Monday, May 29, 2006

My Review of Six Feet Under's 3x13: "I'm Sorry, I'm Lost"

Written by Jill Soloway
Directed by Alan Ball

There were a lot of season finales in the 2002-2003 TV seasons that left me stunned and most of them weren't very mainstream. We had "Chosen", the last ever episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in which Sunnydale had become a crater. In the Angel ender, "Home", the LA scoobies decided that after four years of fighting Wolfram & Hart, they would instead run the newly refurbished evil law firm, while on Alias' "The Telling" we had a bloody showdown between Sydney and Allison, with the former waking up two years later with no memory of what happened to her.

So could "I'm Sorry, I'm Lost" compete in my books? God yes and while "Twilight" still remains the best episode of the traumatic third season, this is still a very close contender.

Nate's downward spiral, which has been so compelling and heartbreaking to watch, is really put through the ringer as Peter Krause pulls in a defiant performance as his character goes through hell. We have him being a complete asshole towards his refusal to accept Ruth and George's marriage and his attack on both of them in separate sequences is upsetting to watch. But that's almost a lull his continuous screwing around and getting into a fight with that guy at the bar.

But all these actions are stemming from the fact that we find out that Lisa is now officially dead. At this point it was fairly obvious of that as we do get a clue along the way. Despite the fact that Nate is seen as a bloke's bloke, the writers sure do love to get Peter Krause crying and he gets plenty of that here. Also having Nate SR and Lisa appear when Nate is driving recklessly and goading into contemplating suicide is a creepy touch. Makes you wonder if we'll be seeing Dead Lisa in Season Four?

Nate's not the only person visited by Dead Dad as after an encounter with him, David decides to give his relationship with Keith another try, following a beautiful reconciliation for the pair at church, brilliantly played by Michael C. Hall and Matthew St Patrick.

Also having David tell Keith about sleeping with Patrick was a smart move as both of them can now really try and move on and repair their relationship and it's about time we saw these two happy without any secrets holding them back. It took all season, but they're finally getting there.

Claire also gets a visit from her dead father. Cue a rather fabulous looking trip to the afterlife, which appears to be a never-ending carnival where she meets up with Lisa (this being the clue of latter's death) and seeing Claire's son as a three month baby instead of a fetus was definitely the wiser move.

This also goes to prove that having an abortion for Claire wasn't an easy choice and I say that Claire will eventually tell someone in her family about having an abortion (hopefully Ruth) and maybe we'll see her keeping her promise to Lisa about looking out for Maya. Then there's her reunion with Gabe, which begs the question - is he dead? God, I really kinda hope so, especially as he seemed so improved here. Note his compassion and love for Anthony. Besides, last thing we need next season is for him to show as the shithead he's been in the past.

Before I get onto the joy factor of the episode, there is Federico's little indiscretion with a stripper in his car, following Angelica's successful campaign to have him and Vanessa on clearly opposing paths.

The devout family man sadly slips and you can't help but wonder what if this Infinity/Sophia chick happens to be connected to Angelica in some way. Plot wise, it would be a delicious twist and a brilliant additional to the tension between Federico and Vanessa. And who better to bring it to the fore than Angelica?

With all the heartbreak in this season, we finally have some joy at the expense of Ruth and George's rather discreet wedding and while it may not demand the most attention of the finale, it still manages to hold it\'s own nevertheless. And I’m sure there's gonna be some delightful ramifications for Nate being a no-show at the wedding.

And as for Brenda, it appears that she has an admirer in French horn playing Joe (played by Mullholland Drive's Justin Theroux), who interestingly doesn't believe in dating. But he's still an intriguing number and with him set to appear next season, the likelihood of Brenda remaining celibate is increasingly waning just that little bit more.

Also, having Nate show up at her door at the episode's end after the way he's treated her in the previous two episodes was ironic. It was obvious that she wouldn't turn him away, although if she had I may not have blamed her and it just proves how compassionate she's becoming.

Also in "I'm Sorry, I'm Lost"

The death of the week in this episode, Anahid Hovanessian who got hit with blue ice was once again kinda of a non event, only for Nate's abusive behaviour for the deceased's husband, who seemed like a pain in the ass.

George: "Nate, I love your mother and she loves me."
Nate: "Yeah, it's just so fucking moving I can hardly stand it."

The wannabe actor in the opening scenes was funny. Fuck you, Motherfucker indeed.

Claire: "Your whole relationship thing fell apart too, right?"
David: “I wouldn't say that ... yeah."

