Spoilers for the finale episode of Six Feet Under.
Ten years ago today, the world turned into Anne Hathaway’s Carrie Mathison impression while watching “Everyone’s Waiting,” the last episode of Six Feet Under and the greatest TV series finale ever. (Sorry, Friday Night Lights, The Young Ones, and Breaking Bad).
I didn’t watch Alan Ball’s first HBO series until years later, when the emotionally devastating finale should have been spoiled. But I came into it blissfully ignorant, although I was aware of the OTHER big thing that happens in season five. To be honest, I didn’t know how to react to what I’m calling The Sia Scene the first time I saw it. I was… overwhelmed? The flash forward was so much all at once, and, although I didn’t actively hate it (like Dexter‘s last episode), I didn’t love it, either. I needed a few days to process “you can’t take a picture of this, it’s already gone.”
Once I did, I started sobbing.
It was the only way a show that began every episode with a different death could have ended. Stopping the story in 2005, when “Everyone’s Waiting” took place, would be a cop out. Ultimately, Six Feet Under was a show that celebrated life. Get married, find your protégé, don’t get shot by robbers, be happy, because to quote Brenda, “Future is just a f*cking concept that we use to avoid being alive today.” The finale turned the future into the present, into today.
Rolling Stone recently published a Six Feet Under oral history that included interviews with Ball, Frances Conroy (Ruth), and Richard Jenkins (Nathaniel) about that last scene.
Ball: When I convened with the writers for that last season, because we knew it was the end, we had to know where we were going. And somebody in the room said, “We should just kill everybody.” And I was like, yeah, that’s funny, whatever — and I wish I could remember who it was, because it wasn’t me. But they said, “No, no, no. We should be with each character at the moment of their death,” and when I heard that, I was like, “Well, of course. I mean, what else can you do? That’s the perfect organic ending for this show.”
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to sob again.
I still wonder what track two on Claire’s CD is.
(Via Rolling Stone)