Six Feet Under Recap: S2, E1 – In the Game

Posted on July 23, 2017 in

I’ve been slacking more than enough lately, so I’ve decided to jump back to my Six Feet Under recaps starting with season 2. Let’s do it.

We open up with a shot of Ross’s college student girlfriend lighting a candle in her underwear. Suddenly, a video begins to play warning her that her “sweet ass” is gonna be gone and a serial killer busts in through the door and chops her up. Psych! It’s all a movie. We pan to Alexandra Holden sitting in a movie theater smiling as she watches herself murdered at the movie premiere. At the after party, her character, Becky, receives advice about her career and also does a lot of coke.

This is actually one of the more disturbing deaths from the show, but it’s not especially violent. It’s that shot of Rebecca Milford on the floor twitching and the sound her body makes when it flaps against the floor that really gets to me. I don’t like to watch it.

Screenshot, Six Feet Under, HBO

Next, we open up on a shot of Nate and Brenda going at it. Brenda looks as if she would rather be anywhere else because, “it’s not working.” This of course turns into a spat that recovers pretty quickly considering it’s Nate and Brenda. Brenda talks about feeling depressed with her “bad dream” life, and it becomes clear that she hasn’t been working. Nate tells Brenda that she needs to force herself to be active. Which is advice that every depressed person LOVES to hear.

Next, we see Becky Milford’s “sort of” boyfriend, Brody, and Vanessa’s sister, Angelica, planning the funeral. Angelica expresses that she wants to plan a “cheap” funeral. Rico replaces her words with “budget conscious.” Brody doesn’t want to bury Rebecca because she was scared of the dark, and Rico really pushes the idea of a viewing. Brody then wants to spread Rebecca’s ashes somewhere “she really liked,” like Griffith Park or The Lava Lounge. Because Angelica can’t help but ruin Rico’s life no matter what she does, she suggests skipping the casket altogether. Legit the first time I ever felt bad for the guy.

David gets a phone call from presumably a hot guy because he put an ad in LA Weekly looking for some fun. We learn that he’s scored a firefighter who “sound[s] like a nice guy.” Fun fact: we also learn that one of David’s favorite colors, of which he has several, is red.

Next, we learn that Becky hated dolphins. Angelica and Brody decide that they are going to put Becky’s ashes in lockets for all her friends.

Claire meets up with Gabe at the beach, and she makes this face when he says that history is pointless. Same, Claire.

Screenshot, Six Feet Under, HBO

Claire and Gabe argue about his strange behavior and desire to be high all the time. Claire’s face demonstrates that she knows this guy is The Worst.

David gets his results from an STD check and we find out that he has gonorrhea, likely from his brief interaction with a sex worker in Las Vegas. I really like the doctor in this scene and I want her to be in every episode. Especially after she calls David a “bad boy.”

Next, we get Ruth reading this book when Claire walks in.

Screenshot, Six Feet Under, HBO

Ruth asks Claire if she is hurt or angry that David is gay. Ruth then discusses her own teenage crush on Jane Fonda. This kinda lays the groundwork for Ruth’s desire for family intimacy as she feels everybody shutting her out.

David meets up with firefighter guy. Do you ever find yourself watching an old show and you can’t tell if somebody is hot or not because of the time period? This guy is not 2017 hot, but I also can’t tell if he was 2002 hot, ya know? This is important to the story because it’s hard to tell if this guy is supposed to be out of David’s league or not. Either way, we find out that he is a “very sexual being” who knows that his parents are “still hot for each other.”

There’s a lot that sucks about being the kid of divorced parents, but I’ll never have to say those words. That’s a blessing.

No matter the case, firefighter guy breaks my David’s heart by saying there’s no spark, and that’s the end of that.

Nate is formally diagnosed with AVM, and Nate gets frustrated with the doctor who kinda seems . . . not that great. Nate learns that his options are cranial surgery (not a picnic), embolization, or radiation. We get a nice daydream shot of Nate strangling the doctor and then Nate basically deciding to do nothing. This scene really captures the feeling of getting terrible news accurately, in my opinion.

Nate is driving home, and then he does a lot of rage honking. Meantime, Brenda is cleaning her closet and looking miserable. She throws out some CDs, drinks a glass of wine, smokes, and plays air guitar.

Ruth is having dinner with Nicolai, the flower guy, and she describes herself as “having a sexual relationship” with him. Silence. Ruth invites all the kids and their “special friend[s].”

