Parallel Play
Six Feet Under | Season 4 | Episode 3

Parallel Play

TV-MA | 55 MIN

Directed by Jeremy Podeswa
Written by Jill Soloway

David grooms Arthur to handle more funereal duties now that Nate is out of the picture. During Arthur's first intake, David notices Arthur fidgeting with his shabby suit and offers to take him shopping. Keith comes along to get new suits for his upcoming bodyguard stint for a young pop diva named Celeste. While the ever-weird Arthur is in the changing room, the pair speculates whether he is gay or 'A' (asexual).

Nate attends a Mommy N' Me class and meets a wealthy divorcee who invites him and Maya over for a play date. When Nate arrives, he gets a glimpse of the uncomplicated life that money affords this single mom, a pay-rolled staff on hand to fulfill her every need. With Maya safely in the hands of a watchful nanny, Nate succumbs to the divorcee's comforting charms and sleeps with her. In fact, Nate is so happy in her plush environment that he wants to stay, which leads to some awkwardness and ultimately, the woman asks Nate to leave.

Much to Claire's annoyance Anita makes plans to join Russell at fellow classmate Jimmy's party. Though it is clear Russell still has feelings for Claire, Claire seems more taken with Edie, who entertains the party guests with her artsy antics. Later, Claire notices Edie playfully fondling another woman and learns from Anita that Edie is a full-out lesbian.

Brenda and Joe continue to work out the quirks of a new relationship. Joe loses his erection in the always-desperate race for a condom. Later he admits that sexually, he responds best when there is more of a dominatrix role-playing dynamic. Brenda, however, wants a more "normal" sex life. She's afraid of any behavior she associates with her former addictive tendencies. Eventually, she and Joe work things out and Brenda realizes that role-playing can be fun without being deviant.

Rico is still drawn to Sophia and makes casual references to her quitting the stripping business in lieu of a more stable income-generating job. Sophia breaks down and admits that she has lupus from leaking breast implants. The only way she can feel better is if she can get the expensive operation for a new set of implants-something her health insurance won't cover and she can't afford. Rico offers to give her the money after Sophia tells him she probably won't be able to pay back a loan.

With George officially ensconced in the Fisher home, Ruth spearheads a family garage sale to get rid of excess stuff. In the meantime, George and Ruth receive another package of feces addressed this time to Mr. and Mrs. George Sibley, in the guise of a late wedding present. Ruth is upset by her inclusion in the package's contents and wonders who would target them. When George jokingly suggests that the package was sent by one of Ruth's scorned lovers, Ruth gets the idea that it's Arthur and confronts him. He denies it, and appears genuinely pained by her accusation.

Later, David finds a resignation note attached to Arthur's newly purchased suit, a gift from David. Arthur writes that he "no longer feel's comfortable in these surroundings," and David worries that maybe he and Keith unknowingly pressured Arthur into "Gayland" on their recent shopping spree until Claire informs him of Arthur and Ruth's brief affair.

In the waning hours of the garage sale it becomes clear that a lot of junk will remain unsold. Claire suggests they just burn the rest and Ruth, spotting an unpurchased memento of Arthur's, readily agrees. Nate, who was originally reluctant to sell anything returns home and tosses his bedding into the welcoming flames.