Weeds has gone through so many iterations in its six seasons thatI am starting to lose count…and interest. Somewhere along the line, it has turned into the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test With Infant. Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) and her band of Merry Pranksters bouncing around the U.S. of A in their God-is-Love-mobile in search of…well what are are they searching for exactly? Freedom? A new start? A chance at redemption? I would be OK with all or any of those things if the writers would just pick something and stick with it. Oh and by the way, tossing in a random guest star here and there isn’t going to make us forget about the lack of a coherent story arc.
I have to give credit where credit is due. “To Moscow, and Quickly” at least attempted to deal with an issue that fans and critics of the show have been bellyaching about for a while now. For weeks, seasons even, Weeds has glossed over, often actively ignoring, the fact that Nancy is an AWFUL mother. Maybe the show hasn’t ignored it per se, but the characters (and Nancy in particular) certainly have. This shouldn’t have been the first time that Nancy has realized this on-the-run lifestyle might adversely effect her children, particularly her newborn.
With Shane (Alexander Gould) handling most of the motherly duties (Nancy doesn’t even know what size diapers Stevie wears), it takes Nancy a while to notice the radioactive green color of her infant son’s turds, but when she does, it raises a bit of a red flag. She knows things have gone a bit too far. “This isn’t working. I can’t raise Stevie in the back of an RV.” She decides to take him to see a pediatrician. And Andy tags along because, you know, the writers have shrunk the Weeds universe to the point that Andy really serves no purpose other than “tag-along” buddy.
Meanwhile, Shane, Silas (Hunter Parrish) and Doug (Kevin Nealon) hit up a concert venue to sell some hash. Turns out they are a day late for the jam band show, but as lucky would have it, you have to be pretty baked to sit through a kid’s cartoon concert. Silas pulls some bogus stunt where he pretends to steal the family’s money from Shane in order to teach him a lesson in responsibility or something. All I kept thinking was, “Silas, this is a guy that smashed in a woman’s head with a croquet mallet, we are a tad past the ‘I’m the big brother, now let me teach you a life lesson” stage. And Doug completely abandons the kids and finds himself in the middle of a furry tent orgy because the writers have shrunk the Weeds universe to the point that Doug really serves no other purpose than the “gets lost and gets high” buddy (not that he was ever much of anything else, nor did I ever want him to be).
While at the doctor’s office, Nancy spots a picture of herself on the missing persons portion of a newscast and bolts as soon as she can. Back on the road Andy decides that Denmark would make a good landing spot for the Botwins and for whatever reason, exhaustion probably, Nancy doesn’t argue. They just have to make one last big deal in order to finance the trip. But not before making a stop in Nancy’s hometown and paying a visit to Nancy’s estranged sister, Jill (Jennifer Jason Leigh).
While it is nice to finally have a destination and not have to worry about the Botwins floating aimlessly around the continental United States for the next half-dozen episodes, I don’t know if basically throwing a dart at a map and picking a place is a much better alternative. This season is severely lacking in focus, I’m getting bored with all the running around and the phony identities. If the show wants to go to Copenhagen, great. Just get the Botwins or the Newmans or whatever the hell they want to be called this week out of the friggin’ camper already. Nancy isn’t Ken Kesey and the writers of Weeds damn sure aren’t Tom Wolfe.