Episode Title: 'A Beam of Sunshine'
Writer: Victoria Morrow
Director: Michael Trim
After seven seasons of bad parenting, deceit, murder, drug-running and just plain old running, Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) is ready to be a "good person." As demonstrated in "A Beam of Sunshine," she's perfectly capable of change but it may be too late for her maladjusted offspring.
Nancy doesn't like the fact that a pot dealing clown is gouging cancer patients for an herbal reprieve from their constant pain. After a candid talk with Shane (Alexander Gould) where she admits to having been "a gougey clown douche" in the past, Nancy decides to give the stuff away and warns the clown to back off. And now that everyone thinks the Botwins are mobbed up after Nancy's shooting, he does so.
Back at the house, Andy (Justin Kirk) is nervous about Jill's reunion with her estranged hubby, back from a soul-searching trek through India. Jill's kids suggest Andy is just another distraction and their parents will soon reconcile. It's a role Andy's played many times before with many different women, but this time around, he's determined to make things work with Jill. After crashing her date with her hubby, Andy convinces Jill (Jennifer Jason Leigh) that he's here to stay, with a rendezvous in the ladies' room.
While Nancy turns into the hospital pot fairy and Andy tries to win Jill, Silas (Hunter Parrish) and Shane aren't quite ready to hit the straight and narrow. Shane meets a kindred soul at the Police Academy who suggests that they are both taking a righteous path to ultimately nefarious ends. Meanwhile, Silas continues to focus on his pot business, which is in jeopardy with Nancy out of commission and running up a sky-high hospital tab.
Though Nancy isn't concerned about her shooter returning to finishing the job, the incident has stirred Shane's psychopathy. By episode's end, he's narrowed in on Tim Scottson, who we learned is the shooter in the season premiere. Nancy may be ready to get morally born again, but it looks like Shane's about to put another Botwin family nemesis six-feet under.
If you've been along for the ride from Agrestic to Mexico to prison and now finally in New York (with a few pit stops along the way), you know "Weeds" is as bombastic and heightened as ever. And as the show settles into its final season run, it doesn't seem like showrunner Jenji Kohan is looking to bring the Botwins back down to earth or anywhere close to it. In last week's premiere, the over-the-top antics at the hospital were an underwhelming welcome back after such an intense cliffhanger. However, "Weeds" returned to form this week and like almost always, it is thanks to Justin Kirk with an assist from guest star, Jennifer Jason Leigh. The comedic chemistry between these two is almost as intense as their characters' depraved sexual attraction.
Story-wise, the idea that after years of tangling with hardened, heartless drug dealers, Nancy finally sees the error of her ways in a low-level pot dealing hospital clown is a novel one. However, I'm not convinced her change of heart is permanent or that it'll be enough to make me like her again (haven't really since season two).
If redemption is the order of the final season, Nancy Botwin might want to start with her own family. There's plenty of time to make good, I'm just not sure the rest of the Botwin clan is interested. But if "Weeds" ends with Nancy as an altruistic do-gooder while her kids sell pot and kill anyone who gets in their way, wouldn't that be a trip? It's one Jenji Kohan might just be planning.