Six Feet Under

Season 3 Episode 12


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM May 18, 2003 on HBO

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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  • Not Here, Not Gone Written by Craig Wright Directed by Kathy Bates

    Well, given my teaser, it is true - darkness has well and truly fallen and this week's death is the execution of a serial killer, whose despicable acts included making one woman eat broken glass, and his daughter (clearly psychologically damaged) fails in her attempt to de-vilify her father as does father Jack, making me side with Federico over the value of human life. While all life is precious, does a man as despicable as Carl Desmond Willoman really deserve to live? I hate to pass judgement, but to quote Federico, "He cashed in on his value of human life a long time ago. Crunch em, don't make more".

    Speaking of human life, Claire also decides to terminate one as she enlists Brenda's assistance into getting an abortion. Now, this is where "Twilight" really steps into grey area as the episode's depiction on the still controversial topic is well on the nose. Given the way this particular plot thread is handled by all concerned, the view on abortion is neither a condemnation or validation and as interesting as this concept is, it is one that may not sit well with all viewers. The episode's title, which refers to the anaesthetic that Claire opts for is also an ingenius way of describing the behaviour of the characters all season.

    Ruth - At the start of Season Three, she seemed completely aimless and almost too desperate to resume the role of matriarch, until Bettina came along and took her out of her shell. Sadly, after Bettina left, Ruth almost retreated into said shell and her attempts of getting close to Arthur blew up in her face. Now that George is well and truly on the scene, it's suddenly like new life has been infused into her. Here with George we see a more sexual and suggestive side ("Get the cordless. I'll help you keep it charged") to her than we ever did with Hiram and Nikolai. And after burying her head in the sand last episode, it's relieving to have her face up to the fact that Lisa may be dead.

    But let's concentrate on her relationship with George, as it's moving at such a rapid pace that after only a few weeks of knowing each other, both are willing to marry the other, despite six ex-wives and Ruth's initial confusion. At least someone in a current relationship is happy as ...

    David, finally having enough of Keith's temper and constant pointing of his faults dumps him. But it takes a lot to force David to do it.The scene with Father Jack, in which the latter tells him to focus on the life he's got, not the one he desires is a misnomer as at first you're convinced he's trying to tell David to work things out with Keith, but now I think it was the opposite and more than Federico and Patrick's contributions to David's relationship woes. Was Federico being homophobic when he made that remark? God, no. The thing is, things between David and Keith have been so bad for so long, that if you were in a situation similar to theirs, wouldn't you walk out? I don't want David and Keith to pernamently split, but at the moment the two need as much distance from the other as possible as therapy has proved unsucessful for them. And then there's David sleeping with Patrick (who totally loved that), which i'm sure will be addressed at some point, but it feels rather insignificant to the heartbreaking scenes between David and Keith.

    Angelica is still continuing to be a wonderful foil for Federico as she plays on his fears of Vanessa by insisting he needs to treat her better. Federico may have a tendency to overeact, but he's not a bad husband - he just needs to listen to Vanessa. And while on-screen, it looks like he's ignoring every discouraging thing that Angelica is spewing from her mouth at warp speed, you can't help but wonder whether it's eating away in the inside. After all, Federico is a devout family man and i'd wager that anyone who would challenge his "loyalty" is more likely to hurt Federico that way than a more smackdown. So is Angelica trying to split the pair up?

    Now let's move on to Nate, who when he isn't imagining the worst possible scenarios for Lisa(ranging from her having an affair and deserting him to being murdered by Carl). That's two episodes with Lili Taylor relegated to fantasy sequences, so as far as i'm concerned, Lisa's dead. And when he's not doing that, he's sleeping with Allison (death of the week's daughter) and being as much as a jerk to her as possible. This I can almost handle and expected as Allison is a rather pathetic character.

    But what I can't handle is Nate's increasing ill treat of Brenda. In fact, Nate is an absolute asshole towards her. Yes, he feels guilty about kissing her, given the current Lisa situation, but his unyielding attitude towards, especially when all she wanted to do was just help was totally unneccesary. Whe he tells Claire that things between him and her are complicated,it just feels like another excuse to not forgive her for last season. Yes, she screwed other blokes, but what's done is done and Nate should be past it at this stage.

    And then there's his fantasy sequence at the beach with Lisa, in which he finally admits to what viewers have suspected all season. And her response in which she tells Nate that she's not a chance, but a person really drives home a lot of discomfort as the episode draws to it's stunning close.

    Also in "Twilight"

    Death of the week: Carl Desmond was given a lethal injection by the state of Texas.

    David (to Keith):"See this is the difference between you and me, Keith. I want you on my side, I need you on side and it's the one thing I never ever have".

    Claire:"So what are you guys doing tommorow?"
    Nate/David:"Same old shit".

    The episode's title isn't the only metaphor for what the character's state of minds have been this year. Note Allison's tattoos which show people getting shredded to pieces and coming out the otherside "repaired" at the end. A hint for the finale, perhaps?

    Federico (to Arthur):"He cashed in the value of human life a long time ago. Crunch em, don't make more".

    Claire:"Do you think you could give me a ride? I have go get an abortion"
    Brenda:"Oh sure".

    Nate (to Allison):"Oh fuck me, fuck me, fuck me, fuck me. You don't get to cry!"

    Allison also went to the same church David and Keith go to.

    George's story about finding a stream underneath his old house in Massachutus as an allegory to describe his feelings for Ruth was beautiful. In fact, their happiness in light of everyone else's pain is enough to well you up.

    As for George's ex-wives, here's the lowdown...
    Susie : Married too young.
    Gloria : He cheated on her with ...
    Tanya : She cheated on him.
    Andrea : Died. No explaination given.
    Cheryl : Only lasted nine moths. Complete mystery and ...
    Torres : Died. Again no expaination.

    Nate:"Things between me and Brenda, it's a little more complicated than you think"
    Claire:"Yeah i'm sure I could never imagine".

    Angelica (to Federico):"But you gotta treat my sister better or else she'll leave you like I left that motherfucking Anthony".

    Chronology, it's only four days since "Death Works Overtime".

    Lisa:"Nate, i'm not a chance, i'm a person".

    Standout music this week was that jaw dropping score as well as Azure Ray's "Rise" (Claire hanging up on Russell) and Weekend Player's "Angel" (Claire/Brenda convo).

    Both Russell and Vanessa appear, but neither has any dialogue. And Margaret and Billy have gone on their annual AWOL. No chance of them appearing next episode, then?

    Overall, "Twilight" is a bloody masterpiece. It's riveting, nailbiting material from start to finish, with each and every single actor pulling in their best performances yet. This is clearly the highlight of the series so far and why it didn't scoop the Emmy for Best Writing will remain a complete mystery. Both Craig Wright (note his use of water again, like in "Timing And Space") and Kathy Bates should be proud of themselves. This is a well above exceptional tour de force. I dare anyone not be engrossed by this episode. I don't know how Six Feet Under will top this, but i'm sure they will. Stunning.
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