61. The Life You’ve Got, “Twilight” (Episode 3.12)
Father Jack: “You should do whatever brings you deeper into the reality of your life. Not the life you think you have, but the life you’ve got.”
David and Keith’s relationship is consistently tumultuous, with David always slightly confused as to how Keith feels about him. When Father Jack gives David this piece of advice, David is scared about continuing his relationship with Keith, but it’s the “not the life you think you have, but the life you’ve got” that needs to resonate with David the most. Before this, David asks Keith if he’s going to hit him—which we know he would never do—but he thinks it’s actually a possibility. We all have multiple sides to us, David just has to learn to embrace the side of Keith that he knows exists, rather than the ones that he fears could be there.
62. Keeping it Real, “Twilight” (Episode 3.12)
Father Jack: “Truth and relationships don’t make life easy. They make it possible.”
So many of the relationships in Six Feet Under crumble under lies and deception. But David and Keith are different, and proof that too much honesty can be a problem too. Still, what Father Jack says is true, and although these two characters have to learn to keep some of the small things to themselves, trust is what helps hold them together.
63. Taking Chances for Granted, “Twilight” (Episode 3.12)
Nate: “None of this turned out the way I wanted it to Lisa. You know that right? I wanted to love you, I did love you. I just feel like I had this once in a lifetime chance and I fucked it up!”
Lisa: “Nate, I’m not a chance. I’m a person.”
Nate seems to see the women in his life as ideas that he can engage in to help him with what he needs in his life. When David comes back home, he embraces Brenda as an escape. When Brenda started to frustrate him and his AVM diagnosis became overwhelming, he went back to Lisa. Even near the end of the series, when he needs a bigger purpose in life, he goes for the religious Maggie. When Nate sees Lisa long after she’s gone, he makes this proclamation that he wanted to make his chance with her work, which showcases his main problem in relationships: the women he loves are chances for him to get something right, not actual people.
64. A Wedding, a Funeral, “I’m Sorry, I’m Lost” (Episode 3.13)
Ruth: “Life doesn’t stop alright. We didn’t die. We have this precious gift of life and it’s so terribly fleeting, and that is precisely why it’s important to keep on living and not give up hope.”
When Lisa dies, Ruth is planning on getting married and refuses to change the date because of the tragedy that has just fallen on the Fisher family. Ruth in particular is always holding on to hope, even in the most dire of times. And, if anything, Lisa’s death is a call to action, a reminder of how short life is and how every day should be received as a blessing.
65. The Single Life, “I’m Sorry, I’m Lost” (Episode 3.13)
David: “I feel so free for a week. But then all of a sudden, within days I went from “Yay, I’m independent,” to “Holy fuck, I’m gonna die alone.”
At the end of Season Three, David and Keith break up. After sleeping with another guy, David fears the possibility that he won’t find anyone else better than Keith. Damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t, David’s indecisiveness over Keith is just another series of events of uncertainty that break this character down throughout the third season.
66. The Replacements, “I’m Sorry, I’m Lost” (Episode 3.13)
David: “So what if I just shut the door on Keith, like he’s dead to me. I’ll just end up replacing him with someone else, the same way that mom is replacing you with George. Is that all life is? We just go through it, replacing people?”
Nathaniel Sr.: “Pretty much. Some people just do it faster and more often than others.”
When talking to his father, David’s fears about letting go or holding on become very apparent. Should he kick Keith out of his life, and if he did, would he actually replace him with someone better? This fear goes back far deeper, as David was similarly afraid of getting stuck at the funeral home, instead of following his own dreams. And he consistently is afraid of losing the people in his life, scared that someone better might not come along, which could’ve also been why he took so long to call things off with his female fiancé. Nathaniel Sr.’s understanding of the way we replace people in life not only allows David the freedom to try and move on, but also gives him the ability to embrace his mother’s new husband George.
67. Being Everywhere, “Falling Into Place” (Episode 4.01)
Barb: “Lisa didn’t believe in borders and that is why I know that wherever Lisa is right now, she’s everywhere! She’s everywhere and that means she’s home!”
Lisa’s mother Barb comes to the conclusion that now that Lisa is dead, her consciousness must be everywhere in the world at once. Hers is another quote reminiscent of Nate’s, ““All that lives, lives forever. Only the shell, the perishable passes away. The spirit is without end. Eternal. Deathless,” Six Feet Under focused on a multitude of theories on life after death, but this one seems to be the most prevalent. The body might die, but the spirit of that person and what they meant to the people in the world will live on forever.
68. Self Reflection, “Can I Come Up Now?” (Episode 4.04)
Russell: “That’s where everything started. In those cave paintings, there was the creation of the idea of image, of the representation of ourselves.”
Russell’s comments on cave paintings speaks to the first time in history that we as a species started to see who we are and form an opinion of ourselves. This episode marks one of the first times when Claire looks at herself and decides to make a change. This version of Claire is more forward-thinking, one that wants to take hold of the world rather than let it take control of her. But in many ways, this episode shows how she’s still the same Claire, struggling with becoming someone new, despite seeing the flaws of her former self.
69. Looking on the Bright Side, “Terror Starts at Home” (Episode 4.06)
George: “Well it’s the one good thing about getting robbed, right? It’s a great excuse for getting a new gadget.”
David: “I hope it happens again so I can get a new Palm Pilot!”
David’s kidnapping and the horrific day that follows is one of the most terrible things to happen on Six Feet Under. We watch as one of our most beloved characters get tortured and fears being killed. As with the many deaths throughout the series, one of the best ways to deal with the grief is through humor.
70. The Other Wives, “Terror Starts at Home” (Episode 4.06)
Ruth: “I want to know why other wives left you!”
George: “Because they asked too many fucking questions!”
Learning more about a person you love can be exciting… but also completely terrifying. When Ruth and George get married only weeks after meeting, the uncertainties begin to pop up in Ruth’s mind and she just can’t shake them. George had six other wives before Ruth and the way he keeps to himself makes it difficult for her to break the wall that he’s built up. When Ruth and George have their first fight, George’s frustration over the questions Ruth asks is a shocking declaration, and one that points to just how huge of a mistake Ruth might have actually made in marrying George.