Six Feet Under

Season 5 Episode 4

Time Flies

1
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jun 27, 2005 on HBO
8.9
out of 10
User Rating
187 votes
8

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

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Lila Simonds Coolidge
1909-2005

Brenda is disturbed by Nate's reaction to her latest news; Ruth shares her feelings about George with her knitting circle; David and Keith "propose" to Mary and meet Roger's equally unconventional family; Rico is shocked at how Vanessa and the boys are doing; frustrated, George shares a beer and a song with Billy, whose recent behavior repulses Claire; and Nate comes home to an unpleasant surprise.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Nate's 40th birthday

    9.0
    One of the things I've found most compelling about the show after fiveseasons is Nate Fisher's transformation, or perhaps it's lack oftransformation. Since the very beginning, when he discovered that hisfather has died, Nate has been terrified of death. He's had to face alot of obstacles in facing his mortality, whether it's working arounddead people all day, being diagnosed with a potentiallylife-threatening brain disorder, having his wife be murdered, leavinghim with a young daughter to raise on his own. I've watched Natecarefully, and after this episode, which was superbly written, I thinkNate has yet to truly face his own mortality. He's still afraid ofdying, of getting older, of losing those he loves, and as a result, hekeeps people at a distance, except for his daughter.What I liked the most about the episode was how halfway through, atNate's party, we have everybody in the same room together (except forRico and Vanessa), even some people we don't know, and the showeffortlessly sets these people up with one another, letting them interact with each other. We get some combinations of scenes with people we never see act with each other. For instance, Billy having a conversation and sharing a beer with George? Awesome. Keith and Brenda having a discussion about kids? Interesting. Another great conversation between Nate and George's daughter. All the while, the party is trying to get rid of a bird that flew into the house and won't leave. The bird, in some way, represents Nate's fears, whether of death or of Brenda having a new kid. It's definitely one of the two, and either way, the writing is so spot on that the last thirty minutes feel like something you never want to end.

    The episode ends with a lot of relationships close to breaking apart. Nate and Brenda are furious at each other, Claire cheats on Billy, George is frustrated with Ruth's impatience and Rico and Vanessa hook up but seem to still be apart... it's an interesting place for the characters to be, one that they've somewhat been before but it's always fun to see how the writers will get them out of it.moreless
  • Another fantastic piece..

    9.0
    This was another fantastic episode. Liked the "death", even though it didn't have an impact on the show, it was a nice change of pace as it was calm, and natural.



    Nate has a birthday party and oh boy, it was crazy!



    Symbolism? Who the bird waS? Upcoming trouble? It definitely did symbolize something fatal happening soon. Either way it was rather funny.



    Billy off his meds - back to crazy. Its good to see everyone proven right and Claire and Brenda proven wrong. They thought Billy's better but no... all that kept Billy normal was the medication.



    George finally confronting Ruth was good. Hopefully Ruth now realizes that George isn't a different man. He's still the same man she married to and loved. Brenda is pregnant again and obviously Nate isn't happy about it. I liked that conflict alot too.



    The random comic relief at times was fantastic. Especially the guy nobody really liked. He interrupted almost every party scene in a funny way. Overall, fantastic episode, but it doesn't get a higher score because 1. I know it's going to get even better 2. The David and Keith melodrama is getting a bit old now.moreless
  • I enjoyed some parts more than others, to be honest I wasn't sure what to think.

    9.0
    Right, so we all know that Nate admitted that he's having another child for Brenda but to say 'Congratulations' when your wife reveals she's pregnant, a little odd. It was funny but strange. To be honest Nate and Brenda's problem's came to the table too fast for my liking, they weren't getting on and most of the time Nate was being an ass.



    You can tell all Brenda is doing is trying and Nate just throws it in her face. He obviously does not like his surprise party, you can tell by his face. I did enjoy his conversation with Nathaniel Sr but was what he said true, I hope not because I was enjoying there happiness, but it's a TV show so of course things will go downhill.



    Nate was just angry and mean, Brenda was expressing her feelings while he just said 'F**k off'. I felt for Brenda throughout the episode and I love how she is with Maya. The scene where she was reading her a story and Keith came in, a great one. Did the bird stuck in the kitchen symbolise something, who knows.



    So then Nate and Maggie nearly hook up, or kiss. My god, that was annoying, just mess up some more there Nate. I hope an affair doesn't start, I really do. When Nate started attacking the bird with a brush/broom and shouted angrily at Brenda, it was an off the wall type situation and was fairly enjoyable.



    Finally Claire sees through Billy and finds out he isn't on his meds. About time, this was my favourite storyline I think, there arguments were engrossing and the bird one was amusing too. Strange how Brenda saw them arguing but didn't do much, at least I think she saw. But then Claire ends up sleeping with someone else (A common theme in the show at times) and Billy becomes desperate and even more mental by asking Claire to f**k him, but she leaves in horror, I look forward to more of this story.



    David and Keith's story was funny, mainly Roger's kids, who were extremely amusing. But I did not like that David nearly got with the hairdresser, I wish they'd stop with that, deja vu anyone? So there going both routes baby wise, I don't know which I'd prefer. The surrogate does seem slightly strange and too happy.



    Rico sleeping with Vanessa was another, it was obviously going to happen scenario. And I find it even more stupid that Vanessa is going to say 'it was only a one time thing' sigh, I wish they'd just get back together. The highlight of the episode was Ruth's speech at the party, when she snapped at Claire I was in fits of laughter.



