‘Weeds’ Review: “See Blue and Smell Cheese and Die”
The final season of 'Weeds' is almost making a sprint to the finish line, but it seems more concerned with wrapping things up than doing so gracefully, as we're now glossing over plot points that would have been much larger in seasons past.
Nancy has returned home from the hospital and is being coddled by her sister Jill. Shane has left a note informing her that he's found the shooter and all will be settled, but Nancy can't deal with Shane killing someone else. Silas finally breaks the news to her that Shane has joined the police academy, where he's acquired a special new set of skills. (How very Liam Neeson of him).
The remainder of the episode (mostly) becomes a race to get to Tim Scottson before Shane can, but the problem with this is that it doesn't really seem like anyone is in a hurry to get anywhere. Silas and Nancy share some rather nice mother-and-son moments throughout the episode -- a refreshing change of pace, considering that the two have been warring since the beginning of the series. And while that's all fine and, you know, pleasant, it's not advancing the plot. The biggest concern with this final season of 'Weeds' appears to be its lack of momentum. So far creator Jenji Kohan has been picking up loose threads and neatly tying them, but it all feels too damn easy.
For your consideration: This is a show that began in the Southern California suburban community of Agrestic. It was a show about a mother, desperate to provide for her family after the passing of her husband. It was poignant in that it showed how a woman had lived her life around her family without pursuing any career prospects, or gaining the sort of education and knowledge that would prepare her for a life on her own. And so she began selling marijuana to provide for her family. That show has taken us all over the United States, to Mexico, Amsterdam and now back again. What was once a contained and quirky -- though sometimes dark -- comedy about a mess of a woman, has become a global disaster.
And yet this season, while struggling to return itself to its simpler roots, has almost an air of laziness. It's so easy for Nancy and Silas to show up on Tim's doorstep, to get the information they need and find Tim at work.
The best scenes this week involve guest star Mae Whitman ('Arrested Development' -- her?) as Tim's girlfriend, a repressed, slightly air-headed type who gives a fascinating performance that makes me wish she had been a character on the show all along. Also guest starring this week is DC Pierson, one of the members of Derrick Comedy, a comedy trio featuring Donald Glover and Dominick Dierkes, and the guys that brought us the underrated 'Mystery Team.'
Pierson plays Tim's boss at a local sub sandwich shop, and between his overbearing micro-management techniques and the mere nerve-wracking presence of the clearly undead Nancy, Tim looks ready to wet his pants. It's a totally uncomfortable dynamic, watching as Tim tries to do his job while also answering to the suspiciously calm woman who he shot in the head.
All the Tim-centric elements this week are executed enormously well, which makes it even more frustrating to see how Kohan & Co. gloss over this major plot point. By episode's end Nancy has easily -- seriously, too easily -- convinced Tim to pack up his stuff, head back home, and go to college. But just as he's packing his bags, Shane and his police buddies pop in and arrest him. Nancy unconvincingly pleads that he has an alibi and didn't shoot her, but Shane's superior officer notes that she should smile because Shane is trying to impress her. Is this the end of the Tim Scottson storyline? It seems woefully convenient, and this is the type of arc that would normally take an entire season to work out.
Over at Vehement Capital, there's some business with the SEC and money not being what it should be, so Doug takes the company's holdings and transfers them to a charity to avoid any further trouble with the SEC. I'm not a business expert, but I'm pretty sure this isn't how things work.
Andy is settling in with his new family, which includes taking up coaching duties for the twins' junior roller derby team. In related news: There's junior roller derby? Sure. Andy butts heads with the obnoxious twins and has to figure out how to be a replacement father on his own terms, which involves taking revenge on one of them by cutting off a big chunk of her red-streaked hair. This enrages Jill's ex-husband, which leads to this:
"Looks like he Netflix'd a docu-series about these two surfers who cut themselves, and then f--- underwater, in a cage, surrounded by sharks, called 'Blood F---ers.'"
"I am not a cantaloupe."
"Scott, I didn't think you'd be here." "I didn't think you'd f--- a guy in the middle of my commitment pledge."
"Next time I take your tampon!"
"Those are his pet rabbits... were his pet rabbits. I told him they shouldn't bake in the sun like that, but he's not a listener. There's 12 of them. They're all named Peter."
"Tim's gun... Tim's gun... 'Project Runway'!"