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September 30, 2014

The final six deaths on Six Feet Under - VIDEO

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jul 3rd 2008 10:39AM

Six Feet UnderFans of Six Feet Under were floored, when at the end "Ecotone" (the fourth to last episode of the series) Nate finally succumbed to his AVM and passed away. His death earned one of the few "end of episode epitaphs" featured on the show.

Fortunately for Nate and his family, everyone had a chance to say good-bye. Claire and David spent hours in the hospital room with him, as did Ruth. Even Brenda visited, despite knowing about the affair with Maggie - until Nate says no more; we're done.

As fans, we cried. We mourned. We couldn't imagine the final three episodes of one HBO's finest programs without it's main player. Of course, we knew he'd be back - dead. That was a given, but it's still not the same. Little did we know what was in store for us.

A whole lot more crying.

In my opinion, "Everyone's Waiting" is one of the most perfect hours of television ever conceived. Six Feet Under may not be the best series ever, but it has the best series finale ever. I can't think of any other show that wrapped up its story so perfectly. On a show about death, it only made sense that we should know how everyone dies.

As Claire finally drove off, heading East for a job she didn't even have anymore, the future flashed before her eyes - the youngest one of them. Set to the eerie, yet soothing, "Breathe Me" by Sia, we watched a montage of happy moments juxtaposed against the harsh reality of death. I can't tell you how many times I've watched this episode, but every single viewing, I still bawl like little baby. It's absolutely heart-wrenching. But with all the repeated watchings, and along with some help from the obits on HBO's website, there really is a lot to pick up on...

RuthRuth O'Connor Fisher [Sibley] (1946 - 2025, age 79) -- Presumably, Ruth died of natural causes. Her death was attended by her estranged second husband, Claire, and David. I say "estranged" regarding George, because he was. No explanation was given as to why he and Ruth connected again later in life, but I would imagine that following Nate's death, Claire's departure, and David's duties to his family, Ruth needed someone. It certainly wasn't going to be Hiram. I also assume that moving in with her sister Sarah and Bettina mellowed her out considerably. I always found it very telling that right before she died, first she saw Nathaniel Sr., then she saw Nate, then she passed. It wasn't her first husband that brought her comfort. It was her son.

KeithKeith Dwayne Charles (1968 - 2029, age 61) -- After starting a family with David, Keith went on to do something that I'm sure David probably never approved of. When he was a police officer, David worried. When Keith was a bodyguard to the stars, David worried. And I'm sure David cringed when Keith founded his own security business. Four years after Ruth passed, Keith was gunned down while transporting what I assume was money. I always found it odd that he appeared to be working alone. That never seemed right to me. Almost like he was asking to be hurt or killed. It sort of fits though - Keith was always stubborn and full of self-pride and hubris. When he finally started his own business, stood up to his abrasive father, took pride in his homosexuality and family, you could make the argument that's what got him killed. He probably felt invincible after all he had accomplished.

DavidDavid James Fisher (1969 - 2044, age 75) -- David finally retired five years after Keith passed. At the time of his death, he was with another man who was revealed to be his companion Raoul Martinez. However, at the moment his stroke hit and he passed, David glimpsed Keith playing football. So presumably, much like Ruth reuniting with George, it would appear that David was with Raoul for companionship and not love as Keith, his late husband, held his heart. One interesting thing I want to point out regarding Keith and David. In their obits, it's revealed that they do have grandchildren. However, it doesn't elaborate on whether or not they are adopted or conceived. I pose this question, because there is a quick moment, during Claire's marriage to Ted where we see one of Keith and David's adopted sons (not sure if it's Durrell or Anthony) and he's holding hands with another man. It's quite the stylistic choice and poses the obvious, controversial question: is he gay because that's how he was raised? See what I mean when I said I've watched these scenes a lot?

RicoHector Federico Diaz (1974 - 2049, age 75) -- There unfortunately isn't much to say about Rico, other than he lived the life he wanted - and Vanessa prodded him into taking. Following Nate's death, he opened his own mortuary and according to his obit, he ran it for 35 years before retiring. The one thing that strikes me about Rico was where he died. He frequently got into fights with Nate and David regarding time off and needing vacation, but he was often worked to the bone (no pun intended), at least until he became a part owner. Once he finally was able to enjoy his time off, it was too late.

BrendaBrenda Chenowith (1969 - 2051, age 82) -- Where do you even begin with Brenda? You could easily make the argument that she was nuts, possibly bi-polar. Just look at her family and upbringing. However, whether or not any of that is true, she did get her life together. It just took her husband dying for it to happen. After Nate passed, she got numerous degrees, a PhD, wrote a ton of books, and managed to get married again and raise three children - one of which wasn't even her own. I always admired the fact that she chose to raise Maya and kept current with the rest of the Fishers, especially Ruth. She could have easily cut ties with that part of her life, but she didn't. As most of her life was dependent on worrying about her deranged brother Billy, it only seemed appropriate that she finally passed in his presence while he chewed her ear off about what I'm sure was complete nonsense.

