Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Weeds Recap: The End, Maybe

"Everyone's a little happy, everyone's a little miserable. That's family."   --Nancy

Oh, Nancy Botwin. How you continue to taunt me even in (almost) certain death.

Having just finished watching the Season 7 finale -- a few days late because, honestly, I forgot this show was still on my roster -- I am left feeling strangely puzzled. Yes, this mediocre season got it together long enough to end with a few strong episodes, but that's sort of a weak sauce consolation, considering the fact that the last episode conveniently abandoned almost all the story arcs the season had invested in week after week. If the individual subplots weren't already so forgettable this season, they have certainly been rendered moot by the finale. Dimitri, Zoya, Emma, Klein, Heylia, all moot. Granted, some of them had definitely overstayed their welcome -- Vehement Capital, anyone? -- but the most promising development of Season 7 -- Silas's long overdue break from the family (extremely temporary, as it turned out) -- was cheaply glossed over with a quickie reconciliation and some sentimental dreck about family ties and regrets and forgiveness in spite of how badly a son (or mother) screws up. Never mind that Silas was the one character on this show with the slightest chance at (and temperament for) actual independence. Never mind that any potential Season 8 plot that dealt with a possible rivalry between Nancy and her oldest would have been several times more interesting than yet another Godmother-style season arc predicated on the idea that Nancy is somehow still the best chance this family has for survival. That may have been a believable concept back in Agrestic, where Shane and Silas were still defenseless children, but it's no longer the case. Even Shane is showing some promise by secretly enrolling in cop school.

And what was that, by the way? What was the point of introducing this new element into the alleged series finale, mere minutes before Nancy more than likely gets nailed in the face by a sniper? I have no problem with the idea of Nancy dying in the end, but a) the ending was ambiguous in a way that Weeds has neither the right nor the dramatic cred to attempt to be and b) if you are going to kill off the lead character, a nameless shooter in the bushes (with no inkling as to who might have hired him) is not an OK method of doing so; even Nancy deserves better. This is why I have such a gripe with this episode as a series finale, and though I swore I wouldn't, I find myself now rooting for a Season 8, if only so that this show can get a proper conclusion, preferably in the form of an organically progressive season. 

That said, the episode by itself struck a good balance between the light and the dramatic and featured several strong, well-written scenes, particularly the big showdown between Detective Ouellette and Shane. It was also surprisingly funny, and all the interactions between Nancy and Jill were nearly brilliant; even Andy had some actual grownup material to work with, which is always great. Well... it's better than the alternative, let's just leave it at that.

If this show gets another season, I'm not well-adjusted enough to abstain. And if it doesn't... well, I'm no longer invested enough to really mourn the lackluster conclusion.

Until next summer, fellow prisoners! Or not.

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