    George talking to Billy was strange. But I liked how he and Ruth had a sort of heart to heart, maybe it'll get better soon. The knitting circle was very low key, which surprised me. So this was my least favourite episode so far and I can't really explain why, the Nate story was a big part of it though. I still enjoyed it and can't wait for the final 8 episodes.moreless
  • Nate has a birthday, Ruth struggles with George, Claire struggles with Billy, Brenda struggles with Nate.

    10
    There were some periods during the series where Brenda frustrated me very much as a character, but as the series winds down, I start to see her as the character who has both grown the most, and tried the hardest to grow. Nate continues to repel me (which is interesting, considering he was my favorite character in the beginning of the series) with the way he seems to view people as objects to be shifted about, and seems unable to evolve beyond the expectation that he will remain the center of the universe. This episode, in particular, made me sad: I agreed with Brenda's sentiment that Nate should want the child with her or he should have been more honest about it- he lies to people and then expects their actions and reactions to reflect what he's *really* thinking... but how could they? He takes out his frustration and self-doubt on those around him, as though he assembles people to be a buffer between himself and reality. He uses, and he scorns those who let him use them. I do sympathize with "feeling lonely with people around you," but I also choose not to hurt people by fooling myself into believing that I can take on the responsibility of supporting others' happiness... I also feel sorry for Billy and his illness- I actually think that this and the last episode (during the time he has dated Claire) that we've seen the most about him... it's quite interesting to hear how the writer's understanding and research of bipolar disorder shapes Billy's character. I am a little miffed at the fact that Claire seems to either have no grasp of reality or no sympathy, or both, when it comes to Billy (who I can honestly say is the only man I ever thought was incredibly hot with a beard! hehe). She seems to not take his illness seriously, one exhibit among many of an immaturity that, over the course of the series, has only marginally decreased. I feel disappointed, in her character. Although I'm young myself, and have no children of my own, I feel that I understand quite well Ruth's loss of patience with Claire, who seems unable to move beyond being flippant and selfish. As for Ruth at this point- I both sympathize with her situation regarding George, and believe she is quite hateful and unfair to him. Quite often, he seems lucid and makes no comment or suggestion that is out of keeping with his essential personality, but because Ruth feels anger toward him, she constantly belittles him, and if I were standing in the same room with her I would say something about that. I absolutely loved the part with Billy and George on the front porch... how it calls to one's attention the way that mental illness affects the ill individual's self-perception. Both Billy and George seem to be caught between a need to get better, and a desire for others to accept them as they are... a very poignant conundrum, which is very much the signiture of this show. Another thing that is great about this show, as exemplifed by the birthday party, is how so many events and situations in the lives of regular human beings start out with grand intentions and deteriorate into drab and somewhat disturbing melodrama. I suppose, by that, I mean it captures humanity in all its faded realism. Oh.. and the entirely irreverant ending... tragic and fabulous, just like this show, which I must add, is hands down the best show ever to air on television. ;]moreless
  • Review

    8.7
    I liked this episode for two reasons. The first being that everyone showed up for Nates birthday party and having the entire family in the same place at the same time can only be trouble in the long run. Nate and Brenda have begun to fight and the scene with Nate and Maggie was very interesting. Maggie and Nate seem to see eye to eye on things that Brenda and Nate clearly do not, could Nate cheat on his wife after being so loyal for so long. The opening of the adoption option for David and Keith was both needed and hopefully it will work out so we can see them as struggling parents. Ruth + George had a heart to heart and I really thought for the first time there storyline may finnaly begin to move on. They needed to struggle early on to keep Maggie in the area, now that she and Nate may start something Ruth + George may be able to move on.moreless
Justina Machado

Justina Machado

Vanessa Diaz

Peter Krause

Peter Krause

Nate Fisher

James Cromwell

James Cromwell

George Sibley (episode 40+, recurring previously)

Mathew St. Patrick

Mathew St. Patrick

Keith Charles

Frances Conroy

Frances Conroy

Ruth Fisher

Lauren Ambrose

Lauren Ambrose

Claire Fisher

Jennifer Elise Cox

Jennifer Elise Cox

Mary

Guest Star

Ellen Albertini Dow

Ellen Albertini Dow

Roberta

Guest Star

Lisa Banes

Lisa Banes

Victoria

Guest Star

Brenna Tosh

Brenna Tosh

Maya

Recurring Role

Bronwyn Tosh

Bronwyn Tosh

Maya

Recurring Role

Giancarlo Rodriguez

Giancarlo Rodriguez

Julio Diaz

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • George: I think that ass Emile Coué used to say, "Every day in every way, I am getting better and better."

    • Claire: Light from a cake is such a great light. We should just live in cake light!

    • Nate: Time flies when you're having fun, huh?
      Nathaniel Sr.: No, huh-uh. Time flies when you're pretending to have fun. Time flies when you're pretending to love Brenda and that baby she wants so much. Time flies when you're pretending to know what people mean when they say "love". Let's face it, buddy boy, there's two kinds of people in the world. There's you and there's everybody else, and never the twain shall meet.

    • Maggie: I know that if you think life's a vending machine where you put in virtue and you get out happiness, then you're probably going to be disappointed.

  • NOTES (4)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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