The Blue Bird of Sheer Fucking Misery

It’s Nate’s party, and he’ll scream if he wants to – and kill blue birds if they fly into his kitchen and threaten to poop all over the armatures. Symbolic? Especially considering that it follows this exchange between Maggie and Nate:

– I know that if you think life’s a vending machine where you put in virtue and you get out happiness, then you’re probably going to be disappointed.
– Is that what I sound like?
– A little.

 It’s just a bird, silly!

For those of you who are well and truly confused now, I’m talking about the episode of Six Feet Under we just watched over breakfast. (Stilton and Züpfe – the breakfast of champions!) We’re four episodes into season 5 now, and all is not well… well, almost anywhere. Nate’s afraid he can’t love Brenda or, indeed, anyone except himself, and he goes about proving that pretty convincingly at times. Billy’s pretty much batshit, having gone off his meds, so that even self-absorbed Claire notices. Ruth and George aren’t getting anywhere fast, either, in spite of more ECT treatments. At least Rico got his rocks off (second episode in a row! must be his lucky month…) and nothing went too drastically wrong with Keith and David, the latter narrowly avoiding some quick, unplanned sex with a hairdresser.

And reading through the previous paragraph, this sounds like absolute soap opera. But it isn’t, not really – because you buy the characters. They feel real, and so does their pain. But this episode was nasty in how it almost made me believe that it’s hopeful, with the Death of the Week being a 96-year old woman, and her equally ancient friend doing her convincing “It’s okay, she’s lived a long, full life” speech. But trust me, that was as hopeful as it got today.

And there is something very ominous about how the episode didn’t fade to white, as all the others do, but to black.