Weeds Series Finale: Did It All Go Up in Smoke?
The Botwins — if we can still call them that — said farewell Sunday, with a Weeds series finale that a stoner might describe as... a total bummer, man.
For those who have stayed with Weeds over its eight ever-morphing seasons, it was a nice nugget of nostalgia to hear the original version of "Little Boxes" before the final hour. From there, we flashed eight-odd years into the future, as noted by Stevie's impending Bar Mitzvah. The finale featured several fun, but too-brief cameos from former cast members who breezed in and out as we stumbled toward the main question we hoped this finale might answer: Has Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) learned from her mistakes? And if so, where does she go from here?
Read on to find out where Nancy — and everyone else — ended up:
Stevie: The littlest Botwin was adopted by his stepfather, Rabbi David Bloom (David Julian Hirsh), who subsequently died in a tragic car accident. Stevie grew up, under Nancy's tender guidance — she even joined the PTA! -- to be a respectable kid. But Mom wasn't exactly forthcoming about Stevie's birth father. Unfortunately, the night before his Bar Mitzvah, Guillermo (Guillermo Diaz) tells him the truth about Esteban Reyes (Demian Bichir), aka the drug kingpin of Mexico. After getting this unsettling news, right after reading the Torah, Stevie calls "bullsh--" on all religion until he can figure out who he really is. A guilt-ridden Nancy has no choice at that point but to grant his wish to go away to boarding school. It's a bittersweet decision for Nancy: She wants what's best for him, but he's yet another man in her life (see below) who is abandoning her.
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Silas (Hunter Parrish): Happily married Megan (Shoshanna Stern) and Silas and baby Flora (because he's a grower, get it?) live in California, where Silas still works for the family business -- which is legal now, by the way. (Only eight more years, folks, to see if Jenji Kohan is a pot prophet!) Megan hates Nancy since she made Silas resent his childhood and as a result, Nancy's relationship with her granddaughter is strained. Silas, on the other hand, has matured in his dealings with his mother. When Nancy asks Silas to intervene on her behalf, a zen-like Silas tells her he doesn't resent her, but that he's happy in his new life. "It's not about you," he says carefully but nonetheless harshly.
Shane (Alexander Gould): The kid has seen better days, including those when he was commiting homicide-by-croquet-mallet. He's still working on the force, alongside bad influence Detective Ouellette (Michael Harney). He's also now a short-tempered brat, whose only comforts are booze and trashy women (hey, what's up, Natasha Lyonne?). In her one act of philanthropy this hour, Nancy has a mini-intervention with her troubled son and forces him to agree to rehab and get therapy.
Andy (Justin Kirk): We're to assume that Andy hasn't spoken with Nancy since that night they had sex in Regrestic. He moved back to Ren Mar, where he lives in the house once occupied by his late father Lenny (Albert Brooks). He shares custody of his 3-year-old daughter, Leni, with a waitress named Anika. He runs a successful restaurant and, like Silas, is very happy. He also, sadly, makes it very clear to Nancy that she can no longer be part of his life.
Doug (Kevin Nealon): The burgeoning cult we saw last week has made Doug a very happy guru. He's rich, has loyal followers (and concubines) and a big shiny tour bus he parks in front of Nancy's house. The one thing missing in Doug's life? He never reconciled with his son, Josh (Justin Chatwin), whom he threw out of the house as a teen for being gay. It's not easy, but two kidnappings later, the pair bury the hatchet.
Other familiar faces: Among the other alums who took a final spin around the Weeds dance floor: Marvin (Fatso-Fasano); Clinique (Julanne Chidi Hill) and Sanjay (Maulik Pancholy), who are still married with a bunch of kids; Dean Hodes (Andy Milder), who hits on Nancy and reports that his daughter Isabelle (Allie Grant) is now his son Bruce who, according to Andy, is a genius at installing drywall! Conspicuously absent: Conrad (Romany Malco), whose wife, it is explained, is expecting another child; Jill (Jennifer Jason Leigh), who has apparently moved to India; and Celia (the always game Elizabeth Perkins), of whom no mention is made.
Nancy: The four times-widowed Nancy presumably buried her grief in her work, and once marijuana is legalized, her business really takes off. She owns 51 percent of the corporation that runs more than 50 marijuana cafés, cleverly called The Good Seed. It's so successful that Starbucks would like to buy Nancy out, which, with Andy's encouragement, she eventually agrees is the best next step for her.
But so now what? Andy tells her that she's now free and that her job is done. She answers to no one and can become the person she's always wanted to be. It's up to her to figure out who that is. "It's time for you to face yourself," he says. Perhaps the biggest shortcoming of this hour as a series finale is that we don't get to see that. Sure, Nancy ends up utterly alone, but there's no sense of growth or self-awareness or — God forbid — redemption.
Instead, the episode's final scene is of Nancy sitting alone on the front steps as a light snow falls. Just when it appears that this might be a real downer of an ending, Doug, Silas, Shane and Andy join her, and together they spark up a joint. In one long extended take, the actors pass the joint and alternate between meaningful deep stares and casual laughter, with perhaps even a touch of melancholy. It's not exactly a happy ending, but maybe it's the only one that Nancy deserves.
What do you think? Did the Weeds series finale satisfy all your cravings?