Nate and Brenda talk on the phone. Brenda doesn’t seem all that interested in spending time with Nate or going to his family dinner, and Nate really needs support except that he won’t tell anybody about his AVM.

Rico is wrapping Becky’s body in the prep room and says that things are busy at home. Nate says he can’t help him. Honestly, Nate doesn’t really seem to be doing a lot of work at the home, to be honest. Meanwhile, Rico goes on to describe Becky as a “pathetic” person who “threw her life away.” And I hate Rico a lot at this moment.

David is back at church, but he spends a lot of time staring at Keith and that new guy he’s dating. They go out to brunch together, and honestly this is one of those times I really like Keith.

Brenda is working with a massage client who will not STFU. I sympathize with Brenda right now, but I also envy her being able to tell somebody to GTFO of her house.

Claire brings Gabe down to the prep room, which is really a bad idea because that’s where his brother was embalmed. Next, they’re sitting in the living room with Nicolai and David. We learn that David is 31, which is only 4 years older than me. Brenda and Nate show up at the dinner, and it is clear that Nate is high AF. Remember David’s ecstasy in the aspirin bottle from last season? That’s why.

We get this lovely season in which Nicolai says the dinner prayer and then keeps saying, “Lord have mercy.” This scene is pretty iconic by ANY standards. Nate calls Nicolai a “beautiful person” and we get some pretty cool looks. David realizes what’s happened to Nate. Nate tries to do Brenda at the table, and then everybody realizes he’s high.

BTW, I’m really into Ruth’s look at dinner. She looks fantastic.

Screenshot, Six Feet Under, HBO

Ruth can’t believe her precious oldest son is high and wonders if she needs to join a support group. Meanwhile, Nate is in the other room talking about flow and talking about how he taught David how to masturbate. Brenda decides to hit the road, and I don’t blame her.

Claire and Gabe go to the movies and see the movie Becky was in. RIP. Nate spends all night watching TV on the couch, including some show about hamsters eating. He also has some weird dream involvingĀ  his dad and death and playing Chinese checkers. TBH, this scene barely registers with me and I tend to skip it. I know it’s heavy on symbolism and such, but it’s just not that interesting.

In the morning, David calls Keith to thank him for the brunch invitation. Keith isn’t really into hanging out with David sans Eddie in the future, and David is so easy to relate to. Ruth makes coffee and she and David discuss their “special friends” staying the night. Ruth agrees that the book she was reading was dumb and then asks if Nate has a drug problem.

Becky’s funeral is next, and for some reason Claire and Gabe decide to attend. Gabe thinks it’s hilarious and Claire finds it depressing. Nate is pissed about the ecstasy until he learns that David is the one who accidentally drugged him.

Brody sings a little ditty about Becky, and it goes something like this:

Tiny venus

Your breath like baby rabbits on a field abuzz with bees and life

Little did you know how briefly the sun would shine upon on your own private utopia

Your candle may have been blown out

But you hang in the air

Like smoke

Screenshot, Six Feet Under, HBO

It’s very moving.

Anyway, Gabe sneaks into the prep room and totally steals some embalming fluid (but that’s a story for another time).

Angelica reveals that Brody can’t afford to pay his part of the funeral, and Rico is pissed. We also learn that Angelica loaned Vanessa $500 for diapers.

Claire walks in on Becky’s friends snorting her ashes and is very upset.

Nate and Brenda are on the beach arguing, per usual. David calls Nate to reveal to him that he is now an official funeral director. Remember back in the day when you didn’t know if you passed a test until months later?

Brenda reveals that he is having trouble being with herself right now. Nate seems supportive of Brenda’s desire to be on her own, but he also has his own stuff to deal with. He imagines himself walking into the ocean when Nathaniel Sr. appears and says, “You’re in the game now, buddy boy. Whether you like it or not.”

Episode Autopsy

Anyway, I’m now going to introduce a pretty arbitrary ranking system for my Six Feet Under recaps. This very well may change in the future, but for now this is it:

Character Punchability: 4/5

Honestly, I didn’t spend a lot of time hating the Fishers or Fishers adjacent. Rico was the worst, and Ruth had a few annoying moments.

Death Inevitability: 4/5

This episode didn’t depress me as much as others. I felt very little about the inevitability of death, save for a few moments of Nate staring into the air.

Quality: 3.5/5

Definitely not one of my favorite Six Feet Under episodes or even season openers, but I’ll take it. It takes a little while for the season two arc to really amp up.

Screencap Quality: 4/5

This episode had a lot of good screencap moments.

Overall: 15.5/20

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