"Silas, where is the 'dry cleaning'? I need every last bag of clothing or my boss is going to kill me. Just shoot me dead. You got that? Dead." So began the third season of Weeds. The show’s umpteenth empty-ish threat vexed an episode that was only occasionally the Mary-Louise Parker vehicle we've come to love. We missed Parker’s wry, sumptuous Nancy and the brave dips into death, abortion, and elementary school — not to mention loutish ex-councilman Doug (Kevin Nealon) downing martinis and nailing Celia (Elizabeth Perkins) on the desk before lunch. There’s a sense that, after season two’s cliffhangers, the show might be in a sort of free fall.
Maybe the writers are trying to shield us from the fact that the most realistic suburban mom on television has actually got herself into a terrible bind. Shane is missing — abandoned by two women now, not just one — Uncle Andy's nose is bleeding, Nancy's second husband is dead mostly because of her, and the pot that might save them all (save those husbands) sits floating in the pool.
And so we’re left with a sometimes befuddling mash-up of Pulp Fiction, Laurel and Hardy, and The Family Guy, complete with people wildly drawing guns and wayward men shamelessly comparing packages (though Doug and Celia's hubby Dean dropping trou in the bathroom while the Agrestic Elementary Class of 2006 bash goes on in the living room was adorable). Last season, the show’s domestic underbelly was really starting to show. Bring back Mary-Louise Parker cutting herself while shaving in her underwear! —Emma Pearse
Related: Beauty and the Bleak [NYM]