Written And Directed by Alan Ball
With twelve exceptionally brilliant (and some rather innovative) episodes within Six Feet Under's first season, is there any possible way that the series can fail us now? Well, actually no. While this episode isn't quite as good as "A Private Life", the show's first season ender does have so much going for itself that that won't matter. In fact, there is a lot going for it.
First of all, there's finally some closure on this triangle between Hiram, Ruth and Nikolai as the hairdresser decides that he wants to pursue another relationship, letting a guilt-free Ruth jump at the chance of being with Nikolai, much to the Russian's delight.
Actually Nikolai's genuine sincerity to Ruth about how feels about her, prior to their little hanky-panky in the flower actually kind of makes me see him in a more likeable light. Let's just say I approve of Ruth's choice here as the chemistry between her and Hiram was waning anyway. Besides she didn't seem the least bit bothered that he broke up with her.
For the last couple of episodes I’ve been harping on about Gabe heading for a destructive path and well it looks like I’m right as he abandons Claire at Parker's party and robs a convenience store with his idiotic friend Andy (or "Peanut Testicle" as Claire referred to him as once) and some other guy. Heck, even Nate SR warns his daughter that her boyfriend is heading "for my neck of the woods". At this point one can hope. All I can say is Gabe - you are a shithead.
Keeping up with last episode, David continues to get some closure of his own homosexuality as well as kinda freeing the spirit of Marcus Foster (yes he's here again)when he chooses not to veto Father Jack, who has presiding over same-sex marriages, despite the church's homophobia. It may have taken all season to get, but hey he's at a stage of being comfortable, though the flipside is his stepping down as deacon.
The best stuff mostly revolves around Tracy Montrose Blair's Aunt Lillian's funeral and everybody second favourite couple on the series - Nate and Brenda.
First I'll start with Tracy as her aunt's death brings out a somewhat demanding side to her as she gives Fisher and Sons the run around with the funeral arrangements that is until Federico puts her in place. And then there's her conversation with Nate in the Fisher's kitchen (Tracy: "Why do people have to die?" Nate: "To make life possible.").
Which leads to the more serious stuff of the finale as after visiting Billy (who seems genuinely remorseful for his actions) at the institution, Brenda and Nate get into a fight about whether or not their relationship has any real future and wind up in a car crash. After being checked at the hospital, Nate speaks with on of the doctors when tells him of a deterioration in the brain. At first you are almost lead to believe the doctor is referring to Brenda, but it turns out the X-Ray's is Nate's.
Also in "Knock, Knock"
Death of the week: Lillian Montrose Blair got hit very hard with a golf-ball thanks to
Mitzi (to Gilardi):"Hey fuck you with the Mam shit. You call me that one more time; I'll have your balls on a plate, your spleen on a stick and your heart bubble wrapped and Fedex-ed to your Mama, all right?"
Claire trying on one of Ruth’s dresses while being filmed by Nathaniel was interesting. Maybe it was a possible response to the lack of family photos that they have of her, maybe?
Ruth: “Men are stupid.”
Claire: “Um, yeah.”
Gabe, Andy and the other guy, Dink "mooing" at the owner of the convenience store they robbed. Okay then. The series' Key Grip Dennis Adams is nicknamed Dink so imagine the confusion on set when filming took place.
David (re being gay): “The only way you could know that if it is something you fought and overcome.”
Walter: “And the only you couldn’t know if it’s something you aren’t strong enough to overcome.”
Parker (to Ruth):"Oh there isn't even any liquor in the house. You see my husband and I are both alcoholics and Parker's fresh out of rehab. So we'll take really good care of Claire I promise."
Claire: “That was mean.”
Finally, the Fisher funeral home gets to have a party when Federico and Vanessa hold Augusto's (that's what child No. 2 has been called. I like it) christening in the parlour. It's about time the place celebrated life instead of mourning death all the time.
David (re Tracy): “Oh no, I’ll let you take this one.”
Nate: “Okay but I’m warning you I might just fucking punch her.”
Not one, but two great tracks from the soundtrack - Beta Band's "Squares" and Orlando Cachaito Lopez's "Mis Don Pequenas". The formers an instant classic, but the latter does grow on you. Chronology it's been nine days since last week's episode.
You could probably argue that last week's episode may have been the better candidate in terms of a season ender, but "Knock, Knock" definitely holds it own. Alan Ball did a great job in tying up most of the loose ends in the first season while setting up some great stuff for Season 2. Will Ruth and Nikolai make it as a couple, is Nate in danger, will David be comfortable with himself and will Claire finally see Gabe for what he really is? I can't wait to find out.
Rating: 9 out of 10.