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.