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Rewatching Six Feet Under: 1x05 An Open Book
4
powerofnature
And the Six Feet Under rewatch experience continues.

Brenda: You don't really believe in God, do you?
Nate: Well yeah. I mean, I don't believe in a beard little old man up in a cloud but I believe in something. Some sort of undefinable creative force.
Brenda: I think it's all just totally random.
Nate: Really?
Brenda: Yeah. We live, we die. Ultimately, nothing means anything.
Nate: How can you live like that?
Brenda: I don't know. Sometimes I wake up so fucking empty that I wish I'd never born, but what choice do I have?


"An Open Book", the 5th episode of the series, is definitely doing a better job of supplying all the major characters with screen time than the previous episode did. Nate and Brenda take their relationship to the next level, when Brenda manipulates Nate into meeting her parents. It's the first time that we see her mom Margareth Chenowith, who is so refreshingly inappropriate that she quickly became one of my favorite recurring characters on the entire show. I love it how Margareth is just sitting down on Nate's clothes in the scene where she meets him for the first time. Brenda is leaving him there and poor Nate is naked in the pool with Brenda's parents watching him curiously. It's also clever how Nate is invited to dinner by them, only to figure out that Brenda let him go there alone to be caught in something not unlike an interrogation. The episode gives us a much more intimate look at Brenda. She was the mysterious, refreshingly inappropiate, empathetic, but curious enigma before, now we got to see for the first time just how troubled and broken she really is, how she was dissected during her childhood and how it has taken a toll on her. As a result out of Brenda's manipulative behavior during the episode, we also get to see the first big fight between them, as Nate is getting understandably upset about having been set up by her. In the end, he is asking her to let her in, asking her to trust him. I really do love the relationship of Brenda and Nate and how it is developing from a fling into something more serious and deeper. The episode also features the first appearance by Jeremy Sisto as Brenda's unstable brother Billy, who will complicate the relationship between Nate and Brenda even more throughout the season.

Claire meanwhile has been going to a school psychologist and has told him about her difficult relationship with her mother, which is why he has invited her mother to a session. I enjoyed the storyline with Claire and Ruth a lot. Here you have Ruth, who is upset about the growing distance between her and her daughter, which is why she is trying to bring back shared rituals from the past, when they were a lot closer. I love how their storyline was funny, but at the same time really touching in the end. While they are surely both really different from each other and have their conflicts with each other, they both love each other and really try and in the end they also share the wish to escape from Ruth's cousin's house before they have to go to spinning class with the annoyingly perfect mother/daughter-duo which Ruth chose to show to Claire to convince her of the existence of close mother- and daughter-relationships.

David is taking a huge step forwards in the episode, when he comes out to Nate, but in the end he makes a huge step backwards, when Keith blows him off after David cancels not only a meeting with Keith's friends, but also lets him know that he doesn't want him to go to church with him. I can understand that David is not ready for Keith to be there with him, especially since David wants that position at his church so badly, which he probably would not be able to maintain, if the people at the church found out that he was gay. At the same time I also understand Keith. He has been rather understanding up to this point, even though David denied his relationship with Keith more than once. It must hurt when someone is hiding you and not admitting how much you really mean to him. Ultimately I still have to admit that Keith comes off as a prick, he should know how difficult it is to come out, just like he should tolerate David's wish to become a deacon. I think if Keith had continued to support him and to build him up, David would have eventually asked him to come to church with him, but Keith chose to get angry instead and helped to drag out David's development by doing so. Of course, one can understand his point and his anger, but I feel more sympathetic towards David, because I can see his struggle and relate to his struggle strongly.

The death of the week is a pretty funny one with the pornstar who was technically murdered by her lovely cat. Sandra Oh even guest starred in a minor role. It's always interesting if you see actors who became more famous in small little guest spots that they did before they got famous. 

I passed on ranking the last few episodes, because I felt that Six Feet Under is difficult to rank, as the quality of the show is so consistent, but after a few episodes I noticed that I have a few favorites, which is why I am now starting to rank the episodes again. But I've decided to change my ranking from the pilot episode, as I felt that the rating I gave it was a little bit too high, even though it's technically a flawless pilot episode. Anyway,  my personal ranking of the first 5 episodes follows:

1x01 Pilot  - 9/10
1x02 The Will - 8/10
1x03 The Foot - 9/10
1x04 Familia - 8/10
1x05 An Open Book - 9/10