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Here's how ''Six Feet Under'' should end

Here’s how ”Six Feet Under” should end. Nancy Miller examines the series’ many loose ends and proposes four ways to tie them together on the finale

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Michael C. Hall, Mathew St. Patrick, ...

Here’s how ”Six Feet Under” should end

Hair today, gone tomorrow. That should have been embroidered on a pillow for 60-year-old Liticia Perfecta Perez (1942-2002), a friendly neighborhood granny who passed away while under a large hair dryer at her local salon. It might also be appropriate wisdom when making sense of ”Six Feet”’s dizzying plotlines and carnival of quirky characters.

Lord knows who and what is going to make it to the next season, and with so many balls in the air, best to let creator/puppetmaster Alan Ball do the juggling. But drawing from this week’s penultimate episode, here are the four key questions begging to be resolved (or unraveled?) on the season finale (HBO, June 2, 9 p.m.).

Will Keith and David raise Taylor?
Keith’s anxiety at appearing ”too gay” (and hence losing Taylor) were assuaged when the visiting social worker practically levitated in his loafers, complimenting Keith (Mathew St. Patrick) and David (Michael C. Hall) on their coffee table. No, the trouble for this not-so-dynamic duo isn’t going to be the gay thing. Rather, it might be Keith’s recent rock-’em sock-’em law enforcement style with an antagonizing wife-beater that might destroy his career — and his chance at raising Taylor (assuming that’s why he was being questioned by LAPD brass at the end). But judging by Keith’s tough-love parenting style, maybe Taylor is better off without him. (And we’re better off without this whole tedious subplot.) In the end, someone is going to raise Taylor, and it might ultimately be David doing it by himself.

Will Ruth raise her granddaughter?
Ruth (Frances Conroy) ended her already loveless relationship with Nikolai (Ed O’Ross). So when she learned from Lisa (Lili Taylor) that she’s a grandmother, it seemed an answer to this lonely character’s prayers. Let’s hope Ruth bids adieu forever to the indifferent Russian and devotes more time to baby Maya. A babbling newborn might be easier to understand than Nikolai’s over-the-top accent, anyway. And should anything happen to Lisa (after all, Taylor is signed for only a cameo appearance) Mrs. Fisher appears primed to play mama all over again.

How will Rico blow his jackpot?
Rico (Freddy Rodriguez) might not exactly be the voice of reason on ”Six Feet,” but he IS the voice of integrity at Fisher and Sons and the loyal protégé to Nathaniel Sr. He insisted Mrs. Perez get the Our Lady of Guadalupe casket she ordered vs. the mahogany model chosen by her class-conscious yuppie son. This disagreement happened before Rico discovered that Mrs. Perez (who, coincidentally, was his long-time neighbor) left him her life savings, a windfall of $149,000. Sure, he’s got two kids and a house loaded with mold, but what else might a frustrated, nostalgia-filled employee who works for a struggling funeral home do with found money? By season’s end, the shingle out front could read Rico’s Fisher and Sons Funeral Home.

Will Nate and Brenda reunite?
We’ve been anticipating this inevitable break-up scene for months, so the actual moment in Brenda’s apartment was bound to be a bit of a letdown. Earlier in the episode, Nate (Peter Krause) finally got clued in to a fraction of Brenda’s (Rachel Griffiths) infidelities when he unintentionally shook hands with one of her recent conquests and realized by a distinguishing feature on the kid’s baseball cap that his fiancée’s book isn’t pure fiction. While Brenda and Nate exchanged plenty of F-words and insults on their spiral downward, the scene didn’t deliver as the defining end-all blow out. Nate’s cliché ring toss at Brenda was convincing, but the sign of an unfinished break-up is the utterance of a lame last word. In this case, the last word is ”barf.” (Good one, Nate.) Classify this fake break-up as a ”big fight.” They are by no means over. If nothing else, Rico can stake his $149,000 on that.

How do you want the season to end?

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