Six Feet Under: Back to the Garden
July 16, 2019 9:55 PM - Season 2, Episode 7 - Subscribe

A man dies during an auto-asphyxiation session gone wrong, and Nate shares his fears about death with the rabbi who conducts the funeral service. Keith breaks up with Eddie and makes dinner plans with David that are thwarted by a medical emergency on Taylor's part, Claire spends the weekend with her Aunt Sarah, Ruth invites Robbie to dinner, Rico suspects his wife and cousin of untoward behaviour, Margaret gets her own condo, and Brenda keeps dallying with her extra-curricular sexual urges.

The obituary from this episode:

Jeffrey Marc Shapiro (1963 - 2001)

Shapiro, Jeffrey Marc. Born March 4, 1963 in Long Island, New York. Died December 7, 2001. Jeffrey attended University of Wisconsin-Madison where he was a charter member of the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity. He earned his law degree at Columbia University in 1986 and has worked at Schiff, Morris and Associates for 12 years as an entertainment lawyer.

He is survived by his wife Jessica, his parents Howard and Barbara, and his children Justin, Zachary, and Tess. Jeffrey was a loving husband and father and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Viewing will be today at 3 p.m. at Fisher & Sons Funeral Home. Burial to follow at Mount Sinai Memorial Park in Brentwood.
posted by orange swan (6 comments total)
I'm inclined to agree with The X-Files character Clyde Bruckman's opinion that there are not many more undignified ways to end up dying than autoerotic asphyxiation. Something that has never made sense to me about this episode was how everyone -- David, Nate, Rico, and almost certainly the police -- let Jessica Shapiro believe that her husband had committed suicide when it was really death by misadventure. Surely it was her right to know the truth, and it would have made her loss easier to bear if she had known her husband hadn't intended to kill himself. It seems cruel to me to let her torture herself over the possible reasons for her husband's suicide when it was no such thing. But then she likely will figure it out at some point.

Eddie's out of the picture and David and Keith are free to get back together, and it won't be the mistake that getting back together often is for couples who broke up for good reason, but get back together despite the fact that those reasons remain unaddressed. They broke up because Keith couldn't live with David's being in the closet and hating himself, but David has resolved that. Although in fairness to Eddie, he didn't do anything wrong or seem like a bad guy at all. Keith was just looking for an excuse to break up with him.

Taylor being in appendicitis pain and her Uncle Keith not believing her when she complained about it, ugh. LISTEN TO YOUR NIECE, KEITH. Keith's partner's sardonic enjoyment of Keith's bumpy lovelife always makes me giggle.

Oh hurrah, Ruth is done with The Plan.

I found it bizarre that Rico suspected his wife and cousin of having an affair. He had no real grounds for suspicion. It seemed like a clumsy way of setting him up to discover his cousin banging that other guy, which was also far-fetched. He's going to get it on with another tradesman in his cousin's house when Vanessa and the kids could be back any minute? Really?

Sarah's "Howl" party seemed so tiresomely pretentious to me, like the sort of thing that people do when they're more focused on living out some fantasy of what an artistic life is like rather than on creating art.

Margaret is such a fucking narcissistic monster. She should never have had kids. But her new condo has a bidet, because of course it does.

Brenda's indulging in sexual fantasies and crying while having sex with Nate, who for his part has still not told her about his health issues. Their engagement is possibly the worst in TV history.
posted by orange swan at 3:13 PM on July 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

“I talked to the Quincy down at the morgue…” Glad Rico explained how autoerotic asphyxiation is supposed to work but I still don’t understand why people need to bite a lemon to help wake up. I'll google it.

“OK, please don’t tell me you’re one of those couples that likes to bicker in front of their company until it gets uncomfortable, and I have to leave and you guys fuck.” I think Melissa is really funny so I looked up Kellie Waymire and found out she died of cardiac arrest in 2003.

Enjoyed watching Nate tease David about his upcoming date with Keith.

I didn’t have any trouble believing in Rico’s jealousy, nor in two people being overcome by lust. What seemed less credible to me was Vanessa's casual acceptance of Ramón's tile excuse for his departure.
posted by kingless at 10:06 AM on July 18, 2019

I thought it was odd that Rico wouldn't have told Vanessa about Ramón, and there's no way she would be satisfied with such a flimsy excuse for him not completing the work when her house is a construction zone.

I discovered that Kellie Waymire had died years ago, when watching the entire series on DVD for the first time. She was 36, and had such a long list of credits to her name. Shit.

When referring to Brenda and Nate's fiasco of an engagement, I should have also mentioned that Nate was flirting with the rabbi. I mean, for God's sake.
posted by orange swan at 3:29 PM on July 18, 2019

Nate was flirting with the rabbi

Inappropriate for an engaged man and at a funeral. Ari shut him down perfectly.

One more thing, how much I liked the scene at the end, Ruth singing "Woodstock" and Claire watching. The show does so much character development without dialog. Looking up the song, Wikipedia says that Joni Mitchell didn't go to the festival because a manager told her it'd be better for her to appear on Dick Cavett's show.
posted by kingless at 4:16 AM on July 19, 2019

WILL the wife figure it out? Rico and the Quincy did, but we never saw Nate give that info to Rabbi Ari, did we?

Shapiro's parents and especially children should know that their loved one didn't intend to die. That's so incredibly important. Why was Nate so busy chasing his spiritual/horny thing that that wasn't paramount?
posted by goofyfoot at 6:48 PM on July 31, 2019

So much going on in this episode!

One more thing, how much I liked the scene at the end, Ruth singing "Woodstock" and Claire watching.
Message to Ruth: If you are not the sort of person who sings along to songs - then Woodstock is a pretty ambition place to start. (The linked Wikipedia page reminds us that this song was thrown away on the B side to "Big Yellow Taxi")

In terms of location design: I love the contrast between Sarah's house and the Fisher's home - particularly the kitchens. Ruth's seems stuck in the 1950s, Sarah's in the 60s.
posted by rongorongo at 11:14 PM on April 7, 2022

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