Six Feet Under
Life's Too Short

Episode Report Card
Aaron: B | Grade It Now!
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Death, dumb, and blind

Haley Joel Osment: Are you the Blue Fairy?
Alan Ball: Well, I don't know so much about the blue part. To be honest, I prefer earth tones.
Haley Joel Osment: Can you tell me how to become a real boy?
Alan Ball: Oh, I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.
Haley Joel Osment: Okay. But just don't forget to let your copyright lawyers know that even though my love is real…
Alan Ball: Yeah, yeah. I am not. We. Get. It. Now go eat some spinach.

Anyway, this week opens with a slow pan across a toy-strewn suburban living room. There's someone playing Nintendo, and the camera finally comes to rest on that someone's face. Oh my God! It's Gabe The Foot Guy! I guess we're supposed to think that karmic revenge has made him this week's Dead Guy Du Jour (and also give the writers bonus irony points for having faded up on his feet). And see, that's the thing about these openings. We know that whomever we see is going to be dead within minutes, so there's always that little bit of heightened cognitive tension at watching them go about their normal, soon-to-be-over-with lives. Of course, the problem is that the writers know we know that these people are going to die, so they delight in putting us into situations designed to make us feel uncomfortable. And even though we know they know, and they know that we know that they know that we know, there's still no way to avoid feeling bad for these people. Especially when it turns out that the real Dead Guy Du Jour this week is Gabe's cute-as-a-button little brother Anthony. See, Gabe's buddy comes over with some pot (and is Alan Ball buying this stuff in bulk? Do they sell marijuana at Sam's Club in California? Although I guess he could just be getting it from Robert Iler), and while the boys head to Gabe's room to indulge, Gabe sends his little brother to play in their parents' room. There's some intercutting between the older brother getting wasted and the younger brother looking cute and finding a mysterious, towel-wrapped object under the bed, and then we suddenly hear a (mercifully, off-camera) gunshot. Gabe and the friend rush out, and are struck dumb with shock and fright upon seeing the (still mercifully off-camera) body of the little brother. While the friend packs up and bails out, Gabe can do nothing but stare and swear. As a rule, I don't care much for Eric Balfour (especially not after having been forced to sit through What Women Want this weekend), but he's excellent here in this little moment. Finally, we fade to white, and say our goodbyes to one Anthony Christopher Finelli. So long, kid.

Fade back up on David, preparing a corpse in Ye Olde Body Shoppe. Nate walks in all chipper and cheerful, and is immediately brought crashing back to Earth by David's dour demeanor. "What are you mad at me about now?" he asks, only to be told by David that, with his workload doubled by Federico's absence, "[Nate] can't expect [him] to engage in small talk just to make [him] feel better." With my apparent inability to get these recaps finished until four minutes before the next show airs, I may not be able to engage in much small talk this week either. Anyway, David knows that Nate failed the funeral directors test, which is something of a surprise because Nate didn't even know the grades were out. David lays the guilt on pretty thick, and Nate responds that David really seems to enjoy making him feel like a moron. "You like it when I feel bad," he says, "because misery loves company." Is that an aptly worded shout-out to next week's return of "director" Kathy Bates? You be the judge. After an awkward silence, and an awkward joke about David's less-than-stellar reconstruction skills, they're interrupted by the ringing of the doorbell. Both boys head upstairs to answer.

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Six Feet Under

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