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August 31, 2015

Six Feet Under: Hold My Hand

by Russell Shaw, posted Jun 21st 2005 11:56AM
Six Feet Under: Hold My HandSix Feet Under: Hold My Hand is very much about how much the family of Ruth's husband George Sibley has been affected by tragedy over the generations.

As we learn in the opening "death" scene, the darkness begins back in 1953, when a young George is talking to his mother - a deeply depressed and trouble soul who seeks and finds a final solution for the demons inside her. Because this particular death scene does not fast-forward to the memorial service arc most other Six Feet Under episodes do, the interplay between sensitive boy and suicidal mother is meant to provide the background for the mental tortures George will experience throughout his life.

This episode finds George slipping back into the darkness. Flashbacks of his mother's death haunt George at inopportune moments, rendering him unable to perform simple tasks like food-shopping. Ruth recognizes the returning episode by erring on the side of kindness, but we can see that she is really being tortured inside. Maggie, George's daughter, recognizes the onset of another "episode." Verbally and with much reluctance, she agrees to seek another round of electro-convulsive treatments for her troubled Dad.

During a poignant scene, we learn something more about Maggie. When Nate asks Maggie about her marital and parental status, Maggie tells him that several years ago, she lost her two-year-old daughter to leukemia. Still hurting deeply over the loss of his wife a couple of years ago, Nate instantly relates to the pain Maggie is feeling.

Four generations of troubled Sibleys: suicide, lifelong mental illness, loss of a toddler to a terrible disease, and death from the disease itself. This is not a family for whom the sun has always shone.

Neither, of course, are the Chenoweths. Brenda and Nate seem to be doing OK, but a very brief fantasy cutaway shows that Nate is a bit unnerved with exactly how domesticized and well-adjusted Brenda seems to have become. We know Brenda well enough to predict that this won't last.

Meanwhile, it is plain to see that Brenda's brother Billy is off at least some of his meds. He's acting manically, wanting to throw off the shackles of his present circumstance and move to Spain with Claire- his live-in girlfriend. After finding out she's been cut off from her trust fund because she dropped out of college, Claire is ripe for a dare, and back to her rebellious slacker self.

Somehow, I have trouble visualizing Claire and Billy moving to Spain and living happily as a creative Bohemian power-art couple. With Claire in a mood to cuss the world, and Billy off his meds, there's plenty of trouble ahead.

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Eric J.

I thought that fantasy sequence was Brenda's - imagining Nate toting up all her failures much the same way Lisa did in the season opener.

June 21 2005 at 1:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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