Six Feet Under
Hold My Hand

Episode Report Card
admin: B- | Grade It Now!

Yesterday my wife Trash asked me why it takes me longer to write a Six Feet Under recap than a 24 recap. I explained that not only does SFU have no commercials, it has all these symbols and layers and shit. Also, I still need to reprogram my function keys so that instead of using a single keystroke to type words like "gun," "cell phone," "split screen," and "torture," I can use the same keystrokes to type words like "corpse," "fade to white," "shut up," and "torture." I think these will go faster once I get that done. But on the upside, there's that expanded theme song, which is like a little bit of Christmas morning every Monday night.

Not so much baiting and switching with the Corpse of the Week this episode, because when we join the "action" in a 1950s kitchen, there are only two people there. One is a young, blond boy of maybe ten who's asking why he can't go to school with an impressively Cromwellian delivery for one so young. And the other is the woman we recognize as the Apocalypse Fairy from George's paranoid fantasies. She's wearing a blue cardigan over a blue flowered housedress with a skirt that goes out to about here on the sides. No wonder she's depressed. In answer to the boy's question, she says that she wants him at home with her. He says he likes school, and she says that she did too, although nobody ever remembers that she went to college and everything. And then she adds, "But they don't teach you what you really need to know. Like why do men fly the coop?" And they apparently didn't teach her why she shouldn't have vodka and pills for breakfast, either, because that's what she's doing right now.

Little George draws Mom's attention to the sizzling mess that she just dumped into the skillet a few seconds ago, and she dumps the whole contents, grease puddle and all, onto a plate with a couple of slices of bread, which she puts on the kitchen table in front of Little George. "It's your favorite," she says. "Fried bologna and Velveeta. Eat it." No wonder he grew up to mistrust preservatives. Instead of eating, Little George starts stashing it in his pockets. Fortunately for him, Mom's too absorbed in booze, pills, and self-pity to notice. He asks her about the medicine she's taking. "Mommy hurts," she explains as she downs another dose. Little George asks what'll happen if she falls down again. She says she'll "take a nap right here." And then she tells Little George to hold her hand. They're not wasting any time getting the episode titles into the dialogue this season, are they? Little George asks, "What if I have to go to the bathroom?" "Then go to the bathroom, get back here, and hold my hand," says Mom. "God, sometimes you're so stupid." George apologizes. Mom says seriously, "Listen, I'm very tired. So don't let anybody wake me up. I mean it." She squeezes his hand hard enough to hurt, and then kisses it. "I love you so much," she says. "Do you love me?" Little George nods. "You're my life, Georgie. Remember that." "I will," Little George says sadly, and Mom lays her head down on the table. I think they're trying to make it ambiguous as to whether Mom actually means to commit suicide right here in front of her kid, but it seems to me as if the answer is affirmative. Which is just shitty, because any self-respecting suicidal housewife does it after the kid goes to school so he can come home and find her that way. You suppose she ever wrote a note? "Goodbye, cruel world. The promise of my youth and beauty has been wrenched from me, and I haven't the strength to go on. Also, please excuse George for his absence from class yesterday, as I needed him at home to run interference with the paramedics." Whatever the case, Mom has put the final strokes on her caricature of Julianne Moore's character in The Hours, and nobody is surprised when the screen goes white to tell us that Loretta Smith Sibley (1908-1953) is going to be taking a very long nap indeed. I hope she doesn't have to wait around for Fisher & Diaz to handle her funeral, because there won't be much left to bury by then.

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Six Feet Under




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