Six Feet Under: The Silence
But the overall concept of "silence" can be extended to at least one of this intricate episode's other plot lines.
The other most overt manifestation of silence in this eppy is the excruciating silence that Vanessa imparts to Rico during their lovemaking. Obviously still smarting over his infidelity, she serves as nothing more than a physically and emotionally unresponsive vessel for his issue. She lies there, in silence, not even bothering to fake it. Not extrapolating indirectly, I am not sure whether silence or faking it would be a worse insult.
Vanessa seems a spiteful, manipulative and vengeful sort, but at least she has a case. I mean, her now former husband Rico cheated on her in a most sleazy way. Even though Vanessa's behavior is one where she feigns kindness and caring just to get in position to twist the knife in a little deeper.
It's Ruth that has no case. When she and George met, he hid some details about his past from Ruth. When he started to come undone, Ruth did not have the deep reservoir some other spouses who become care givers exhibit.
Once George started to get well, Ruth lured him into a deception (the apartment) that at least to me, was more about her wanting to wash her hands clean than to help George get his life back together. And now, showing remarkable resilience, George has tossed out his heart again and has become engaged. Ruth's reaction is vengeful, vituperative and petty.
The next crisis will surely be related to Nate and Brenda's marriage. There is a possibility that the child Brenda is carrying will be born with some severe challenges. The question of whether Nate is insisting that she terminate the pregnancy because he lacks the spine to deal with such challenges - rather than because he wants to spare Brenda hurt- becomes obvious in the dialogue.
Oh, and one more thing. Have you been noticing the looks that George's daughter Maggie has been directing toward Nate? Not overtly seductive, but simultaneously strong and soft. And in the coming attractions for next week's episode, there's a quick flash of another such look. Methinks something is in the wind.