Brenda struggles with morning sickness as she studies the home video of Nate's 2002 wedding to Lisa. Together, Nate and Brenda watch the Kimmel and Fisher families nervously prepare for the ceremony on the video. Brenda assures Nate that their upcoming wedding will be different from the first ceremony in every way.
Federico meets women through an online dating service, but his overly-high standards prevent him from settling on anyone special. When Vanessa won't agree to be Federico's wedding date, he invites a woman named Sharon instead.
Claire and Billy, who are happily committed to each other and rarely apart, decide to move in together. When Nate and Brenda host a pre-wedding dinner party for the family, Claire gets high with her brothers outside but is unable to convince them that Billy's mental health has improved.
After months of dealing with the consequences of George's Depressive Psychosis and electroconvulsive therapy treatments, Ruth is on the brink of mental exhaustion herself. Once he returns home from the hospital, George suffers from short-term memory loss and disorientation, but insists on attending Nate's wedding anyway. Ruth finally reaches her breaking point at the wedding when Claire takes a compromising photograph of George. To everyone's shock, an enraged Ruth slaps Claire, accusing her of "trying to make a statement" about Ruth's choice to marry George before she really knew him.
Two days before her wedding, Brenda suffers a miscarriage but Nate and Brenda decide to go ahead with the wedding anyway.
Listening to the ceremony inspires David to be more supportive of Keith's dreams of starting a family. Although David would prefer to adopt children who are looking for a home, he agrees to continue looking for a surrogate mother to bear their child if that's what Keith wants. At the wedding reception, David and Keith reach a compromise by deciding to pursue surrogacy and adoption at the same time.
After the wedding ceremony, Brenda wanders off alone, still high from pain medication and despondent over her lost baby. She imagines that Lisa is taunting her for having infertility problems. Nate finds Brenda and convinces her to re-join the party, telling her that the best days of their life together are yet to come.
Bebel Gilberto -- Aganjou (Latin Project Remix), The Doves
-- Almost Forgot Myself, Doris Day
-- But Not For Me, Southern Music Library -- Camilano, The Martini Kings -- Days Of Wine And Roses, Wilco
-- Hell Is Chrome, The Martini Kings -- So Danco Samba, The Martini Kings -- Teach Me Tonight, Dinah Washington
-- Teach Me Tonight, Extreme Music Library -- The Last Run, Thievery Corporation
-- The Time We Lost Our Way, The Martini Kings -- Wave
Nate and Brenda have unprotected sex for the first time since losing the baby, but their lovemaking is cut short when they catch Maya watching them. Brenda declines her mother's offer to get her out of an internship at a free psychiatric clinic, only to find that the job is much more difficult than she imagined. Nate handles the funeral of a former high school buddy and is flooded by memories of his uncomplicated youth.
David and Keith continue pursuing both adoption and surrogacy in their quest to have a baby. To David's extreme discomfort, Keith suggests they ask Claire to supply them with eggs for the surrogate.
Ruth shows signs of cracking after months of being Georgeâ€™'s main caregiver and George senses her resentment with increasing guilt. The couple experience temporary relief when George's daughter Maggie comes to visit, but it all quickly falls to pieces once Maggie prepares to leave.
Claire takes her photography in a new direction and is disappointed when her gallery owner prefers her old direction. Over dinner with a pair of Billy's art contemporaries she is titillated by stories of Billy's wild past. While Claire is inspired by these reminiscences, Billy is reminded how much he's changed.
Federico is concerned when his new love interest fails to return his calls. Fearing the worst, he gets her building manager to let him in to her apartment and is surprised by what he finds.
-- Amazing Life, The Pretenders
-- Back On The Chain Gang, Amos Lee
-- Colors, Angelique Kidjo
-- Conga Habanera (Latin Project RMX), Franz Lizst -- Consolation No. 3 in D-Flat Major (One Music), Extreme Music -- Feast Of The East, Traffic -- Feelin Alright, Wilco
-- Hell Is Chrome, Thievery Corporation
-- Holographic Universe, Extreme Music -- Sitar Anakhi
George Sibley is haunted by childhood memories of his mother's suicide. While doing laundry, Ruth finds rotting, half-eaten food in the pockets of George's clothes. When she confronts him about the food, George regresses to child-like behavior and claims he planned to save the food for later. Later, George confesses to Maggie that his symptoms are worsening and he feels he needs another round of electro-convulsive therapy.
