Six Feet Under: It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
July 19, 2019 9:03 PM - Season 2, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Santa Claus dies, and his funeral takes place on Christmas Day, while Ruth serves up a big Christmas family dinner for her family. Nate bonds with Santa Claus's widow, while Brenda picks up something while shopping, and they are both surprised by Margaret's Christmas house guest. David celebrates the holidays with Keith and Taylor. Claire gets to know Toby, the boy she met at her aunt's, better. Rico deals with the fallout from his cousin Ramon's dalliance. And whatever the day holds for them, all the Fishers plus Rico remember their last conversation with Nathaniel.

The obituary from this episode:

Jesse Ray Johnson (1944 - 2001)

Jesse Ray Johnson died on December 22 while doing what he loved best - riding his hog. He was a proud member of the Orange County chapter of the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club and averaged 22,000 miles a year, including 35 annual Black Hills Motorcycle Rallies in Sturgis. In addition to his beautiful wife of 23 years, Marilyn, Jesse loved his friends, 72 oz. steaks, AC/DC and Jack Daniels. The road goes on forever. "81"

Donations can be made to his wife Marilyn Johnson, P.O. Box 48826 Newport Beach, CA. Funeral services to be held at 4p.m. on Christmas Day at Fisher & Sons.
posted by orange swan (4 comments total)
Loved the overlap of Christmas dinner and the biker funeral. (Taylor: It's Christmas and I want to watch the funeral.)

Ramón seems to be more of a plot device for Vanessa and Rico's relationship than a standalone character, at least so far. Anyway, he's living through another example of infidelity messing up a marriage. Vanessa had a tough choice too—either option had the potential for a lot of damage. Pretty chickenshit of Rico to ask her to keep such explosive information from her sister.

Taken together, the last conversations with Nathaniel were probably my favorite part of this episode.
posted by kingless at 2:34 PM on July 20, 2019

Jesse really did seem like a lovable and loving man. What I really liked about this episode was that for all the absurdities of Jesse's biker gang-style funeral arrangements, his mourners come across as genuinely heartbroken by his death. I never got that feeling from the Viveca St. John funeral (i.e., the porn actress who got electrocuted by her cat). That one felt "subculture played for slapstick laughs" with no real emotion conveyed.

Ruth gets so angsty about the dinner arrangements and her kids don't seem to consider that it may be because she's upset about the anniversary of Nathaniel's death. Anniversaries can hit one unexpectedly hard. The day before the first anniversary of my brother's death of a heart attack at the age of 42, I thought it would be a non-issue because I had mostly accepted it and it was just another day without him... and then it was a hard day. I found myself spontaneously bursting into tears in the middle of doing something I had been quite focused on and that sort of thing.

Nate's conversation with Marilyn was actually rather sweet, but I find it a stretch she'd give him Jesse's bike. I can understand why she wouldn't want to sell it despite probably really needing the money, but Jesse must have had other friends or family who would have treasured it.

Oh Brenda, now you're inviting a married man to grope you while out shopping. I wish this was the lowest you'd stoop, but of course it isn't. No wonder you sobbed for very shame when Nate gave you his grandmother's ring. (I can't help wondering what Brenda is going to do with two very similar diamond rings. Which will be her "official" engagement ring?) And Nate, like the clueless jackass he is, doesn't realize that's a sign something is wrong. Not that I feel any sympathy for him either. He hid his medical issues from Brenda until he had a seizure in her bed, and he's cheated on her with Lisa. And THEN he yells at Brenda to keep Billy away from Claire. Hello, Nate, Brenda is just as alarmed by the situation as you, and she has no control over what Billy does!

Brenda's comment that Margaret got Billy out of the hospital because she didn't want to be alone at Christmas or live alone was probably accurate. But I must say Jeremy Sisto looked smoking hot with that cropped haircut.

I don't blame Toby for finding Claire's bratty disaffection irritating, because it is, but it was immature and obnoxious of him to lecture Claire about it. Claire then turns to someone who shares her sardonic detachment for a cake made to look like a reindeer... freaking Billy. Great. Also Claire's internet chat name is ICDeadPeople and Billy's is BillyBatty.

All the Fishers are now living with a disabled Nikolai on their couch for eight weeks. I don't blame them for being dismayed by that prospect. Nikolai is best in very small doses.

David and Keith are back together, yay! Keith does need David's influence to help him moderate his parenting of Taylor. Except now Taylor's mother is baaaaaack.

Of course Vanessa was going to insist on the truth about Ramon, and then once she knew she was placed in an impossible position where she had no good options. She seems to be on very friendly terms with her husband's cousin's wife, and Ramon's wife certainly had a right to know her husband was cheating on her. Ramon then, like an asshole, assaults Rico without even knowing who told whom what. Rico should have Ramon charged with assault.

Nathaniel: Traffic to the airport is going to be murder.
Ruth: You'd better get started, then.
posted by orange swan at 6:03 PM on July 20, 2019

...very friendly terms with her husband's cousin's wife...

Thanks, I sure misunderstood that connection!

Re: Brenda&Billy&Nate&Claire, I'm thinking of this subplot as two families interacting as much as four people, the Chenowiths being so much more self-analytical and self-critical than the Fishers. Glad my parents weren't psychologists.

All the Fishers are now living with...

I lived with my parents more than once during my 20s. They were very nice about it but I was glad to get out for good. So far it doesn't seem to be much of a burden for Nate and David.
posted by kingless at 7:11 AM on July 21, 2019

Compiling a playlist of iconic rock songs for a biker taken before his time is just - too easy really!
posted by rongorongo at 1:57 AM on April 9, 2022

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