Six Feet, Over

Salt Lake City Weekly | August 15, 2005
Six Feet, Over

How will HBO’s Six Feet Under end? Let us count the ways.

By Bill Frost

This is a momentous weekend—and not just because of the long-overdue return of Greg the Bunny, either. Yes, the 2002 Fox series about puppets (or Fabricated Americans, to be politically correct) living amongst humans and enduring anti-felt prejudice (“Sock” is a racial epithet) that was abruptly and cruelly canceled returns Friday to the network from whence it originated, the Independent Film Channel. Glorious, glorious tidings …

Oh yeah—and Six Feet Under is coming to an end on that other movie channel, HBO.

The Season 5 closer and series finale of Six Feet Under this Sunday marks the end of a troubled relationship between fans and a wholly unique dark comedy/gray drama that began flawlessly, veered off course a little, then a little more, then a lot more, to the point that it had to kill off a lead character to reboot the damned thing. As far as I and more viewers than would probably dare admit it are concerned, Nate Fisher (Peter Krause, now typecast for life as a broody whiner) should have dropped dead a couple of seasons ago and saved us all mucho navel-pondering to fast-forward through.

Greg the Bunny (similarly typecast for life as, well, a bunny) would have taken that dive in the name of art, had he ever been given the chance … I’m just sayin’ …

As it stands/lies, we at least have a four-episode Hail Mary arc wrapping up Six Feet Under: July 31’s “Ecotone,” where Claire (the frighteningly good Lauren Ambrose, 6FU’s true breakout star) learned her new boyfriend is a Republican, Ruth (Frances Conroy) got dumped in the woods for not putting out on a date (by Ed Begley Jr.!), and Nate was seemingly on the mend from his “Narm! Narm!” seizure, but finally flatlined while dreaming about getting stoned with his uptight gay bro David (Michael C. Hall) and hitting the surf. Then, Aug. 7’s “All Alone,” which packed more gut-wrenchingly real grief and resignation into a single funeral’s (Nate’s) preparation and execution than in the 60 episodes that preceded it—hell of a dramatic coup for a series that’s all about the family business of death.

Last Sunday’s “Static” was essentially that, Six Feet Under in a holding pattern circling the Grand Finale—David freaks out some more, Claire goes on a drunken bender, Nate keeps showing in scruffy Casper form, etc. Since HBO didn’t send a preview copy of “Everyone’s Waiting,” the 75-minute final episode (they did, however, send a whole lotta Entourage, so no complaints here) before deadline, we can only speculate on how 6FU will end. Join me, won’t you?

Possible Scenario 1: David and Keith (Mathew St. Patrick) turn the Fisher & Diaz funeral home into a gay nightclub, Mojito Mortis, and move to Showtime to take over Queer as Folk’s old timeslot. Rico (Freddy Rodriguez) is kept on for his “embalming” skills.

Possible Scenario 2: Crazy Brenda (Rachel Griffiths) and crazier brother Billy (Jeremy Sisto) die in a lovesick suicide pact; everyone agrees, “That probably should have happened around Season 3.” Maggie (Tina Holmes) bakes another unwanted quiche.

Possible Scenario 3: Distraught Claire completely flips to the right wing and forms a media watchdog group called Citizens United to Negate Trash and Encourage Decency, then has all of her former art-school pals tracked down and jailed (or, in Russell’s case, killed), and gets Six Feet Under pulled off the air (even though it’s pay cable—think of The Children!) 30 minutes into the finale.

Possible Scenario 4: Long-deceased Lisa (Lili Taylor) floats in and announces, “You’re all actually dead—that’s the twist! Get it? Yeah, Alan Ball is just phoning it in …”

Possible Scenario 5: Ruth and Arthur (Rainn Wilson) are finally reunited, but she doesn’t believe his new job on The Office is really going to pan out.

Possible Scenario 6: Nate wakes up and realizes it’s all been a bizarre dream, then looks over to the other side of the bed and sees … Greg the Bunny! He starts sputtering “Narm! Narm!” and keels over dead from an aneurysm. The circle of TV life is complete.

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