Watching Weeds we sometimes wonder, What’s the point? Not of life, but the show: last season’s shoot-’em-ups, Tarantino-esque standoffs, senseless tattoos; even the patently absurd premise, the pot-dealing sweetheart who never gets caught and owns a big house. Is all this just a vehicle for the deliciousness of California domesticity and, more important, the deliciousness of Mary-Louise Parker? But then — then — there’s an episode like last night’s, where Jenji Kohan and her team of writers, hot on the heels of their very first Emmy nomination, truly deliver.
“Silas, look,” says Uncle Andy. They’re squatting in Andy’s foil-insulated drug van. “Life is just blah blah blah. You hope for blah and sometimes you find it. But mostly it’s blah. And waiting for blah. And hoping you were right about the blahs you made. And then just when you think you’ve got the whole blah-damn thing figured out, and surrounded by the ones you blah, death shows up. And blah. Blah. Blah.”
In the words of the oracle Shane: “That was good.”
And so we face fate. Last episode, Bubby, looking close to death but not like she was actually dying, gurgled “kill me,” getting everyone in a fluster about the nature of life and death. “I think that Bubby has, that you have the right to choose your death,” now proclaims Shane, all (in the words of Granddad) “eyeballs and elbows and ready to play God.”
But the family chooses Nancy — the daughter-in-law Bubby hates, not to mention the person least likely to be thrown into a crisis over pulling the plug on an old lady — to play God. Nancy is doing pretty well ignoring her conscience. While Andy and his father are bonding over who should do the honors, she’s wearing a sun visor and peach cardigan while driving around in a massive SUV with a Mexican man stuffed in her trunk and bags of weed lining every surface.
It’s the sort of scene that triggers our angst: While Nancy indulges her criminal genius, her sons are grappling with questions that lead boys into self medication (medicine is something Nancy has plenty of). “Yeah, sure, death is no big deal because life is just blah blah blah,” rants Silas. “We don’t have much family; do we really want to kill one off?” But Kohan brings it home, giving purpose to the nihilism we’re reveling in (yes, we're aware of the contradiction). “Shane, get Mommy a pillow,” calls Nancy, plug pulled and Bubby still breathing. As Nancy settles in for a night by the deathbed, we are left with her sweet words to a dying lady: “I pray that you will rest easy, that you will not fear, that you will have peace and that you will thank God that it has come at last.” Nothing too deep, just simple words that say all there is to say about the blah blah blah of life. Oh, and taking care of number one: “Please don’t be angry with me.” —Emma Pearse