This wasn't a terrible season of "Weeds." Yes, the eighth and final installment followed the same pattern that every season before it had -- immediate chaos after the previous finale, a new place, relative stability for the gang, utter insanity, and then the illusion of character development that eventually reveals itself as a temporary mood change -- but the drama in Old Sandwich was fun. I really enjoyed the stuff with Tim Scottson, Jill and Andy turned out to have a lot of believable chemistry, the Earth didn't collapse onto Silas, Nancy didn't totally ruin everything, and Shane … well, Shane had that cute girlfriend and some fun with crooked cops. Doug wasn't even in it that much. Really, not bad for this show!
The finale, on the other hand? A spectacular mess. This isn't the first time Jenji Kohan has done a time jump in "Weeds," and as a general rule in long-running TV series finales, a peek into the future is pretty welcome. Even the premise of "It's Time" sounds pretty good: It's about eight years in the future, when marijuana is legal, Nancy has lost another husband (RIP Rabbi Dave, faithful cliff-driver-offer), and everyone is coming to Old Sandwich for Stevie's bar mitzvah. Unfortunately, like Nancy herself with everything she touches, Kohan and the gang failed on the execution. I present to you eight things that went very, very wrong:
Grown-up Stevie really set the tone for the finale … and by that I mean, his character was extremely distracting and strange and was hard to connect with emotionally. I'm not sure why they chose an actor who looks like he's 20 to play a 13-year-old boy, as his physical appearance -- not to mention complete lack of chemistry with Mary-Louise Parker -- was head-scratching. Is Mateus Ward somehow related to an executive at Showtime? And what was with the doctored pictures of Stevie in his bar mitzvah photo slideshow?
The Meghan Jokes
A shining example of the failed humor in "It's Time," the repetitive jokes about people being obnoxious and awkward toward Megan's deafness, weren't funny once, let alone the handful of times the gag was done. I honestly don't think I even smiled at anything that was intentional during the finale, though I did start to laugh at how obviously horrible it was.
The New Technology
Hey, I'm all for a quirky look into what the future will be like, but "Weeds" was so painfully lazy about everything that didn't involve marijuana, hair styling, or cell phones. We get it: iPhones are going to be pretty cool in 2020. The highlight of the future jump was one embarrassingly dumb joke about high-carb diets (it might have been cute if it hadn't been sandwiched between all this other crap), which tells you just how much effort was put into the writing of this one-hour script. If you're going to do a time jump, commit to it, or don't make the fact that it's the future a huge deal.
I cringed every single time Shane was on my screen. Making him a bitter cop wasn't the worst idea this show has had, but it was so over the top and yet incredibly boring. Ouellette has always been an odd character in the "Weeds" universe, but instead of ever doing anything interesting with him, the show turned him into a caricature of himself. I kind of enjoyed the presence of Natasha Lyonne as Shane's girlfriend, but aside from that, between his stupid mustache, his shooting the cake, and Alexander Gould's blaring lack of enthusiasm for the role, I wanted Shane to go to rehab just so that he'd finally go away.
Where to begin? His leading a cult now or the fact that a solid quarter (though it felt like more) of the series finale was dedicated to him? Does "Weeds" not understand the concept of a supporting character? I get that the writers were trying to hammer home the father-son theme that has always been extremely important in the show's universe, but this story line came out of nowhere, based on what we've seen from Doug during the rest of Season 8.
Did you know that Doug's son hasn't been on the show since the pilot? He also came around briefly in Season 6, when Doug didn't even recognize him. Clearly, though, the writers want us to remember that he was very important to Nancy and a symbol of another relationship she ruined, as well as the gateway into her life as a pot dealer / pseudogangster. The thing is, he was in one freaking episode, and Nancy and Josh weren't exactly Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. But because he allowed for some jokes about dogs peeing on hardwood floors, I guess it was crucial that he be in the finale, too.
The Callbacks That Weren't
I love that "Weeds" took us back to Agrestic (or Regrestic, now). Seeing Conrad, Guillermo, and the rest of the familiar faces was great. It was nice to get more of that in this episode, except there's no way you can have a series finale of this show and not have it include Celia Hodes. I can understand no Jill, and Megan's character was so enjoyable that she made up for a lot of missing characters, but no Elizabeth Perkins and only a few allusions to Isabelle (via her getting a sex change)? Come. On. I honestly think I would have enjoyed that final moment with the five leads sitting in the snow, painful as it was, if Celia had shown up just to flip Nancy off.
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