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.
David and the rest of the Fishers experience the control-freak side of Tracy Montrose Blaire when she envisions a "resplendent" funeral for her dearly departed Aunt Lilian. Brenda visits a remorseful Billy in the institution, then gets into an argument with Nate that has some serious repercussions. David is forced to take a stand at church when he and the other deacons are told that Father Jack has been presiding over same-sex marriages. Gabe reverts to some bad habits when he and Claire attend a party hosted by her sometime friend Parker. Ruth closes one door on Hiram, and opens another with Nicolai. And Rico celebrates his son's christening with a spirited reception at Fisher & Sons Funeral Home.
The homophobic killing of a gay man forces David to confront his own fears about his lifestyle - and life choices. After a particularly sick "joke" by Billy, Nate agrees with Brenda's parents that Billy should be institutionalised, but Brenda isn't convinced - yet. Meanwhile, Ruth shares a secret about her love life with fellow florist Robbie, Claire shares a secret about Gabe with her school shrink, and David shares a secret about himself with his mother.
David, Nate and Brenda travel to Las Vegas to attend a funeral directors' conference, and experience the highs and lows of Sin City. Meanwhile, Ruth takes a floral arrangement class, and learns to listen to her inner self. A baby's death from SIDS cast a pall over the Fishers and Sons return of Rico, whose wife is pregnant with the couple's second child.
Nate and David decide to hire a replacement for Rico: Angela, who does good work and speaks her mind. Billy has a gallery exhibit for some recent photos, including one taken of a surprising (and surprised) subject. David reconnects with Keith, Ruth dines with Nikolai, and Claire frets over Gabe's inconsistent behaviour.
A tragedy reunites Claire with Gabe, the "foot guy" who sullied her reputation at school. David and new boyfriend Kurt explore the disco circuit, where they run into Keith and his new partner. To improve Nate's sales skills, Brenda suggests they pose as bereaved relatives at several funeral homes in the area. Ruth finds a weekend camping trip with Hiram to be an eye-opening experience.
With a lull in business at Fisher's, Nate and David decide to rent out a room at the funeral home to make some extra income, and Frederico is tempted to take on some extra work at Kroehner's. Claire struggles to grasp the lessons of her outreach hike in the mountains, and Ruth struggles to reconcile her feelings toward Hiram with her need for excitement. Connor, a longtime Aussie friend of Brenda's, gets under Nate's skin. David's mood is buoyed by some good news: a bus crash has killed scores, and many of them are local!
When a young Army veteran dies of Gulf War syndrome, his embittered brother decides to eschew a military funeral in favour of a simple cremation and disposal. Ruth invites Hiram over to cook dinner then takes a job working for Nikolai. David casts the swing vote in the church search committee's decision to hire a progressive young associate priest. Claire has trouble recognising the value of algebra at school and in her life. Nate and Brenda plan to spend their first weekend away, but Billy has other ideas.
An ornery grieving widow camps out in the Fisher Funeral Home after the death of his wife of 56 years. Sparks fly when Claire meets Brenda's brother Billy. Ruth spurns Hiram after running into him at a church; later, she's wooed by Nikolai, the Fishers' Russian florist. While serving church meals to the homeless, David finds himself pursued by pushy divorced parishioner Tracy Montrose Blair. And an examination of funeral home receipts leads Nate to uncover some of his father's secrets - including a mysterious room that he bartered in exchange for a funeral.
The death of a porno queen shocks Ruth, who isn't prepared for the crush of co-stars who arrive at Fisher's to eulogise the fallen star. Keith takes issue with David's desire to replace his father as deacon at the family church. Claire and Ruth attempt to spend more quality time together, and make a spontaneous visit to their cousins' Cleaverian home. Nate has dinner, sans Brenda, with her psychiatrist parents Bernard and Margaret, and has an unsettling first encounter with her brother Billy.
A Mexican-American gang member is killed, and the Fishers find that the family's wishes for burial are at odds with those of the gang's leader, Powerful. Meanwhile, with arson investigators breathing down the family's throat, Nate, David and Ruth wonder if Claire might have had something to do with the fire across the street. Brenda arrives for her first dinner at the Fishers, but fails to make a favourable impression with Ruth. And David gets courage from an unexpected source to end a feud with Keith - and stand up to Gilardi's threat to destroy the Fisher's business.
Nathaniel Fisher, owner of the Fisher and Sons Funeral Home in LA, is killed when a municipal bus broadsides his new hearse. The tragedy casts a pall on the holiday homecoming of son Nate who must deal with the fragile egos of mother Ruth (who has been having a secret affair with her hairdresser, Hiram), brother David (a closet homosexual seeing a black policeman named Keith), and a sister Claire (a rebellious high-schooler who receives the bad news after dropping crystal meth with new boyfriend Gabe). The only good thing to happen to Nate is Brenda, a passionate women he met on the plane, just before learning of his father's death.
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