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‘Weeds’ Season Finale Review: “It’s Time”

‘Weeds’ takes its biggest leap yet — in faith and time — in the series finale, “It’s Time.” We’re 10 years in the future, eliminating the need to tie up loose ends because the show can just create new ones. But is it a clever way to wrap up seven seasons or a cop-out?

10 years in the future and Nancy, Silas, Doug, Guillermo, and the southern tobacco king are all sharing ownership of a chain of marijuana stores. Starbucks has put in a bid to buy out the entire business, but Nancy, with 51% ownership, is the lone holdout. Things are much different in the future — phones are ridiculous and Tim is working for Nancy, but the best parts of these stories are the stuff we never got to see. Nancy married the rabbi and became Nancy Blum, but he carried on the dead husband tradition when his car careened off a cliff as he swerved to miss a bear in the road, leaving Nancy a widow once again.

As Stevie’s Bar Mitzvah approaches we get updates on everyone’s status: Silas is married to Megan and they have a baby, but Megan resents the way Nancy raised her own children. Shane is an oily cop still palling around with Woollett and shacking up with a new girlfriend (an awesome guest turn by Natasha Lyonne). Shane is now an alcoholic with a mustache, as if he needed any more reasons to be hated. Doug’s cult has grown to epic proportions and the women of his group live to serve him every day, but he feels like he’s missing something as he listens to the men around him discuss their sons, so he sends his cult members to kidnap his resentful gay son in an attempt to force his son to reconnect with him.

Dean even shows up for a brief appearance, telling us that Isabelle had a sex change operation and is now called “Bruce,” and declaring his love for Nancy one last time. Guillermo shows up to the Bar Mitzvah party and tells Stevie that his father wasn’t some respectable politician who was framed by a cartel, but that he was really the gangster who ran the cartel. This prompts Stevie to give one hell of a Bar Mitzvah speech as he decries the religions of the men who have acted as his fathers and asks that he be allowed to make his own choices. Nancy acquiesces and agrees to let him attend boarding school in Wisconsin, proving that maybe she has changed some over the years, realizing that having ultimate control over her sons will never result in anything good.

Andy is the last to show up for the Bar Mitzvah, undoubtedly due to the last time he and Nancy ever saw each other — on the spot where her husband died in Regrestic, where they had sex and he left her for good. It was perhaps the show’s finest moment, and Andy’s finest hour. This show has always been about Nancy, but at its best a lot of it has been about Andy finding his way. Silas tells Nancy that Andy had a daughter named Leni with a girl named Annica (because of course) and they now platonically co-parent their daughter while Andy runs the restaurant he always wanted. He’s happy. He’s free. And he is both of these things because Nancy is no longer involved in his life. All of this makes it that much more painful when he eventually shows up to the Bar Mitzvah and gives Nancy the cordial shoulder.

When the two of them sit down to talk, Andy tells Nancy that it’s time — Stevie is leaving home, she’s done her job, and now there’s no one left to answer to but herself. She doesn’t know how to be with herself, and maybe this is what she needs to truly make a positive change in her life. Silas is happy, without her. Andy is happy, without her. Stevie will be happy, without her. And it’s not because they are without her, but because they were able to go out and be men on their own and fulfill their lives. Shane is the exception, but he’s always been happy to let his mother cling to him because she was always the least overbearing with him.

But now the boys are gone, and Nancy is free, and maybe she can learn what it means to really live for herself — not in the selfish way that endangered the people she loved because that was, in her mind, in their best interest. Now Nancy can just be who she is.

The final scene couldn’t be more perfect, as Silas, Shane, Doug, and Nancy gather on the steps in the snow and share a joint. Nancy has never smoked pot, but now that she has no reason to abstain, she gives in to enjoy the moment as Rilo Kiley’s “With Arms Outstretched” plays in its entirety — a song about growing up and moving on, about being with the people you love, and what it means for a man to be a man. And that’s what this finale was really about, too.

‘Weeds’ Season Finale Review: “It’s Time” ‘Weeds’ takes its biggest leap yet — in faith and time — in the series finale, “It’s Time.” We’re 10 years in the future, eliminating the need to tie

Mary-Louise Parker Discusses the End of Weeds

The Weeds star looks back on eight memorable years – and ponders whether she’ll smoke pot the night the finale airs.

This past week at the TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour, I was among a group of journalists who spoke to Parker, on the heels of the final Weeds panel.

She discussed saying goodbye to the series and her role in this past year on a show that both helped pave the way for Showtime to become a serious contender in scripted TV series and for many other recent series featuring against the grain, notable roles for women.

Question: When you began Weeds, were you eager to work in television?

Mary-Louise Parker: I was. I’d done The West Wing. That was the only other television I’d done, and I mostly only liked theater. I feel like movies, if there’s any kind of budget whatsoever, there’s so much sitting, and I really like to work. Otherwise my blood sugar just drops, you know, six hours sitting in a camper. I’d rather work. I’m there to work and collaborate. So movies, to me, are not my favorite.