Billy's manic energy fuels his passionate relationship with Claire and he proposes they move to Spain to work on their art. When Claire's credit card is declined at a camera shop she contacts the family's lawyer in a huff and learns that access to her trust fund has been frozen. Claire confronts her mother, but Ruth reminds her that she's no longer attending college and Nathaniel didn't intend to finance her life while she "played house with a crazy person." To cheer Claire up, Billy goes on a spending spree and buys them both expensive digital cameras.
David and Keith continue pursuing adoption and surrogacy in their hope of starting a family. But for all their careful planning, the two are rejected by the adoption agency when the counselor uncovers David's Las Vegas arrest for "lewd and lascivious behavior with a male prostitute." Keith and David are heartened, however, by their interview with a potential surrogate who seems TOO good to be true.
Brenda counsels a disturbed student at the community college who shoves her against the wall violently. Afterwards, she is comforted by her co-worker Jackie, who invites her over for a family dinner. Brenda is struck by the lack of tension and envies the easy dynamic Jackie shares with her close-knit family. Meanwhile, Nate is at a family dinner at the funeral home, where he finally meets George's daughter Maggie. She tells Nate about her son, who died when he was a baby, and the two instantly connect over shared personal tragedies.
Federico runs into Vanessa at a church-sponsored singles mixer where she makes it clear that she's not interested in getting back together with him. At a funeral directors' conference, Federico meets Angela, the restorative artist who worked at Fisher & Sons briefly years earlier - when Federico was hired by Kroehner Services Corporation. The pair hit it off and end up sharing a wild, uninhibited romp in bed.
Nate has a milestone 40th birthday and receives the surprising news that Brenda is pregnant. Nate's reaction to the news is less than ecstatic, leaving Brenda to question his desire for another child. Later, Nate comes home to an unwanted surprise party and lets it slip to that Brenda is expecting, creating tension.
Claire watches in annoyance and horror as Billy sinks deeper into un-medicated madness. Finally fed up with Billy's manic behavior, Claire has an unexpected one-night fling and ends her relationship with Billy.
David and Keith make an official offer to a surrogate and she accepts. David complains when he and Keith lose most of their day driving Roger's kids to a hair salon, but he quickly changes his tune when Roger's wife pulls some strings to get David and Keith a second shot at adopting a child - leaving them free, once again, to pursue both surrogacy and adoption.
Ruth admits to her knitting circle that she's tired of dealing with George and his madness. George apologizes to Ruth for all he's put her through, but the sentiment does little to salve past wounds.
Federico lays into Vanessa for accidentally forgetting to pick up Julio from a play date. The argument leads to romance, resulting in a night of passion. The following morning, however, Vanessa makes it clear that their encounter was a one-time experience.
Alva Star -- Cold Calculated, James Cromwell and Jeremy Sisto -- Daddy Sang Bass, Madeline Peyroux -- Dance Me To The End Of Love, Chicane
-- Daylight, Headland -- Jonathan's Comedown, Extreme Music Library -- Lower Level, Arcade Fire
-- Rebellion (Lies), Private Wavs Music Library -- Sidewalks, Coldplay
-- Speed Of Sound, Seal
-- Walk On By (Acoustic Version), Josh Rouse -- Winter In The Hamptons
Keith and David attend an adoption picnic, where David makes a connection with a skinny, African-American kid named Anthony. Mary, the woman hired as a surrogate mother, calls with news that she was successfully inseminated. David and Keith are elated but their plans soon change when Mary reveals that she was mistaken. Keith and David decide to foster parent Anthony and his older brother - named Durrell - instead.
Nate and Brenda argue about how much information they should tell Maya about her biological mother, Lisa. Nate wants to spare Maya the painful truth but Brenda wants the little girl to have a "coherent narrative." They decide the best strategy is to tell Maya what happened, but leave out the more sordid details of the story - including Lisa's relationship with Hoyt and the mystery surrounding her death.
Ruth confides in her friends from the knitting group that she has lost patience with George and can no longer stand the sound of his voice. Over dinner, Ruth's friends convince her that she's not responsible for taking care of a sick person for the rest of her life. They encourage Ruth to set George up with an apartment and a new job and then let him go. Inspired by the idea, Ruth suggests to George that they move out of the house and "make a fresh start."
Federico is irate when he learns that Julio bullied another boy at school. He meets with the school principal and cites his recent separation from Vanessa as an explanation for Julio's bad behavior. Vanessa is furious when the principal pulls her aside the next day and knows details about her personal life - including her problems with depression and her recent relationship with Kenny Sims.