Brenda: “I’m not gonna have sex with you."
Joe: “Okay."

Wonder if Joe is a sex addict himself? I could buy into that, because at some point Brenda is going to have to start sleeping with men again.

Nathaniel (re George):"Well that man's alive and I’m dead. I think that means he wins."

Keith (to David):"Why is that funny? Don't you know I think you're beautiful and kind and smart and loving? You didn't know that?"

The afterlife sequences were rather colourful - Lisa was glowing in a similar way to "Tears, Bones And Desire" and even Gabe looked like colour/life was injected into him. Plus him and Claire said their "I love yous", which was rather sweet.

Nathaniel: “So how's life?"
Claire: “How’s death?"
Nathaniel: “It’s good, good. Made some new friends. Joined the chess team."

Sophia: “What are you crazy? I'm not a prostitute."
Federico: "Oh I’m sorry."

Chronology, it's July 20th 2003. Six weeks after "Twilight".

Joe: "Daring’s stupid."
Brenda: "But this is a date? Isn't it, kinda?"

Standout music: Ditto on the score but there was Princess Superstar "Wet, Wet, Wet" during Rico's strip club visit as well as the two Hank Williams tracks that featured.

Lisa (to Nate):"Go ahead honey, it's the least you can do for me. You fantasised about me being dead and now you got what you wanted."

Title Card: "Lisa Kimmel Fisher: 1967-2003". Even though you and Nate were totally incompatible and deep down we knew you weren't meant for the long haul, we will still miss you at times. R.I.P.

Despite all the emotional and heart wrenching themes of the season, the "lost" have finally seemed to have found themselves and the raw emotion in "I'm Sorry, I'm Lost" isn't forced upon viewers. June 13th 2004, in which Season Four is set to debut on HBO, cannot arrive soon enough. Now hurry up with those DVD's.

Rating: 10 out of 10.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

My Review of Six Feet Under's 3x01: "Perfect Circles"

Written by Alan Ball
Directed by Rodrigo Garcia

So the two questions that are probably on everyone's lips, following the opening scenes of "Perfect Circles", are - "Is Nate dead?", followed by "What the hell is going on here?". Well, for the first, I'm willing to bet the answer is no, despite some evidence to the contrary. And as for the second...

Well, it seems that throughout the episode, Nate takes a guided tour (with his Dad - who else?) of various alternate realities, some more bizarre than others. In one, Nate and Brenda (who has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it type appearance here) are married with son, in another; his family are attending his funeral, while another sees Nate SR with a different family. The "reality" however is that he's married to Lisa. It soon becomes apparent that he has survived his operation (despite a nasty setback) and is now playing the role of dutiful husband and father to both Lisa and Maya for the past seven months.

Yes, you can suspend your disbelief as even Nate's family (in a slightly subtle way) and Lisa's friend, Dana can't help, but raise their cynicism of the couple's speedy marriage, despite Lisa's protests of them being together for the past eight years, on and off. Yes, it does feel a tad unbelievable, but I'm sure as the season unravels we'll learn the real reason why the two are together. And while I’d prefer Nate with Brenda any day, the chemistry that Krause and Lili Taylor (who's a regular despite being billed as "Guest Star") have, mostly at the episode's denouement is at least pleasant.

Nate's not the only one whose sudden developments are worth noting. On a lesser note, we have Federico, who is now officially a partner and is doing his hardest to ensure this fact to Nate and David ("no fucking way, I’m not your fucking gopher", for example). Although they still get one up on him when the get Claire to do deliveries at the crematorium. I like the fact that Federico is now a partner, especially if it gives him some character growth, but that seem too unlikely here. Also it's out with Fisher & Sons and in with Fisher & Diaz.

Speaking of the crematorium, Claire meets a new beau in the shape of rock musician, Phil (yes he was in the previous ep), who soon has her playing hooky from LAC Arts, which judging by her response of drawing a "perfect circle", isn't turning out as great as she'd hoped. Still, can't be as dire as high school and at least you get to draw naked guys which seemed to briefly enthuse...

David - who is having a less fun time with Keith as the pair have decided to undergo couples therapy, which helps get a few things off their chest ("Keith has anger issues which he inherited from his Dad and I have doormat issues, which I inherited from Mom"). The first therapy session is intriguing to watch as both lovers raise some good points, thus making it harder to choose a side between the pair.

Some slight progress is made later in the episode when the pair open up during making a stir fry and David attempts to balance his life outside work and relationships by joining the gay men chorus, giving Michael C. Hall a great opportunity to stretch his vocal chords.

