Six Feet Under: A Private Life
June 18, 2019 7:26 PM - Season 1, Episode 12 - Subscribe

A young gay man is murdered, bringing some of David's worst fears and anxieties to the surface. Keith is asked to work crowd control at the funeral. Brenda demands that Billy take his meds and return his key to her house, which causes tension with Nate, who considers these measures insufficient. Billy responds by creating a special art installation for Nate's benefit, and then attempting some amateur tattoo removals. Claire struggles to be with Gabe without losing herself. David comes out to Rico and Ruth and apologizes to Keith.

The obituary from this episode:

Marcus Foster

March 5th, 1978 - June 5th, 2001

West Hollywood Man Brutally Beaten

A wave of disbelief shook the gay community early yesterday morning when 23-year-old West Hollywood resident Marcus Foster Jr. was brutally beaten in a hate crime reminiscent of the Matthew Shepard slaying that rocked the nation less than three years ago.

The attack occurred just after 12 a.m. as Foster and friend, Peter Janovic, were returning home from a late-night movie. The couple had stopped at a nearby ATM machine when they were chased by two men, armed with lead pipes. Janovic was able to escape and placed the 9-1-1 call that led to the arrest of William Yardly and Travis Lumner, both of Orange County. The two suspects were held overnight by police for further questioning.

Foster was a graduate student at UCLA, getting his Masters in English. He is survived by his parents, Patsy and Marcus Foster. No funeral arrangements were announced at this time, but a candlelight vigil will be held in Foster's honor on Tuesday, June 12th in West Hollywood.
posted by orange swan (4 comments total)
That cold open. I'm glad that at least the guys who killed Marcus were caught and arrested.

Poor David, living with such self-loathing. Self-hatred is a particularly cruel prison.

I'd forgotten how homophobic Rico was. I wanted to cheer when David stood up and pushed back against Rico's bigotry.

Ruth gets confronted by her sons' perspective on her as a mother, and it isn't pretty. Nate basically charges her with being emotionally unavailable and difficult, and she realizes that David has been afraid to tell her he was gay. To her credit, for a religious woman of her generation, she doesn't actually care that much that he's gay. She is a little uncomfortable with it, but she will get past that pretty quickly. For her the real issue was the lack of trust on David's part, that he felt she couldn't accept him if he was gay.

How long did it take Billy to set up that art installation? I mean, had he been working on it for awhile or something? Did he rent that building for it or is that his studio? God, the energy some people have for crazy shit when I can rarely get through the day without a nap.

Nice right hook there, Brenda, but WHY were you so slow to realize that Billy's a menace? Why did the situation have to get that extreme?

David's line about how none of the Fishers talk about things, and that "Nate does, but that's the only way he has to distinguish himself", gets my vote for Best Nate Burn Ever.

The girl who complains about growing up in a funeral home is very, very anxious to help a friend through his grief.
posted by orange swan at 4:00 PM on June 19, 2019

Another great episode, not because it was more violent than usual—the opening, the tattoo removal horror, David attacking the homophobes—but because I enjoy watching these characters interact and the series keeps finding new ways for that to happen. Probably my favorite scene was between Ruth & Robbie, but it isn't easy to choose.

The more I watch this show, the more it draws me in.
posted by kingless at 1:57 PM on June 21, 2019

"Best Nate Burn Ever. "

Agreed! Nate is so blithe about how the family he excused himself from is sick, but he - oh, no, he himself is enlightened! Rewatching it all this time, it's interesting to see how he gradually moves away from that holier-than-thou stance. Of course, David's attitude toward Nate is a corollary: You're just ignorant and self-righteous, while we've been here working. And he gradually moves away from that as well.
posted by goofyfoot at 5:46 PM on June 21, 2019

the tattoo removal horror,
The audience is, very fortunately, left to imagine just how Billy managed to remove a tattoo from his lower back - by himself and armed only with a craft knife.
posted by rongorongo at 4:13 AM on March 30, 2022

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