Six Feet Under - Almost Over: The Predictions.

So I'm at the point where Nate had his numb arm numarm narm thing and I'm not about to speculate on anything regarding his fate (even though I'm like 99.9% sure he dies in the end because I keep up on the news of TV shows I don't even watch sometimes).

I'm here to talk about Claire. The younger sibling. The one I had the most respect for.

Now, I'm assuming at this point - episode 8 in the 5th season - that they knew this would be their final year, so any and all plotlines involving individual family members are at the point where they're wrapping things up for a conclusion. Not necessarily meaning everyone's going to die, or that it's going to drop to black suddenly, but that we'll get an honest assessment of where the characters will be from here on out. I'm here to give my predictions, meager as they may be.

Ruth's back with Hiram. I guess she could do worse, after the debacle that was George. I like how Ed Bagley Jr. pretty much plays himself, only as an effeminate hairdresser. Hiram is equally as health-and-eco-conscious and equally as off-putting to look at on screen. This could go to a happily-ever-after kind of end, but I'd prefer the one where Hiram and Nicolai duel to the death after 20 consecutive vodka shots. Lord Have Mercy! Lord Have Mercy! Lord Have Mercy!

David and Keith have their adopted black children - one a sweet and sensitive 9 year old, one a hellraising 11 year old; brothers from the same mother - and after a more-than-rocky start, it looks like Keith is making the effort to make the committment. David, of course, has been gung ho all the way (easy to see who's the mother and who's the father in THIS relationship). I've really liked how, as all this depressing crap has gone on the last couple seasons, David and Keith have managed to keep it together and make their relationship work. Nobody's rooting harder for these two, so I hope things work out in the end. Something tells me they will, but something also tells me there may be a biological mother in their future contesting custody of their foster children.

Rico's back in the house with Vanessa, but she still hasn't forgiven him for cheating, so they're at this crossroads where they live together but it's Not Like Before. I have no idea where this is headed; I kind of root for them to end up well, but I also kind of think Vanessa is a cunt. At least, that was my reaction last night. Why do you ask him to move back in if you can't be the wife you know he needs in his life? He was all ready to get his own apartment with bedrooms for the kids and she sucked him back in because her Canadian nanny turned out to be cuckoo. I'm seeing a definitive split before all is said and done.

Nate and Brenda are mired in a Nate and Brenda kind of relationship. Fighting and fucking and co-dependency issues abound. She's pregnant with a child that may or may not be retarded, he's questioning the meaning of the universe (even going so far as to delve into Quakerism), and he's taken quite a shine to George's daughter Maggie - who he just had sex with in the last episode prior to his Narmisode, while Brenda decided to make the effort of meeting him halfway by secretly attending the Quaker church gathering he was supposedly driving Maggie to. So, he's dead? I don't know, I guess he could be. Seems a little early; for some reason I had him pegged as dying in the final episode. This is going to be a pretty big fucking bummer for the last three episodes if indeed the next one involves his funeral. I'm saying he's getting revived tonight, but something will happen later that will fuck his shit up.

Meanwhile, what perfect timing for him to drop unconscious of a stroke/heart attack. You think they were fighting before, just wait until he got home to Brenda after she sat at that wacko church thing all by herself, KNOWING what he was really up to. If death or near-death gives us anything, it's a little fucking sympathy when you cheat on your wife while she's pregnant with your child that you don't really want in the first place because you've already had one with another woman who's dead by mysterious and unresolved circumstances.

But this Claire thing has me fucked up most of all! Nate could die, David and Keith could separate, Ruth could be butchered in her sleep by a wild-eyed George and I wouldn't give two shits compared to the fate I'm seeing in store for Claire!

She started out so innocent, so relatable, so angst-riddled and condescending and sarcastic. Then, she became Queen of the Art School, got big into sex and drugs, and was making me proud by being a raving student success. This translated into her dropping out, moving in with Brenda's brother Billy, and pretty much living off of her art and his money. Things fell apart when Billy went off his meds and went batshit, then she couldn't get her trust money left by her dead father, then she was denied the federal grant, then her mom forced her to get a job. Which she did.

As a temp.

But it's only temporary.

But it's only for now.

But it's ...

And now she's at this law office and her co-workers are annoying fucktwads who say "Yeah Baby!" all the time a la Austin Powers ... and she's kind of making an effort to FIT IN!

By attending their after-work social gatherings at the shitty bar inside the local shopping mall. By buying multiple power suits with many pairs of pantyhose. By bringing in fresh-baked cookies to share with the animals! And now, apparently, she's dating one of the low-level attorneys!

In the last episode, she ran into one of her best friends from art school who she never sees anymore and decided to take her new lawyerman with her to one of their art shows. They were all still young and wild and crazy and sexed up and drugged up and FANTASTIC!

And she was ... over all that. At 21, having not picked up a camera in ages, having seemingly no desire to do so in the near future, saying she's working in hell while purchasing the proper sunblock to adjust to the temperature, she's no longer the free-wheeling child of a lost generation whose art WILL make an impact upon mankind.

Instead she's ... GASP ... a yuppie!

It's the ultimate betrayal; I'm truly sick with this. I can't tell if this is the writers trying to end the series with her on a high note, like her life's going to be okay because she's got this stable, rich boyfriend and she's no longer suffering from depression because now her life has meaning in all the bullshit assignments she's asked to perform. She's no longer listlessly throwing her life away via drugs and shitty men; she's ABOVE all that. She's Grown Up. She's Matured.

Fuck that!

Her aunt - who first inspired her to pursue art as a life choice - recently said, "Maybe you AREN'T an artist." I hope that's not the theme of the whole thing. I hope it can't be that easy to just shut off that side of you. Sure, she turned into a factory, cranking out the same tired pieces over and over and when she tried something new failed and subsequently gave up trying thereafter; but you can't just LOSE that desire to create, can you?

Something tells me that eventually she'll come to her senses, realize she's 21 years old, and figure out that she's NOT supposed to be stuck behind a desk in a cubicle with the same company for the next 20-40 years; nor that she belongs in some big house as some rich man's exotic trophy wife. She's BETTER than that!

But, I don't know, and that scares me more than any of the other possible outcomes this series has in store in the final four episodes. All that's left for me now is to watch them

Covering my eyes during the scary parts.