The pot-dealer comedy moved from the L.A. suburbs to a dingy border town in its fourth season—and picked up its first Best Comedy nomination along the way.
Maybe you’re still reeling from Weeds’ buzzworthy Season 5 finale, in which suburban pot dealer-turned-Mexican mob wife Nancy Botwin watched in horror as her teen son seemingly committed murder by croquet mallet. That shocker wouldn’t have been possible without the series re-set that was Season 4, when Nancy and family left behind the suburban sprawl of Agrestic, California, for the more dangerous terrain of Ren Mar, just across the border from Mexico.
The inspired reboot reinvigorated Showtime’s dark comedy, which took on an even harder edge, and culminated in six Emmy nominations including, for the first time, Outstanding Comedy Series and two major acting nods: Outstanding Lead Actress for Mary-Louise Parker’s portrayal of the increasingly under-fire Nancy; and Outstanding Supporting Actress for Elizabeth Perkins, whose love-to-hate Celia began the season in jail for Nancy’s grow-house shenanigans and ended it as a recovering junkie being held for ransom by her own daughter. Clearly, the moms of Weeds, while aces with pointed one-liners, could still stand to sharpen those parenting skills.
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No longer constrained by the façade of a respectable middle-class life, Nancy unleashed her down-and-dirty queenpin ambitions and began drug runs across the border. Twice widowed, she also finally met her match in corrupt Tijuana mayor Esteban Reyes, a man, who, in the name of foreplay, wasn’t above bending Nancy over his knee and giving her a good spank. Nor was he above contemplating killing her when he discovered she’d been working with the DEA. That is, until Nancy—a woman who never leaves home without an iced coffee or her uncanny knack for wiggling out of even the tightest of jams—revealed, in a juicy season-capping scene, that she was pregnant with Esteban’s son.
Talk about mayjah drama! Perhaps, then, Weeds’ most impressive Season 4 feat was that it never failed to make us laugh, even as it reminded us that connections are tenuous and security is an illusion in a world where everything can suddenly go up in a cloud of pungent smoke.
Shawna Malcom writes about TV for the Los Angeles Times, PEOPLE and Variety and is an on-air correspondent for the TV Guide Network. She was previously a senior writer at TV Guide magazine and began her career at Entertainment Weekly.
Executive producers Jenji Kohan and Roberto Benabib take us through the season.