Billy is desperate for closure with Claire. He assures Claire that he's back on his medications, but she still doesn't want to get back together. When Margaret and Billy gang up on Claire at a restaurant and insist that she reconsider, she feels ambushed and slips out the back without saying goodbye.
Al Green -- Build Me Up, Mood Rotation -- Getting Started (The Rural's Remix), Frankie Yankovich -- Herbie Hancock - In Heaven There Is No Beer- Rocki, Simply Red
-- Holding Back The Years, Oi Voi Va -- Od Yeshoma, Herbie Hancock
-- Rockit, Alexi Delano -- Round & Round (Charles Webster Remix), Handel -- Royal Fireworks Con Grosso, FirstCom Music Library -- See What The Animals Do, Ringside
-- Struggle, Nancy Sinatra
-- Sugar Town, Handel -- Water Music, Suite No. 1 in F Major- Air
unt Sarah comes to the funeral home to bury her friend Fiona, the woman who deflowered Nate when he was fifteen. The funeral provides temporary respite for both Brenda and Nate, who have spent the past few weeks suffering Billy's psychotically detailed analysis of his and Claire's recent break-up.
Keith and David fight over the best way to handle their new foster charges, Durrell and Anthony. After only two weeks with the children, Keith is ready to throw in the towel, tired of fighting with the caustic Durrell-while David secretly harbors hopes of permanently adopting the brothers. Things finally come to a head when Keith and David get an assessment visit from a social worker.
Ruth helps George settle into a new apartment all the while planning her escape from the marriage. Sarah's arrival provides Ruth with an excuse to spend a few nights away from George and she revels in the female kinship of Sarah and her high-spirited friends. George remains blissfully unaware of his wife's true intentions until Maggie visits and points out that Ruth's personal affects are conspicuously absent. In the end, George accepts the truth and surprises Ruth by setting her free.
Claire signs up with a temp agency while she awaits word on her application for an art grant. On her first office job, she quickly discovers the stifling corporate environment is a far cry from the world of art. However, when her grant application is rejected, Claire wonders if maybe the art world isn't for her after all.
Vanessa enlists the aid of a live-in nanny to help her manage the stress of running the house on her own. But when the nanny uses poor judgment one too many times, Vanessa fires her and invites a thrilled and surprised Federico to move back in.
Donna -- Brick House, Jane Siberry -- Calling All Angels, Jardin D'Hive -- Keren Ann, Benjy Wertheimer -- Purnam Adah, Joan Armatrading
-- Show Some Emotion, Lauren Ambrose
-- You Ride Up My Thighs (You Light Up My Life)
While Keith is working long hours with Roger, David is overwhelmed with parenting responsibilities. Durrell is embarrassed about an upcoming school play and refuses to let Keith and David attend. Despite the boy's wishes, David and Keith go and David relives the glory days when he performed in school musicals.
Claire meets a lawyer at work named Ted, who takes interest in her art. She joins her office friends for drinks after work, hoping to see him again. At the bar, Claire and Ted talk briefly, but she reveals very little about herself. Later, at the office, Claire opens up to Ted a bit more and admits that she's creatively blocked.
Federico is frustrated by the lack of passion in his marriage. Despite his best efforts to be amorous, Vanessa is mostly uninterested in sex. When she finally does agree sleep with him, she's eager to get it over with.
Now that she's no longer taking care of George, Ruth tries to fill her life with other diversions. At a friend's party, she feels hopelessly out of place and can't find anyone her age to talk to. When George asks for a quickie divorce and admits he's fallen in love again, Ruth is in shock. His imminent marriage plans prompt Ruth to warn George's fiancee about his mental illness.
Blood test results have Brenda and Nate concerned about their unborn child. After speaking with Maggie about the emotional strain of caring for a child with special needs, Nate worries they can't handle the responsibility. Brenda's doctor recommends an amniocentesis to test for problems and Nate insists that she take the test. Brenda refuses, though, convinced that Nate's real problem is an inability to be present for their marriage. She decides to go forward with the pregnancy despite possible complications.
-- Anyway You Want It, Michael C. Hall -- Blow Gabriel Blow, Oscar Peterson -- Corcovado, Teddy Lasry -- End Of Spring, Central Living -- Everyday (Sven's Version), Sara McLachlan -- Fallen, Ryan Adams -- Let It Ride, Black Toast Music -- Yada Yada Yada
Since learning of the baby's potential health problems, Brenda and Nate have grown distant from each other. Fearing Nate's negativity toward their unborn baby, Brenda goes to her ultrasound appointment without him, opting to bring Jackie instead for moral support. Later, she and Nate fight over his sudden interest in the Quaker religion, which Brenda believes is linked to his sudden interest in fellow Quaker Maggie. Nate proves her right when an innocent encounter with Maggie ends in passion, with shocking repercussions for Nate.
