(SPOILER -- the following contains spoilers. If you have not seen the show or the final episode, please come back after you do.)
(First appeared on http://itheauthor.blogspot.com/2005/08/six-feet-under.html)
Never have I been so deeply moved, engrossed, and affected by a piece of entertainment. Sure, I have fallen in love with and touched by a book, a movie, a TV show, or a song before, but not like this. I cried like a baby at the end of Cinema Paradiso, but not like this. Not like having insomnia for four days. What is wrong with me?
I think Six Feet Under has struck a chord with so many people at such deep level because it is so REAL. And some people don't like the show also because it's too REAL for them. The Fishers and their friends and loved ones are so dysfunctional that we could all step back and say, "Gosh, I'm glad I am not like that." Then we catch ourselves, whether it's watching David lashing out on his partner Keith, or Nate cheating on his pregnant wife Brenda, or Ruth screaming at her husband George: Oh lord, we are just like them. We have our own dysfunctional moments, our own demons and torments, our own sicknesses. And they remind us of people we know. Thus the Fishers and Co. have become our family for the past 5 years.
Every episode presents some brilliant writing, full of metaphors, deep meanings and nuances. It's sad, depressing and funny at the same time. I'm always in awe with the writing. Then there's the acting. Six Feet Under has some of the most talented actors (Peter Krause as Nate, Michael C. Hall as David, Frances Conroy as Ruth, Lauren Ambrose as Claire, Rachel Griffith as Brenda, James Cromwell, Matthew St. Patrick, Kathy Bates, Patricia Clarkson... the list goes on and on and on) and some of the most amazing performances. Together, the organic writing and acting (and the artful production) make the show so real.
That's why the final episode hit me so hard. Because I believed in them and their trials and tribulations. The grief they went through. The joy they experienced. The love, loss and relationships they endured.
I think it's brilliant that they delivered the shocking and climatic death of Nate (a central character) 3 episodes before the finale, then let us see the grieving process unfold within the Fisher clan. For a show about death, they chose to show us life afterward.
And that's it. Part of the impact of the show is that it's really about life. About living.
The final 15 minutes and the montage as Claire drove through the desert hit me really hard. I watched, awestruck and breathless, as each major character met his or her demise. To me, it was like watching my family and friends die. It was like having gone to 6 or 7 funerals in 15 minutes. There's that finality. The goodbyes that are so hard to say.
But most impressively, they show us how they lived their lives. It reminds us of our own mortality, that we all die, eventually. Some suddenly and tragically, and some naturally. But we all die. It's how we live and love and take it all in and remember that is important.
"You can't take a picture of this. It's already gone." Indeed. What we have, really, are feelings and memories.
The final 15 minutes also reminds me of my own life, adventures, relationships, and losses. As Claire leaves for New York for her new life, I reflect on my own departures. How I said goodbye to my friends and family when I left for the US. The sense of loss and dread, mixed with excitement of the unknown future.
Sia's "Breathe Me" was a perfect soundtrack for the last 5 minutes. The haunting song gave the ending such incredibly emotional punch.
The song and these final images are branded vivid in my mind now. Can't shake them. And for four days I've been thinking about what I saw and heard, reflecting on my own life and losses. And I feel blessed.
I will keep thinking. And feeling. And loving. And living.
The final episode of Six Feet Under was the most powerful show I've ever seen and experienced.
107 out of 112 found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.