However, out of all of the main players, Ruth is given the least to really do and her attempts to play the role of perfect grandmother (a role in which we really hope that Frances Conroy isn't relegated to this season) is almost knocked out of her, when Lisa castigates her for giving Maya peanut butter. And then there is her admission to Maya that Nate wasn't planned, which slightly bugs him.

Also in "Perfect Circles"

Real Deaths Of The Week - Claire took B. Folger's remains to the crematorium and there was a Mr Bennett as well.

Nate: "Can you hurry up? I don't want to be late for my own funeral."
Nathaniel: “Relax; you've got plenty of time. Hell, you've got nothing but time which doesn't exist anyway."

Anyone else kinda felt that Rachel Griffiths' appearance in this episode was a little out of sync? Maybe it was just me.

Frank (re David):"Now Keith, what did you hear?"
Keith: “A lot of whining."

Brenda: "I swear if your mother tells me again how you were a gassy baby, I’ll scream."
Nate: "And I’ll start farting."
Brenda: “Thank God we got high before we got here."

Fabulous slapstick moment in where David gets spruced up to have sex with Keith, only for Keith to be asleep when he came back. Quite funny.

Ruth (re Carol):"She's energetic."
Nate: "She's a lunatic."

Nate: "And how come any of you two haven't been to visit recently?"
Claire: “Because being a father has turned you into a dithering idiot."

The chronology in the real world is January 2003.

Keith: “Are we having sex?"
David: “Okay, just let me take a shower first."

Liked Dana and Todd (the couple who Nate and Lisa have a barbeque with) and what about Lisa's boss, Carol? Besides Nate's accurate assessment of her ("she's a lunatic"), the bigger question would be - what's up with that wig? Or more accurately - what small animal had to die to be an ornament for her head?

Phil: “You wanna play hooky?"
Claire: “Yes."

Standout music: Coldplay were brilliantly used in this episode as we had the wonderful "A Rush Of Blood To The Head" as well as "Little Miss More Or Less" by Magnet.

Overall verdict? Despite the utter confusion, this was a bloody brilliant way to open Season Three, even if the show steeps into fantasy territory more than Ball and co may be willing to admit (although they do acknowledge that unlike their Emmy rivals, they have a "cult" appeal) and this foreshadows the inevitable darker than usual tone this season is set to take.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Monday, May 22, 2006

My Review of Six Feet Under's 2x13: "The Last Time"

Written by Kate Robin
Directed by Alan Ball

For the second season finale, creator Alan Ball has decided to take helming duties, thus letting "A Private Life" scribe Kate Robin script an ender that will definitely keep fans on their toes, so I’m going to break things up into characters here.

I knew there was a good reason for Federico getting the $149,000 and I was proved right as for once Nate and David needed him to bail them out, forcing them into making him into a partner. Whether or nor this will initially reverse his role of gopher that he's resented for these two seasons remains to be seen, though. Although to be honest, the whole inspection plot doesn't really warrant that much attention.

Not only can Ruth not have an intimate relationship with Nikolai, but it seems he's not even interested in a platonic one either. If Ruth quitting her job means we never see Nikolai again, then good. But hopefully Ball has got a few aces up his sleeve for her.

Lisa - She's here and it's unlikely that she will be going away anytime soon, not that even Nate seems perturbed by that. Notice how instantly he took to Maya, despite saying he wouldn't be involved in her life a couple of scenes prior to visiting Lisa.

After two seasons of being a high schooler, school is finally out for Claire and I bet Lauren Ambrose is pleased, as now they can explore a more grown up Claire. Claire's art school interview (in which she made with the hysterical sobbing) was amusing as well as her and Parker's goodbyes, followed by her bailing graduation to be with Nate. Seems she won't be missing the place. Writer Kate Robin makes that way too clear here.

Trouble has well and truly arrived for David and Keith. David's peeved about Keith not wanting to let him in, Keith also shows a rather unsympathetic side by being quite nasty to him, over David's pain for Nate. I know he's lost his job and Taylor to his parents, but even still I found this a lot distressing.

As for Nate and Brenda, get the hankies, viewers the pair have split. While Nate seemed to have slightly calmed down from last episode, and there is a moment here in which you think the pair could get back on track, Nate drops the bombshell of not wanting Brenda to visit him in the hospital. Brenda on the other hand is seeking professional help and in an attempt to sort herself out decides to leave town. Will we see her again? Of course, Rachel Griffiths is way too valuable for this show to cut out.