Ruth agrees to babysit Durrell and Anthony for the first time. Things go well until David and Keith return home to find Durrell pulling Keith's SUV into the driveway. David accuses his mother of not providing proper supervision, before learning that Darrell's joyrides have occurred more than once-a revelation that results in a violent confrontation between Keith and Durrell.
Claire runs into her former LAC-Arts classmate Anita while on a coffee run for the office. Anita invites her to an art opening that Claire intends to avoid until Ted offers to join her. At the exhibit, Claire reunites with her ex-boyfriends Russell and Jimmy and finally makes peace with her past and present selves.
Ruth wants to get a professional haircut and visits her old flame Hiram at his hair salon. The two quickly become reacquainted over dinner, which leads to a night of passion and a spontaneous camping trip.
David asks Nate and Federico to a partners'meeting to discuss the future of the funeral home. The meeting comes to a deadlock, however, when the threesome can't agree on the best way to invest in the business. For Federico, the friction at the funeral home sheds light on his strained relationship with Vanessa and he finally confronts her about it.
Mozart -- Ave Verum Corpus, Jethro Tull
-- Bouree, Alexkid (feat. Lisette Alea) -- Don't Hide It, The Wiggles
-- Henry The Octopus, Robbers on High Street
-- Japanese Girls, Subnoize Souljaz -- Let's Ride, Quaker Friends -- Singing For Our Lives (We Are A Gentle Angry Peopl, Bah Samba -- So Tired Of Waiting, Townes Van Zandt
-- To Live Is To Fly
Following Nate's AVM seizure, Maggie follows Nate's ambulance to the hospital. In the emergency waiting room with David, Maggie answers the doctor's questions about Nate's physical and emotional well-being in the moments before he collapsed. Although she doesn't state it explicitly, Maggie reveals that she and Nate had sex earlier in the evening.
Claire is dismayed to discover that her new boyfriend Ted is a Republican. The pair is heatedly arguing about politics when Claire gets a phone call with news about Nate's seizure. Ted goes with Claire to the hospital and stays by her side in the waiting room all night, earning her trust.
A doctor at the hospital tells the family that Nate was suffering from a new Arteriovenous malformation which ruptured, causing a hemorrhage in his brain. Nate is rushed into the operating room immediately to stop the bleeding, but during the surgery he slips into a coma.
Meanwhile, no one in the family is able to reach Ruth because she's camping in the woods with Hiram. Although Ruth isn't in the mood for sex, Hiram is feeling very amorous. When he doesn't want to take no for an answer, Ruth leaves him alone in the tent. The next morning, the two argue and Ruth stomps off into the wilderness by herself. Later, she happens upon a bus filled with Chinese tourists, who give her a ride back to Los Angeles
While unconscious, Nate dreams that his arm merely fell asleep the night before and there was no seizure. In his alternate, dream life, he and Maggie profess their love for each other, then Nate goes home and calmly asks Brenda for a divorce.
When Nate wakes from his coma the family delightedly rallies around him. He has some weakness on his left side but the doctors say that with physical therapy he will likely return to normal. Later, Brenda tells Nate that she knows about his affair with Maggie but she's willing to forgive him. Nate surprises Brenda when he says he's tired of fighting and thinks they should give up struggling to keep their marriage together.
With David seated by Nate's hospital bed, the two brothers take a nap and have a shared dream that they're on a surfing trip with Nathaniel, getting stoned in the back of the Deadwagon. When they arrive at the ocean, Nate jumps in the water and encourages his brother to join him but David suddenly becomes nervous about sharks. When David awakens from the dream, he finds that Nate has died.
Stefanie Sun -- "Wo De Ai" AKA "Wou Du Ai", Antonio Vivaldi -- Concerto For Two Flutes, Strings & Basso Continuo, Giuseppe Scarani -- Sonata Prima #2, Den Jian Dong -- Spring Morning In Suzhou, The Brother's Johnson -- Strawberry Letter 23, Townes Van Zandt
-- To Live Is To Fly
In the hours following Nate's death from a brain hemorrhage, David copes with his pain by planning his brother's funeral. He explains to Brenda and Ruth that Nate wanted a green funeral with no embalming or casket, just burial in a plot of land that's protected by a nature preserve.
