Wanna go to a funeral with me?
In the beginning, there was Nancy and Jill. Yes and no. Cool and lame. In and out. Polar opposites, and yet on some level the same. They do their tortured sibling routine, trading barbs and dredging up ancient history. But the plan is simple: Jill is blackmailing Nancy for custody of Stevie.
Heylia and her muscle have also come to the loft, to confront Snowflake about the missing marijuana. “Nancy Botwin, I don’t give a shit about your drama no more,” Heylia says, demanding the return of her product on penalty of death. Jill finds this and every ensuing twist to be thrilling in a way that Nancy is just too tired to appreciate anymore.
Jill is a bumbling accomplice along for a joyride through Nancy’s escapade of the day. Nancy points out that she doesn’t even like being a mother, so why does she want to keep Stevie other than to keep Nancy from playing with him? They consider the merits of their respective cowardice, and eventually they find solace in their sisterhood routine.
Their next misadventure comes at Demitri’s apartment, where Nancy has gone to reclaim Heylia’s product. Instead of her co-conspirator, she finds the creepy triplets that are his meatheaded muscle. They’re more interested in trying out the product and lewdly assessing the sisters Price than capitulating to Nancy’s demands.
That’s until they recognize her prison tattoos from the sex tapes Demitri has show them. Finally they give up the goods and Nancy drags her sister back onto the subway to settle up with Heylia James one last time. Heylia has nothing but disdain for the Botwin family, which you’d think would’ve cemented itself years ago. The nicest thing she has to say is that Silas belongs in nature, doing his life’s work as a botanist.
A lifetime of sisterhood then comes to a head in a no-holds-barred screaming match on the subway. Nancy always got do-overs and Jill has been the mess-cleaning martyr. Nancy’s a slut and Jill is repressed. They reach a détente, inasmuch as bickering siblings ever can or do.
Doug and his work BFF Whit. The jig on their investment scam once again may or may not be up. Their SEC liaison has an escape plan all worked out until Doug shows his true cards, admitting that he’s not truly into Jolene or her hobby of crafting. A top exec must take the fall, and our hapless Doug finds himself at the mercy of his jilted sham lover.
Shane is turning in his final paper when he comes face to face with Detective Oulette. He’s figured everything out, from the way Shane used Oulette’s son to distract him to the elaborate con he and his mother so brilliantly executed. “You’re not sorrow,” he bellows, calling Shane out on being a sociopath. And he won’t stop until he slaps handcuffs on Nancy…so Shane plays the last card in his deck, joining the New York City Police Academy, sacrificing himself to save his mother and gaining a lasting father figure.
Silas has quickly come to the realization that he made a mistake. No matter what Nancy’s many sins, he lost sight of his priorities and he wants to make it right. He resolves to apologize, and Andy waxes philosophical about growing up, testing boundaries, and figuring out what it means to be a man, like this show does, in its profound, profane way.
At Charles’s funeral, Andy and Silas take in an abstract mime performance and a eulogy while debating their next moves. Should Silas leave town? Can Andy still keep his unconventional family together, or will it inevitably break apart? Let it be said: The only thing that was important to him was the happiness of the people he loved.
When Jill and Nancy arrive back at the loft, Andy is impressed that at least neither of them is bleeding. He’s also ready to play peacemaker, brokering a custody arrangement that can work with everyone.
Silas and Nancy get a moment. It’s not elaborate or drawn out. A son apologizes to his mother. She forgives him and hopes that he is happy.
Early on in the series run, Nancy’s eventual death, the required atonement for her sins, was a foregone conclusion. But through every plot twist and shocking cliffhanger, she’s always bumbled through, somehow escaping her fate. She evaded her demise so deftly and routinely that we were lulled into forgetting that her number had been up for awhile.
This show has reached natural stopping points before, most obviously in the finales of seasons three and six. But the uncertainty surrounding the show’s fate, tonight’s episode feels especially open-ended, yet also final. We have a few major questions that could stand to be resolved, but not too many. This show has reinvented itself several times before, but a season of Weeds potentially without Nancy would be its most dramatic evolution yet.
We flash forward two months to a compound in Connecticut. Nancy is giving it to Silas as a farm where he can spread his wings and do what he loves, what he’s good at, what he was maybe born to do. He loves it. These two might be OK after all.
The backyard family dinner is quite a gathering: Nancy presides as matriarch. Silas, Shane, and Stevie are all in attendance. Doug is there, along with Jill and her creepy twins.
Nancy explains “the spirit of compromise: Everyone’s a little happy. Everyone’s a little miserable. Andy, you’re a man of big ideas, some crackpot, others brilliant. Big-hearted. We celebrate closing of escrow on this Botwin-Price-Gray family compound, with significant contributions from the Wilson Fund. An experiment, to be sure, but really the only solution. May we not kill one another,” she toasts. It’s the happiest their family has been in years, maybe ever.
Then everyone sees the red laser of a sniper sight on Nancy’s forehead. But it’s one of the twins with a laser pointer, like the ones kids today are using to blind airplane pilots. Tension broken, the family enjoys a hearty laugh, a flicker of light in the darkness their lives have slowly become. Your eyes will always adjust to the light.
We pull back to the edge of some brush, and through a gun sight we see that there is a sniper after all, and he’s there for Nancy. It is a brown-eyed man, of Caucasian or Latin descent, and he takes his time setting up the shot. And then he fires. We – along with Nancy – fade to black for another season, maybe forever.