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Weeds' Season 8 Premiere: Bullet Time

Weeds S08E01: "Messy"

You'd be forgiven if your recollection of Weeds' seventh season amounted to image fragments from a fever dream. An upside-down room? Silas wearing only a plastic bubble? Nancy's inter-sibling three-way? Doug working on Wall Street? Michelle Trachtenberg? Yeah, Season 7 was definitely strange, but Weeds has been this way ever since the characters left Agrestic: Aimless yet charming, like an old high school friend you don't have much in common with anymore, but just makes you happy to be around. Oh, stay for another round, Weeds.

So here we are at the dawn of Season 8—Weeds' final season—and the most important things to know going in were that Nancy Botwin and her clan had relocated to Old Sandwich, Connecticut after cutting a deal with the SEC to bring down a corrupt financial firm. As they'd all settled down for a nice outdoor lunch, an unseen assassin trained crosshairs on Nancy's face and we heard a gunshot before the picture cut to black. Because we're all savvy TV watchers, we knew the outcome could've ended up in myriad of ways: The bullet missed; the bullet took out a less important character; it was actually a paintball; etc. You know, anything other than the straight-up shooting of Weeds' protagonist. Well, "Messy" answered Season 7's cliffhanger question with a surprisingly bold answer:

NANCY WAS SHOT IN THE HEAD.

Yeah, Weeds went there. The classic shocking-twist-that-wasn't-a-twist-at-all! But because this was still the show we know and (frequently) love, the opening scene of Season 8's premiere laced the traumatic aftermath with gentle gags and one-liners as though to comfort the viewer that we were still in safe hands of a well-meaning comedy. First we saw things from Nancy's P.O.V. as Andy stammered over her for someone to call an ambulance and Nancy chided them for using cell phones at the table. When we finally did see Nancy we saw a bloody face, but no discernible head trauma—the bullet had apparently entered cleanly and stayed put—and before losing consciousness in the ambulance, Nancy was yammering on, spouting the free-associative snark in which writer/creator Jenji Kohan specializes. So, Nancy might've lost a lot of blood (and a cute outfit) but even with major head trauma it's hard to keep a good anti-heroine down.

The rest of the premiere centered on Nancy's bedside during her medically induced coma. Characters would enter in pairs, have important or comic interludes that neatly introduced where each person was in his or her personal journey, then exit. First Shane took it upon himself to find out who the shooter was, and in the process revealed to Silas that he'd joined the police academy. Silas was understandably worried about what that meant for the family business, but Shane earnestly explained that his excitement about becoming a cop was the first time in a while he'd ever felt driven to be somebody. But anyway, Shane might be an occasional psychopath, but I'm guessing the Botwins could benefit from having a cop on the inside. Could that be where this plotline is headed?

For his part Andy dealt with a ton of existential questions, as he seemed to be the one most freaked out by the prospect of Nancy dying. In a long but enlightening conversation with the hospital's resident Rabbi-Chaplain, he admitted that he'd be lost without Nancy even though she refused to love him back. Nancy and Andy's weird, frustrated, and frustrating romance has become a major element of the series, so now that we're in the final stretch it seems like maaaybe it'll head toward something more substantial? Or at least closure? Either way, Andy's self-loathing-laced quest for self-actualization was front and center in this episode and included a regrettable quickie with Jill beside a comatose Nancy. Stay classy, Andy!

As morbid as this episode was, it wasn't without its insane moments. A gag involving the Botwins' casual thievery from Nancy's roommate (and the accidental abuse of his visiting daughter) was a funny reminder of just how awful most of our main characters are. A scene involving Doug groping Nancy in her sleep was both disturbing and ridiculous, knowing what these characters had been through together. And Jill's, um, strength-training equipment? You learn something new every day!

Along with a new title sequence that succinctly sums up the Botwins' adventures so far (and hey, it was nice hearing the original theme song again!), "Messy"'s biggest hint that we're in for a season of full-circle happenings was in its reveal of WHO exactly shot Nancy: The now-grown son of deceased federal agent Peter Scottson! That's some Season TWO stuff. Daryl Sabara's grown up so much since then that I barely recognized him, but the idea that a kid would bide his time so much before exacting revenge on the woman he believed got his dad killed was pretty powerful. In the final scene a clearly remorseful Tim Scottson entered Nancy's recovery room and admitted that trying to kill her didn't make him feel better at all. It's hard to disagree with him: As much as Nancy probably deserves karmic retribution for all she's done and/or caused throughout the years, there's something about her that just makes us keep rooting for her well-being. That's why, as much as her last-minute ragged breathing suggested she's in trouble, we hope she won't be. Nancy is a lot like Weeds itself: Despite its lapses, Weeds is still our friend. I'm glad its back for one last round.


What did YOU think of Weeds' Season 8 premiere?

Comments (44)
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I haven't watched it yet so thanks everyone for spoiling it - NOT. Nancy's still alive, OMFG on her show called Weed's which she pretty much owns btw, You Bastids how could you.
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This is the first episode of Weeds I have enjoyed in soooooo long. I hope they keep it up.
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Weeds, best finale? voting for it on twop's tubey.
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"Nancy is a lot like Weeds itself: Despite its lapses, Weeds is still our friend. I'm glad its back for one last round."



Exactly my thoughts.

