Weeds is a pretty polarizing show. On one hand, I think everyone can attest to the fact that the show employs a very unique brand of dark humor that few series can match. But on the other hand, it’s a universal opinion that the show’s quality (and focus) has significantly dwindled over the past couple of seasons.
Nevertheless, so many shows settle for becoming stagnant and repetitive that I think Weeds has to be commended for constantly reinventing itself year after year. After the first three seasons set in Agrestic, the show frequently flipped its dynamic on its head on an annual basis to varying results of success. (On a side note, this season’s new intro is phenomenal with a return to the show’s original theme song and a stunning animated rendering of the past 8 years).
Season eight has been confirmed to be the series’ last, and I for one am undeniably intrigued to see how Jenji Kohan plans to end it all. First off, I was completely surprised by the fact that Nancy did indeed get shot during last season’s final moments. Kohan could have easily written herself out of this predicament (as 99% of the shows on TV would have done) and yet she went there and it was fantastic. Within the span of a couple of minutes, Mary Lousie Parker immediately reminded me just how brilliant an actress she is as she adopted the show’s signature snark through her blood-drenched visage.
Speaking of Weeds’ black comedy, I especially enjoyed the little touches of satire throughout the hour from the hospital insurance employee to the elderly couple snooping into the crime scene. This episode just made me smile in a way the show hadn’t in quite a while. Moreover, I adored the drug-peddling clown subplot who factored into Nancy’s new quest of redemption. That’s just a wonderful evolution of the character that seems strangely fitting after eight years of darkness. I found myself truly touched by her sentiments as she provided the floor’s terminal patients with illicit cookies that brought some laughter into their lives.
In other news, Shane got to develop his tough-cop persona some more (and I enjoyed the reveal of Peter’s son being the shooter), Silas indulged in a strange new S&M hobby, Doug disturbingly groped an unconscious Nancy, and Andy gave a rabbi an excellently-written monologue. However, it was Jill who surprised me the most in the season’s opening hours. She was nothing more than an irritating villain last year but now, she’s strangely morphed into a semi-likeable character with a host of dimensions. I’m somewhat eager to see where her character goes as well as her relationship with Andy who’s obviously still very much in love with our heroine.
All in all, season eight’s opening two hours were a welcome return to form. I truly hope Weeds gets a stunning sendoff this year and the epic series finale it so rightfully deserves.