Keith prepares Anthony and Durrell for Nate's memorial service but is interrupted by a frantic phone call from Roger. A tweaked-out actor named Trevor is trashing Roger's house and Keith needs to get Trevor out of town immediately. At the airport, Trevor reveals that he's seen footage of Keith and Roger having sex; the tryst between the two men was videotaped without Keith's knowledge. Furious at being betrayed, Keith calls Roger and quits his job.
With Ruth too bereft to take care of herself, Bettina comes to the house to help. When Ruth learns that there will be no preservation or viewing of Nate's body, she becomes even more distraught. She takes the last opportunity to see her son's body by helping David in the prep room as he washes the blood off Nate's scalp.
Maggie comes by Brenda's house with some food and Brenda accuses her of being responsible for Nate's death, asking, "What is this? Some Quaker thing? You f#$@ someone's husband to death and then bring them a quiche?" Brenda also struggles with how to tell Maya about Nate's death. Her mother Margaret is - unsurprisingly - of little comfort. Brenda soon succumbs to her grief and overwhelming anger with her dead husband. She drops Maya off at the funeral home, asking Ruth to baby-sit for a while.
Desperate to escape her misery, Claire asks Ted to take her for a drive and they hit the road with no particular destination in mind. Although she's only known him a short time, Claire feels comfortable crying in front of Ted and wonders aloud why she's only able to recall painful memories of her brother. When she's ready, Ted takes her back home and she arrives just in time for Nate's memorial service to begin.
At the memorial service, David is haunted by images of Jake, the hitchhiker who attacked him. While eulogizing his brother, he suffers a panic attack and has to leave the Slumber Room at once. Federico speaks lovingly of his friend and business partner, and then George surprises everyone with his wisdom and comforting words. Afterwards, Ruth invites George to join the family at Nate's burial in a wooded nature preserve.
At the burial, David suffers another panic attack and seeks shelter in his car. Without his help, Federico, George, and Keith struggle to carry Nate's body out of the hearse. After Ruth helps David overcome his fears, he joins the family by Nate's open grave and Aunt Sarah reads aloud a poem from the Mystic Odes of Rumi.
David still struggles with violent nightmares after six weeks of mourning his brother. When he learns about a criminal at large who's abducting children, he becomes overly protective of his sons. Eventually he snaps, and yanks Durrell and Anthony out of school in a panic. Fearing David's unpredictable behavior will upset the boys, Keith sends David away until he can get a hold of himself.
Maya has been staying at the funeral home for several weeks, where Ruth and George happily care for her together. Ruth decides she wants to have permanent custody of Maya and argues fiercely with Brenda about what's best for the little girl. In a moment of weakness, Brenda allows Ruth to keep Maya for a while longer.
While Brenda prepares for the arrival of her new baby, who is due in two months, Billy stays with her at the house. Brenda plans to raise Maya and the new baby with Billy's help but after she has a disturbing sex dream about her brother she asks him to move out. Later, Brenda resolves to take Maya home with her for good. She shows up at the funeral home to collect her daughter but goes into labor the moment she arrives.
Federico is eager to have a business discussion but David is too distracted by his inner demons to help plan the funeral home's future. Meanwhile, Vanessa urges Federico to invest in his own funeral home and they find a property for sale. Federico asks his wife to assist him at the office and Vanessa finds that she has a knack for consoling a grieving client.
When Claire is drunk and belligerent at the office for several days in a row, Ted confiscates her car keys. She verbally attacks a client at Fisher & Diaz, then fights with Ted and throws a glass of water in his face. Later, Claire drives to the nature preserve to visit Nate's grave, but strange noises frighten her and she speeds away. Trying to avoid a deer in the road, Claire crashes the green hearse. Her car is totaled but she makes $950 selling it for parts.
Songs: Arcade Fire
-- Cold Wind, Royksopp -- Dead To The World, Interpol
-- Directions, Haydn -- Hunt Quartet: Adagio, Juana Molina -- Salvese Quien Pueda, Ludwig Van Beethoven
-- Trio for Piano, Violin and Violincello
In the series finale, David finally embraces a demon; Keith gives "tough love"; Nathaniel talks to his younger son; Brenda delivers early and fights Nate's negativity; Claire gets an exciting phone call; Ted inspires some sexy photos; Margaret is impressed to see Olivier's nurturing side; Rico and Vanessa celebrate an investment; Ruth finds consolation in the truth from Maggie; George's limitations eclipse his intentions; and Claire drives into her future. The Future of the family is revealed.