Six Feet Under
Ecotone

Episode Report Card
M. Giant: B+ | 3 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
Late Nate, Jr.

Short of speed-walking, this is just about the dorkiest form of exercise I've ever seen. A guy is jogging along a trail up in the hills while using ski poles. I don't get it. Does he have poor balance or something? He's also wearing a ball-cap and an orange day-glo vest over his windbreaker, just so he'll be prepared in case some highway maintenance breaks out. From this spot out in the wilderness, there's a clearing in the trees that overlooks the smoggy valley below, with its vague silhouettes of tall buildings. Ski-jogger pauses to check his heart rate, and while his eyes are on his watch, we wait for whatever sudden tragedy will instantly fell him without warning. A cerebral aneurysm? A pulmonary embolism? Multiple massive organ failure? Well, actually it's none of the above, because before any of these perfectly plausible events can step up and do its job, a cougar leaps out of nowhere and takes him down, apparently killing him instantly. Ah, one of those unfortunate individuals who turns out to not be at the top of the food chain after all. Always a disappointing discovery about oneself. The cat settles down to its meal, only briefly confused by the vest as it cracks open the jogger's chest cavity like the top crust of a pot pie. And we all share the final thought of Laurence Hall Matheson (1971-2005): Bad kitty! Bad! Why couldn't you have worked up the nerve to do that when Spawn was up here three years ago?

We pick up presumably a few minutes after last week's ep left off (another shout-out to the humble 24 recapper?), as Nate, his eyes now decently closed, is loaded on a gurney into an ambulance. Maggie begs to be allowed to ride along, but the EMTs refuse, saying only family is allowed and she'll have to follow behind and meet them at St. Bridget's hospital. The ambulance hits the siren and screams off into the night. Suddenly Maggie runs after it, yelling, "Wait, I am family! He's my stepbrother!" A little late to remember that, in more ways than one. She's left standing there in the street, holding Nate's jacket. She pulls the keys out of the pocket, runs to his car (because hers is in the shop, you'll recall), and hops in.

Meanwhile, Brenda is back at home, apparently having enjoyed as much Quaker church alone as she can for one night. She dials her cell phone, clearly not for the first time.

In Nate's car, Maggie hears Nate's cell phone ringing and pulls it out of his jacket. "Brenda Calling," says the display. Maggie fails to sack up enough to answer it. Which is a shame, because I would have loved to hear that conversation. At home, Brenda hangs up.

David and Keith are having some family bonding time with Anthony in front of the TV; they're watching Project Runway. Shouldn't they wait until the adoption is final before they start raising the kids gay? David's cell phone rings. "Nate Calling," says his display. He answers and breezily asks what's up, but of course it's a tearful Maggie calling from Nate's car on Nate's phone with the news that "Nate collapsed." David's concerned questions quickly attract Anthony's and Keith's attention, but Maggie doesn't know any of the answers. She wants David to meet her at the hospital, and he says he's on his way. "David, could you call Brenda?" she adds. David is confused (and perhaps a bit scandalized) by the question, but he quickly agrees. And then he tells Maggie, "Tell them AVM," But Maggie's already hung up. Keith asks what's wrong, and David instructs him to get the number for St. Bridget's and Nate's brain specialist. Would that make Nate's doctor a microbiologist? Keith gets on it, assuring a worried Anthony that everything will be all right.

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Six Feet Under

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