I think Showtime and the marketing department behind “Weeds” made a much bigger deal out of the “Weeds” shooting than it actually was. Since the 7th season finale, they’ve been trying to create a lot of mystery and intrigue around who would get shot, and who the shooter would be. But it never really registered as a “television event.” “Weeds” is a comedy, and although it’s seen its fair share of deaths, it’s not a show really capable of a “Who shot JR?” moment.
Indeed, the most shocking moment of last night’s eighth season premiere was not the shooting, nor the identity of the shooter, but the blessed return of the “Little Boxes” theme song, which signaled what series Jenji Kohan had been telling anyone who would listen: The show would be moving full circle and returning to suburbia with yet another reset. Unfortunately, the reset doesn’t yet involve show’s best characters — Ceylia, Conrad, Heylia, Dean or Isabelle — but it is a promising beginning to the season for those of us who have long wished that the show would return to its humble origins.
The shooting itself was fun: Nancy got one in the head, but didn’t actually die, which made for some loopy comedy in the ambulance ride on the way to the hospital and the comically gruesome image of Nancy’s faced covered in blood. It also created an opportunity for Doug to cop a feel off of Nancy’s subsequently comatose body, and for Andy to sleep with Nancy’s kegel-obsessed sister, Jill, and then mistakenly confess to a clergymen. Jill is the woman that Andy deserves. Kind of. I mean, other than the fact that Jill is married and insane. But at least the affection is reciprocated. At this point in the series, Nancy’s most healthy relationship is probably with that bullet in her head.
Meanwhile, Silas found out that Shane is in the police academy, and Shane is now amusingly on the hunt for for Nancy’s shooter.
Who was the shooter? That was the only real source of disappointment in an episode that brought back the fun black comedy of the old “Weeds.” It was an unrecognizable Ted Scottson (Daryl Sabrara), who I had completely forgotten existed. He was the son of Nancy’s dead ex-FBI agent husband (played by Martin Donovan). It took me a beat or six to figure out why the kid from World’s Greatest Dad had shot Nancy, but once I figured it out, I registered some pleasure with the surprise, but disappointment with the anti-climax. Ted Scottson? Him? I’m glad it was someone from Nancy’s past, but of all of the characters from “Weeds” seven seasons, he’s definitely one of the least interesting, unmemorable ones.
All the same, it’s the most excited I’ve been about a season of “Weeds” since they left Agrestic, and hopefully they can mine the fish-out-of-water comedy relating to a former prison bitch and the wife of a dead Mexican drug lord trying to sell dime bags in suburbia.