Episode Title: 'Synthetics'
Writer: Victoria Morrow
Director: Michael Trim
With 'Synthetics,' and perhaps this entire seventh season, "Weeds" has reestablished itself, yet again, as a show you either love or hate. Those fans who left around season five will tell you they've completely given up on the show while those who've stuck with the Botwin clan till present day will proclaim "Weeds" one of the funniest, most irreverent shows on television.
As someone who admittedly gave up on the series a while back but returned to it when asked to cover it for this site, I'm still not quite sure which camp I fall into. "Weeds" will make me laugh at least once per episode and 'Synthetics' had a number of moments that made me yearn for the show's early days. In particular, Andy's (Justin Kirk) reminder to Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) of her bush league days of hawking dime bags at kid's baseball games made me all warm and fuzzy inside. But aside from a little bit of sentimentality, 'Synthetics' was akin to the "Weeds" I dropped out of circa season five.
Jenji Kohan and company are great at coming up with absurdly inventive new scenarios to throw the motley Botwin crew into. The problem is they all seem so arbitrary. In 'Synthetics,' we see Shane (Alexander Gould) bonding with an alcoholic cop, Silas (Hunter Parrish) boxing reject models and Doug (Kevin Nealon) raging on steroids. It all sounds like a lot of fun but what's the point? Silas beat the crap out of his opponent when he struck a nerve regarding his mommy issues. But the moment was couched in such random nonsense it's easy to forget why these characters behave the way they do.
The circus-like feel of the episode only escalated when Nancy's old prison lover, Zoya (Olga Sosnovska) returns. While Heylia's (Tonye Patano) resurfacing was welcome, albeit too brief, Zoya's return to the fold only adds another level of "zany" to a storyline that really doesn't need it.
And again, another episode of WEEDS ends with Nancy in the middle of a mess of her own making. Yet after six plus seasons, I'm still unsure as to what any of these characters wants, except maybe Silas. Andy's given up on Nancy, Shane's meandering through early adulthood, buddying up with a cop-cliche and Nancy's just trying to get back in the game – an addiction of her own. Like Andy pointed out at the baseball game, everything's come full circle, which is perhaps why 'Synthetics' felt so dizzying.
Crave Online Rating: 6.5 out 10.