People die a lot in Six Feet Under. In (almost) every episode, in fact. But five seasons of at least one death per episode didn’t prepare me for Nate (Peter Krause) biting the bullet in “All Alone,” the third-to-last episode of the series.
Nate finds out he has a deadly brain problem called an AVM in the first season, so he decides to get a risky surgery to fix it. We’re prepared for his death at this point– he sets up his affairs, even discussing his funeral wishes with brother David (Michael C. Hall). But he survives the surgery, and he’s in the clear. So we think. At the end of the last season, Nate’s AVM returns and he almost dies, but doesn’t. He’s in the clear again! Phew. Except not actually, because he suddenly passes away in his hospital bed post-surgery. This isn’t even the worst part though. The worst part is the episode following his death, the one showing everyone dealing — or not dealing, in classic Fisher fashion– with it.
The raved-about finale is powerful and beautiful, no doubt. Seeing everyone meet their respective ends was a tear-fest, not only because six — six! — major characters died, but because realizing that everyone does indeed die, even fictional TV characters, is brutal. In the finale though, we don’t get to see how anyone responded to those deaths. In “All Alone,” the response to death is all we see.
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