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, a hiker is mauled by a mountain lion, while elsewhere Maggie frantically contacts Nate's family as he is taken away in an ambulance after collapsing. Claire and Ted's first date goes downhill when they get into a political argument, but she then receives the news about Nate and he accompanies her to the hospital. David tells the doctor that Nate has been symptom-free for two years, though Maggie awkwardly admits that Nate experienced "exertion" right before the incident, and when Brenda arrives, she immediately seems to guess that her husband has cheated again. Maggie imagines a different version of their post-coital conversation, and the siblings continue trying to find Ruth, still off on her camping trip with Hiram. The neurosurgeon soon informs them that Nate requires immediate surgery to treat a hemorrhage and tells them to prepare themselves for possible "changes" afterwards. Rico and Vanessa converse intimately late at night, and she tries to explain about her frustration at herself for still loving him despite his hurtful behavior.

Brenda harshly questions Maggie about her evening with Nate, wanting her to admit their dalliance, and Claire urges Ted to leave the uncomfortable scene. David and Brenda discuss their experiences as non-conventional new parents, and the doctor tells the family that Nate had another AVM that ruptured and that he is now in a coma after the surgery and may or may not experience "long-term effects." Brenda imagines a scene in which Nate openly confesses to cheating with Maggie and tells her that they are not "meant to be," despite their long history together and their forthcoming child. Nate then awakens, however, and seems relatively unimpaired. Ruth refuses Hiram's advances in their camping tent and he accuses her of leading him on, and she storms off and has a satisfying vision of executing not only Hiram but Nikolai, Arthur, George and Nathaniel. The family is greatly relieved to hear that Nate will likely need only a week in the hospital followed by physical therapy, and David brings Durrell and Anthony to visit their uncle. Claire thanks Ted for staying with her, touched by his kindness despite their differing values, and Maggie visits Nate, who assures her that he is "not sorry for anything." Rico arrives and tells Nate about the cougar victim, and Nate comments that two worlds overlapping in a strange way is known as "ecotone."

Ruth encounters a tai chi group and ends up confiding in a pair of Chinese women about her troubles with men, though they advise her to stick with "the devil she knows." Anthony panics and flees the hospital, and Durrell points out to Keith that he has been traumatized by their mother's repeated overdoses. Brenda brings Maya to visit Nate, and when she tells him that she is willing to "get through" his latest affair, she is stunned when he declares that they are "just different" and he is not interested in repairing the relationship. Claire, annoyed about Ruth's continued absence, finally heads for home, and David stays by Nate's bedside. Nate has a strange vision of joining Nathaniel and a bizarre hippie version of David in a van, though when they arrive at the beach, only Nate jumps eagerly into the ocean. When David awakens, he is devastated to find that his brother has passed away.


  • DATE: July 31, 2005 9:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:48:50
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: B:87344
  • GENRE: Drama
  • SERIES RUN: HBO - TV series, 2001-2005


  • Robert Greenblatt … Executive Producer
  • David Janollari … Executive Producer
  • Alan Poul … Executive Producer
  • Bruce Eric Kaplan … Executive Producer
  • Rick Cleveland … Executive Producer
  • Alan Ball … Executive Producer, Created by
  • Jill Solloway … Co-Executive Producer
  • Scott Buck … Co-Executive Producer
  • Kate Robin … Supervising Producer
  • Lori Jo Nemhauser … Producer
  • Robert Del Valle … Producer
  • Craig Wright … Producer
  • Nancy Oliver … Co-Producer, Writer
  • Michael Carroll … Associate Producer
  • Daniel Minahan … 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 "Rico" Diaz
  • Mathew St. Patrick … Cast, Keith Charles
  • Justina Machado … Cast, Vanessa Diaz
  • James Cromwell … Cast, George Sibley
  • Rachel Griffiths … Cast, Brenda Chenowith
  • Richard Jenkins … Cast, Nathaniel Fisher
  • Tina Holmes … Cast, Maggie Sibley
  • Ed Begley Jr. … Cast, Hiram Gunderson
  • Rainn Wilson … Cast, Arthur Martin
  • Ed O'Ross … Cast, Nikolai
  • Chris Messina … Cast, Ted Fairwell
  • Kendre Berry … Cast, Durrell
  • C.J. Sanders … Cast, Anthony
  • Vince Grant … Cast, ER Doctor
  • Michele Greene … Cast, Dr. Fraker
  • Andy Umberger … Cast, Third Doctor
  • Elaine Kao … Cast, Courtney
  • Mae Hi … Cast, Lin
  • Gordon Wells … Cast, Chuck
  • A.J. Lee … Cast, Derrick
  • Sonia Jackson … Cast, Nurse
  • Tim Mikulecky … Cast, Hiker
  • Andrea Johnson … Cast, Paramedic #1
  • Wayne Lopez … Cast, Paramedic #2
  • Cindy Lu … Cast, Hospital Clerk
  • Brenna Tosh … Cast, Maya Fisher
  • Bronwyn Tosh … Cast, Maya Fisher