Monday, September 17, 2012

Showtime's Weeds "It's Time" Series Finale #812

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The title of Season 8 Episode 12 is “It’s Time.” Yes, it is time to say goodbye to the Botwins. I’m going to miss them. Since I always do this thing where I rename the episode, I rename this one, “It’s Time to Say Goodbye.

This was one of the best series finales I have ever seen for a TV series. Earlier in the season, I named one of the episodes “Happily Ever After.” As the season wore on, it looked like we were not going to get a “happily ever after,” but in episode 12, we did. Mostly.

The season began eight years after the point at which we left the Botwins a week ago.  Little Stevie is 13 years old now. The whole clan, including old friends, is getting together for Stevie’s bar mitzvah.

A lot has happened in the eight years. Andy left Nancy and moved back to California. (The consummation of his feelings for Nancy apparently broke the spell she had cast over him.) He had joined Nancy’s household to help her with her young sons after Nancy’s husband (Andy’s brother) died. However, the real reason he came to live with Nancy is that he was “lost.” In psycho-babble talk, “He needed to find himself.”  He was never going to do that until he got away from Nancy.

Andy now owns a restaurant in Ren Mar, California. It’s a small place--the kind where you come in and eat whatever the chef has chosen to make that night. He is not married, but he has a daughter that he co-parent’s with the girl’s mother, who is just a friend, not a lover. Andy has not spoken to Nancy since he left. But he stays in touch with Silas, his nephew, and that is how Nancy gets news about Andy. (Silas by the way, married Megan, and they now have a baby.)

After that that fateful encounter with Andy, Nancy married Rabbi Dave and converted to Judaism. Dave adopted Nancy’s son, Stevie. She now lives a quiet life as a suburban matron. Now that would be a “happily ever after” except she is a widow again. A car accident this time.

This is the black-widow moment of the show. Nancy has been married four times and every husband has died. Her first husband, Judah, died of a heart attack. Her second husband, the DEA agent Peter, died at the hands of drug dealers. Her third husband,   Mexican drug lord and politician, Esteban, was murdered in prison. Her last husband, Rabbi Dave, died in a car accident. Nancy is now using a match-making service to find dates (and maybe her fifth husband).

Despite being a widow again, Nancy is doing well. Marijuana has been legalized in most of the country, and she has a chain of 50 stores called “The Good Seed Marijuana Café.”  (Silas buys a pack of “Dragon Puffs” in a drug store. One small question: Is that the Botwin brand?  Also, Silas is a partner in Nancy’s business; he does the growing, so why would he buy his weed in a drug store? Just so we can see that it is being sold over-the counter and not just in medical marijuana dispensaries?)

Nancy has also improved her wardrobe. She used to where sexy shamta’s, skimpy dresses that came close to baring all. Now she dresses with a little more class. Still sexy, but classy sexy.

Doug is in seventh heaven, living as a very rich guru with female acolytes in constant attendance. Night and day, if you catch my drift. But Doug is a good guy at heart; his group helps the homeless.  

The tobacco company guy from South Carolina, Crick, reappears to tell Nancy that Starbucks wants to buy the business. Nancy owns 51% of the business, and refuses to sell. (The remaining 49% is apparently split between Silas, Conrad, Guillermo, Doug, and Crick. (One small question: How did Nancy wind up with 51% while the others have to split the 49%. Just so Nancy can refuse to sell?) But in the end, she goes along with her partners and agrees to sell. Nancy is now most likely out of the weed business for good.

Shane has not been doing too well. He’s a crooked cop, an alcoholic, and a womanizer—all no doubt thanks to his “mentor” Mitch. (One small question:  Shane is sporting a large bushy mustache. I thought police had to be clean shaven.  I’m guessing the purpose of the mustache is to make Shane look older and bit depraved.) But even here we have a “happily ever after” waiting in the wings--Nancy persuades him to go to rehab.

Stevie seems to be a well adjusted young man, but he has a moment of disequilibrium when Guillermo tells him the truth about his biological father. (Nancy had told him only that his father was a politician who died.) This leads to an identity crisis. “I don’t know who I am,” Stevie says. He’s being bar-mitzvahed, but he questions whether of not he is a Jew. “I’m not one of the chosen,” he says. “My father was Catholic, my mother was Methodist I don’t know what my religion is. It may turn out to be “No “God-ism.” Lucky for Nancy, kids are resilient. He’s having a good time at his party. At one point, he takes the microphone to give a little speech, and he announces that he loves his mother.

Stevie wants to go to boarding school where he can play soccer. Nancy doesn’t want him to go, but she finally relents. She realizes that for the first time in her life, she is going to be entirely alone.  Andy and Nancy have a final tête-à-tête. “Come back” she says, with tears in her voice.“Come back.” Andy gently tells her no. “I have a life I like.  I’m not leaving it.” Then Nancy says she will go to Ren Mar to live with him. Again, Andy says no. Nancy will have to move into the next stage of her life on her own. I have a feeling Nancy will be OK. She’s a very rich woman now with great business skills. I hope she starts a foundation.  

The final moment of the show starts with Nancy sitting on the porch steps in front of her house in a light snowfall. The music for this scene is “With Arms Outstretched." The lyrics are ”16 miles to the promised land and I promise you I’m doing the best I can.” One by one, Doug, Silas, Andy, and Shane come out of the house and sit silently with her as they pass around a joint. They sit stone-faced for a while, but soon smiles break out, even broad grins. See, it is happily ever after, after all.

Click Here to order the Rilo Kiley album with the song "With Arms Outstretched" which contains the lyrics "16 miles to the promised land."


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