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September 2, 2015

Six Feet Under: Static

by Russell Shaw, posted Aug 15th 2005 4:13PM
Claire After WreckWith some sort of grand character-arc closure possible in next week's 75-minute series-ender, "Static" represented one final opportunity for Six Feet Under to episodically explore how Nate's death evokes even new dimensions of character angst among his grieving survivors.

To me, the beauty of "Static" hangs on two almost incaluably tense and stunning moments involving two of these survivors.
I'm talking about Claire's crash, and the scene with Brenda and her brother Billy.

After Claire overturned her car in a drunken accident braking to avoid hitting a deer on a rural road in the dead of night, the scene faded to the same white-fade used after the opening death scene in most Six Feet Under episodes.

I thought Claire was a goner, and I'm betting many of you did, too.

I was at the edge of my seat, waiting to momentarily glimpse: "Claire Fisher, 1983-2005." But it didn't come. Thankfully - probably using a related angel to those agents of mercy so busy during the Air France crash in Toronto last month- she emerged physically unhurt. Not a scratch.

But mentally, what a wreck. Claire's art is no longer readily available as an outlet, so she has turned to the bottle and is rude to her co-workers as well as to the Mom of a dead-by-suicide Iraq War vet set to be buried at Fisher & Diaz.

Now, as to Brenda and Billy, Brenda is just about ready to give birth and is in the worst of tatters. Then, Brenda - who collapsed crying in Billy's arms during last week's Nate-burying "All Alone," is shown wanting more of the same solace. For at least two minutes, the physical surroundings of that solace, and the bond that these two tortured siblings have, left me wondering just what form that solace would take.

If you've seen this episode, you know what happens. I'll tell you I was surprised.

And so, to the finale...

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Does anyone else think Maggie's pregnant? I half expect her to check an EPT next week and find out that she's pregnant with Nate's baby. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.......just wondering if anyone else thought about that.

August 16 2005 at 11:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Alan Ball said something very telling in the 6FU documentary tonight--he never liked linearity in his scripts. I took this to mean--we will ALL have to wait until next Sunday to find out what happens. Guessing or speculating is pointless! Personally, I expect maybe 1-2 storylines to be left unresolved or kinda dangling...

August 15 2005 at 11:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The fade to white scene is used often, particularly towards the end of the show and doesn't always signify death.

August 15 2005 at 9:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can't believe it's almost over. the way this episode ended certainly makes it possible for the next one to start in the delivery room, then fade to white. the baby or brenda maybe? i hope not, but i felt it left you hanging like that for a reason. nate, as f'ed up as he was, was really the glue holding the family together, taking his dads place at the start of the series and now at the end. both nates had the gift of helping people deal with loss, and the fishers use the memories of these men to help them through their grief, which i think is a brilliant way of showing actual 'life after death', without resurrections or heaven and hell. i'll miss this show. i'm still hoping the finale(maybe the last 15 minutes?) will feature the future deaths of all the main characters. apt closure for a series about it.

August 15 2005 at 8:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've come to count on the Season 5 shoot trailer, still viewable on the official website, as a predictor of things to come. As I posted earlier, Nate's death is shown when he encounter the dead SFU bird. The trailer also suggested that Ruth and George would get together again, Brenda and Claire would be on her own, and Keith and David would solidify their relation. There was nothing to suggest Claire would die, so I really didn't think she bought it when she totalled her car. One thing that does intrigue me is that Nate is travelling with Maya. Would this suggest that Maya will die from her so-called ear infection to join her father in the after-life?

August 15 2005 at 7:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't really think "fade to white" specifically means anything. It's basically up to the individual production. In Six Feet Under it has always meant a fade from the death to the characters we know. It got me too.

August 15 2005 at 6:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Just as an FYI...I was always curious about the sporadic "fade to white" scenes. I read from one of the producers of the show (perhaps on the official HBO: SFU website) that a scene fading to white (as opposed to black) simply signifies the completion of one day. It is not tied to death.

August 15 2005 at 4:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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