August 21, 2005

Not yet able to see the "Six Feet Under Finale."

But go ahead and talk about it in the comments. I'll catch up with you later in the week. Don't worry about spoilers. I won't read this until I've seen it.

UPDATE: Ooh, it's hard to resist looking at the comments! And what if someone's using this comments section to attack me for some un-SFU-related thing? Anyway, I keep seeing that the finale was great or the greatest final episode ever and so on.

ANOTHER UPDATE: I finally see the show and write up my observations here.

19 comments:

Rick Lee said...

I thought it was just great. I cried, I laughed, I cried some more. It was very satisfying. No false notes to gripe about...a well... I thought perhaps Keith's death wasn't very well done. How about those make-up jobs at the end? The special where they interviewed the cast and producers was also great. I don't have anything particularly interesting to say.... just a satisfied viewer. That's some damn fine TV.

querelle said...

Forgiving the pancake wrinkles and Keith's hammy demise, I must thank and commend the folks at SFU for eschewing (and perhaps reversing) the modernist bent for dangling open-ended series finales. A show about death should end with
death(s), but also with hope. And that's what they gave us.

With the finale, we have the best of both worlds. We have an ending, but we also have decades of life to fill in, as the characters meander through our imaginations to their known demises. I also commend the SFU writers for their restraint. As in real life and death, these characters were not permitted to stray too far from where they are right now. Making young Claire the focal point for the conclusion was absolutely brilliant. It is she who has the most life left to confront / savor. It is she who will wander the farthest (and live the longest), putting Nate behind her as a fond shadow in the rearview.

For the older others, however, life is far more fixed. They will go on pretty much as they are...lofted a bit from where Nate found them, but untempted to follow Claire into the bright unknown. The pictures on Claire's death wall say it all...she will watch over them for us while they struggle on as the people whom we've come to know and love.

A full circle has been carved around them...someone they loved came home to confront death. Someone they loved left home to confront life.

I'm sad. I'm happy. I'm grieving and I'm grateful. To the Fishers. May they rest in peace.

Kathy Herrmann said...

Fabulous Six Feet finale! What a creative way to go. Had no expectations of something like that coming and thought the writers/directors did a super job of weaving the aging scenes together. Just showing the images, especially the progression to new partners and such, left a greater impact than if some narrator had talked our way to the end.

Querelle's comments on Claire punctuate the ending's power. Well said.

limeshurbet said...

Best. Finale. Ever.

Girl Badger said...

Completely agree that it was the best series final ever. It showed a great love for the characters on the part of the writers. (Even Keith's demise -- I see him as the sort of guy who would want to die with his boots on, as it were.) The show was about death, after all, so playing their lives out to the end was perfect.

Karol said...

Crushing. Cried my eyes out and I'm not someone who cries often. Really spectacular. Looking forward to your post on it.

-Karol at alarmingnews.com

grumpyTA said...

Amazing. I loved it! Querelle -- your description of the finale is beautiful.

phillywalker said...

Excellent, wonderful finale. I want to view it again, more slowly.

Yes, Keith's death may have been a little overstaged, but if you have only 5-10 seconds to get the story across, that's acceptable. I was touched at the beginning of the sequence, to see an obviously older but still in great shape, slightly struggling Keith lifting those heavy bags.

And it was just too funny to watch Billy finally talk Rachel to death.

in_the_middle said...

gosh, i didn't think i was in the minority, but i was entirely disappointed with the first 70 minutes of it. it seemed like they were doing anything to fill the time. i was led to believe that it would be much more interesting.

this show has been awesome (and i will never forget the disturbing and riveting episode last about david's carjacking), but this past season has seen it's share of stinker storylines and plots. so maybe i'm jaded, because i do not buy the nate as icon thread that has helped the writers make things nice and tidy--the previous five years of this show nate was NOT the family cornerstone they all made him out to be, and i remain unconvinced how they worked to convince us that he was in order to make everyone so messy when he died.

while i liked the last 5 minutes, it was mostly because i love that siu song 'breathe' that was the overlay for this 'video' epilogue, and i thought it was a clever way to tie everything up. and i was impressed that ruth did not cut her hair from the moment claire left the porch of the funeral home.

but the 'documentary' preceding the entire thing was much more interesting and watchable from my point of view.

but i'm in the minority here!

Robert L said...

How can a show that thrived on the bizarre and depressing finish with a episode worthy of a "Leave it to Beaver" finale? Yes, Billy talking his sister to death was the high point of the whole episode; but Clair's performance on the front steps while bidding farewell to her family was, maybe, the worst, most contrived and wooden crying fit I have ever witnessed.

Farewell, indeed...

somross said...

The finale was terrific; it would have been unbearable if the writers had killed off Brenda's baby, as viewers must have feared when the episode began in the labor room. (I suppose the anesthetist could have inhaled too much of his mixture by mistake or a piece of equipment could have fallen on the OB-GYN.) The plot twists (David decides to sell the funeral home then changes his mind; Claire decides to take the job in New York, then briefly changes her mind, then the job evaporates but she decides to go anyway) suggest that the writers were playing with and including their varied ideas in their last opportunity to write for the series.

Tim Sisk said...

Ditto to querelle. I'm glad the show shifted to Claire as the focus. The show began through Nate's eyes and ended through Claire's.

Stray thought for y'all though, why was Maggie at the doctor? My wife and I thought she was pregnant when the show was over we thought we must have misread it? And which one of the boys had the Asian partner?

I was a little surprised Rico would be at the wedding given that he must have been a competitor by then and the buyout in the real world would have been a bit acrimonious.

Also I kept wanting Claire to ask her mom to go with her to New York, thereby allowing Ruth to break free from the regrets she had so many years ago...but then I guess she would have missed Maya...

I'm rambling...it was a good ending. We've had too many Cheer's finale imitators, except Seinfeld whose finale disappointed me at the time but has aged better and better.

somross said...

Maggie was visiting "Dr. Peterson" - does that ring a bell at all? She mentions the doctor's name to Ruth, as though Ruth were familiar with the name. I thought perhaps she was pregnant also. Have to look at the TIVO to see if the waiting room looks like an OB-GYN's.

Tim Sisk said...

The SFU Forum on HBO.com can't decide if she was pregnant. Some think she was. Others think she was and was getting an abortion. Many think it was a return back to her pharm rep job. Ruth's obit doesn't mention her and the conclusion is silent on the issue.
I'm still scratching my head.

Kathy Herrmann said...

I also thought she was pregnant. Otherwise why have the conversation at the doctors versus some other locale.

Kathy Herrmann said...

Update...I just visited the Six Feet Under website and the producers posted obits for the characters. No baby for Maggie...

"Ruth will also be missed by her four cherished grandchildren - Maya Fisher, Willa Chenowith, and Anthony and Durrell Charles-Fisher."

Here's the link...
http://www.hbo.com/sixfeetunder/obituary/episode63.shtml

Rick Lee said...

When I saw Maggie in the doctor's office I said "oh my god!" and my wife waid "what? what?"... I was sure she was pregnant and during some of those "pregnant" pauses in her conversation with Ruth, I was just sure she was going to say "Ruth, you're going to have another grandchild", but the moment passed. Perhaps it was an abortion. Perhaps she was just working as a pharm rep. I hadn't thought of that possibility until I read it here.

imjustbigboneddammit said...

Maggie was definitely working.. she was all dressed up as a rep and had her little clipboard.

Rick Lee said...

"Fresh Air" with Terri Gross had a fabulous postmortem on the show with Alan Ball today. You can listen here.