When death is your business, what is your life? For the Fisher family, the world outside of their family-owned funeral home continues to be at least as challenging as--and far less predictable than--the one inside on Six Feet Under.
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Everyone's Waiting 05x12
Nate and Brenda's daughter Willa is born, but 2 months early and at only 2 lb. 4 oz., requiring a prolonged hospital stay. Nate is convinced she won't make it and insists that he can't accept it if she does and is "damaged", shaking Brenda's own confidence. Rico encourages David to sell the funeral home but instead he and Keith buy out Rico's 25% so he can start his own. David agrees to temporarily leave home, and goes to the funeral home. There he's confronted by Nathaniel about considering leaving the business and for his gayness, and is forced to fight his mysterious attacker back, then finally sees his face. Maya is returned to Brenda and Ruth has to face her own problems, until Maggie reveals Nate did see her, happily, as Brenda insisted. Claire takes up photography (of Ted) again and gets a job offer at a New York photo production company, but offers to be there for Ruth until she insists she go and unfreezes her account. Brenda gets a surprise visit from Nate, who finally shows love for his daughter, and someone else. Claire learns the company who gave the job offer has just failed, but Nate encourages her to go onto New York anyway.
Iraqi War veteran Paul Ronald Duncan receives a euthanasia in the hospital - and Claire, on drugs, takes out her own loss on the family by denouncing the war in general but also them for letting their son serve. Later, after several days of drinking, she is fired and fights Ted for taking her keys, then later crashes her car by trying to avoid hitting a deer when going to visit the family's newest grave. David can't find a way to express his feelings so colorfully, so is still plagued by nightmares and daydreams 6 weeks after the funeral, mostly involving an orange-hooded figure resembling his attacker. When reports come out that a similarly-clad child-killer is loose, David becomes increasingly worried about the boys, troubling his family enough to have Keith suggest he leave until he's calmed down. He's too distracted to talk business yet, so Rico begins to plan ahead for himself at Vanessa's advice, finds an available spot, and learns she's a natural when it comes to consoling mourners. Nate supports Ruth's keeping Maya permanently, so she argues when Brenda first attempts to pick her up until it's agreed to lengthen her temporary stay. Brenda plans to have Billy help raise Maya and her second daughter, until a troubling dream changes her mind. When attempting to reclaim Maya for a second time, Brenda's proposed argument is about to be delivered, when she goes into labor prematurely...
All Alone 05x10
The family prepares for the worst funeral of their lives. Ruth makes things worse on David by taking out her pain on him until he stands up for himself, and Nate makes things worse for Brenda by reminding her she had the chance to marry Joe if she doubted him. Claire, troubled by the fact that mainly negative memories come to mind, again finds comfort in Ted, who explains that it's not unusual. In the middle of the preparations, Keith gets an emergency call from Roger to remove a breaking-and-entering actor...who reveals Roger taped their affair as he promised he wouldn't, so Keith quits working for him. David has no other business so concentrates on the funeral to keep himself together, especially after a brutal insult from his father, who dodges the question on whether he had favoritism among his children but openly condemns David's gayness. Ruth's pain increases when learning it's a green burial so helps David in order to see the body. At the private burial, David is terrified when he imagines he's attacked by Jake in an orange-sweatshirt in the car and suffers another panic attack, so doesn't help. Ruth gets some comfort with Bettina's visit and, after the funeral, with Brenda's request for her to watch Maya until she can recover from her own pain...and anger.
Lawrence Hall Matheson chooses the wrong moment to check his pulse while jogging in a California "ecotone" - a cougar mauls him. Hospitalized following his seizure, an unconscious Nate dreams he returns home after he simply woke his asleep arm up and requested a divorce, while in reality Maggie struggles to answer medical questions and contact the family. David arrives only to learn that Anthony is terrified to be in a hospital, and Claire is accompanied the whole time by Ted, so she respects him despite the fact that he's Republican. The doctor, unfamiliar with Nate or the family, at first only manages to report redundant information, then finally concludes he should be fine, save some left-side weakness that therapy should eventually cure. Ruth doesn't have a cell phone so while everyone else awaits news of Nate, she is unaware of the situation and rejects Hiram, fantasizes revenge on all her boyfriends (and what her reaction would be to her husband), and after a long walk manages to start home via Chinese tour bus. Brenda guesses what "physical activity" caused Nate's heart to race just before his incident, and confronts him when he awakens, only to find her offer of forgiveness rejected: Nate says he's tired of fighting and is ready to give up on their relationship. When he and David fall asleep together, they both dream they're in the back of their father's VW bus smoking. A casual, relaxed David (Nate says he dreamed he was a whole other person) is surprised to see "what they've been waiting for" turns out to be the ocean, where Nate eagerly jumps in and encourages him to follow, though he's not as surprised as Nate and their father are that he balks and makes excuses about sharks. But David has to face the shock of his life when he wakes up.
