Rebecca Leah Milford
1980 - 2001
Brenda and Nate seem to be in a bit of a slump, or rather Brenda is in the slump for both of them. David gets some good news, but then continues to get bad news of varying degrees. But if David's news is bad, Nate's could be considered slightly potentially devastating. And it doesn't help Nate that Brenda is being so detached and cold towards him. Ruth is trying to figure out ways she can be more accepting and open to David's homosexuality. In the process she questions Claire about her sexuality. Rico is trying to become more involved on the sales side of the business but strikes out.
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.
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-actualization 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
A Jewish funeral at Fisher & Sons leads Nate to seek spiritual guidance from an intense female rabbi. Visiting her Aunt Sarah, Claire is surprised to meet an intriguing boy her own age amidst Sarah's hard-partying "artist" friends. Brenda's prostitute pal Melissa inspires some unusual fantasies. Keith warms up to David after a medical emergency involving his niece Taylor. Ruth invites Robbie to dinner to spare herself another lonely evening, but his chatter renews her appreciation for the beauty of a silent home. Federico's suspicions about his cousin Ramon's intentions towards Vanessa prove remarkably misguided.
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.
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.
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.
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 realize 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.
Leticia Perfecta Perez
1929 - 2002
Some ladies are at the beauty parlor are getting ready for a Quinceanera (15th Birthday Party). When the stylist goes over to Leticia to see if she's done, he discovers she more than done.
Nate and Brenda begin to start over, but something comes in the way, a secret Brenda is hiding.
David and Keith apply to adopt Taylor. But what will the social worker think about two men living together?
Federico and Vanessa gets an unexpected gift from a very unexpected place.
Nikolai and Ruth's relationship takes a serious turn for the worse. Ruth also gets some wonderful news.
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.