After having to wait an excruciating 278 days for its return, I’ll admit I was almost a little bit cross with Weeds. How dare they drop a cliffhanger like that on me and then peace out? Classic Nancy Botwin. But then the season 8 premiere came along, and like Nancy’s dogged spaniel Andy, I was hers once again. (Spoilers ahead!)
This season, I’ve decided to divide up our understanding of the Weeds universe into sex, drugs, and violence, as those are the three most important (and let’s be honest, titillating) forces at work here. This does not preclude love, existential angst, or even religion from playing important roles as well. So with all that in mind, here we go.
This episode centered on the single, devastating act of violence that we saw prefigured in the season 7 finale: someone shot Nancy in the fucking head! If we’re thinking in logical, real world terms, it’s incredibly surprisingly that this didn’t happen sooner, but in Weeds world, where Nancy is a cat with infinite lives, it’s incredibly shocking. Of course, it’s hard to believe they’d kill off the undisputed main character, without whom the motley crew of supporting weirdos would have no excuse to congregate, so I’m pretty sure she’s going to pull through. But Nancy’s giant head wound and subsequent medically induced coma are a great device to tease out each character’s essential nature. For instance:
-Her sister Jill pretends not to care very much (even going so far as to hold up Nancy’s probably survival as evidence that there is no God), but brings her eye cream to the hospital and puts it on her face for her.
-Nancy herself goes on about the broken wine glass and what long, sexy fingers the paramedic has.
-Jill’s sociopathic daughter posts a photo of Nancy’s head wound on Facebook.
-Shane goes into scary cop/murderer mode…remember what happened the last time someone threatened his family?
-Silas (perhaps the most “normal” person on the show), is sad in what is most likely a complicated way, considering all the Oedipal hatred he may or may not still harbor for Nancy.
-Doug feels her up while eating stolen snacks from her roommate off her unconscious body.
-Andy has ill-advised, extremely grippy vagina ball sex with Nancy’s sister just inches from her comatose form, then spills his guts to a rabbi about how he’s not sure if he’ll ever get over his love for Nancy and become his own person.
And speaking of sex…
-Shortly after disclosing his dream about “monkeys fucking me,” Doug proclaims, “it feels kinda weird eating off your body, especially when you’re not naked.” And then the aforementioned boob-feeling. If this makes you uncomfortable, it should. Never forget: Doug is a terrible person whose primary purpose is to carry the show’s social satire of the wealthy even after the crew has left Agrestic. We tolerate him because he’s often the comic relief.
-Andy and Jill’s sex scene is as comically awkward as the last one, and I have reason to believe it won’t be their last. Maybe Andy can finally sort-of get what he wants by sort-of falling in love with Nancy’s sister. Because that always works so well in movies and TV shows!
-Jill, on learning of Nancy’s medically-induced coma: “You didn’t use that Michael Jackson drug, did you?”
-And of course, drugs are the reason why all of this is happening in the first place.
-That stuffy old Connecticut couple peering over the fence and fretting over their property value while the cops were stepping in Nancy’s blood were perfect.
Also, Nancy’s assassin was exactly who I thought he would be! Making him the son of the DEA agent Nancy married, then subsequently had killed, is the best case scenario here. (Also: the most realistic, as the cartel would not have botched it.) I can’t wait for the epic showdown he is going to have with Shane.