Weeds: Did the Right Person Pull the Trigger?

[Spoiler alert: If you don’t want to know the identity of the Weeds shooter, don’t read ahead. Really.]

WEEDSOnce the credits began rolling on the seventh season finale of Weeds, a lot of questions filled my mind. Did the gunshot actually hit one of the Botwin family, or did something stop it from happening? Would the show be coming back for an eighth season to avoid leaving on a cliffhanger? Out of all the people that Nancy Botwin has lied to, manipulated, and done wrong by, who had the motivation, resources, and capability of slipping onto their new compound and pulling the trigger? It was a pretty ballsy way to end a season, having the show’s heroine potentially taken out by a lone gunman, but that might not matter if they didn’t stick the landing.

And right now, I’m not sure if they did, since the reveal that the shooter was Tim Scottson, son of DEA agent Peter Scottson, aka Nancy’s ex-husband who was taken out by the Armenians in season two. For all the talk about the Mexicans, the Armenians, Celia, Heylia, and Mr. Schiff, among many others, it was someone that we’ve not seen (or talked about) in years coming to settle some “score” they had with Nancy. You could look at the reveal in two different ways. Having the shooter be someone long thought gone made the reveal more of a surprise than it would have been had it been, say, Cesar or Zoya, so you (likely) didn’t guess the identity within five minutes of the finale concluding. Plus, the final season of Weeds is supposed to be coming full circle, complete with a return to the suburbs and Nancy’s soccer mom days, so making the shooter someone from the early days of the show helps strengthen the idea that much more.

But it’s one thing to make the shooter someone from Nancy’s distant past and another to make it someone that we didn’t spend much time with that now looks nearly unrecognizable. When the reveal occurred, I didn’t have the faintest clue who this (seemingly) random man was, not until the instant flashback to the days of Shane taking karate and Nancy unknowingly falling for a DEA agent. That took a little bit of the power away from that moment, a moment that should have been a lot more impactful than it ended up being. It could have been a majorly gasp-worthy moment that set the tone for an especially atonement-centered season of Weeds, but my reaction was less “ohhh snap” or “I knew it!” and more “wait…who?” and “…oh, okay.”

It didn’t help matters that Tim (Darryl Sabara) is now a grown man that we hadn’t seen since he was a pre-teen/early adolescent. It’s like a distant family member having a baby; you see it when it’s born, ooh-ing and ahh-ing and soaking up its general baby-ness, but eventually, they go home and everybody goes back to living their lives. Cut to six, seven years later at a family function and it takes a second to process that that baby and this little kid are the same person, which is what happened (to me) once the shooter was revealed. I think that Tim, like many characters from the annals of Weeds, has rightful motivation for wanting to take Nancy Botwin out once and for all, but I don’t know if making him the shooter, predicating that on a last minute reveal, was the right move overall.

But I don’t think I can rightfully judge that now. The reveal might have been a touch underwhelming, but that doesn’t mean that Tim can’t become a major asset to the final season of Weeds. If he sticks around, either through plotting another attack on Nancy or joining forces with other Botwin enemies, for example, I think that the reveal might not matter as much in the grander scheme of things. However, if he becomes a seasonal footnote and more of a plot device than an actual character, it’ll make the choice much more confusing and, ultimately, detrimental to the quality of the show. We might not have spent much time with Tim in his stint on the show, but Weeds has a chance to make us care about both him as a character and the reason he shot Nancy.

But will they?

Weeds airs Sundays at 10:00 on Showtime.

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