Formaldehyde Fortress. Nate is working the door at Aunt Lillian’s funeral when David comes down to join him. David asks about the accident, and then thanks Nate for all his help with the Tracy situation. After a brief pause, he goes on to also thank him for staying home and helping out, because "things have been a lot more fun since [he’s] been home." Nate hugs his little brother, and hilariously tries to hold back tears. At this point, Rico comes down and informs them that the "crazy niece" is upstairs crying. After some brotherly bickering, it’s decided that Nate will handle this one.
Upstairs, he finds Tracy seated at a table, and moves to a chair beside her. Tracy haltingly explains that Aunt Lillian was the only person who ever really loved her. "I’ve never felt this alone in all the world," she says. "And I’m used to feeling alone. I know what that’s like. But now I find out that there’s this whole new level…Why do people have to die?" There’s a long silence here, which I’ll just use to point out that it’s quintessential Ball behavior to have the most flighty, annoying character on the show deliver the big message at the end. It’s predictable, but I still like it. Anyway, Nate explains that people have to die to make life seem important. He goes on about making each day matter, and living life to the fullest, and carpe diem and the Dead Poets Society, but the point has long since been made. Tracy confesses her funeral stalking habits, and also the fact that she loves Harold & Maude. "That’s a good movie," says Nate. "Are you married?" asks Tracy. Nate smiles and says "sort of," and they head back downstairs.
Later, Rico has brought the family over to the Fortress for the christening party. He sneaks in ahead of them to make sure everything is okay, and then waves Vanessa and the kids inside. Of course, it never even occurs to him to get Aunt Lillian out of the room, and Vanessa is understandably unsure about the idea of having a christening party with a dead body in the room. Rico rushes off to wheel Aunt Lillian away, and at long last, we’ve reached Final Party Montage. There’s Nate, standing in the doorway and watching as David holds the little baby, Ruth and Brenda get along famously, and Gabe and Claire laugh and whisper to one another. Brenda walks over to profess her love for Nate, who claims to be just thinking about how lucky he is. And then the camera pulls back, and we see The Late Nate on the stairs, smiling and watching the perfect family below. Finally, he turns, and as we slowly fade to white, he ascends his very own stairway to heaven.
Alan Ball: Listen, I just want you to know that in spite of everything, I don’t really hate you.