Monday, August 22, 2005

The end of everything

Six Feet Under Ep. 63

Spoiler alert - Let me just get this out of the way: everybody dies. You knew that, though... it's a by-product of life, really.

But instead of starting out with a death, SFU ends their season by starting out with life - Willa, the premie daughter of Brenda and Nate the late. [Perhaps they should start a series called Three Feet Above (height of a hospital bed?) and house it in a maternity ward... each week starting with a different newborn.] She's free of any birth defects (other then being only 2 lbs) but Brenda (and all of us) can't shake the feeling that something bad is going to happen, and Nate's there to only encourage her fatalism. Ruth sees Brenda differently now, and no longer stands in the way of Maya leaving, but descends into deep depression just the same when Margaret comes and takes Maya back to Brenda's. David moves back into his old home and he and Ruth briefly regress about 25 years in time, freaking out Claire a bit ("do you want some cereal?") Speaking of Claire, she makes up with sturdy Ted and gets offered a job in NY as a photographer's assistant at a stock photo company thanks to a recommendation from Olivier ("It doesn't matter who f*cked Russell. I still believe in you, Claire.")

Rico and Vanessa decide to go in on starting their own funeral home and briefly talk David into selling the place. Brenda (who now has Nate's stake) and Ruth all agree to it, and they put it on the market. Ruth decides to give in and move in with George to let him take care of her. David finally contronts his demon and they have a battle ala Luke in Empire Strikes Back when he discovers he's fighting himself, and gives his red-hooded self just what it needs - a big hug.

This is the begining of a domino fall of un-SFU like resolutions... which, for regular viewers, might be unsettling - we've gotten so used to conflict. David decides not to sell the family business, briefly pissing off Rico, but Keith steps in to help buy Rico out and they move into the old Fisher home, while Rico and 'Nessa buy their own funeral home and start their new business - even putting in an espresso stand in the funeral home. Ruth has the most conflicts to resolve, so the writers had to squeeze a bunch in. First Ruth and Claire deal with their issue, and Claire's overture about not going to NY and staying to take care of her wakes up Ruth from her self-pity, seeing her younger self in Claire. They have a Lifetime Movie moment and Ruth unfreezes Claire's trust fund and gives her blessing. Ruth then calls Maggie (who is at the doctor's office... pregnant? the only SFU-like unresolved conflict) and asks her if Nate was happy at the time he collapsed. Knowing that he was (and that Maggie was) seems to embolden Ruth. She's then able to resolve everything with Brenda and moves in w/ her sister Sarah in Topanga Canyon (the only place she was happy through the five seasons.) Brenda wakes up to find both Nate the lates standing over Willa's crib and Brenda's vision of Nate now loves the child, finally freeing her of her fatalism (boy, SFU really must be over!)

Claire gets a call that the new job isn't there anymore, but Nate tells her not to tell anyone and go to NY anyway. She has a going away party at David and Keith's new version of the funeral home, which is more colorful (and has a room dedicated to Playstation.) It turns into a celebrate Nate party and everyone exchanges Nate stories (feeling to us like everyone trading SFU stories at it's end) followed by a toast. Claire leaves the next morning and pops in Ted's Decidedly Unhip Mix (which starts with "Breathe Me" by Sia - which is decidedly not un-hip.) As Claire drives in her new Prius across the country, a montage of time leading up to every main characters' eventual death. We're treated with a lot of aging make-up, seeing everyone age in a soft-focus. David and Keith get married in a traditional ceremony (Gay marriage eventually accepted in about 6-9 years it looks like based on Anthony's and Willa's age.) Other, non-death related revelations: Durrell becomes a funeral director (presides over Ruth's funeral,) Anthony turns out to be gay (showing up at a funeral with a partner,) and finally Ted and Claire marry after seeing eachother at Ruth's funeral. With the exception of Keith (who gets shot on the job as a security guard,) everyone lives to the ripe old age of 75 or more. Billy's there at the time of Brenda's death mumbling with a cane about "Claire and Ted" and "emotional closure" (still holding on to that!) to her as she keels over. Claire nearly makes it to 102 - and it's somehow comforting to know the world Claire lives in doesn't end sooner in a war over oil.