Also in "The Last Time"

Death of the week: Aaron Bruckbinder died in his hospital in one hell of a tear-jerking scene with Nate. It was also the longest opening death we've had on the show.

Ruth: "Nate -"
Claire:"- was an extremely gassy baby, we know."
David: "And David never made a peep."
Claire: "And no-one remembers anything about Claire. I'm starting to think I just walked in off the street when I was nine."

The masochism between David and Keith, in which the pair's fisticuffs ends up in hot sex, was well rather hot.

Scott: "What's wrong with a little pain?"
Brenda: “I’m afraid it’ll kill me.”

David (to Keith):"You are such an asshole."

I liked Claire's Flashdance sequences. Lauren Ambrose could definitely give Jennifer Beals a run for her money and what about those removable arms? Very Buffy the Vampire Slayer like.

Federico (re Julio):"You'll let him flood the house to teach him something?"
Vanessa (after Julio turns off the bath):"Thank you."

Nate's much needed (at this stage) confession to Ruth of his AVM was exceptionally heart-wrenching. Peter Krause and Frances Conroy were exceptional in those scenes together. And having all the Fisher clan at Nate's side did bring the much needed family intimacy that Ruth wanted all season.

Ruth: “You’re not supposed to protect me; I’m supposed to protect you. That's what a mother does. She tries. Most of the time she fails, but how are you ever going to feel loved if you don't ever let me try.”
Nate: “I do, I do feel loved.”
Ruth: “There’s just so many months I could have loved you better.”
Nate: “You loved me fine.”

David (as Nikolai):"Your mother is a very good woman. God have mercy, God have mercy."
Claire: “God have mercy. How psyched are that we never have to call him Daddy?"

Standout music - again some beautiful and haunting score from Richard Marvin but the lack of music that closed the episode was stunning. Chronology wise, its June 2002. Maya is only a few weeks old.

Incredible! “The Last Time” is definitely better than the first season's ender and more than a satisfying way to end this amazing second year of the show. Here' is your proof cynics - Six Feet Under is here to stay. When the doctor told Nate to count back to ten at the end, I counted to four. Four days I had to wait for the E4 premier of Season Three, which lead onto the much more meatier stuff.

Rating: 10 out of 10.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

My Review of Doctor Who's: "The Dalek Invasion Of Earth"

Written by Terry Nation
Directed by Richard Martin

Susan: “Oh Grandfather I belong with you.”
The Doctor: “Not any longer Susan. You're still my grandchild and always will be, but now you're a woman too. I want you to belong somewhere, to have roots of your own. With David you'll be able to find those roots, and live normally like any woman should do. Believe me my dear, your future lies with David and not with a silly old buffer like me.”

With the show now in its second season, it was time for the writers to capitalise on one of the biggest successes and that of course meant that The Doctor and company had a rematch with the Daleks coming. And as rematches goes, this was certainly not a disappointment.

Landing on Earth in 2164, The Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara don’t exactly avoid trouble. No sooner are they there than Susan’s klutziness results in a bridge collapsing on the TARDIS. It’s a clever way of getting rid of a certain set for this six parter but of course, it’s the tip of the iceberg in terms of disasters.

Early in the serial, Susan and Barbara fall in with a rebel group while The Doctor and Ian do some routine investigating. The problem is that for them, they also run into Robomen and when that doesn’t prove to be disastrous enough, a Dalek re-emerges from underwater and decides to take the two of them prisoners.

It seems since the TARDIS crew have been gone, the Daleks have taken over the Earth (something that will be an ongoing thing with them) and when people aren’t being converted into Robomen slaves, they’re also being killed. The Doctor’s intelligence is played to his disadvantage when he’s nearly converted himself.

Elsewhere Susan and Barbara are well in with the rebel crowd who seem determined to blow up the Daleks once and for all. The most noteworthy characters in this group are Dortmun, Jenny, David and Tyler as they all seem to have detrimental impact/interactions with certain characters.

Jenny for instance is largely paired up with Barbara and her cynicism provides a nice foil to the latter’s determination not to be beaten. I know there are many female companions who are cited for their intelligence and plain brilliance (Leela, Sarah Jane, Ace and Donna to name four) but Barbara continues to prove just well companions could written under certain writers.

Terry Nation is clearly a writer who values the companions as people as opposed to ciphers which is something that not every writer on this show can be attributed. Barbara is placed with Dortmun’s notes when he ends up sacrificing himself to the Daleks and there’s a seriously wonderful moment when she runs over several Daleks in a lorry.

