I started watching ‘Weeds’ with the final episode of season two. I saw the pilot when it first aired, but I didn’t really start watching until the night I went to hang out with my friends and ended up watching "Pittsburgh." Remember that one? Nancy and Conrad set up to sell weed to U-Turn and the Armenians show up after killing Nancy’s DEA husband, but Silas steals all the pot and gets caught by Celia and the police. Needless to say, I was confused, lost, and totally hooked.
To me, "Weeds" is No. 2 only to "Lost" for huge cliffhanger season finales. Season one ended with Nancy unknowingly pulling on the jacket of her DEA boyfriend. Season two finished up with the above-mentioned standoff. Season three concluded with Agrestic burning. And season four wrapped up with an ultrasound of Nancy and her Mexican politician/drug lord’s baby. Season five didn’t end with a huge bang … it more sneaked up behind you and, well, hit you with a croquet mallet.
The Botwin family starts off without its new patriarch. Esteban still hasn’t returned from campaigning, getting arrested, and then ending up on a major party ticket. (Mexican politics. So like our own.) After a stressful night of drinking and worrying, Nancy finds a masseuse setting up in her bedroom. Nice way to prepare for a stressful season finale: a rubdown, being called a warrior. But just as Nancy is lulled into peaceful relaxation, she finds out the massage is a gift from Pilar. I’m sure all her knots tightened again hearing that.
Before we get too into Nancy and Pilar’s looming battle, let’s get the B-story out of the way.
Celia is hiding out in rented storage, still shaken up by the detective who’s been messing up her drug deals. Doug shows up as she’s mixing her morning screwdrivers and lets slip that he, Dean and Isabelle were behind her recent trouble. Celia decides that she needs her own team if she’s going to continue selling pot and recruits all the show’s side characters -- even Sanjay, who must be in need of work since he’s no longer Jack Donaghy’s assistant.
Celia gets her crew together, mirroring the tableau of Nancy and her crew at the end of season one. It was a nice connection to the happier days of Agrestic, but mostly it just reminded me how disinterested I am in minor characters of the show when they’re not interacting with the Botwins. So go, sell your drugs, dress up like Nancy or a crazy dog, and make each other torture their genitalia. I wanna know what’s going on in Casa de Reyes.
There’s plenty going on there, too. While Nancy and Shane are boozing it up, Silas gets a call from Adelita in the other room. She just needs a little help getting her computer so she can look up why half her body went numb after injecting herself with heroin. (Not sure if that’s on Ask.com, but Google it.) Luckily they have a doctor on call now. They have to interrupt Andy’s very impatient proposal inside a minivan that might actually be cooler than the General Lee.
Nancy has to break the news to Esteban that his daughter is a junkie (or "yunkie," as Andy pronounces it), adding to his emasculation. His educated, cultured daughter is on smack (it’s whack, kids). It’s left to Nancy to step up and take care of things. She gets Adelita admitted to rehab and tells Guillermo she wants him to kill Pilar tonight, presumably at the fundraiser she’s throwing for Esteban.
It’s all set up for the big cliffhanger ending. Is Esteban going to stand up to Pilar? No. Not tonight. Is Guillermo going to take Pilar out? No. He works for her and is still upset that Nancy ratted him out. Is Cesar going to share any of the appetizers? No. All the men in Nancy’s life have failed her. Men are weak in her world. Even Andy runs away when a nut job protester threatens his new finance. Women are the warriors, and Pilar has defeated her. Pilar explains to Nancy in no uncertain terms that she is in charge and Nancy will play her role in the background of this election. If Nancy has any problems with that, there is the matter of her two sons, who could quiet easily die in, say, a car accident. Wouldn’t that be trag -- WHAMMO.
Upside the head with a croquet mallet. Not all men are weak. Not Shane. And since we’re referencing the first season so much, “You can’t miss the bear.”
And that’s it. Cut to the credits. Our summer of ‘Weeds’ is over. We’ll miss you. Please don’t be gone too long.
-- Andrew Hanson
Photo: Mary-Louise Parker as Nancy Botwin and Demian Bichir as Esteban Reyes. Credit: Showtime Television