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THE WILL - Six Feet Under Season 1 Episode 2
Created by Alan Ball
Cast: Peter Krause, Michael C Hall, Frances Conroy, Lauren Ambrose, Freddy RodrŪguez, Mathew St. Patrick, Rachel Griffiths, Richard Jenkins
Chandler James Swanson dives too sharply into his pool and drowns...and leaves his family not with the multi-million-dollar pyramid scheme business they thought he had, but a mountain of debt. Nathaniel's will gives Ruth all his money, Claire an unwanted trust fund, and David and Nate the funeral business. Nate tries to give it to David or Ruth, but neither will take it, so he's glad to get Matthew Gilardi's offer to join Kroehner, but first has to convince David. With their client having too little money to even buy the $9000 casket already ordered and David and Rico unavailable, Nate decides to help her out by temporarily using the coffin at Swanson's funeral, then cheaply cremating him and selling the casket to another client...before learning he can neither reuse nor resell it legally. Meanwhile, David's ex-fiancťe Jennifer Mason comes with belated sympathy for his father, and says Nathaniel hinted that he realized David was gay. Ruth goes hiking with her boyfriend Hiram again, but this time chooses to make it the last. Nate is bewildered by David's lack of emotion toward their father's loss - even seeing his totaled, bloody hearse makes him feel nothing (except betrayal), until Brenda makes a shocking move with surprising results.
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The second episode of the show itís very literal. Itís time to read the will of the deceased Nathaniel Fisher Sr. But before that letís go to the way each single episode starts, with somebody dying. This time is a guy Ė good looking, nice body, a wife and a baby Ė talking to his friends into investing to a company he owns, one of his friends agrees and when he jumps into the pool, his head hits the bottom and he dies. Then, the screen turns white and it reads ďChandler James Swanson 1967 Ė 2001.Ē
The show itís three minutes in and thereís a death in it already, the main story is the reading of Nathaniel Fisherís Sr. will and this reading causes plenty of problems. Nathaniel leaves half of the business to Nate, the other half to David, plenty of money to Ruth and a trust fund for Claireís college education.
This episode revolves around Nateís involvement in the business and Davidís life, he feels he made a huge mistake by dedicating his life to the funeral home and Michael C. Hallís performance during this episode is spectacular, we see his pain as a gay man who doesnít feel welcomed in his own family, he never took the chance to live his life, the only person who understands him is Keith Ė his boyfriend Ė and this is a beautiful relationship.
Claire keeps going out with Gabe and after they have sex, he asks her to suck his toe. She does this, believe me, there will be consequences.
Now, the guy who died at the beginning leaves his wife with tons of debt. David asks Nate to tell the woman that she canít afford the funeral she asked, Nate tells her but he feels so bad that he decides to rent her the coffin; David acknowledges this and they have a fight.
Nate has no idea has to run this place, he keeps costing them money and everybody is hard on David because he doesnít mourn and all he does is work, work and work. His ex fiancťe, Jennifer visits him and David confesses that he never felt loved by his father; Jennifer says thatís a lie.
David and Nate have one last thing to do, and that one is to get the registration out of the broken hearse, they go and they see the car, Nate feels sick but David acts as if nothing happened. Thereís also a new conflict, a company called Kroner Service International wants to buy them out and if they donít sell, theyíll run them out of business, this conflict extends all over season one.
Now, in the end Brenda asks them (David and Nate) to join her in a bus ride, they hop on the bus where their father died, David holds Nateís hand and cries, and that is what this episode is about, plans and the future, while Nate run away from this his entire life, he never saw a meaning to it, people dying all the time, but David saw something beautiful in it, itís an art, and itís something that needs dedication, care and tradition. The sole thought of selling makes David upset, but Ruth wants to sell and so does Nate, they donít decide what to do yet, but this is a huge turning point in Davidís behaviour, he gave his life to Fisher and Sons and he just canít get rid of that work so easy.
We finally get to meet Ruthís boyfriend (Ed Begley Jr.) and she admits her biggest fear, which is being alone, she got married too young and now she feels lost, the episode ends with David crying, accepting his fatherís death and love, itís really painful because we finally understand this character and it makes sense that he chose this for a living, in the end all he wanted was love and acceptance and when Nate grabs his hand, he gets the message.