Six Feet Under
The Opening

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Botticelli

The Boredello. Nate and Lisa bicker about babysitters and other banalities as Lisa angrily tries on every single sweater in her closet. "You know, you don't have to come if you don't want to," offers Nate, who seems to be incorrectly assessing his wife's passive-aggressive behavior. "I'm not going for you," she tells him. "I'm going for Claire. I have a relationship with her, you know." Yeah. If by "have a relationship" you actually mean "she thinks of me as the crazy ant-whisperer her brother accidentally knocked up," that is. "Ahh, fuck it. I'll just be cold," mutters Lisa, as she discards the last of the sweaters. And why is that she's somehow reminding me of Marge Simpson in this scene? I think it's her voice. Although that would explain why Maya never cries. It's a clever (albeit somewhat obtuse) shout-out to silent Maggie Simpson! Of course, if that were true, Nate would still have his Bart hair from Season One, so I guess I'm probably just reading too much into it. Oh, well.

Over at the art show, everyone is engaged in last-minute preparations. Claire and Russell wander through the gallery, snarking on some old guy in a white caftan who's created a layout of janitorial supplies that Claire thinks is likely to end up in the Museum of Modern Art. Of course, I just bought a pretty similar set-up at Target for $19.95 in preparation for my impending move, so non-New York residents can take heart. You too can own your own version of "Windex on a Tray." They eventually meander back to the annex, where Russell is shocked to discover that his helix has already been purchased. "It's a really beautiful piece," Claire gushes supportively. "Maybe that's why I got such a good spot." "Do you think somebody actually thought I was somebody?" wonders Russell. "You ARE somebody," insists Claire. "Somebody with really greasy hair and some major unresolved sexual issues."

Out in the front room, Keith and David are checking out Claire's picture. "It's pretty good, don't you think?" asks David. "I guess," answers Keith. "It looks like art." Well, I suppose that's a compliment. This is also where we begin the running conceit that everyone sees a reflection of themselves in the picture, and reacts to it accordingly. David thinks it's very "dark" and "what's the point?" Keith, however, think it's funny and sort of shows that "life goes on." I guess it would be rude to make a Corky Thatcher joke here, huh? Anyway, Claire shows up to interrupt them, and just as David and Keith finish heaping praise on her, Nate and Lisa arrive to add another coat of congratulations. While the married Fishers bicker about the photographic techniques Claire used to create the image, Keith spies Viggo Mortensen hanging out on the other side of the room. David says he doesn't know who that is, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to call bullshit on that one. Do you really think he's memorized Jeanne Tripplehorn's entire C.V., but he doesn't know Viggo? There's just no way. The real question, however, is whether or not he knows who Fiona Kleinschmidt is. Loyal viewers do, of course, and David quickly brings the rest of us up to speed by announcing that "Nate was deflowered by a mildly famous ceramicist" who has a few pots on display at the show. Lisa reacts to this revelation like someone just smashed the precious teapot she spent all day painting at Color Me Mine, and immediately stomps off to hit the bar. Awkward looks are exchanged all around.

In another corner of the space, Olivier is chatting up Billy Chenowith. "You were showing everywhere, and then nothing," he says. "What happened? Did you get married or something?" Billy: "No, I went crazy." They proceed to have a fairly jovial discussion of the relative merits of various mental health institutions, and it turns out that Olivier had another student who ended up in the same loony bin as Billy. "He made a real breakthrough with me," remembers Olivier. "Well, who doesn't?" replies Billy. "The repressed people," answers the professor, and then Lauren Ambrose ever so slightly misses her cue to enter when Billy points right at her and says, "Oh, right. Them." Heh. Claire can't believe these two know each other, but Billy reveals that Olivier visited for a term while he was at LAC Arts himself. "He was my best student," reports Olivier. "After I cracked him open." Heh again. That line gets a lot funnier in about thirty seconds. Olivier wanders off to smarm all over the janitorial supplies guy, and Claire is impressed that he considers Billy to have been so talented. "Oh, I don't know about that," comes the reply. "I'm pretty sure I was the only one sleeping with him." I suppose that revelation isn't really too surprising either, considering that most of you think Billy fucked his own sister, but I do wonder what we're supposed to make of the multiple outings in this week's episode. Especially since they don't do it to Russell, and he's the only one who's actually relevant to the season's story arc. "I had a lot of static around my sexuality," Billy explains. "It was a sex thing. Not a gay thing." "Yeah, but wasn't that sort of a fucked-up power dynamic, though?" wonders Claire. Billy: "There's always a fucked-up power dynamic with sex, isn't there? Or is that just an incest thing?"

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Six Feet Under

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