Of course throughout the story, Barbara’s convinced that if she can get to the Dalek base she’ll be able to stop them herself. When she’s asked about The Doctor’s likelihood of survival she doesn’t doubt it for a second but at the same time, it is her who makes the conscious decision to help rather than wait for The Doctor.

Even when her and Jenny are later betrayed by two woods women and captured by the Daleks, she tries t get the upper hand. Using Dortmun’s notes were a handy distraction to try and turn the Robomen against the Daleks. This is of course, a tactic that succeeds on a later basis with The Doctor’s presence.

Ian on the other hand isn’t given quite as much to do in this serial but he’s not surplus to requirements either. In fact one of the great things about this story is the friendship between him and The Doctor, which is far preferable to the frosty dynamic they originally had. However for the most part, Ian does seem to be paired with different characters such as Craddock, Ashton and Larry.

On top of that, Ian also gets a few fighting moments such as his many altercations with the Robomen (it felt like he was fighting one every five minutes at one point) and there’s also a nasty encounter with a creature called a Slyther, which is probably one of the least necessary elements of the entire story.

However it’s The Doctor and Susan who are probably at heart with this story. On one hand, The Doctor’s grouchiness and authoritarian hold on Susan can be quite bad (his disdain for answering him back) but at the end of the day, there’s no viewer who would doubt that he loves his granddaughter, annoying as she can be.

If Barbara’s the wonder woman at times during this TARDIS dynamic, then Susan definitely takes the less flattering damsel in distress role, given the amount of times she seems to yell here. Her relationship with David is sweet and while it’s not as rushed as Leela’s, it doesn’t completely fill me with confidence either.

Still The Doctor must think that David is good enough of a catch that he would be so willing to leave Susan in this time so she grow roots of her own. This was the first ever departure of a companion and it’s definitely one of the best ones too. Although I’m glad to see Susan go, I was still a little sad for her and The Doctor no less and dropping her TARDIS was definitely another symbolism of her life moving forward.

With all the character driven stuff going on in this serial, I almost forgot about the Daleks. To simply put it, they’re still scary, the upgrades look good but their plan to blow up the core of the Earth just seemed silly in the same way that Davros’ reality bomb plot was. Isn’t enslavement and the odd ‘extermination’ enough for this lot?

Also in “The Dalek Invasion Of Earth”

It’s quite funny that this episode opened with “The Dalek Invasion” title. I don’t mean funny in a bad way though.

Ian: “Where are we now?”
Barbara: “Somewhere nice and quiet I hope.”
Susan: “I could do with a holiday.”

The six episodes that made up this serial are “World’s End”, “The Daleks”, “Day Of Reckoning”, “The End Of Tomorrow”, “The Waking Ally” and “Flashpoint”.

David: “And what do you do?”
Susan: “I eat.”

The Doctor: “I think you'd better let us go.”
Dalek: “We do not release prisoners. We are the masters of the Earth.”
The Doctor: “Not for long.”
Dalek: “Obey us or die!”
The Doctor: “Die? And just who are you to condemn us to death?”

This is the first time we ever got a Black Dalek and most of the Daleks here had satellite dishes on their backs.

Ian: “Pretty impressive and escape proof.”
The Doctor: “Only on the surface, my dear boy.”

Barbara: “What’s the point in running away all the time?”
Jenny: “I’m not running away, I’m surviving, that’s all.”

Jenny was originally supposed to Susan’s replacement but to be honest, I didn’t really get a potential companion vibe from her.

Susan: “I hope I’m never like that. Pretending to care.”
David: “One day this’ll all be over.”

Ian: “I want to go to London.”
Ashton: “Why die there?”
Ian: “I don’t intend to die anywhere.”

The story went by the working titles “The Daleks”, “The Return of the Daleks”, and “The Invaders”. It’s a good job they didn’t use the former title.

The Doctor: “One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs, and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine. Goodbye, Susan - goodbye my dear.”

This came out on DVD in 2003 with commentary from William Russell, Carole Ann Ford, Richard Martin and Verity Lambert.

