Sunday, August 07, 2005

Six Feet Under: 'The Rainbow of her Reasons'

So, I've seen another episode. This one was a big improvement over episode five, and really has the plots moving forward in an interesting direction. As the episode opened, I was wondering if this was going to be Sarah's finale, but I figured that they wouldn't bring her back only to have her die in the first scene.

First, the most notable thing about this episode was the 'Calling all Angels,' which brought back some memories of the 'Wise Up' singalong scene in Magnolia. Here, they didn't go as far as to have the other characters actually sing, but we had that same feeling of seeing them all connected, and I really liked that. One of the problems with these ensemble shows is that it sometimes feels like the characters live in worlds all their own and there's no overarching connection in the narrative. So, a scene like the party two episodes ago, or the singing here, goes a long way towards making it feel like a more coherent universe.

David and Keith finally got some good material to work with, as they have to deal with the difficult reality of raising kids. Both of their views on how to treat the kids are relatable, and I liked the way they didn't make Keith out to be the bad guy. We see that there's a need for moderation, to find a path that isn't just letting them do whatever they want, but at the same time not walking the line of near violent behavior. I liked the fact that the kids were very challenging for them, and seeing how it broke up the life they had been living. If they were to adopt those kids, things would never be the same. I'm waiting now to see what Nate and Ruth think of David's decision.

The best storyline here was Claire's time in the office. After living in a sort of fantasy world, she now finds herself brought into the crushing mundanity of an office, where art and creativity are seen as hindrances to doing work. I loved the guy imitating Austin Powers, there is no more played out imitation. I loved the way they had Claire's clothes become a physical prison for her, echoing her feeling of being mentally trapped in a pointless endeavor. I don't think Claire will become a 'lifer' at the office, but it's the sort of thing that could help her, by giving her some perspective, and perhaps even inspire some new pieces of art.

I liked the scene where Claire catches Ruth trying to take some weed from her, and the moment they share. They basically switched roles here, Claire was the calm one, while Ruth was rather unhinged. All of Ruth's storyline in this episode was great, her enthusiasm as she talked with the women, and ultimately her confusion when George finally tells her she can leave. This is exactly what she wants, but now that she has it, she feels guilty about ever wanting him to leave.

So, I'm not sure where this leaves George and Maggie on the show. There's definitely something building with Maggie and Nate, I liked the way he slipped in "Brenda's at mom's, it's just me and Maya here." I'm not sure what's going to happen with her, but there's been a lot of buildup and I feel like it's going to be something big.

And now Rico is back with Vanessa too. I don't find them too interesting this season, they're fun to watch, but there's nothing particularly worth writing about. There's none of the layers in the relationship that you have between people like Nate and Brenda.

So, moving on, there's a major crossroads. I'd like to see Sarah stick around for another episode, so Ruth could talk to her about her newfound freedom from George. At this point, it's Nate and Claire I'm most interested in, largely because I'm really not sure where they're going to end up. David and Keith I think will probably end up adopting these kids and working out as a family. I'm not sure what's going to happen with Ruth, but if I had to guess, I'd say something bad's going to happen to George and she'll feel really guilty about abandoning him. And Billy's definitely going to factor into things somehow. But, I think we'll ultimately get an up ending, with all the families together and Nathaniel phasing out of this realm, his mission done because his sons have now become fathers like him.

But, I may be totally wrong. There's only six more episodes in which to find out.

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