What did you think?

Have you watched Weeds?

Question: You’ve worked with Justin [Kirk] a couple times now. What is it about the chemistry between you two? Why do you like it?

Parker: I just love him. I think he’s a completely underrated actor. I think he belies his own talent in a way because he works so hard, and he makes it look so easy. He comes to work to work, and he wants to do it — he’ll keep going.

Question: Do you have any tips for him as he goes on to lead his own show [Animal Practice] now?

Parker: Come back to me!

Question: Nancy seems to be having a very redemptive journey this season.

Parker: I feel like in the end it becomes more about the family, and the way that Jenji [Kohan] tied it together… I wasn’t expecting that as the finale at all, but I really love it.

Question: What kind of role will you be looking for in your next project?

Parker: I just had a meeting with one of the networks, and they just asked me what I wanted to do. I said, “I just want to do a TV show. I want to do it right now.” I’m just so sad about this ending, and I like controversy. I like things that are extreme. I’ve met with a few networks. I just like good writing. I’ll play anything, and that’s why when I did this I remember there were people who said to me, “You’re doing a show on Showtime? Why?” I just liked the part, and I liked Jenji’s writing. I would do it anywhere. I’ll play anything.

Question: How do you feel about Nancy now that the show’s over and you’ve seen the journey you guys have gone on together? Do you feel more connected to her, less connected to her?

Parker: I’ve always felt connected to her. It’s just that I feel like I cry at work every day. It’s hard. It’s eight years. It’s my son’s entire life.

Question: Is part of taking a new gig right away a little bit helping you through the grieving process?

Parker: Yes! Maybe. I haven’t found one yet, but I really want to. I was really sad that it ended, but things do have to end at some point. I’m still mad. My son said, “If I used all my allowance, would they do one more season?” “Honey, I don’t know. But here’s [Showtime president] David Nevins’ phone number.”

Question: Did he say that because you seemed sad?

Parker: He was sad. He said, “Are we still going to see Hunter [Parrish]?” Hunter comes to our house every Thanksgiving, and we’re very close.

Question: What will you do to the final night the show airs? Will you guys get stoned or drunk?

Parker: I’ve actually never smoked pot. I’ve done the thing that’s like a Listerine strip, you know, that you stick at the top of your [mouth] — I did that the night my father died because I honestly would have done anything. But I’ve never smoked it. I said, “Hunter, maybe we should, like, the last night…” Now, at the age of 48, I should start smoking pot. I’m going to be really sad, so I might do it.

Question: Do the fans of the show try to slip you some?

Parker: Oh, all the time. I went to go see the musical Fella on Broadway, and at the curtain call, somebody handed me a bag. I mean, I want to be gracious, so I just pass it along. You know, it’s nice.

Question: I imagine you have some very weird fans, playing such an extreme character.

Parker: It’s funny because then sometimes people look so conservative to me, and they say they love the show. I find that really surprising. But all sorts of people have seen it and respond to it. Former President Clinton told me that he liked it and watched it. I don’t know if the current president watches it. No other politicians, though.

Question: Do you feel like you’ve sort of opened the door for a new kind of female protagonist on television?

Parker: I think Jenji did by writing this character. If I’ve fulfilled it, then I hope so. It was one of the first ones like that. Then they started writing a lot of women that had deep problems and deep inner conflict. It’s more fun to play, but Jenji wrote it.

Question: A lot of actors cite you as a hero and a role model. Did you get that throughout the run of the show, a lot of actors saying, “You really showed me what an actor is capable of doing [on television]”?

Parker: Actors have always been incredibly kind to me, honestly. It means a lot to me, and I’m not somebody who’s willing to give themselves credit often, so I really appreciate a compliment from an actor. It’s really heartening to me. It fortifies me.

Question: When cult shows like this end, there’s always talk of a movie…

Parker: Jenji said she would do it, so I would do it if she would do it. I would do a spin-off. I would move it to another network. I’ll use my son’s allowance.

Question: What would a spin-off be like?

Parker: I don’t know! You could do a lot. We thought of one.. I don’t know, I can’t say it because I’d be giving away the end. But we did come up with one plot based on the finale. But I for sure would do a movie in a second.

Question: In a perfect world, how much longer would you have pushed the series?

Parker: I would have kept doing it until I couldn’t wear those cutoffs anymore. As long as everybody wanted to do it. I did a play on Broadway once for a year, and I stopped doing it because I felt like I wasn’t as good anymore. If I felt like I couldn’t give to it anymore, and I didn’t have any more ideas, then I would have stopped. Otherwise, if Jenji wanted to keep going, I would have kept going, absolutely.

Question: How many cups of iced coffee do you think Nancy’s had in her lifetime?

Parker: Per day? I would say four per day. I found myself holding it the way that I have her hold it. The other day, I was like, “This is really starting to seep into my personality,” but there’s nothing I can do.

The Weeds star looks back on eight memorable years – and ponders whether she'll smoke pot the night the finale airs.