Six Feet Under: Time Flies
November 16, 2019 8:51 PM - Season 5, Episode 4 - Subscribe

A woman in her nineties dies while reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People on the toilet, and coincidentally her birthday was on the same day as Nate's, who has just turned 40. Brenda tells Nate she's pregnant again, Ruth attends a knitting class as an escape from George's issues, David and Keith are kept busy running errands for Roger, and Claire has to help an on-edge Billy find a favourite shirt, but despite all these preoccupations everyone attends the suprise birthday party for Nate, except Rico, who gets a chance to spend the night at his former family home with Vanessa.

The obituary from this episode:

Lila Simonds Coolidge (1909 - 2005)

Lila Coolidge of Arcadia was laid to rest on Thursday after a long and fruitful journey on earth. Born in 1909 to Jack and Rose Coolidge of Braxton, PA, Lila entered the world feet first and never stopped running since. One of her great passions in life was travel. She always loved reading about new places and things and was even planning a trip to the Congo just before she passed. For over 50 years she ran the Okie-Dokie Inn in Ojai where people from all over would come for a slice of her pineapple pound cake and a lesson in potting plants (whether they wanted one or not!) In later life she volunteered for the Red Cross, organized senior citizen tour groups, campaigned tirelessly for the Democrats, competed in state bridge tournaments and carefully tended to her beloved hothouse flowers. Dearest Lila, from all your pals at the T.P., we just want to say we love you and we hope you can convince the Man upstairs to give the CA Angels their wings!
posted by orange swan (2 comments total)
Lila sounded amazing. The look we get around her little home in the cold open was pretty revealing: everything was so clean and well cared for, and there was so much evidence of her active, productive, engaged life. And at nearly 95 she was reading the The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in an effort to get even more out of her life. She was truly someone to emulate.

Ruth needs to find some way to deal with her resentment over George not telling her about his mental health issues, not only for her own sake and for the sake of their relationship -- to say nothing about her relationship with Claire -- but because George's misery over her rejection of him is interfering with his recovery. Knitting can be a good way to deal with nervous tension, but she's using her knitting as way to avoid interacting with George.

Brenda's expecting again, and now Nate isn't sure he loves Brenda or will love their child. Nate, you clueless manchild. Why have you not ever addressed the problem of your inability to commit? No, replacing one wife for another wasn't going to address that issue, merely replicate it in a new form. Nate's looks and affable nature have made it too easy for him to just find someone new instead of dealing with the issues that made it difficult for him to build something lasting, either with a woman or career-wise. And again he's taking things out on a helpless, harmless animal. It was a snake last time, and this time it's a bird. A beautiful blue bird, like the Blue Bird of Happiness, which he beat to death. There's an old saying, specifically referenced in the script, that a bird in the house means a death in the house, which was a bit of foreshadowing on the part of the writers.

I can't blame Brenda for being bothered by Nate's lukewarm response to her pregnancy news, but her chastising him for announcing the pregnancy at the party was out of line. She didn't tell him she didn't want to tell anyone yet -- it was her supervisor she talked to about that. I think her lashing out at him about that and about what he might have said to Billy and about how maybe they shouldn't be together had much more to do with her fear of losing the pregnancy than anything else -- and she needs to learn to deal with that kind of thing better.

The Pasquese kids were hilarious, as were David and Keith's efforts to manage them. Michael C. Hall and Matthew St. Patrick are really good at being funny together.

I'll say it for Claire, that she may not be good at heeding initial red flags (probably because she's too young and inexperienced at this point to know what they portend), but when things take a unmistakable turn for the worse she always has the sense to bail immediately. I think she slept with Todd largely to make it impossible for her to go back to Billy. And okay... but ewwww.

I'm just going to note here that Nate's very freshly divorced friend Todd in this episode is the very same Todd from the couple whom he and Lisa went camping with in the episode "Making Love Work". There was quite the contrast between the two couples back then: Lisa and Nate were experiencing a lot of conflict because Nate was restless and Lisa was being exacting, and they consequently weren't enjoying themselves much in bed either (i.e., Lisa told Dana she couldn't orgasm and how during sex she sometimes felt like Nate secretly/unconsciously hated her, yikes!!!), while Dana and Todd were smug about how they couldn't keep their hands off each other, and all the great sex they were having. There was a hilarious exchange between Lisa and Nate, who griped to each other about how they hated hearing Dana and Todd brag about their fantastic sex life, and it sounds like it's all sour grapes on their part, but while it was indeed mostly that, I'm wondering if they didn't sense that something was genuinely amiss as well. Just two years later, Dana and Todd are divorced and Todd is banging Nate's little sister. Was their talk about their sex life/love for each other peformative in some way?

At least the non-Fishers had a good time at that birthday party. And Rico enjoyed his alternate plans for the evening, if it was something of a let down for him to realize the next morning that Vanessa letting him stay the night didn't mean she was going to take him back.
posted by orange swan at 12:11 PM on November 19, 2019

I like the way that Claire, David and Nate are so much written and acted as siblings as much as they are separate characters. David is the one who takes on the mantle that is normally the lot of the oldest kid: the one who is destined to take over the family business and who does not really feel he has an option in the matter. Nate is the one who noped out of what he probably saw as a straight-jacket when he was still a kid (or perhaps he was considered unsuitable from the get-go by Nathaniel?). Finally Claire is the indulged younger sibling: free of all obligation to spend time selling coffins, consoling clients or poring over accounts . Yet, with that freedom, comes the challenge of finding a meaningful path in life. Likewise: all three children inherit a headstrong and experimental streak from Rush and a mix of hedonism and business sense from their dad.
posted by rongorongo at 3:50 AM on July 12, 2022

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