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Good thoughts btw...
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The best part was the theme song being back! other than that, the show is getting weaker by the season. The point of the show was life of a suburban housewife/dealer not a mafia-prison-guns-city-van shit. Sorry to say but it has lost the point and the flavor...
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These are also good thoughts...
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I have one more thing to ask that b4 this season ends BRING CONRAD BACK!!!!
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Oh, how I missed the Botwins (and extended Price-Grey, Wilson family)!



As usual the snappy, witty dialogue kept me chuckling. I love Andy's insightful monologues; he's so full of life lessons! And some of those bedside scenes had me cracking up! Doug - the inappropriateness!



I would love to see Andy's love not go unrequited in the long run, but in the meantime I think him and Jill make a lovely whackadoo couple.



Even in all this show's ramblings (I love how the new intro sums it all up), I agree that it's an old friend. I wasn't surprised when I learned this would be the last season, but I'll be sad to see it go nonetheless.
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I expect to see it come full circle and everyone ends up living happily ever after in possibly Agrestic...
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I liked this episode I already knew who shot her though peters son is the only person that made sense. Other than that the sex between Andy and Judy was unnecessary but of course its showtime, I give this episode a A+ because the theme song came back YES!!! "Little boxes on the hillside little boxes made of ticky tacky."
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Ticky tacky little fun nonetheless...
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Way to ruin who got shot for me, TV.com. I came to read if Continuum came on last night and this is what I get?! Who the hell puts a spoiler image up the day after the premier? Thanks a lot, Bozo the TV critic. *big middle finger to you*
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Continuum is back on the 9th and isn't it fun? TV. com needs to watch this because it's really well-writen and very very good - could be the new Fringe. So don't ignore it because it's Canadian - don't ignore it at all...
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at the end of Season 7 the cross hairs were trained on Nancy Botwin's forehead before the gun shot. No twists.
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Agreed, there was absolutely no ambiguity on the point of who got shot at the end of last season. None. Even a scope from Wal-mart isn't THAT bad.
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I've calmed down. :) It was a great episode. Glad it's back on.
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Doug's groping of Nancy started out rather innocent. Trying to clean crumbs off of her. Then I realized it was taking a turn for the bizarre when he's just rubbing her boobs. Overall really enjoyed this Season 8 premiere. Seemed a lot more "Weedsy" than the last few seasons.



To think we've seen Shane go from the innocent kid who just lost his dad to a murderer possibly sociopath who wants to be a cop.
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I thought it was classic Doug! He has always made little sexual comments towards Nancy and always disgusted her haha. So he knew it was now or never lol.
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Absolutely...
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Hey greenyfool, why are you setting yourself up for disappointment by comin the the site? As if no one was gonna talk about the first episode of season 8!!! You truly are a fool
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I didn't expect to see a spoiler image on TV.com's homepage, I didn't come here to read about Weeds, I was on my way to check an episode guide. Completely unprofessional.
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It wasn't unprofessional, dumbass. This is their job, to entertain, to review & give opinions. In fact u know that a day after it airs it'll be out on the Internet. If u didn't wanna hear about it then DON'T come here! You're the the asshole not them. Be prepared.
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My wife's new Android phone has an ap where you just point it at the TV and it tells you immediately what episode of what show you are watching and it would be really cool if it actually accepted phone calls - which it isn't particularly good at. Ah, technology...
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Yes, apparantly you have no control over your finger and seeing Nancy alive at the very beginning of season 8 couldn't have really been a surprise now could it?
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Haven't seen it yet, thank you very much for spoiling it for me with the thumbnail of Nancy in the hospital on the home page. Assholes.
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Or here's an idea, dont look at a Website about TV SHOWS , that routinely, (like every day) recaps and discusses and has pictures of shows until you have WATCHED the actual show.
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DUH...
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It was spoiled long before that on the promotional stuff. It was known Nancy was shot in the head. Now where it goes is the mystery.
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I'm unclear, what was spoiled? That she got shot in the head? I knew that at the end of last season. That she lived? I knew that when the show got renewed. So you are saying that they spoiled several-months old news for you? I'm anti-spoiler, but there was nothing to spoil here. As the article says, there was no twist. If you invented a twist in your mind, that is your fault.
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Once again...DUH...
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Don't play dumb. Or, are you not playing at all?
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Okay, let me be clear and direct then, nothing was spoiled unless you are a complete moron.
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DUH...
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I assumed it would play out that way. Still, I wanted it to be a surprise. Also, if you saw any of Showtime's promo stuff, they were really playing up the mystery of who got shot. What's with the hostility? What it this, IGN?
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Screw you
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Andy and Shane were the best on this episode.
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Kevin Nealon stole this episode with the groping scene.
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I thought it was surprisingly funny for a show that I had thought was losing the funny over the last few years. Funny and disturbing. And I think this show has been between those two for the entirety of its run. So, yay! At least, I'm enjoying it, and laughed out loud. And I suppose that's what you really want out of a comedy.
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Well Said! "Despite its lapses, Weeds is still our friend. I'm glad its back for one last round"
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I was disturbed by the Nancy-groping, which is saying something, really. Also, jealous of Kevin Nealon, of course.
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Disturbing is Weed's middle name - wait what. You can't have a middle name if you don't have a last one it's like fast food restaurants when you order a small coke and the say, "Sorry sir, we only have medium and large," and you ask yourself what has she been smoking...
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I agree .. always thought Doug was genuinely a decent guy, until they wrote this awfully awkward scene for him.
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Doug's an idiot with a good heart nothing more, nothing less...
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