Six Feet Under
Knock, Knock

Episode Report Card
Aaron: B+ | Grade It Now!
YOU GRADE IT
Death Leppard

Apparently, your whole life has been leading up to a round of golf with Garrison Hershberger and that girl from Grace Under Fire. No, not Alan Ball. The other one. No, not Brett Butler. I said "girl." Anyway, the Grace Under Fire Girl is Gilardi’s boss, and she’s berating him about buying up more independent funeral homes because Kroehner needs cheap real estate they can unload at a profit. All you need to know about her character is summed up in the following line of dialogue: "Hey, fuck you with the ‘ma’am’ shit! You call me that one more time and I’ll have your balls on a plate, your spleen on a stick, and your heart bubble-wrapped and Fed-Exed to your mama, all right?" Since this episode was written and directed by the man who’s already given us a porn-star Cybill Shepherd, I’m betting that line was something Brett Butler actually said to him at some point. Anyway, the surrogate Brett teases a fake death with some chest pains, and then belches and blames it on the escargot she had for lunch. Then she hacks an absolutely horrible tee shot, shouting, "Goddammit, I hooked it!" as the ball curves to the right. Which of course makes it a slice, not a hook, but since Alan seems to be having so much fun exorcising the demons of his past employers, I’ll let it slide. The ball smacks into the head of a middle-aged woman, who is reading peacefully on a bench in the shade. She promptly keels over dead, dropping her book next to the Welsh Corgi at her side. Now I know you’re all going to groan at this one, but it simply has to be said. That head injury is the worst case of "Fore!"-shadowing I’ve ever seen.

David Chase: "Fore!"-shadowing? Wow. That’s just wrong.
Alan Ball: Tell me about it. Can we go back to the last episode, please?
David Chase: Why not? Everyone else is.
Alan Ball: So are you actually gonna watch this Band of Brothers thing?
David Chase: I don’t know. I hear that Heathen chick is pretty cool.
Alan Ball: Ahh, Deadline. And Oliver Platt calls himself a producer.
David Chase: I know. What’s up with that?

Nate is once again taking the funeral director exam, this time in a room with scenery and extras that are considerably less dramatic than the last time. I guess that means we can assume he’ll pass. He’s interrupted by the beeping of his pager. It’s Brenda, and she "needs" him. I think the Chenowith family has some serious neediness issues, don’t you? The Ironic Segue Fairy cuts us to the Formaldehyde Fortress, where someone (presumably Brenda) is frantically ringing the doorbell. When David answers, however, it turns out to be -- gasp! -- Tracy The Annoying Funeral Stalker. Well, I guess it’s a "gasp" if you didn’t notice that the DGDJ’s name was "Lillian Grace Montrose." Or if you haven’t seen it nine times like I have. Tracy envelops David in a bear hug, and sobs that she didn’t know where else to go. David tries to explain again that he’s gay, but Tracy quickly interrupts to say that she needs to plan a funeral before adding, "Oh, David, please. You need to get over yourself." It turns out that our little whackjob is actually a big-time party planner, so she has lots of ideas about how the funeral should go. She did this "huge New Line party for the Golden Globes last year. The Hollywood Reporter called it resplendent. And it was." I think it’s safe to say that Alan Ball won’t be seeming stingy with the shout-outs in this, his seasonal send-off. Nor will Aaron be avoiding any alliteration, apparently. Anyway, we cut to Tracy on her hands-free cellular, threatening some supplier while David helplessly tries to get her to sign the McGuffin. I mean, "contract." After hanging up the phone, Tracy assures David that a contract won’t be necessary because Aunt Lillian was loaded. And also because Tracy plans to sue the country club, which she’s disliked ever since her debut when "one of the Chinese busboys made a really inappropriate comment about the neckline of [her] dress." Helpless before the sheer force of her blather, David can only stare as she strides purposefully away.

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