Just finished watching the series finale of Six Feet Under and have to say the ending was amazing. There was so much going on in the last six minutes that I've re-watched them five times now. And with each viewing I see something new that causes me to freeze-frame and try to put the pieces together.
It could very well be one of the most beautiful and brilliant six minutes of television ever aired.
This is a bit sad for me, because I honestly think that the show has been crap for the last three seasons. The constant bouts of bitching, whining, screaming, and yelling by every single character is more than anybody should be subjected to for entertainment. Fortunately creator Alan Ball knew when to say "when" and mercifully killed it before it got any worse.
And killed it in such a cool way that it leaves you wanting more.
The ending was made all the more special by using the hauntingly beautiful song Breathe Me by Sia. I went to go buy it at the iTunes music store, but it was only available if you buy the entire album at $12.99. I went to buy it from Sia's site, but the $1.72 to get it resulted in a Windows Media file that won't play on a Mac. Once again, the RIAA is simply not getting the fact that they force people to steal, then continue to bitch about it. Congratulations, you're all dumbasses. So now I had to get my Windows machine to work, import the song, burn a copy to CD, then import a copy with inferior quality into my Mac to listen to it. Lovely.
SPOILERS! I'm making a list of the things in those last six minutes, and am putting it in an extended entry for those who don't want to have it spoiled. If you caught something that I didn't, please leave a comment so I can add it!
Six Feet Under: The Final Six Minutes...
- Ruth & Bettina: Ruth apparently did move in with Bettina and start a doggie day care, but no sign of her sister.
- David & Durrell: David is showing Durrell the "family business" as he embalms some guy. This implies that Fisher & Sons will continue.
- Willa's birthday: Willa survives and seems to be fine on her first birthday. Billy is still hanging around, which is disturbing. Claire must be doing okay in New York, as she is absent from the party. Margaret Chenowith is there and still with Olivier.
- Keith & David's wedding: Apparently in the future, California legalizes gay marriage (again?), as it seems doubtful all these people (namely, Rico & Vanessa) would travel out of state to attend. Anthony, Durrell, Maya (with Ruth's stuffed monkey), and Willa are at least five years older, so I'm guessing it takes place circa 2010. Brenda appears to be remarried, but I'm having a hard time seeing if she is pregnant again or if there is a ring on her finger. Willa doesn't appear to be blind. Rico and Vanessa are still together. Ruth and George are together. I can't tell if the priest that marries them is the same priest from the earlier seasons (could be?). Claire is photographing the wedding, so perhaps the career paid off for her?
- Ruth O'Connor Fisher dies in 2025 at age 79: Dies of unspecified illness or old age. Ruth passes in the company of Claire and David. Apparently George and her remained together all this time, as he is there as well. Dead husband Nathaniel and dead son Nate show up as her "grim reapers."
- Ruth's funeral: Durrell has obviously entered into the family business, as he is running the service with David. Claire, now a blonde, is a bit shocked to see her boyfriend Ted from 20 years ago show up. The girl next to George is probably Maya. Next to Maya is Ruth's sister, Sarah, but no Bettina. Oddly enough, I can't see Brenda anywhere, nor George's daughter Maggie.
- Keith Dwayne Charles dies in 2029 at age 61: Dies of gunshot wounds received in a robbery as he is unloading an armored car. Looking at the side of the vehicle, I'm thinking it must be Keith's company because it's "Charles Security."
- Claire & Ted's Wedding: Keith & David's youngest son is apparently gay, as he's there with his boyfriend/husband. Older son Durrell is apparently married with one kid and another on the way. Brenda is there but, oddly enough, her daughters don't seem to be... the guy next to her must be her husband and, to her left, her son.
- David Fisher dies in 2044 at age 75: Dies of unknown causes at a family pic-nic. Brenda is here talking to Claire, but no sign of Ted, Brenda's husband and kids, or Billy (though they might be around). Durrell is sitting next to David when he goes, and it's Keith... not Nathaniel, Nate, or Ruth... that gets to be his "grim reaper." According to his obituary, David did find love again with a guy named Raoul Martinez, and end up with three grandchildren.
- Hector Frederico Diaz dies in 2049 at age 75: Dies of a heart attack on a futuristic cruise ship. He's still with Vanessa when he goes.
- Brenda Chenowith dies in 2051 at age 82: Dies of unknown causes or old age. But really dies out of boredom because an old Billy is there rattling on at her cool futuristic house, and you can clearly hear him talking about trying to get closure with Claire (46 years later), and mentions Ted, Claire's husband. No idea what happened to her husband and kids (though all of them are alive according to her obituary).
- Claire Simone Fisher dies in 2085 at age 102: Dies of very old age. Is at her home, with only a nurse with her as she goes. Ironic that her eyes which were our eyes into the finale, and the source of her art, were white with cataracts at the end. I don't think she had any kids, and Ted is undoubtedly long since gone. I'd have thought that her entire family would show up as her "grim reapers" but this would have been a cheap-and-easy stunt, so I'm glad they didn't do it. Pictures on the walls of Claire's home include: Ruth and George, Aunt Sarah and Bettina, Brenda and husband with Maya and Willa, a black & white photo of Ruth, four art prints of people I don't know (though the lady in the hat could be Ruth?), David & Keith, Claire & Ted?? in black & white, Maya?, Claire & Ted again? and, finally, one of the naked photos of Ted she took at the beginning of the episode.
What an amazing way to end a series. Seriously, I just can't get over how perfect it is for a show about death to end with how all the "original" characters end up dying. Brilliant, brilliant stuff... and so well done. The futuristic sets... the makeup... everything. How can Alan Ball ever top this?