranos". The show is so interesting and the characters seem so real.

    This episode started the opening death sequence. What an interesting concept to learn about the person, watch them die and watch a white screen with their names and dates. I thought it was just going to be the fact that they are brought to the home but it was very interesting to find out this is what goes on Six Feet Under.

    Chandler Swanson is talking to potential "clients". Little do they know he is running a pyramid scheme and his wife is about to be broke. The women with Chandler's wife talk about how handsome he is. Then Chandler dives into the pool. There is applause. And then Chandler floats up blood all over. Fade to white.

    The main storyline this week is the family. Later on in the series, the major storyline will focus still on the family but more on an actual character i.e. David, Nate, Ruth.
    Nathaniel leaves everyone something in the will and everyone seems pissed off except for Ruth.

    -Nate and David are left the funeral home
    -Claire gets a trust fund for college, the money available at 25, (see Episode 54, Hold My Hand) when a battle ensues.
    - Ruth gets cash, bank accounts, and insurance policies.

    Nate is still seeing Brenda Chenowith, shiatsu therapist and discovers a tatoo branded on her ass. Nate is amused by this and wants to know who "Nathaniel" is. Brenda then takes Nate & David on the bus that killed their father. (Gotta love Brenda)

    David still in the closet has someone come out of his closet: his ex-fiancee Jennifer Mason (who will later re-appear in Episode 43, "Can I Come Up Now?) She says she knows he's gay and hopes he's happy. Keith however takes the news hard when David was supposed to meet his friends and goes out with Jen instead.

    Ruth starts seeing her friend "Hiram", played by Ed Begley, Jr. and they go hiking. Ruth then tells him to back off.

    Claire continues her relationship with Gabriel which ends up an encounter in back of her hearse where she sucks his toes.

    And finally, the business. Matt Gilardi (of Kroehner) finds out the Fishers have another son and tries to haggle with him. Nate thinks they should sell but David refuses.

    A client unknown that her husband running a pyramid scheme confides in Nate to help her. Nate offers her to rent the casket and have him cremated. David later tells him that it's illegal. However when Nate gives the casket to a customer for 1/2 price, they later learn that goes in the casket must stay there.

    Overall a pretty good episode.
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