Weeds hasn't necessarily followed a realistic path from beginning to end. What began as a great and humorous look into a suburban mother trying to take care of her children by relying on selling weed turned into an insane skewering of the original concept of the show. Nancy Botwin went from offbeat mom to ridiculously self-centered criminal who, for some reason, finds herself getting involved in things that are way over her head. I've never agreed with the path Jenji Kohan chose for her characters to go on throughout these past six seasons, and as season seven starts, I still don't agree. But whatever. I'm watching the show now for resolution, and so far, I'm not exactly pulled in by the story we're being introduced to.
Season 7 sort of tries to mix things up here by jumping ahead three years after Nancy gave herself up to the police. We get to see the aftermath of her prison release and what's going on with Andy, Silas, Shane and Doug in Copenhagen. There's some big reveals, such as the fact that Nancy is being released three years early because Estaben was killed in prison, which means there's no need for her to be in jail anymore. However, my immediate problem with the premiere is how Jenji Kohan seems incapable of learning from the mistakes of each previous season. While Season 6 had its issues, it sort of had the perfect balance between believable moments and the insanity of the past couple of seasons that helped me remember why I even liked these characters in the first place.
The first ten minutes of the premiere almost eradicated any goodwill I had left towards the show. Nancy seems to have began some sort of lesbian relationship with her cellmate and is now apparently running arms deals for her (this is tentative, of course, we only learn of this at the end). She gets put in a halfway house with a guy who gives her rules in a rhyming manner so that "the lessons stick." In Copenhagen, things are even more insane: Shane is living and sleeping with Renata, a puppeteer who ends up throwing him out, Silas is a model for a "flower-water" type product and seems obsessed with the way he looks now, Andy runs some sort of weird tour guide and claims he's in the running to become the ruler of some weird country… and Doug is just Doug, doing nothing of importance as usual.
I will say this before I go on too much of a rant: I enjoyed the episode for the most part. I mean, it's not as if I watched this and found it to be something I'll never watch again. It was funny in parts and Mary Louise Parker, despite her character's insanity, is still a very watchable actress and very talented as well. She does good work here as usual, and I still think all of the other actors are good actors who are doing their best with sketchy scripts. But God, those scripts… the writing of this show has gone down the tubes. Seriously, Shane with a puppeteer, sleeping her? And Silas as a self-centered idiot obsessed with the zits on his face? The writers made us believe we'd be seeing a new side of Silas and instead we're getting this weird new look at him. For the most part, Shane, Andy and Doug are the same, although Shane as the new "leader" or decision-maker is a bit weird. And Andy just seems like a goofy guy going along for the ride. I did like Shane's need to get to America and recognizing exactly what his mother did for him by taking the blame for Pilar's death. It's all the minor details that Jenji Kohan chose to include about the characters that annoyed me.
And that final scene seems to indicate that Nancy Botwin is not done getting into her hijinks quite yet. Why can't she just settle down? What's the reason for the self-destructiveness? We'll probably never get an answer to these questions, because the writers have screwed themselves over for too long. I'll keep watching the season because I want to see how this show comes to a close if this truly is the last season. But man, they have some work to do here.