Previously on Six Feet Under: Death was very, very sad.
Plink plink plinkety plink plink plink. Theme songs are scary!
And now, Season 4 Episode 1: The One With The Dead Guy At The Beginning.
"See, we think we know what we're capable of," a young, tangentially-plotted about-to-be-dead drug enthusiast philosopher tells us by the dim glow of a flashlight that he thinks is either The Ethereal Light Of Higher Understanding or, quite possibly, Tinkerbell. "But maybe there's even more to being human than even the scientists know, right?" A young girl, framed by an up-the-nostril shot proving that the Six Feet Under set was the final destination for the Blair Witch Production Equipment Tag Sale (hey, Heather Donahue's gotta eat, people), responds druggily, "I dig science. I dig oceanography the best." Oh, drug talk. Sweet, beautiful drug talk. About-To-Be-Dead Philosopher holds the flashlight up under his chin and stops just short of asking us if, scaramouche, scaramouche, we will do the fandango, instead speechifying, "I mean, this acid that we're on right now, was made by science." Wait. They're on drugs? And here, like in any good Nancy-Reagan-scribed PSA, we learn in one simple line the manifold side effects of rampant teenage drug use: profuse sweating, delusions of grandeur, and clunky exposition. We know they're on acid. It's why "Warning: acid may include acid" was printed on the Surgeon General Warning stamped on the side of this scene. They're on drugs and drugs are bad. Cue "The More You Know" star fall. Sigh. Narrative subtlety: the anti-drug.
The girl smiles and the camera spins, her middle-parted '70s hair a reminder that there were simpler times in America when you could wander your local Supercuts and just be all, "I'll have the Joni Mitchell" and they'd know exactly what to do with you. Though, considering the time period from which this scene derives, I think this scene actually took place at a time when the local lexicon dictated that the store be referred to as "Freaky-Deaky Cuts." Groundbreaking existentialist philosopher Almost-Deadrich Nietzsche makes it personal now, his vocally-modified voice (because drugs are bad) announcing, "I love you." Cloney Mitchell feels vocally-modifyingly similar, not meaning it: "I love you, too." She tells him that his face is "glowing from underneath" in a way that makes her believe he is "made of human taffy." He gleefully responds, "I am." She asks if she can borrow the flashlight and be all "it was a dark and stormy night just like this one" as well, but he has other, more death-oriented activities in mind. And why? Because if drugs were good and not bad, people would probably do them a lot.