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Major character is sent ‘Six Feet Under’

HBO’s funeral-home drama features surprising loss

Warning: This story contains major spoilers for the most recent episode of "Six Feet Under." If you don't want to know what happened, stop reading now.

A major “Six Feet Under” character will be making personal use of the family business.

Reluctant mortuary owner Nate Fisher, played in the drama series by Peter Krause, died Sunday after suffering a brain hemorrhage. The ending was a shocker for Nate’s relatives as well as viewers — earlier in the episode, doctors had offered reassurances he would survive.

Initially in a coma, Nate had recovered enough to be able to tell his pregnant wife, Brenda (Rachel Griffiths), that he had decided to leave their troubled marriage.

Later, while brother David (Michael C. Hall) is visiting with him at the hospital, both fall asleep and share a dream that they’re on a surfing trip with their late dad. When David awakens, he finds Nate has died.

The same brain condition that led to Nate’s death, identified in the series as an arteriovenous malformation, had been diagnosed once before in a past episode and treated with surgery. This time, Nate wasn’t so lucky.

His fate may have been hinted at in a preseason online HBO interview with executive producer Alan Poul, in which Poul said the there would be “darker turns for some people and lighter turns for others” as the series’ fifth and final season. There are three episodes left.

In preview scenes from next week’s episode, the Fishers were seen quarreling over services for Nate. It’s likely Nate himself may have something to say — “Six Feet Under” has made a practice of bringing the dead back for a word or two.