Six Feet Under
Life's Too Short

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

With the incest-tease quotas already filled, it's now time for our weekly dose of Bizarro Brenda. This time, she wants her and Nate to visit a bunch of funeral homes as prospective customers so that he can better learn how to help his own customers. Whatever.

Cut to Gabe's house, where Claire has arrived to pay a visit. She rings the bell a few times, but when no one answers, she lets herself in. She wanders through the house, noticing all of Anthony's toys still scattered on the floor, and then finds Gabe's mom sitting on the sofa in a catatonic state. Claire tries to make conversation, but to no avail, as Sad Mom remains silent. Finally, Claire is forced to just back quietly out of the house, and we cut back to Ye Olde Body Shoppe, where David is cleaning young Anthony's corpse (StC = 1571).

At the first funeral parlor, Nate is trying to talk Brenda out of her little game when the funeral director walks in. Brenda immediately starts fake sobbing, and explains that her parents were both killed that morning. In a helicopter crash. Again I say, whatever. She starts bawling and kvetching, culminating with her screaming that "everybody dies! We all die. Everything we ever care about will disappear, so WHAT'S THE FUCKING POINT OF LIVING?" The undertaker comes back to that with, "Uh, can I suggest matching caskets?" and Brenda breaks character almost instantly. "That's it?" she asks. "That's all you have to offer me in my time of grief? Merchandise? We have nothing to learn here." And with that, she stalks out, leaving Nate and the funeral director to argue over which one of them is more confused.

Back at the Fortress, Ruth is packing for her camping trip. She makes her list and checks it twice, making sure to point out both the "bear bell" and the fact that the toilet paper is biodegradable. Hiram calls her on her OCD, and pulls out a bottle of champagne he's bringing along. Just then, Claire appears and joins them in the kitchen while complaining about a headache. She heads straight for the cabinet, pulls out the aspirin bottle, and downs two pills without even looking at them. Those not sufficiently grounded in the overarching irony of Alan Ball World might have thought that Claire was the one who'd be consuming the Ecstasy here, but those of us who know better instantly realized that going that route wouldn't be nearly ironic enough. But don't fret, we'll be seeing those wacky, wacky drugs again before long. Ruth explains the camping trip to Claire, who barely even manages to care. "My children don't need me anymore," laments Ruth, though based on what I've seen so far, I'm not so sure they ever really did.

More funereal follies, this time with a slick, sleazy funeral director played by Matt "Police Academy 5 And Up" McCoy. Matt suggests a Titan casket and internment at "Grace Field," which he describes as "serene and pastoral." Nate grumpily asks how much all this is going to cost, and after some attempts at deflection, Matt admits that it comes to just under $20,000. Nate laughs and grabs the guy's clipboard, noting that the Titan has a 300-percent markup and that Grace Field is between a power station and a freeway. "There are nicer cemeteries," says Matt, before slipping into a stage whisper. "But they're just a little bit more expensive." This time it's Nate who gets up and stalks out, leaving Brenda to compliment Matt on his tie. Cut to later, where Nate and Brenda are in the car, discussing their adventures. "This business is a total racket," sighs Nate. "Sometimes I wish I could be this completely selfish asshole who doesn't give a shit about anything, and I could just work at some mindless job that pays me a fuckload of money." Welcome to my world, Nate. Will you be staying long? Brenda dishes out some more psychobabble, but I'm too distracted by the reflection of the cameraman in the passenger-side window to listen to what she's saying.

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Six Feet Under

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