Monday, September 24, 2012

The Weeds Finale

So last night my fiance and I watched the final episode of Weeds. I was immediately confused and kind of upset by the turn they took with the entire thing. This is my first and only warning if you haven't watched, thar by spoilers ahead.

To begin, the episode didn't re-cap what happened last time, and I think this is the first mistake they made that made this so jarring. I think if they had done that, and maybe at the end of it said "10 Years Later" it would have been a much easier pill to swallow. Instead they grabbed us by the shoulders and started shaking us while screaming "TAKE THIS PILL! TAKE THIS FUCKING PILL!"

So you come to understand that this is some point in the future, or at least I understood once they introduced the garish and gaudy future technology. Now, I understand this show is supposed to be dramatic and funny and tragic, but this felt so out of place for me to display things in this way that it was really distracting. I had never wanted Skynet to just fucking end everything so badly in my entire life.

As the show progresses you start to get the sense of "Oh, this is the final episode. Okay." Again, I wish they  had more strongly implied this at some point in the beginning. And I'm glad to see this show end, because it was very good. I don't watch a whole lot of TV, but this show usually managed to keep me engaged. And I am of the opinion that all good things must come to an end. And this was a ride I enjoyed, so it's okay to me that it ended. But this final episode was so poorly written and just reeked of "Hey guys, we have to end it, so let's just do it."

Let's start with Doug. The reason his character was funny was because he was always coming up with these stupid, silly schemes that never panned out for him. It was funny to watch him crawl around and be desperate because of the foolish decisions he made. But what's this? Oh, his stupid cult idea went somewhere, and he's the leader of it. Right. Then he makes up with his estranged son? My fiance and I had no idea who he was, and she followed this show more consistently. I was totally clueless until they actually said who he was. And when I learned who he was... I  just didn't care. I liked his pug though. Pugs are cute. Why couldn't Doug have just kidnapped the pug and then cuddled with it? I feel like that would've been more inline with his character. He also looked like a big cartoon character with his purple and black emperor outfit.

I was actually happy with the way Silas turned out. I feel like he got what he was working towards throughout the series. He was working on something he loved no longer in the shadow of his mother. He tried to leave several times, to start his own thing or just be on his own, and he kept getting drawn back into it. It was really nice to see him strike out on his own and not have to suffer because of the crazy shit his mom was doing.

Shane, on the other hand... I just didn't like it. Shane was an interesting and  provocative character. He was so smart and so dark and weird and engaging. And then they just threw it all in the dumpster and said "What if he turned into some washed up cop, hyuk hyuk!" And then he shoots a cake. And doesn't go to jail for unloading a firearm into a cake. Which just came out of nowhere. Jesus. And then he vows to get help at the end. I.. I guess that wraps that up.

Then we have Nancy and Andy. I liked what happened with Andy. I liked that he turned out okay and happy. I think this is where they were going with his character in the show, but giving us this information like this was poorly thought out. And Nancy, I feel like they went in the right direction with her. Years of abusing and manipulating everyone around her got her what she deserved. She had to be alone and try to cope with life on her own. And I'm not trying to imply that Nancy was an evil or twisted, she just made a lot of poor decisions while trying to provide a life for her family around her. It was one of the things that made her character so interesting, was that she really had a deep love for her sons and her family, but just utterly fucked everyone and everything up by trying so hard to make it in an industry that's filled with criminals and lowlifes just because it was easy and profitable. That's why this show was so compelling. And Andy's character? He wanted so badly to be with Nancy, and it was an established that he wasn't allowed to have her. But there was so much more for him there, his nephews, his family. It made him a very tragic character that he was always pining after Nancy, and she was entirely willing to hang on to him and use him as long as she needed to. But I think she did have feelings for him, but at the same time it was established that they couldn't be together, and perhaps it even goes so far that she didn't want to hurt him, or watch him die, like every other man in the series who ended up in a romantic relationship with her. Some things, no matter how much we want them, just aren't meant to be, for one reason or another. I think that made the two of them very compelling. And I think people WANTED them to be together, because they wanted to see the two characters they loved to be happy, but I don't think they would've actually been happy together. Shit, Andy would've died. And nobody wants that. I didn't, at least. I was traumatized as it was when his toes got bit off.

And the episode before the finale? My god, the end was so DARK. Two characters who were NOT ALLOWED to have one another made love on the exact spot where Andy's brother and Nancy husband died. That was so powerful, it was like how dark magic is made. "Make forbidden love on the spot of one's dead past flame in the light of the full moon while three frogs croak and a black cat eats a baby." And Andy just fucking runs away, and Nancy is left crying into the night. And we get ZERO resolution for this. I think if there was one more episode addressing this, this finale wouldn't have felt so shitty. But they didn't address it. They set us up for something powerful, and then yanked the rug from beneath our feet, and then flipped us off and told us to go fuck ourselves.

Otherwise, I did enjoy the series, and the finale did not ruin my impression of it. Jenji Kohan is a great, great writer. The fact that this show lasted as long as it did and stayed so good for so long is a testament to that. But I think this bitter pill they asked people to swallow is just going to leave a bad taste in their mouths, and instead of saying "I loved that show!" a lot of people are just going to remember the bad ending it contained. Which is too bad.

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