ClaireClaire Simone Fisher (1983 - 2085, age 101) -- The youngest lived to be the oldest. Claire went on to become a world-renowned photographer and even taught at NYU. Her obit says she had numerous memorable magazine covers. Taking her mother's advice to be a strong woman, she never took her husband Ted's last name, presumably because she married him later in life and didn't want to change it in light of her successful career. Stylistically, two things stand out for me as we watch Claire pass. One is that the future doesn't look all that futuristic. The second? Claire's eyes. She must have had cataracts or something similar because they're glossed over, white, and devoid of life. How sad to think that the one thing she needed to truly achieve her art was taken from her. She couldn't see any of the pictures she had shot in her final years.

Just like that, Six Feet Under was over. Now's your chance to sound off. TV Squad only sort of covered this show when it originally aired (well before my tenure here), but I'm curious to know what every thinks. Am I off in saying this is the best series finale ever? Do you think everyone's death did their character justice? Watch the final moments first if you need to jog your memory and remember, "Everything. Everyone. Everywhere. Ends."

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Tim Tobish

Agreed. The series finale was the best hour of TV ever produced.

August 20 2011 at 4:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
smbrinkman

Actually, Ruth wasn't with Nate when he passed. She was camping with Hiram (sp?). She felt so bad that she wasn't there. Sorry. Im not meaning to be rude but I just rewatched ecotone last nite.

June 28 2011 at 9:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ron

I thought the finale was great, but I wound up not liking any of the characters such that it's impact was weakened for me.

July 05 2008 at 8:12 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Amy

SFU is my all time favorite show, and this was only my second time
watching the end. I cried like a baby. The show (and the finale) were
great both because the acting, writing, direction, etc were all of the very
highest caliber, but also because the show (and especially the finale)
confronted rather than ignored the existence of death. When we REALLY
grasp at a deep visceral level that we and EVERYONE we know and love
will die, everything changes. All we have is now, and all that
matters is loving each other. Period. Thank you for helping me
remember this.

July 04 2008 at 7:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Amy

SFU is my all time favorite show, and this was only my second time watching the end. Cried like a baby. The show, and the finale were great both because of acting, writing, direction, etc were all of the highest caliber, but also because the show (and especially the finale) confronted rather than ignored the existence of death. When we REALLY grasp at a deep visceral level that we and EVERYONE we know and love will die, everything changes. All we have is now, and all that matters is loving each other. Period. Thank you for helping me remember this.

July 04 2008 at 7:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
redman

Not only this is the best series finale ever, but Six Feet Under is the most complete and beautifully written drama in the history of the tube, and maybe movies too. The deaths of all the main characters in the end is just the final classy end emotional touch, the cherry on the pie. How is done, the power of the music and the montage, it's a masterpiece.
Peter Krause will be here in Rome, for the Roma Fiction Fest next Monday, and I have to wooork!!! AAAH! I so wanted to meet the actor who played the best male character ever in a television series.

Alessandro

July 04 2008 at 4:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
KevinInChains

i didnt watch the show that much when it was on, but i can say to the best of my knowledge its the only series finale that has made me cry other than the final shot of MASH

July 04 2008 at 3:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lois

I watched SFU from the first show to the last and no matter what it did, it got to me. Flawed people, living flawed lives, but so very human.
The finale was actually 75 minutes which was perfect, but up until the very end there was no way to tell how Alan Ball was going to be able to wrap it up. And then he gave us the most amazing nine minutes in television. The man is a genius. I watched the final nine minutes over and over for a number of days.
The beauty was the deaths and the picnics and the weddings and the babies. The circle of life.
Great television is humbling.

July 04 2008 at 12:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John

"but it has the best series finale ever. "

Oh... come on... Newhart's was the best ever. So awesome that I still feel every tv series should end with Bob Newhart waking up next to Suzanne Pleschette.

Tho, I did quite love the end of Six Feet Under.

July 04 2008 at 12:16 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Travis

Yup, agreed on all accounts. It's best series finale I have ever seen in my life.

Thing I can't put my finger on it why SFU holds this special place in my heart. It's weird, I agree that it might not be the best show of all time but it has this tremendously unique feeling around it. Not a single other show feels this same way.

Any who, those last 9 minutes were something special and so very, very good.

July 03 2008 at 9:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Travis's comment
Rodney

For me, I think, it was because no other show that I can think of, before or since, asked SO much of its actors, and those actors rose to the challenge so beautifully.

July 03 2008 at 10:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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