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If You Haven't Watched the ''6FU'' Finale Yet, Don't Read This

By RD Heldenfels Published: August 22, 2005

(In other words, it contains spoilers)

I had to hold back considerably in my review Saturday of the ''Six Feet Under'' finale, since I don't like to ruin surprises for viewers.

But since the finale has aired, and since I have warned those of you who haven't watched yet, it's past time to make one major complaint more specific.

Basically, I think that fast-forward into the future undercut something the show has been about from the beginning.

Savor life, the show said, because death could come at any moment. That doesn't mean that enjoying life will prolong it; it just means that you need to enjoy what you have been given -- because it may end before you expect.

So what do we see in the future? Long lives for the remaining characters. Even Keith, whose death is abrupt, gets a lot more years before passing. And Claire, having realized at a relatively early age that she needs to embark on a great adventure, gets to live more than 100 years.

I know, you could argue that the Fishers and the people around them have suffered enough over the show's five seasons, and that they are entitled at last to comfort and joy. But that's not how life works, is it? And it certainly wasn't how ''Six Feet Under'' worked, until the end. It's just another way a show that pretended to be bold and daring went soft; the ending was sentimental nonsense.

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