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Sticky Wicket: Frenemies and Adversaries on the Season Finale of "Weeds"

What a weird, strange journey it's been this season on Weeds.

Between pregnancies, marriages, assassinations, overdoses, teenage STDs, and thievery, Season Five of Showtime's dark comedy Weeds has been a sometimes bizarre and uneven mix of shifting timeframes, over the top characters, and increasingly complicated inter-personal relationships. (Hell, you almost need a flowchart to keep track of the vagaries of the Nancy/Esteban/Andy/Audra storyline this season.)

Last night's season finale of Weeds ("All About My Mom"), written by series creator Jenji Kohan, looked not to shift the action elsewhere but to create a new status quo all the same that would switch up the characters, their motivations, and their state of mind.

And it did so with one hell of a croquet mallet swing.

Yes, I'm referring to that final scene in the season finale, a.k.a. the mallet swing heard round the world as the insidious Pilar (Kate del Castillo) threatened to have Nancy's "extraneous" sons Shane and Silas killed after she learned that Nancy had hired Guillermo to have her assassinated. (Note to Nancy: Pilar's probably right when she says that you shouldn't hire your enemies to kill your adversaries. It always leads to trouble.)

I half-wondered whether Nancy, in lioness-mode, would kill Pilar with her bare hands after hearing her callous threats against her beloved (if totally neglected) children but Nancy, it turns out, didn't have to do anything.

I think I actually gasped aloud when I saw that croquet mallet swing down onto Pilar's coiffured head and knock her into the pool... and then cheered when I saw that it was Shane holding the other end of the mallet. In a series overflowing with quirky characters and over the top situations, Shane has slowly become one character to root for, even as he dives into the deep end of crazy. (Holding a knife to the throat of that rich Mexican heroin fiend in last week's episode springs to mind.)

Is it strange that we can actively root for a teenage killer? You betcha but Shane also took a huge leap there not onto to the dark side but also from teenagedom to adulthood, becoming with one swing his mother's protector. Throughout the five seasons of Weeds so far, Shane has more or less been the quieter, weirder brother to Silas' more rebellious manchild. But with this action, he's developed into a compelling, complex, and dark character in his own right and I can't wait to see just where they take his character next season.

Just how will Shane react to the fact that he's seemingly killed Pilar? (After all, there was blood streaming from her head wound into the pool.) How will Esteban? Did Shane help matters for his family or make them far worse? And, most importantly, can they get away with murder?

While Shane seems hellbent on assuming a new role in the family, Celia is also looking to transform her own life... into Nancy's, that is, going so far as to assemble a team in order to form her own drug empire. While the revenge plot against Celia was fun (though it ended way too quickly thanks to Doug's big mouth), I am interested to see where this storyline goes and I like seeing these disparate characters finally united for a real purpose. Could Celia end up on top for a change? I doubt it but I think that her road to success (or failure) could be paved with comedy gold.

I'm thinking that Andy and Audra's engagement will be short-lived given the fact that Andy takes off without even thinking of his fiancee at the moment a crossbow appears. Something tells me that Audra won't take too kindly to being left on her own in an armed hostage situation.

Nancy, meanwhile, is realizing that her actions have major consequences. Esteban's anger at her using his deodorant was a nice and realistic way of showing the hold he has over her, even as she claims to love him. Nancy's learned the hard way that lovers are weak and fickle and that she can only depend on herself at the end of the day.

Let's just hope that she realizes that that there's one man in her life--Shane--who has proven he's not going anywhere and has the strength and courage to look after her.

Weeds will return next summer on Showtime.

Comments

curvesaheadcda said…
I too have become totally compelled to watch this show week after week. I actually only turned to it a month ago, watched all the episodes back to back in less than a week and came to a screeching halt at this.

Midway through the finale you wonder what will happen to the f&*ed up family in the villa all wound together by the birth of a rarely seen baby boy and the sinister Pilar playing master of puppets.

I too had to watch the mallet swing twice as you hear Pilar (or was it Nancy?) gasp for breath as you hear it strike the side of her head.

Silas...the dark horse...bueno.

Alas...I am unsure how I am going to wait until next summer with such garbage out there to watch.

Thanks Jenji...you made me believe in TV again...albeit cable:)
Ally said…
Definitely an uneven, and often frustrating season. But I thought this finale was strong. That last scene was breathtaking (I gasped and put my hands over my mouth at the end), but not just because of the final hit - the scene was tense and fantastic before Shane entered the picture. That's why the mallet was so shocking - I was totally gripped by the scene that was unfolding.

Oh, Andy - I am holding out hope that he just ran off to get help and/or something to save the day, but his exit did appear pretty cowardly.

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