Six Feet Under
Falling Into Place

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The Drowned World Tour

Brenda stands at the bathroom mirror and brushes her teeth furiously, because you cannot control death but you can control tartar, just like the tube says. She cleans off the toothbrush. She wipes her mouth with a towel. She turns off the bathroom light. People, I know they give y'all an entire commercial-free hour, but it's not like you're under total obligation to use it if you run out of things to do. Couldn't you run some kind of promo for, like, The Wire or Deadwood or one of those shows HBO pretends everybody watches? Brenda gets into bed and cuddles up with Nate, because there's no better way to confuse the issue of a man's grief than by crawling into bed with him while he's asleep and discombobulated. Especially if you're his ex-girlfriend. Who has often-confused notions of the proper way to approach male-female relationships. And who has deliciously minty-fresh breath! Nate falls right into the trap, stroking Brenda's hair and...well, having a whole lot of very realistic-sounding sex with her. Until he wakes up. And notes the Brenda-ness of it all. And abruptly stops. But it's kind of a public service, because now it's almost exactly like he's brushed his teeth, too. Because you know who never dies? The Cavity Creeps.

Next morning. Nate sits at the edge of Brenda's bed tying his shoes as Brenda sits in deep focus at a table, holding a tableau so frozen it's like she's waiting for Richard Dawson to call out her family's name to come on down and play the Feud. We asked a hundred people which family member Brenda would sleep with if he weren't incarcerated on account of his being craaaaazy. Top one answer on the board. Brenda does finally break the pose, the saving grace of which is that the sound of her voice effectively knocks the manically catchy Family Feud theme song out of my head...FOR NOW. But all she says is, "Nate..." and he cuts her off with his loudly focused shoe-tying. We cut to his taking his leave, with Brenda telling him to call if he needs anything. He says he will. He will not. She looks after him sadly. Because there is no Listerine strong enough to wipe away the bacteria of love.

It's that same morning over at Kitchens Of Death-stinction, where Claire, Keith, and David have regrouped to talk strategy. Claire complains that "he" -- who I'll guess is Nate, seeing as it's probably not the resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which would actually be spelled "He," in any case -- never showed up the previous night. David expresses sympathy, but Claire was up anyway, what with the doors swinging on rusty hinges sound effects loop that is old people in coitus. David laughs, "I never knew the word 'George' could sound so obscene," but Keith quickly puts the old kibosh on the sporting activity of making fun of ancients exchanging fossil fuel and not making a baby, noting, "Good for them." He good-guys over to the sink (because he's so many types of valiant it transcends language and actually takes on verb form) to pour David more coffee, but before the inevitable fight ensues about how the half-and-half is just getting so damned tired of acting as the flavorful security guard to coffee's bitter taste, Nate finally heeds the call of home, walking into the kitchen thinking, "It's pronounced 'kitchen-zuh.' How come no one ever gets that right?" He wastes no time: "Lisa's dead," he tells them, continuing on that the official cause of death was drowning. In a sea. Of protracted subplots. About drowning. "It took the lab until yesterday to figure out it was her." Keith clarifies the fact that she was able to swim, because otherwise we might have to wonder after the sharpness of Nate's guilt when the whole thing is ruled a suicide and he decides it's his fault and he goes even crazier and his beard gets even scruffier. Nate says he has to drive up and get her from the coroner, and David volunteers to go with, because...road trip!

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Six Feet Under

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