TV Article

Caught in the Act

On ''Six Feet Under,'' everyone's getting busy: Brenda breaks Joe's heart again, Celeste gives Keith the boot, and Ruth hits the road.

Lauren Ambrose, Six Feet Under | SEX FEET UNDER: In an overstimulated episode, Claire came clean about her sexuality
Image credit: Six Feet Under: Doug Hyun
SEX FEET UNDER: In an overstimulated episode, Claire came clean about her sexuality

''Six Feet Under'': Everyone gets busy at the Fishers'

Usually, being proven right gives me a warm, happy feeling not unlike receiving a tax refund or a second round of mojitos. But watching this episode, the ability to say, ''I told you so,'' was just one, big bummer. We all knew that at some point David was going to crack up, Rico was going to end up sleeping on a slab, and Brenda was going to send Joe running from their house screaming. But, boy, did it hurt to see all those plot points come to pass.

So, now we know what you call a person without character, integrity, loyalty, or respect: Brenda. Still, I can't blame her for grinding pelvises with Nate on the sofa, given how strained her relationship with Joe had become. What am I saying? This rotten state of affairs was, yet again, entirely her own damn fault. Joe had every right to be icy and resentful towards his wayward girlfriend, and she certainly wasn't helping matters with her pleading, puppy-eyed efforts to worm her way back into his heart. It was just plain embarrassing, as if we'd caught her compulsively watching Lifetime movies and bawling her eyes out.

But there was hope for a reconciliation, so Brenda had no choice but to grab her favorite ''depressing cripple,'' Nate, and get her freak on. I'm sad to see Joe go, not only because I kinda liked those soothing French-horn interludes but also because the guy really, truly put Brenda in her place. She claims he didn't know her, but after hearing him call her a ''neurotic, tedious, self-absorbed bitch,'' I'd venture to say he knew her quite well, thank you very much.

As much fun as it was to watch Vanessa and her loopy sister go all gangsta on Sophia (nice touch with the Vaseline and the baseball bat!), it's still sad to watch Rico's life unravel so completely. The poor guy actually hoped that fessing up to his one undeniable act of adultery (OK, the other thing probably counts as a half, but that's another discussion) would persuade Vanessa to let him sleep on the couch, which tells you exactly how little Rico knows about women.

Even Ruth had to give him a hard time for screwing around, and it doesn't help that the funerals he oversees also seem to mock him for his faithlessness. Unlike Brenda, who keeps analyzing away her bad behavior as if she were in a never-ending therapy session, Rico wants desperately to make things right. I'm still holding out hope that he and Vanessa can patch things up, but now that Vanessa has stopped crying and started analyzing financial records, I think the worst is yet to come.

That also holds true for David, whose anxiety has become so overwrought even his self-absorbed family and friends can see it, not that it really spurred them to do anything about it. While I'm relieved that Keith was finally able to tear himself away from work long enough to minister to his hysterical boyfriend, I'm not sure even he can help. David needs a professional therapist (hopefully not Brenda's mom, by the way) and possibly a prescription for some anti-anxiety meds. Cutting back on the coffee wouldn't be a bad idea, either.

Keith may want to join David at the therapist, since Celeste (Michelle Trachtenberg) conducted a pretty nifty mind trip on our favorite bodyguard. That he was able to shrug off the advances of Javier (Bobby Cannavale), who is just about as sexy as he thinks he is, and yet unable to resist a soulless pop trollop slamming him against a hotel mattress speaks volumes about the seductive powers of fame and money. Keith's equally devastating morning-after firing says plenty about it, too. But I've got to hand it to nut case Celeste for being right about one thing: Keith really shouldn't have been screwing around with her when his boyfriend was suffering alone.

Although I pretty much guessed that Claire and Edie's sex life would fizzle out once Claire realized, oops, she wasn't gay, it was nice to see their situation resolved so amicably. These two do have a connection, but more importantly, Claire could really benefit from picking up some of Edie's self-confidence. I have no doubt she'll find her first big O somewhere, although I sure hope that annoying cipher Anita isn't around to try to lure away Mr. Right, whoever he might be. Ruth's right: that girl spends way too much time at the Fishers' house, especially considering that no one except George actually seems to like her.

I still wish that Ruth had simply packed George's bags instead of fleeing on her own (once again, Ruth is the one with the greater inconvenience), but I was thrilled to see the feisty matriarch fly the coop (but, being Ruth, not without putting a nice roast in the oven first). George not only brutally pruned her favorite tree but whittled away at her every hope for a real partnership in her marriage.

I'm guessing she'll be hiding away in Topanga with Bettina (Kathy Bates) and Sarah (Patricia Clarkson), who should be able to give her the girl-power support she needs to send George packing or force him to change his ways. Either way, it would be a plot twist that should give us all a warm, happy feeling, with or without the mojitos.

What do you think? Should these fractured relationships be mended or ended?

Originally posted Aug 08, 2004
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