Before they can get to the door, however, they first must pass through one of the Hoedown Ho's square-dancing classes. You know, because there's nothing the elderly enjoy more than getting dressed up in stupid costumes and participating in strenuous physical activity first thing in the morning. David is still in full-on bitchy mode, as he gripes about Mom not being around to answer the door. Nate, however, is still stuck in his patronizing "I'm down with the gays in all their gay gayness" mien, and suggests that David's attitude might benefit from some (presumably public) sex with the Hoedown Ho. Meanwhile, Ruth is upstairs getting dressed when she suddenly spots The Late Nate in the mirror, seated peacefully on the bed behind her. She turns with a gasp, and suddenly The Late Nate has been replaced with a mercifully be-robed Ed Begley Jr. (StR = 698). She chastises him for staring at her, and then there's a long drawn-out scene where he attempts to convince her to go camping with him again. I'd recap it in detail, but since the phrase "naked under the stars" is uttered by none other than the St. Elsewhore himself, I just can't bring myself to do it. Ruth is reluctant at first, but agrees to see if she can get the time off work.
Das Sargzimmer im Fisherhaus. Gabe and his Sad Mom have arrived for their intake meeting. David suggests a viewing, but the mother doesn't want to have to see her son in a box. Upon hearing this, David gives Nate a look as if to say, "Why don't you try?" and Nate takes him up on that, mentioning that a viewing might help Sad Mom "let go." She starts crying even harder, and David quickly backs off, saying that it will be a closed-casket ceremony. Nate's attempt at convincing her actually becomes a mildly important plot point later on in the episode, so you'll need remember that all he did was ask once, and that he did it fairly politely as well. Of course, that doesn't excuse the fact that he's dressed in jeans, a barely-buttoned brown shirt, and Albert Einstein's hairstyle, but that's a different story. Anyway, as the family leaves, David stops to provide some exposition to the HDH, and a distracted and clearly devastated Gabe hands over the death certificate to Nate. Only he calls it a "receipt," which makes me laugh. Claire, however, sees nothing funny at all about having her foot-fetish friend show up at her home. As soon as he's out the door, she starts yelling at Nate, demanding to know what's going on.
Cut outside, as Claire comes running out after Gabe. He doesn't look too happy to see her, but he nonetheless sends Mom to wait in the car while they chat. Claire seems genuinely concerned and heartbroken as she expresses her condolences, and it's the sweet side of the character that only makes me love her more. Gabe thinks she's still mad, and apologizes for coming to Fisher & Sons, claiming that he didn't know where else to go. There's a nice nod to continuity when he mentions that his grandmother's funeral was held there as well, and then he heads off to the car. I'm not sure which impressed me more here: Claire's look of sorrow as he walks away, or the great lengths the director went to in order to frame the shot so as not to show the supposedly burnt-out house across the street. Back inside, Nate is enjoying a healthy breakfast (whereas I'm sitting here pounding coffee and Burger King Cini-Minis) when David strides in forcefully to join him. Nate's all, "I thought we were supposed to encourage people to have a viewing," and then he suggests that maybe David just didn't want to do the work. David, practically bubbling over with righteous indignation, gives a little speech: "When faced with option of not having to restore a six-year-old child's head that's been blown to bits, yeah, I don't want to do that. Do you? It's not our job to force someone to do something they're clearly not ready to do, because we think it's the right thing. Because it will make us feel better." Gee, I wonder if that little sentiment might not just have some major meta-implications for David's plotline this week. Though far be it from me to suggest that the Six Feet Under writers would ever try something so overly clever and cute.