After a lacklustre fourth season in which the world’s most selfish mother wound up pregnant by a Mexican drug lord to keep herself alive, Weeds’ [Showtime, Mondays, 10/9C] Nancy Botwin [Mary-Louise Parker] finds herself, once more, in potentially fatal circumstances – while her former best friend, Celia [Elizabeth Perkins], discovers that everyone hates her, a lot!
Weeds’ fifth season premiere finds Nancy having to undergo another, witnessed, sonogram to convince Esteban [Demian Bichir] that she’s really pregnant – and getting a bodyguard to keep her company until he decides whether to kill her after the baby is born. Meanwhile, hijinx ensue when Andy [Justin Kirk], Silas [Hunter Parrish] and Doug [Kevin Nealon] decide to use San Diego County’s Cleveland National Forest as a place to set up a worry-free pot farm – and Quinn [Haley Hudson] has a conniption fit when she learns that no one wants to pay her mother’s ransom.
In Wonderful, Wonderful, series creator Jenji Kohan has crafted an episode that eclipses much of the fourth season in its wit and dark, twisted plotting. Scott Ellis brings out the best in his cast and returns the show to a deftness of performance and pacing that produce more genuine humor and drama than almost any part of last season.
There are many ironies that are almost playful in set up and yet, almost poignant in their unexpectedness. Celia is at the center of one of the best examples of this and Perkins is up to playing every note with an almost harrowing truthfulness. There are so many examples of why this one episode is so much better than anything in season four, but to say much of anything about them – beyond what I’ve already said – would be to ruin the surprises.
Weeds is back, baby! ‘bout time, too!
Final Grade: B+
Eclipse Review by Sheldon Wiebe
Posted June 7, 2009