Alexander Gould and Mary-Louise Parker, <EM>Weeds</EM> Alexander Gould and Mary-Louise Parker, Weeds

For the occasion of Weeds' season finale, premiering tonight at 10 pm/ET on Showtime, sat down with series creator Jenji Kohan to discuss the season gone by, ask about some of the juiciest twists, and try to get a glimpse into the future. Here is Part 1 of the Q&A rendered spoiler-free through some crafty editing. The unexpurgated interview, including additional questions about exactly what transpires in tonight's season-ender, will be posted Tuesday morning. You started this season with some of the characters and their stories somewhat segregated, but, ultimately, they dovetailed together. Did you ever feel that was a risky approach?
Jenji Kohan: You know, we love to build an arc. When we sit down, we plan the full season out completely before we start to write. We figure out where we left off, check on where people are, and then bring them through to the end. It was all part of the plan, to get everyone's stories going and then [tie them together]. We knew we'd take a hit on the first episode, because it was a little slow, but we had to get everyone up to speed. Did you see Season 2 as being more about the harsh realities of what Nancy has chosen to do with her life? Hit her with more truths about how it would affect her family?
Kohan: Yeah, it's more about her acceptance of her role as a drug dealer, and [her] kind of embracing it, realizing that given a choice, she's not so sure she would back down. Did Nancy and Peter ever stand a chance? Or was it always your intention to wrap that up by the end of the season?
Kohan: [Pauses] We... You changed gears at some point, didn't you?
Kohan: No, no. We fell in love with Peter [played by Martin Donovan] he was just so great and they were so great together but we were always sort of planning to [end his and Nancy's romance]. The Nancy-Conrad card, the kiss that so many fans were cheering were you happy about that when you played it? Or was it too soon, or not soon enough?
Kohan: I don't think it was too soon, but I think it was messy in its execution. But I guess that's good in a way. It wasn't as hot as we thought it was sort of weird [because] they were sort of leaning across the [kitchen] island but I think their relationship is complicated, and so it came out that way. Is that because your script simply says, "They kiss," and it's up to the actors and director to interpret that? You take your hands off at that point?
Kohan: Yeah, yeah... we kind of get [some control] back in editing, but it's a collaboration, no matter how you slice it. Whose dialogue is the most fun to write, Andy's or Doug's?
Kohan: They're both so much fun, and [Justin Kirk and Kevin Nealon] both deliver the s--t out of everything you give them. It is such a joy to put words in everyone's mouths. We really have the best cast, I'm so lucky. What was the trickiest part about gradually clueing in Nancy's kids to Mom's line of work?
Kohan: Well, I think Shane has known all along; it was just a matter of getting to the verbalization of what he already knew. I'm a believer in [the idea] that kids know everything, and if they can't verbalize it they're intuitive of what's going on. Kids are remarkably perceptive, particularly when it comes to their parents. Writing out Silas' girlfriend, Megan was that purely to knock him down a peg, or was it in part due to Shoshannah Stern leaving to do Jericho?
Kohan: We really wanted to set Silas off into a tailspin. We really needed him independent and spiraling out. But we miss Shoshannah, and there may be room for her in the future. We hope she can take time off from Jericho, if we ever bring her back. She was a pleasure, I could watch that face forever. She could do more with just an expression than delivering a page of dialogue. As I wrote last week in my Weeds blog, I couldn't imagine how, after seeing the Oct. 23 episode, you would be able to present a season finale that leaves the door at all open for a Season 3. And yet you did.
There was a point where we had resolved everything, and one of our writers said, "Nuh-uh, no, you can't do that! You can't tie it all up!" When might we hear about a Season 3 pickup?
Kohan: There's buzz about an announcement coming around the finale, but you never know with Showtime. They really keep us guessing. Is everybody still on contract?
Kohan: Our cast is all under contract. If I may touch for a moment upon your documented past disagreements with series star Mary-Louise Parker... do you feel there was better synergy between the two of you this season? Were you more on the same page?
Kohan: You know... we have a "child" in common, and even if a couple divorces or doesn't get along or whatever it is, we have a vested interest in raising this child right. We both love this child, so we make it work. I really respect what she does and I think she is luminous, and she brings a lot of incredible stuff to the show, but we don't have to be best friends. We don't have to agree on everything. The difference of opinion sometimes adds to the show. What ends up on the screen is great, and a lot of it comes from the two of us coming from different directions and landing in a really unusual space. We both care. We both want it to be good, so in the end I can't complain. I really can't.

On Tuesday, in the complete Q&A: Why tonight's big death was hard for Weeds creator Jenji Kohan to greenlight, and how she plans to extricate herself from the season finale's shocking final scene.

Pick up the new TV Guide for an interview with Elizabeth Perkins, who plays Weeds' Celia.

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