All in all, the episode was incredibly touching, but I found it almost too convenient in how all conflicts and loose ends were tied up neatly in a bow (that is, except for Maggie and her doctor's visit.) I find myself missing the series already, though, and as much as I liked to poke fun at it's overly melo-dramatic moments, it felt like a good friend. So last night was like a funeral for a friend I got to know for five years, and my own mortality gets caught in my throat seeing people my age die in the eerily-bad-makeup future (Brenda, David and Keith.)

As far as the soundtrack goes, this week's will definitely be remembered for the final montage with the song "Breathe Me" by Sia (remembered most for a Zero 7 appearance.) It was requested several times and played on KEXP this AM, and I understand it's association with the final scene has made it a downloaded sensation today.

Full tracklisting with scene descriptions. Of note: HBO left off one song (Lyrics Born's "I Changed My Mind") which was playing at Claire's going away party.

Previously
Do you want to touch it? (Ep. 62)
Real mourners don't eat quiche (Ep. 61)
Surf's up, Nate (Ep. 60)
A 'Giant Sucker' Punch (Ep. 59)
Staring into the abyss, Quaker style (Ep. 58)
The loss of the loss of virginity (Ep. 57)
Accept, adapt and adopt (Ep. 56)
Life is not a vending machine (Ep. 55)
Six Feet Under: Ep. 54
Mortality, insanity, paternity and more insanity (Ep. 53)
Requiem for a soap opera (Ep. 52 - Season 5 premiere)

tags: , , ,

6 comments:

drake leLane said...

Six Feet Under - Ep. 63 (Series Finale)

* "Empty Space" - Lifehouse
* "Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While)" - Kim Weston
* "Doctor My Eyes" - Jackson Browne
* "Always Worth It" - Sarah Blasko
* "I Changed My Mind - (rattlesnake mix)" - Lyrics Born
* "What'll I Do" - Nat King Cole
* "I Just Want To Celebrate (Mocean Worker Remix)" - Rare Earth/Mocean Worker
* "Breathe Me" - Sia

briarrose said...

i was incredibly moved by the series finale if six feet under. will be chalked off as my favorite. it started with Ted claiming i am now my father, this is what you do to me. i could feel that. the love scene between the two took my breathe away. BEAUTIFUL! Ted is very sexy and so is claire. Ted was genuine and their love profound. if you notice keith is exiting a charles security service truck. since that's his name i'm assuming it is his company? one last thought, maggie sold pharmacuticals. hence the dr's office. and one more thing, what is a blogger?

briarrose said...

may i chime in one more time? the show was poignant. beautiful. a very well thought out and executed ending. i appreciate the love, thoughtfulness and talent that went into the creation of "The End of Everthing"

briarrose said...

i'm sorry...i'm obsessing. when Ruth died i lost it. i loved her soooo much.

drake leLane said...

yes, the ending was quite moving... we DVR-recorded it and have played back that montage several times since. never fails to move me.

I never noticed the security truck, but that's a relief if it truly was his company as for Keith to have regressed to that rung of the security ladder was a tad depressing.

We've been debating the Maggie thing for awhile here, and it goes back and forth. There was a bag that was near her that could've been a pharmaceutical sample bag, but she never reached for it when the nurse called to her "the dr. will see you now." Personally, I think the writers/director were being purposefully oblique on the subject (and scene.)

briarrose said...

i don't know why anybody watches network TV. with shows like SFU HBO makes network TV obsolete. with all the f'n reality shows it's unbearable. and i am including american idol! i am sad SFU is over. will you be clueing in to the new series starting sun ROME? such a violent full of blood sacrifices time.