Six Feet Under, The Finale

If you are planning to see it and haven’t yet, DO NOT READ THIS.

Some of my friends say it was depressing, a tear-jerker. There were certainly moments that got me choked up, but I thought they gave just enough comic relief to keep it from being too heart-breaking. Consider the makeup in that final sequence. It seemed they were serious about aging David, but some of them literally looked like a joke. It’s like they put a silly wig on Brenda and said fuck it, that’ll do. And she expires as Billy is doing what? Running his mouth, as is his wont when he’s in that mode. Even the way Keith gets wacked seemed more cartoonish than tragic, as if to say, hey, somebody has to die of unnatural causes.

One of the many things I loved about the show was the dialogues with the dead. Normally I hate anything remotely supernatural, but from the start I understood these conversations with ghosts as metaphors for interior dialogues, a means whereby the living character works out his problems. That’s why Nate was far nastier as a dead guy than he ever was in life:  it wasn’t him but Brenda’s problems with him that were speaking. One of the things I learned years ago from my stepmother is that when a loved one dies, he’s dead, but the relationship you had with the person continues, since it always was an abstract, intangible thing.

When it was all over I felt completely satisfied. It was a superb ending for one of the greatest shows in TV history. I think it was psychologically healthy for a lot of us viewers , and immensely entertaining.

That night I stepped into the bathroom and saw myself in the mirror looking older than I have ever looked before. Then it occurred to me:  I am, in fact, older than I have ever been before. Tick tock tick tock my friends, we’re all gonna die. Is that so terrible? I think not.