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Weeds: Season 7 Premiere Recap

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“Three years later…” opens the first episode in the seventh, and rumored to be final, season of Showtime’s Weeds. And where the final episode of season six left off with drama hitting yet another bizarre peak — Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) copping to murder charges which subsequently led to the arrest of her estranged husband Esteban, in the process allowing her family to escape to Copenhagen — the new season starts with the beleaguered heroine sitting down for her parole board meeting. Yet even the episode’s most straight-forward moment is riddled with unnecessarily cheeky commentary, provided by the off-screen board members bickering about the specifics of Nancy’s release. Within the first minute of the new season we’re already shown the nonsensical path which the show is apparently set to continue on…

Apparently gay for the stay, Nancy’s cell mate offers her a warm embrace and goodbye kiss (and information… and a pair of oven mitts which she reveals as “the key to our future”) before she is released to a halfway house which is maintained by Counsellor Ed (played by Gary Anthony Williams, aka Stevie’s dad from Malcolm in the Middle). And while Nancy settles into her new yet no less impossibly far-fetched life, we’re taken overseas to Denmark to catch up with the rest of the family (and Doug, Nancy’s tag-along pothead friend). Since we left off, Shane has become a puppeteer, Silas a (scantily clad) male model and Andy a tour guide (working alongside Doug). Unusual? Sure. But really, could we expect anything less?

Finding out that Esteban has been murdered (sadly killing one of the show’s few remaining storylines of interest), Nancy is left to discover a hidden key in a bath house that she was tipped to by her Russian cell mate (the oven mitts are used to search through the bed of hot rocks in one steam room). While the Botwins are informed by Nancy’s sister of her early release from prison, Nancy uses the hidden key to uncover a suitcase full of artillery which, as any good recent parolee would do, she carries with her (presumably) back to her halfway house.

We’re left with Shane, Andy and Doug preparing to return to the US where they plan on surprising Nancy in her new Manhattan-based residency. Could the show’s production team have packed any more nonsense into a single episode? Even with a few moments of remote normalcy mixed in, it would seem a tall order.

The new season picks up three years after we last left the mixed up gang of perpetual ne’er-do-wells, yet it seems like a lifetime since the show has offered a storyline worthy of its ongoing acclaim. Since we’re off and running though, it might be best to simply hold on enjoy (what’s left of) the ride.