'SFU' obits answer burning questions

15322__sfu_lI was so emotionally spent after watching last night’s terrific series finale of Six Feet Under that I barely had time to ponder the burning questions raised in the closing montage of death sequences. Thankfully, a second viewing of the episode, plus HBO’s obituaries of the show’s central characters, lay some of those uncertainties to rest.

Did Maggie’s trip to the doctor’s office signify she was pregnant with Nate’s baby? Probably not. As many of our TV Watch readers pointed out this morning, as a pharmaceutical rep, it wouldn’t have been unusual for the Quaker seductress to make office calls, especially since she appeared to have brought along a large, black suitcase on wheels. What’s more, Ruth’s obituary lists only four surviving grandkids: Maya, Willa, Anthony, and Durrell, meaning Maggie would have had to lose or abort her fetus, or keep the birth of Nate’s love child a secret for some 20 years.

Who was the man sitting with a pregnant-looking Brenda at David and Keith’s wedding? Sorry to disappoint fans of Brenda’s submissive ex, Joe (Justin Theroux), but the Lady Chenowith’s death notice leads us to believe it was spouse Daniel Nathanson, father of her third child, Forrest.

Did either Anthony or Durrell turn out to be gay? It sure looked that way after seeing the front row of guests at Claire and Ted’s wedding, where David appeared to be flanked by his two sons, one of whom was holding hands with a handsome Asian man.

Who was sitting next to David at the moment he died? My best guess is Raoul Martinez, listed in David’s obituary as his partner, a man who apparently encouraged the funeral director’s artistic side. I was particularly tickled to read that upon his retirement, David ”went on to perform in dozens of local theater productions, including Weill and Brecht’s Threepenny Opera, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, and as Ebenezer Scrooge in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.” Priceless.

Was that Lauren Ambrose playing glassy eyed, ethereal Claire at age 102? According to an HBO rep, yes!

What the heck was that haunting song playing during the final sequence? That would be Sia’s ”Breathe Me,” which appears on the soundtrack, Six Feet Under Volume 2 – Everything Ends.

We may never know whether Claire bought or rented the hybrid-looking vehicle that took her to New York, or if Brenda and Billy were visiting a ”Star Wars” space colony when the former died in 2051, but I’ve got enough answers that I’m confident I can achieve closure over the end of one of my favorite series. Have you got any questions you need to lay to rest? Post ‘em here.

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  • Carl

    What obituaries are you referring to? Were there postings of obituaries at the end of each character’s death scenes? I must have missed that. Also, where did you get the details about Brenda’s husband in the final scene as being “…David Nathanson, father of her third child, Forrest.” Man, I must have not paid much attention at all to the final Fisher family death scenes, as these two points I completely missed.

  • Tony N.

    The obituaries weren’t at the end of the show. You have to go to the HBO website under Six Feet Under. Go to episode 63 which is the finale. You can click to a link that’s named Obituary. It has all the information already mentioned.

  • emmit

    Carl, Click on the red word obituaries in this story and you’ll end up on HBO’s obituaries page. That’s what they’re refferring to.

  • Marksme

    I’m glad Alan Ball did give Nate a chance to show his good side at the end, when he embraced his child and introduced his father to Brenda. I know it was a dream, but most Nate fans were looking for something positive in the last season. Ball and his writers really went down hard on Nate this season and I’m not sure why? Maybe to show the darkside of everyone, but Nate was always the main Fisher and the toasted him in the end. It all ended beautifully.
    Thanks to Alan Ball…tears and bravo…a masterpiece.

  • R

    Who was sitting next to Claire when she died?? She had no kids.

  • Mike in Moncton

    I’m also glad to see that Nate got the proper send-off in the series finale. I broke down watching Claire drive away from the house for the last time and watching her ‘look’ at Nate running in her side rear view mirror.
    I could not have imagined a more fitting ending for one of the best shows on TV EVER. SO sad to see it go…but what a classy finale!

  • Todd

    You can get the single of “Breathe Me” through siamusic.net, I noticed iTunes makes you buy the whole album…

  • Marianne Dougherty

    According to Brenda’s obit on HBO’s website, she died at home. Since it was so far into the future, I guess that’s what the producers imagined her home would look like. Micheal Slezak wondered whether she and Billy might have been visiting a “Star Wars” space colony, but I think it was just the writers’ idea of what a house would look like in the future. I know they had to stage these deaths in time to the lyrics of Sia’s Breathe Me, but didn’t Brenda die awfully fast? I mean, her head just dropped back? The same with Rico? It must have been a challenge to show all these deaths so quickly, but those two really seemed rushed and unreal. Does anyone agree? Still, the whole montage was mind-blowing.

  • Molly O’

    i wonder if Claire met up with Justin from QAF while in New York? i smell a cross-platform (HBO/Showtime) spin-off!

  • MC

    I watched it a second time last night, and noticed that Maya was holding the monkey Ruth had given her during the wedding of Keith and David. Did anyone catch what the bumper sticker said on the back of Claire’s new car?

  • teach

    How did ted die?

  • Alex

    I thought it was pretty clear, but it was Anthony who appeared to be holding hands with the Asian guy at Claire’s wedding. We saw that Durrell was learning the tricks of the funeral director trade from David when he was young, then we see an older Durrell helping out at Ruth’s funeral, with Anthony sitting beside Keith. From that information, you can tell that it is Anthony holding hands with the Asian guy, and Durrell with a wife and child at Claire’s wedding.

  • Brant P.

    Molly O., not sure what Brenda died of so quickly, but Rico died of a heart attack. You’ll notice he was grabbing his left arm right before he fell down and died.

  • Todd

    MC, according to a poster on tivocommunity.com, Claire’s bumper stickers said “Operation Truth” and W with a slash through it, like a No Smoking sign.

  • smartypants

    This is a brilliant post I read on the HBO Board:
    I think when Claire’s alarm clock went off, and Nate says to her “Get up, everyone’s waiting”, was actually when Claire (as an older woman) dies. Her life passes before her eyes. She is not envisioning her future, but reviewing her past. She awakes in a bed alone, and dies in a bed alone.

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