Thursday, November 15, 2007

Weeds: s.3 ep. 14: "Protection" wri. Roberto Benabib, 2007

Time for everyone to come up with a new narrative

That epigraph is a pretty good summation of how I feel after this episode. The writers took what was the only significant development that I liked about last week's episode - Shane's meta-gaze into the camera - and coated it in pathos. Now Shane's up to his overly precocious antics, channeling Pops and offering proxy advice to everyone around him. I was prepared for the father-as-ghost rather than father-as-invisible-friend angle - I mean, part of what makes an invisible friend so compelling to the befriended is that the friend invisible to everybody else is visible to you, right? - but I didn't expect - or want, for the matter - there to be any intimation that Shane was anything but crazy. Follow: rather than running with the totally plausible and possibly interesting plot - Nancy's hash-slinging is ruining her family - this new development places the plot-focus on Shane, whose wiser-than-his-years platitudes make for far more interesting fare when plated on the periphery.

As for the Guillermo development: 50%?!?!?! Thinking back on Conrad's numbers during the U-Turn ordeal - and correct me if I'm wrong - MILF Weed has a growing period of three months prior to harvest, making four cash crops per year. Conrad mentioned $300K at one point, but also said that the initial harvest - the one that Celia sunk into the Botwin pool - could have grabbed $500K. Assuming the latter number, that's $2Mil a year, which sounds about right, right? Cut in half, that's a mil for Guillermo and Nancy each. Being that G was so clear about his take being half of everything, I imagine expenses and whatnot comes out of Nancy's pocket. I.e. she's gotta' pay Doug, Celia, Heylia, Conrad, Silas, Mary-Kate, etc. etc. Celia alone is making, what, $15K a month? That's $180K a year. After everyone gets their taste, Nancy must be sitting on, gee, somewhere around thirty grand. Just looking at the scratch math, this is a very shitty deal that Nancy has going. Logistics aside, the show has set up Nancy as being a better businesswoman than one who would take the first deal offered, let alone one that asks for 50%.

I do, however, like the idea of Guillermo having a bigger part in the show; the brick-dance scene from earlier in the season had good dynamics. However, how long can we expect him to stick around? With that fire raging, it seems clear at this point that the Botwins are headed to Pittsburgh, or some other such place. Which kinda' brings us back to where Nancy was at the beginning of season one, which is oddly reminiscent of where she was at the beginning of this season.

Which is all to say: I don't really know where this show is going, and I don't have too much faith in its destination. Which isn't to say I've disliked it so far - it's a good, plot-driven half hour of teevee. But the plots so far have run in circles, especially after season one. I imagine the peaks and valleys are part and parcel of the drug world and all, but they're not always the same peak and the same valley, right? Essentially, we've seen Nancy actuate her Godfatheresque (cf. the finale of season one) rise and fall two, going on three, times now. There must be more to the drug dealer's life that building an empire and watching it fall.

Still, I'm mostly prognosticating here, so there's a good possibility that all that I'm foretelling could never happen. Here's hoping it doesn't, or that if it does, the writers find another angle to make me happy. In all honesty, I haven't been let down by Weeds yet, so my worries are probably unfounded.

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