One in this series about the Fisher clan, a loving -- if dysfunctional -- family struggling to maintain a sense of normalcy in the face of the stressful day-to-day operations of the eccentric family business, a funeral home in Los Angeles. In this episode, Gabe is horrified when his younger half-brother Anthony accidentally kills himself with a gun, while elsewhere David scolds Nate for failing his mortician license test. Nate observes David's chemistry with Kurt, the young square-dance caller, and Ruth deals with her feelings of guilt over dating Hiram when he asks her to go camping again over the weekend. Claire is stunned when Gabe and his devastated mother arrive at the house in search of services for Anthony, and David sternly tells Nate that they will obey Mrs. Dimas' wishes for a closed casket. Nikolai mocks Hiram but gives Ruth the days off, and Nate is surprised when Billy appears yet again at Brenda's home. Billy offers some tactless commentary about Anthony's death, suggesting that Nate is only a "dilettante" in the funeral business, and Brenda tries to keep the peace between the two of them. David goes out dancing with Kurt, who gives him some ecstasy, and he later hides a leftover pill in an aspirin bottle at home.

Claire clashes with Andy over his uncaring treatment of Gabe, though Parker advises her not to get re-involved with him in his time of grief. Brenda suggests that Nate "study" for his do-over test by visiting other funeral parlors and pretending to request services for a loved one, though they find nothing useful to learn from the first two homes. Ruth packs for her camping trip and realizes that her children do not "need" her as they once did, and Gabe arrives with Anthony's funeral clothes and tells Claire that the death was his fault, as he was supposed to be watching his brother at the time, and Claire kindly reassures him. Nate is angered when Brenda pretends to be his terminally-ill wife arranging her own funeral at the third home, telling her that she has crossed a line, though she points out the irony of his significant fear of death. David, shaken by the experience of preparing Anthony's body, calls Kurt for another night out, though he is upset to realize that the aspirin bottle with the ecstasy has gone missing. At the nightclub, he is flustered to run into Keith, particularly when he sees that Keith is seeing someone new, a paramedic named Eddie.

Out in the wilderness with Hiram, Ruth takes the "aspirin" and wanders inebriated through the woods, while elsewhere David spots Kurt fooling around with someone else and decides that the youthful party life is not for him, as he is "a serious guy." Ruth has a vision of Nathaniel fixing a stalled hearse and admits that she misses their happy times together, though in the morning Hiram tells her that they had a "spectacular" night together. At Anthony's funeral, David admits to Nate that he failed the mortician test the first time as well, and Claire defends Gabe when Anthony's long-absent father Sam arrives and attacks him. He rants to Nate about Gabe's irresponsibility, but Nate echoes Brenda's words and bluntly tells him that everyone dies and should make the most of their time on Earth, as Sam failed to do with his young son. David is alarmed to realize the reason for Ruth's odd happiness when she returns from camping, and Claire admits to them both that Gabe is "the foot guy" but also her friend, and she continues comforting him in his sadness.


  • DATE: July 29, 2001 9:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:54:01
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: B:86518
  • GENRE: Drama
  • SERIES RUN: HBO - TV series, 2001-2005


  • David Janollari … Executive Producer
  • Robert Greenblatt … Executive Producer
  • Alan Ball … Executive Producer, Created by
  • Alan Poul … Co-Executive Producer
  • Christian Williams … Co-Executive Producer
  • Bruce Eric Kaplan … Supervising Producer
  • Laurence Andries … Producer
  • Rick Cleveland … Producer
  • Christian Taylor … Producer, Writer
  • Robert Del Valle … Co-Producer
  • Lori Jo Nemhauser … Co-Producer
  • Jeremy Podeswa … Director
  • Richard Marvin … Music by
  • Thomas Newman … Theme Music by
  • Peter Krause … Cast, Nate Fisher
  • Michael C. Hall … Cast, David Fisher
  • Frances Conroy … Cast, Ruth Fisher
  • Lauren Ambrose … Cast, Claire Fisher
  • Freddy Rodriguez … Cast, Federico Diaz
  • Mathew St. Patrick … Cast, Keith Charles
  • Jeremy Sisto … Cast, Billy Chenowith
  • Rachel Griffiths … Cast, Brenda Chenowith
  • Ed Begley Jr. … Cast, Hiram Gunderson
  • Ed O'Ross … Cast, Nikolai
  • Eric Balfour … Cast, Gabe Dimas
  • Marina Black … Cast, Parker McKenna
  • Steven Pasquale … Cast, Kurt
  • Timm Sharp … Cast, Andy
  • Wendy Schaal … Cast, Vickie Dimas
  • Ted Marcoux … Cast, Sam Finelli
  • David Wells … Cast, Bland Funeral Director
  • Matt McCoy … Cast, Slick Funeral Director
  • Dale Raoul … Cast, Rosemary
  • Terrell Clayton … Cast, Eddie
  • Jake Gridley … Cast, Anthony Finelli
  • Hal Ozsan … Cast, Man in Flower Shop
  • Louan Gideon … Cast, Grieving Woman
  • Gabriel Cade … Cast, Make-Out Guy
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