Six Feet Under: Singing For Our Lives
When you are on the downside of a turbulent or failing marriage - but still married- is it ever OK to seek shelter in the arms of a seemingly gentle lover?
Theologians, family counselors, lawyers, bartenders and hair stylists would all have their answers to that most thorny of dilemmas-one that was played out not once, but twice on "Singing For Our Lives."
Without doubt the high-water mark of Six Feet Under's final season, "Singing For Our Lives"
portrays these wanderings not as wanton covets of the flesh, but the rovings of burdened and beset characters desperately looking for lightness to embrace.
For the last week and perhaps longer, I've had a feeling that Nate and Maggie were going to become lovers. Nate and Brenda have been having another of their rough patches. He is not accepting of Brenda's potentially ominous pregnancy. Although Brenda is "high maintenance" to the top of the scale, this latest patch is Nate's fault. Not only is he a self-centered jerk, but he's got some awful, probably lifelong problems with romantic intimacy.
So then George Sibley's gentle Quaker daughter Maggie comes along. It is a soulful yet troubling seduction- and not just because even if only by technicality, Nate and Maggie are step-siblings. This is a coupling based on her need to be loved by imparting strength, and his need for deeper answers. She does not use the serenity of a Quaker meeting (where the song of the same title as this episode is sung) to lure Nate, but to show him another path. I have seen turbulent souls salved in this manner, but sometimes, this particular mending is just a patch.
Ruth and George are still legally married, but in title only. Feeling old and rejected, Ruth seeks validation in the arms of an old lover, Hiram. How many times have you seen this in real life- a marriage or a relationship breaks apart- and one or both parties goes back to the warmth of accepting, alluring, sheltering arms?
Ruth and Hiram may actually stand a chance of making it. Yet for Nate, a far more immediate situation must be dealt with. Not of love, but of life itself. And, presuming that's involved, what will Brenda - who was waiting at the Quaker meeting while Nate was in Maggie's arms- say when she finds out?
It's gonna be a rough ride. They may be lovin', but I'm lovin' it.