Singing for Our Lives 05x08
Pilar Sandoval attempts to Rollerblade a steep hill while walking her dogs but literally doesn't make it when she loses control and is hit by a car. Brenda is upset with Nate's fists-up attitude toward the daughter they'll have, and is suspicious that his latest wish to attend Quaker meetings is simply to join Maggie. David, Nate, and Rico try but fail to agree on how to invest on the business, but it gives Rico a good opportunity to focus on pursuing his relationship with Vanessa. Ruth's babysitting experience with Durrel and Anthony goes sour when they don't return from playing basketball until Durrell drives the SUV home, and, only after David blames Ruth, is learned to have done it before. Later Durrell threatens Keith during a confrontation over it, and David learns from Anthony that he doesn't get they won't won't have to eventually leave. Ruth, encouraged by Claire to get a haircut, goes camping with Hiram again. Claire herself only attends Anita's show when Ted offers to tag along, and it goes smoother than she expects. The second night Nate attends a Quaker meeting with Maggie, Brenda goes there after her ultrasound with Jackie, only to find Nate absent, since he and Maggie got wrapped up talking and never went. As Brenda waits for his arrival, they sleep together...then Nate gets up, and immediately goes numb and collapses.
The Silence 05x07
Maggie Sibley's friend and fellow Quaker Peter Thomas Burns suffers a heart attack while watching a play, and Nate becomes intrigued about her faith when she brings it up. Brenda's blood tests reveal that her and Nate's child has a higher-than-usual possibility for developing Down's Syndrome or other complications at birth, and the doctor recommends amniocentesis to eliminate these factors. Ruth, feeling a misfit among other women in the sudden free time offered her without George, is displeased to hear that he wants the briefest divorce possible since he's already found another woman, so warns her she'd be marrying a depressed, sick man. Meanwhile, Rico is disgusted that sleeping with Vanessa is brief, to the point, and unenthusiastic, almost like another chore for him to help out with. Claire meets Ted, a lawyer, at work and eventually chooses to try to connect with him. David accidentally learns that Durrell will be performing in a school musical, and, remembering what it was like to have a parent who didn't have time to do it for him, he insists to Keith that they should go see him in it...despite the fact that Durrel's embarrassed enough about it not to want them to. After hearing Maggie admit her handicapped son's life was painful for her, Nate is inclined to agree with the doctor that Brenda should test to ensure there are no problems with her pregnancy, but Brenda is doubtful enough of his support to refuse.
The Rainbow of Her Reasons 05x06
Sarah O'Connor's best friend and Nate's first love Fiona Lenore Kleinschmidt falls down a mountain on a hiking trip with Sarah, causing she and her friends to stay a few days at the Fishers' and giving Ruth a good excuse not to show up to George's apartment for a few days...until Maggie notes she's put nothing of hers in the place. Claire applies for a temp agency job but the blandness of it is disappointing, especially with an art grant's rejection at about the same time. Anthony's older brother Durrel proves a rebellious, trouble-making thorn that Keith is all too eager to rid himself of but David wouldn't mind adopting, causing tensions to quickly mount as the social worker's visit nears. Vanessa's housekeeper Donna proves to have issues so Rico is unexpectedly asked to return to help with work. When Ruth finally does make it over to George after Sarah, Bettina, and the other drinking, smoking mourners have cleared out, he coolly reveals he knows her plan and breaks off with her, saving her the trouble.
Eat a Peach 05x05
Diabetic Daniel Holzenchenko succumbs to the call of canned peaches...and leaves behind 2 brothers and 2 sisters who seem unable to agree on anything from refreshments to music to be used at his funeral. While trying to mediate them, Nate also has to figure out how to convince Brenda not to tell Maya that she is her stepmother and her real mother Lisa is dead. David and Keith go to an adoption agency picnic where they meet Anthony, and choose to foster and possibly adopt him and his brother, when Mary's news about conception changes to news of an error. Ruth tells her knitting group her patience with George has officially ended, and at their urging convinces him to find an apartment for them and a job for himself - but actually plans to leave him with the apartment. Claire has a worse time leaving Billy, pressured by Margaret as well as him. Julio torments another student so Rico volunteers to go in and explains his anger is actually from his parents' divorce, but Vanessa confronts him about what he says. Nate is advised to make a choice about talking with Maya from an interesting source, and gets a surprising response from Brenda.
Time Flies 05x04
Lila Simmonds Coolidge passes away just before her 95th birthday...which she happened to share with Nate. This year, Nate's 40th is marked by the news that he'll be a dad, which he doesn't react to as enthusiastically as Brenda had hoped. Claire breaks off with Billy after a final night together because of his wild behavior off medication, while George's apologies to Ruth don't lessen her impatience toward his problems. Rico sleeps with Vanessa when he shows up to remind she forgot to pick their son up, but she ensures it will be the last time. At Nate's unwanted party where his mood is already low after accidentally revealing Brenda's pregnancy and creating more friction, a bird some consider to be an omen and others merely to be an annoyance continues to invade the house. When Nate is insulted for allowing its return by not closing the window it originally entered through, he takes out all his frustration on the bird.
Hold My Hand 05x03
In 1954 Loretta Smith Sibley committed suicide in front of her son George. With the anniversary of September 9th approaching, George is haunted by her presence enough to distract him at home, repeats his habit of placing unwanted food in his pockets, telling Ruth he was saving it, and confesses to Maggie that he again needs therapy. Ruth also has to deal with Claire confronting her after she freezes her account since she's no longer in school. Billy buys her the camera she wanted to purchase herself as they consider leaving for Spain, but Ruth disapproves of the whole thing. Rico runs into but is rejected by Vanessa at a church dating meet, so dates his former replacement Angela. Brenda befriends a co-worker after her first counseling experience results in a physical attack, and Nate befriends his stepsister Maggie, a divorcée whose son passed away at a young age.