Some thoughts on the season premiere of Weeds, which I found to be a nice return to the shows roots (no pun intended) after the jump…
I posted my interview with supervising producer/writer Stephen Falk earlier today (if you missed it you can read it here), which goes into a bit of detail as to what this season has in store. And what I saw of tonight’s episode reassured me that a show that was slowly declining is on the rebound and could possibly have one of its best seasons in the coming weeks.
Nancy Botwin was never going to be able to live a life on the run. That’s something that seemed very inevitable yet also, at the same time, a direction the show never really went for. After delaying justice for several seasons and creating ways for Nancy to avoid jail time the show finally went for the hammer and nailed Nancy to a prison cell.
We don’t see very much of Nancy’s time in prison; just the very end of her stay at Danbury Federal Prison, and I think that works. A show where Nancy is kept to the confines of a holding cell doesn’t provide much entertainment, unless of course the writers find different ways to sexually exploit her like they did tonight (the thought that Nancy could potentially engage in same-sex relations isn’t too surprising; but when you see the mutual chemistry between Russian cellmate Zoya and American apple pie Nancy Botwin lock lips, you do wonder if she’s been lesbian the entire series). Mary-Louise Parker plays Nancy with a balanced amount of utter shock and surprise after finding out she’s being released at a parole hearing, as well as equal portions comedy and drama. One thing Weeds has been very good at doing over the years is finding the humor in really serious, dramatic situations and I don’t see the show deviating from that talent any time soon.
There’s a very good reason Nancy doesn’t need witness protection any longer and that is because her husband Esteban Reyes has been killed. His death isn’t shown on screen, so there’s always the chance he could still be alive–the show is Weeds after all, twists and turns is what they do best–but I’ll really miss the cat and mouse game between the two. While the relationship was not the ideal marriage, the two did have mutual respect and love for each other once upon a time, and that is evident by the fact that Nancy is taken aback after hearing the news of Reyes’ death. Nancy has never really been capable of being in a long-term relationship. All of her lovers have ended up dead and anyone who comes into contact with her risks the possibility of ending up shot, stabbed, poisoned, or burned into a fiery crisp. Which is why those who are closest to her, and are still alive, have been relocated to Copenhagen for the past three years.
Shane has just ended his relationship with his semen-seeking girlfriend Renata, who both have been working together as a marionette show couple; Silas is successfully working as a flower water model; and Doug and Andy have been working together as tour guides. That’s probably the most normalcy those four men have had in the past five years. Of course, normalcy is anything but normal with this show. Jill Price-Grey, Nancy’s sister calls Copenhagen almost immediately after Nancy’s release and the group quickly plans their return to the states, leaving behind all the employment and housing they have secured over the three year bridge.
This season shows a lot of promise. Nancy is now residing in a halfway house in New York and the Big Apple provides many different directions the show can head towards. The most interesting and intriguing thing I found tonight came during the final minutes of the show. A key that was given to Nancy by her cellmate unlocks a trunk full of grenades (and pleasure toys). I have no idea what Nancy could possibly use explosives for, but if tonight’s premiere is any indication of where things are to go, I have a feeling this season may be the most explosive one yet.
What did everybody else think?