But his revelations seem to be motivated in part by fear, says Caroline Kepnes

By Caroline Kepnes
Updated August 20, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
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David and Claire tell all on ”Six Feet Under”

On the next-to-last episode of HBO’s ”Six Feet Under,” a ”say-anything” vibe inspired even the most high-strung of the Fisher funeral folks to submit to the frenzy and spill their secrets. But it was dutiful, downtrodden David whose confession really rocked the house of formaldehyde. When David came out to Rico (”Rico, you know I’m a homo”), he opened a potentially nasty can of worms. We already know that David feels guilty because he can’t make Rico a partner. Now it’ll be great to watch the makeover master grapple with his old-school prejudices and his newly outed, seemingly giddy boss.

And wasn’t David right on when he accused his emotionally distant mother, Ruth, of viewing his sexuality as a car wreck that you stare at out of revulsion? Compare that confrontation to Claire’s closed-door meeting with her high school guidance counselor. In retrospect, it seems natural that the quiet guy with a penchant for baking — who had no connection to her family — would carry the impact of a Mack truck, turning steely Claire into a deer in his psycho-babbling headlights. All her sarcasm and defensiveness fell away, and she admitted to being a scared teenager whose blunt, shocking ”way of saying a lot” isn’t necessarily any better than her family’s habit of clamming up.

As David edges out of the closet, though, he seems haunted by the fear that he’s not good enough for this world — hence the appearance of that menacing, gay ghost. Maybe that’s why, in spite of David’s sudden urge to tell everyone about his sexuality — from that stripper at the casino to his mousy mom — he seems more trapped than ever. No offense to the softie guidance counselor, but I suspect that a mean-spirited wraith, especially a creepy, scarred guy wearing bloodied khaki pants, is the character who’s more likely to flourish on a show as constrained by demons as ”Six Feet Under.”

Six Feet Under

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