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When death is your business, what is your life? For Nate, David, Ruth and Claire, the world outside the Fisher & Sons Funeral Home continues to be at least as challenging-and far less predictable-as the one
01 - In The Game
When a young actress dies, the cast in her latest slasher movie agrees to pitch in (more or less) for a cheap funeral at Fisher & Sons. As David gets both good and bad news from a trip to the doctor, Nate's MRI tests reveal he has Arterio-Venous Malformation (AVM), a condition that might, or might not, be fatal. Acting on advice she read in a book targeted to parents of gay and lesbian children, Ruth invites Nate, David and Claire - and their significant others - to join her and Nikolai for dinner. The meal is illuminating, at least for Nate
02 - Out, Out Brief Candle
A college football player collapses in the heat of practice, and his death haunts Nate and his AVM secret. With Matt Gilardi failing to buy out the "resilient" Fishers, Kroehner's regional director, Mitzi Huntley, decides to take matters into her own hands. Federico asks Nate and David for a down-payment loan for his house, but learns they're buying a "casket wall" display instead. Desperate, his wife Vanessa turns to her sister, Angelica, for help. Brenda invites the man who deflowered her over to dinner; Claire learns that Gabe is carrying some serious excess baggage; Keith frets that his drug-troubled sister Karla is neglecting her daughter, Taylor; and Robbie, Ruth's flower-store co-worker, asks Ruth to witness his graduation from a self-help seminar.
03 - The Plan
The husband of a psychic dies, making for some interesting conversations around Fisher & Sons. At Robbie's urging, Ruth enrolls in "The Plan," a marathon self-actualisation seminar, and is changed. Claire is angry that Gary, her high-school guidance counselor, has betrayed her confidences about Gabe; she later turns to Keith when Gabe's personality becomes increasingly unstable. Having passed his funeral-director exam, Nate joins his brother for his first LA Independent Funeral Directors lunch. Deciding to take a few courses at college, Brenda ends up walking out of a biogenetics class after dissing the teacher
04 - Driving Mr. Mossback
In order to retrieve the body of a dead Seattle man who feared flying, Nate goes back to his old home, bringing Claire along. They stay with Lisa, a co-op member and vegetarian who still carries a torch for Nate. Back in LA, David jumps at the chance to take care of Taylor while Keith is at work. Brenda joins her mother Margaret Chenowith in an effort to catch her husband having an affair, and later gets carried away with Scott, an impossibly cute man she met at a bar. And Ruth attempts to "draft her own blueprint" for happiness by reconnecting with former friends.
05 - The Invisible Woman
Ruth takes a singular interest in the death of a single woman with no friends or relatives. Brenda, in search of a literary muse, turns to one of her massage clients, a prostitute named Melissa. David's promising relationship with Ben Cooper, a public defender, is thrown for a loop when Keith arrives for comfort, albeit briefly. Claire is disgusted with her friend Parker for getting another girl to take her SATs, and is intrigued when Gary admits there's a "sexual tension" between them. And Nate's relationship with Brenda takes an unexpected turn.
06 - In Place of Anger
A comparison-shopping widow brings a feisty Mitzi Huntley back into Nate and David's lives, with yet another offer from Kroehner. Ruth's estranged sister Sarah arrives for an unexpected visit that proves cathartic for both of them, as well as the budding artist in Claire. Thanks to Nikolai's influence a vodka-fueled family dinner casts a shadow on some happy news from Nate and Brenda. Federico and Vanessa find their marriage frayed by a house in serious need of expensive repair, and David's unabated desire for Keith hinders him from committing to a new beau.
07 - Back to the Garden
Christmas signals the one-year anniversary of Nathaniel's death, and gets everyone thinking about their last moments with him. Brenda's book research nearly turns her fantasy world into a reality. Nate and Brenda are shocked by Margaret Chenowith's very special guest for Christmas Eve. Ruth's Christmas dinner brings David closer to Keith; meanwhile, Nikolai is stuck on Ruth's couch for a long convalescence with two broken legs. Claire's taste for bad boys drives her away from a well-meaning new boyfriend, and into an online relationship with a dangerous man from her past. Federico stirs up conflict in his family when he reveals the truth about Ramon. Nate receives a gift from a biker's widow that just might help him live his own life to the fullest.
08 - It's the Most Wonderful Time
Christmas signals the one-year anniversary of Nathaniel's death, and gets everyone thinking about their last moments with him. Brenda's book research nearly turns her fantasy world into a reality. Nate and Brenda are shocked by Margaret Chenowith's very special guest for Christmas Eve. Ruth's Christmas dinner brings David closer to Keith; meanwhile, Nikolai is stuck on Ruth's couch for a long convalescence with two broken legs. Claire's taste for bad boys drives her away from a well-meaning new boyfriend, and into an online relationship with a dangerous man from her past. Federico stirs up conflict in his family when he reveals the truth about Ramon. Nate receives a gift from a biker's widow that just might help him live his own life to the fullest
09 - Someone Else's Eyes
Nikolai proves to be a terrible patient, and Ruth's limits are tested when she uncovers the truth behind his injuries. Brenda's escapades may be helping her write, but her feelings about being engaged grow more muddled - especially after Billy's release from the hospital. David is happy to get closer to Keith, even as Keith is increasingly troubled by his sister's recurring drug habit and its impact on Taylor. Nate gets some news from ex-flame Lisa that adds to his growing doubts about marriage. Claire can't seem to escape Billy's influence, artistic or otherwise.
10 - The Secret
Although David is mending fences with Keith, it becomes apparent that their relationship still needs some ironing out - and Karla's got a secret that isn't going to make the going any smoother. Claire takes a questionable approach to her new photography hobby, and grapples with a future beyond high school. Ruth is ready to move things along with Nikolai, but he might be happy right where he is. Brenda's engagement anxiety leads her and Melissa on a sexual adventure in unlikely Orange County. Nate assesses his past and opens up to Lisa, but her reaction is far from hospitable.
11 - The Liar and the Whore
Nate and Brenda seek advice from Rabbi Ari, who leads them to a more honest place in their relationship. Ruth's need to control the lives of Nikolai and Claire help her realise that she may be the one who needs assistance. When Federico gets suspicious about an elderly woman's "natural" death, he inadvertently places Vanessa under scrutiny. A disgruntled former client files a lawsuit against Fisher & Sons, masterminded by an old friend over at Kroehner's.
12 - I'll Take You
Claire seems to be finding direction in her life, and a newly serious Billy may help her along the way. The death of an elderly friend of Federico's gets him thinking about his start in the funeral business. Ruth finally understands Nikolai's true feelings about their relationship, and tensions between Nate and Brenda come to a head when the truth comes out about Brenda's clandestine activities. David's new life with Keith seems to be coming together, when Keith has a run-in on the job that may threaten everything they've worked for.
13 - The Last Time
Fisher & Sons is the subject of an unannounced inspection, and the outcome proves surprisingly beneficial for Federico. Ruth wakes up to the reality of her relationship with Nikolai and quits her job at the flower shop, while Claire's art school interview turns out differently than she'd hoped. Things between Keith and David grow tense in the wake of Keith's career woes. Brenda attempts to deal with her true nature, making her future with Nate even more of a question mark. When Nate decides the time has finally come to take action regarding his AVM, Ruth, David and Claire discover a family intimacy they never knew they had.