Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Weeds: s.3 ep.15: "Go" wri. Jenji Kohan, 2007

So it turns out that all the religious talk throughout this season leads to an apocalypse. That theology might've been a bit heavy handed in this episode - what with "Majestic Inferno" emblazoned across the screen and Guillermo essentially outed as Satan - but this was a fine, if very different, season finale for Weeds.

Even though a raging suburb fire backdropped the entire episode, season three's finale was a bit more tame than the previous two. Turns out that I was right about this whole cyclical thing, but it also turns out that the show is smarter than I am. Per Nancy and Guillermo's hilltop talk - like Jesus tempting Satan on top of the temple, no? - the Sisyphean cycle of build-crumble-rebuild is part of the show's thematic.

So where do they go now? I'm not worried, per se, but it seems like Nancy, et al have been painted into a corner. There's nothing to do now but to flee and keep fleeing, right? Capt. Till's gotta put two and two together and figure out that Nancy was playing one of his agents, and I can't imagine there will be any stopping on the DEA's part - if for no other reason than personal revenge - until Nancy is behind bars. So the show changes gears, I think.

That cycle theme worked real well, in hindsight, when it was centered in the suburbs. For all the subversion that a pot-dealing mom brings to Majestic/Agrestic, it still seems impossible to break through and out of the routine that typifies suburbia. That is, the suburbs are a powerful force capable of absorbing any sort of movement that attempts to reconfigure or move away from itself; the subversion is built into it. (For a really interesting - but pretty theoretical - take on this, read Guy Debord's Society of the Spectacle. As a quick aside, the first edition of Debord's book was bound in sandpaper, thus destroying any book it was placed next to. Hehe.)

Ok, which - to bring the innards of that parenthetical out here into what we're really talking about - is interesting: the necessary means to escape Majestic/Agrestic is violence. (Which is also what's implied in the physical performance, but not the content, of Debord's book. Natch.) Both in the show and outside of it, the destruction of the Agrestic/Majestic suburb is an extremely violent act, one that destroys a televisual town, but one that also destroys an entire three-season long mise-en-scene. I really do think Weeds is moving in a very different direction; that coda made it starkly clear that the space of the suburb - at least this suburb - is vacant of the things that enlivened it. Maybe its another meta-bit, maybe I was right to grow tired of the cyclical plot toward the end of this season: could be that the writers are just as stuck as Nancy, and find that the city of Agrestic has been completely harvested of all its potential. Regardless of where Weeds plants its roots [that was awful, sorry -ed], it's pretty clear that the audience is good hands, which is just about the highest compliment one can give to a show.


-More cycle stuff: so maybe that's why Nancy always had a frappuccinoesquee beverage that she was slurping on? Maybe I should go back and see just how often the show "repeats" itself; could be that this a more thematically dense show than I've suspected.

-Absolutely loved Doug's banjo-playing. Wherever Nancy's going, I hope Doug comes along.

-Dean? Where has he been? While I really would miss Doug in the show, the last few weeks have proven that I wouldn't really notice if Dean were gone. Whether they meant to or not, the writers effectively wrote Dean out of the show when they put him in the middle of that bizarre biker accident.

-Nancy's neglect of Shane was made a little more explicit with the bit about the turtles. Nice touch.

-That toss-off line from Silas was all I needed to feel good about saying goodbye to Mary-Kate.


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