“The Dalek Invasion Of Earth” is definitely a superb serial and sequel to the first Dalek tale and this version is far more satisfying than the Peter Cushing one we got a year later. Overall, the Daleks continued to show in their second outing why they would go on to one of the most enduring TV villains ever and that this show does have depth to it, not that I ever doubted it.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Friday, May 05, 2006

My Review of Six Feet Under's 2x01: "In The Game"

Written by Alan Ball
Directed by Rodrigo Garcia

Having viewed Season One in mid-2002, I had to wait exactly a year until Channel 4 aired Season Two, and thankfully it was worth the wait. Let's start of with the death of the week - Rebecca Leah Milford, an actress of a dire slasher flick, who spends most of the time at the movie's press party snorting drugs and subsequently dies of violent overdose in the bathroom.

Her co- stars then decide to give her a cheap send off at Fisher and Sons by having her cremated and then snorting her ashes, much to Claire's disgust. And believe me she isn't the only one repulsed - even I couldn't stand to look at it.

Meanwhile both Fisher men (I realise that by calling them boys I almost make the sound like The Dukes Of Hazard and that's one brotherly duo you shouldn't compare Nate and Dave to) receive news from their doctors - David's being a minor infection (has to be from that guy in "The Trip") and Nate learning from his MRI test results that he's got AVM (or Arterio-Venous Malformation), a condition that could be fatal if not operated on immediately, but a very pissed off Nate storms out of the doctor's office. I can almost side with him as the doctor a little too smug.

Ruth, meanwhile decides to hold a dinner (after reading a book targeted for parents of gay and lesbian children) for herself, her children and their significant others and this is where this openers really shines as in classic SFU style chaos isn't far behind when Nate inadvertently takes an ecstasy tablet, that David left in the aspirin bottle after his disco session with Kurt. So much has happened since then I almost forgot about him.

Anyways Nate gets high as a kite, much to everyone confusion and horror, but it sure does make for some truly priceless entertainment though. Openers being openers of course, there's also another much welcomed appearance from Nathaniel as he mocks Nate's AVM despite his healthy living.

Better still is his guidance of his son's first meeting with Life (a coloured free-spirited woman) and Death (a white, somewhat grouchy man) as they get Nate to put everything on the table. Which he tries to, but as Daddy said, - not a wise move. Still though, Nate is a rather risk taking kind of guy, so it’s hardly uncharacteristic of him to do so.

Now that Claire is aware of Gabe being back to his drug taking ways, how long will it be before she learns of his other activities, like the convenience store, for instance. I love Claire but when it comes to Gabe, there seems to be a blind spot with her, though a personal highlight from her in the premiere were blasting Rebecca’s talentless co-stars’. Weren’t they an annoying bunch?

Also in "In The Game"

Death of the week: See opening paragraph. I’m guessing the movie Rebecca and her talentless co-stars were parodying was Scream, right?

Nate (to AVM consultant):"I'm gonna try to put this out of my head, no pun intended and get on with my life."

Nate may have been woken up by Brenda "going down on him", but it seems that since the crash her sex drive is on an ebb of some kind.

Ruth: “You know Claire when I was your age I had a crush on Jane Fonda.”
Claire: “Well she's single again so now's your chance.”

Claire (to Nikolai): "You'll have to forgive David. He's been majorly cranky ever since he stopped getting laid." Yet Alan Ball made sure that we got to see Michael C. Hall briefly nude anyway.

We also met Federico's sister in law, Angelica and it's easy to see why he doesn't like her. I say bring her back as she could be a good foil for Rico.

Ruth: "David if you have a special friend, I would like for them to come as well."
David:" Why are my friends special?"
Ruth:" All right, if you're having sex with anyone, I’d like to meet them. Is that better?"

Apparently Nate taught David to masturbate. Okay that's too much information but it does turn out Nate somewhat respects his younger brother's opinion.

Brenda (to Nate): “You are so fucking high.”

Notice how he was smiling when David told him he was proud of him upon learning that Nate is now a licensed funeral director.

Claire (to actor guy):"Yeah, well we'll see you back here and we'll be snorting you next time."
Nathaniel (to Nate): “You’re in the game now buddy boy.”

Standout Music: Four from the first soundtrack which were Lamb's ethereal "Heaven", Stereo MC's "Deep Down & Dirty" , The Dining Room's "Pure & Easy" which were used to great effect. Only PJ Harvey's "One Time Too Many" didn't work for me. Chronology wise, it’s July 2001, nearly four weeks after the events of “Knock, Knock”.

Despite one or two little flaws, I absolutely loved this episode. It may not be a resounding epic, but it sure as hell was a brilliant way to open this season. Here's hoping the good work continues apace. “In The Game” has definitely opened Season Two off to an intriguing start.

Rating: 9 out of 10.