Six Feet Under
Timing & Space

Episode Report Card
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Get out, Nate. Seriously.

Previously on Six Feet Under: The Chenowiths renewed their vows as heavily disdainful Brenda rolled her eyes and a heavily medicated Billy swooned from sentimentality; Rico's weekends now include cleaning out dead people's houses; David and Keith are having marital difficulties and need to make friends; Claire deflowered Russell; Ruth became infatuated with Arthur and his linens; Nate fantasized that Brenda stalked him, kissed him, then killed herself; Nate told Lisa he went for a drink with Brenda; Lisa correctly called Nate on his not wanting to actually be married to her (and can you blame him?); Nate tried talking dirty to Lisa, inspiring a nationwide vow of chastity from unsuspecting HBO viewers.

Are we all caught up now? Good.

The episode finally begins, and the first thing we see is Brenda with her head in her hands. After briefly running down the possibilities -- and there are so many, knowing Brenda and her family as we do -- and playing with the idea of Brenda as the DGDJ, I settle back to watch Brenda, who's just fidgeting and watching something else. The camera swoops so we see a left hand sporting both a wedding ring and a medical monitor, and two medical personnel doing non-hectic things out in the hall. A piano begins tinkling, and then the camera switches to Zhora, who's looking considerably the worse for wear, fidgeting a lot like Brenda as she looks down at the bed. She leans forward to take the hand and press it against her face as we see Bernie -- eyes closed, oxygen tube snaking under his nose -- breathing slowly and shallowly. The camera switches angles yet again until the screen is filled with: Bern up close, silhouetted so we can watch his chest rise and fall; Zhora, who looks beyond grief; and in the background, watching them as she sits huddled by the window, Brenda. Bern draws his last breath, and the camera switches to the foot of his bed, where Billy abruptly turns around. He sits there, staring off into space.

Brenda, meanwhile, is fiddling with a floral arrangement and reading a card. She puts it down to stare at Bern for a moment before looking away. Within seconds, Billy mimics her actions.

Bernard Asa Chenowith, 1939-2003, your services are no longer needed on this show. Thank you for giving the three remaining Chenowiths a new reason to go loopy on other people.

When the camera fades back up again, Nate is rocking Maya, pressing her head tightly against his chest so she doesn't get a good look at her genetic source material and develop pre-toddler depression. Lisa is nattering about how the pediatrician's number is by the phone, the teething biscuits are on the counter, and she's left seven bottles' worth of breast milk in assorted places. All that fenugreek must be paying off. Nate comments that Lisa should be proud, and she tells him, "I kind of am. I'm sore, but I'm proud. Are you totally sure you guys are going to be okay?" Nate assures her that he's not going to do something stupid -- hell, he really can't, since Lisa's effectively stripped all the fun, dangerous stuff from his life -- and tells her, "Have fun. Go to your cooking...zoo." Way to share your wife's interests, Nate. Lisa corrects him, but it bounces right off him. Nate tells Lisa to go have a good time with Dana because "you've earned it," and Lisa's off.

False start! She stops at the door and moans, "I feel guilty leaving her with you all day." She shouldn't. Nate clearly doesn't suffer from the same emotional burden. Nate urges her out the door, but Lisa just stands there for a moment, looking at the two other people in the room. Nate asks sullenly, "What?" and Lisa says, "You never really thought you'd have a wife and a kid, did you?" Nate ducks the question with, "I never thought I'd be a funeral director either." This is probably not the reassurance Lisa was seeking; you'd think that even Nate, who is not the Fisher family brain trust, would have picked up on her voracious need for affirmation by this point in their time together. Fortunately, Maya has a well-timed gurgle, and Lisa heads out the door by telling Nate she loves him. He's all, "And we love you."

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Six Feet Under




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