Everyone’s favorite drug-peddling soccer mom is at it again. Showtime’s season finale of the fifth season of “Weeds” on Monday night left viewers (and Nancy) in jaw-dropping silence. No, the episode wasn’t full of surprises”¦ just one giant, killer surprise, delivered with all the force of a croquet mallet.
After burning down Agrestic at the end of season three, Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) has been busy redefining her life, and the show. Instead of a suburban single mom growing and selling weed, Mrs. Botwin moved the family to the coast, and got down to business South of the border. But smuggling drugs out of Mexico wasn’t enough for Nancy.
Which brings us to season five and the trouble with Nancy’s gangster baby daddy. Baby daddy? That’s right. Along with season five’s whole new pack of troubles comes a whole new cast of characters, including little Stevie Ray, Nancy’s third son, the bun in the oven that got her out of a traitor’s execution at the end of season four. Besides the baby, there’s Esteban Reyes (Demiƒ¡n Bichir) the aforementioned gangster baby daddy and mayor of Tijuana; Cesar (Enrique Castillo), Esteban’s ruthless right hand instrument of violence; Raylene Reynolds, the Avon lady from hell; Alanis Morissette as Dr. Audra Kitson, Andy’s new flame; and this season’s villainous vixen, Pilar Zuazo (Kate del Castillo).
With all these new faces and new scenery, some question the change of pace. What about Agrestic? What about simple, dysfunctional suburban life? The show has definitely switched direction from satire of the American Dream to”¦ what, exactly? Now Nancy is embroiled in Mexican politics and her family is in danger (no surprise there). The strangest thing about “Weeds” this season is that Nancy doesn’t sell even one dime bag of pot. Where’s the weed on “Weeds”?
This season is like a game of capture the flag, with the goods passing between supporting characters. Perhaps most surprising in this game is that Celia (Elizabeth Perkins) ends up with the flag. In a bold move to “out-Nancy Nancy” she even goes so far as to dye her hair and assemble Nancy’s old pot-selling team. Silas and Shane meanwhile embark on their own mildly legitimate business ventures, with Silas opening a medical marijuana store and Shane selling pot to his classmates and teacher.
And what’s Nancy doing while her children and neighbors are busy keeping up the old family business? The burdens of domesticity: giving birth, getting married, and embracing the cut-throat life of a politician’s wife. Pilar Zuazo, ruler of the Mexican underground and privileged “Mexi-cunt” as Nancy calls her, wastes no time in un-endearing herself to our leading lady. She even goes so far as to call of the wedding and get Esteban arrested. But when the Mexican princess threatens the Botwin kids, we see a bit of the old Nancy, the woman who’s willing to do anything to protect her family, even if it means putting her enemies in the ground.
Or in a swimming pool, for that matter. After Pilar hires a hit man to shoot Nancy, shoots Shane instead, calls off the wedding, and nearly ruins Esteban’s political career, Nancy is out for revenge. But her son beats her to it. In the pivotal last scene, Shane takes a croquet mallet to Pilar’s head, sending her to sleep with the fishes in her own swimming pool.
So what’s in store for next season? So far creator Jenji Kohan isn’t spilling the beans. The only thing confirmed is that there will be a 13-episode season six to air next summer. But it’s easy enough to guess that next season will center around three things: Celia’s new drug ring, Esteban’s election campaign, and most importantly, how Nancy is going to cover up Pilar’s murder and deal with Shane. All in a day’s work for Nancy Botwin, pot queen of the soccer moms.
Not that her kids play soccer anymore.
Weeds returns for season 6 next May on Showtime.