I joined Hollywood Hills during the middle of “Weeds,” so I never started a weekly review, so I thought I’d review the entire season now, following Monday’s season finale.

The Showtime drama started its season with Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) in trouble once again. That’s the ongoing theme of this show. She got out of her latest death threat by revealing to Esteban, her drug lord boyfriend, that she was pregnant with his baby. After she marries him, has the baby and is no longer in danger, she meets her latest foe – Esteban’s campaign manager/blackmailer/queen bitch, Pilar.

Nancy spends most of the season regretting many of her past choices and trying to reconnect with her sons Silas (Hunter Parrish) and Shane (Alexander Gould). There’s a point in the season where you can just tell Nancy has given up on them. She knows she’s messed them up, especially Shane who has grown from boy to young man.

The rest of the ensemble cast continue to add most of the comic relief. Celia (Elizabeth Perkins) dabbled in lesbianism and drug dealing. Doug (Kevin Nealon) continued to be Doug. And Andy (Justin Kirk) hooked up with Alanis Morissette.

The season was slow compared to others, but there’s always still something that keeps you coming back. I was actually about ready to give up on the show and then the season finale came at me like a surprise blow to the head. It’s amazing how one episode can redeem an entire season.

What you don’t realize until the finale, is the entire season was quietly setting up the surprise climax/twist.

(Stop reading if you don’t want a spoiler.)

Shane’s been the one who’s taken the brunt of Nancy’s mistakes. He even took a bullet this season because of her. Throughout the season, we watch him grow darker and darker. And near the end of the finale episode, Nancy learns her plans to take down Pilar have failed. Pilar now has the upper hand and is threatening Nancy’s children. Out of no where, Pilar is struck in the head and falls into a pool (I seriously jumped out of my seat). The camera then pans to Shane holding a croquet mallet. He saved the day for his mother, and possibly his own life. He murdered a woman (we think) and by the look on his face, he doesn’t care. Then it ends.

That’s who Shane is now. He’s an emotionless shell. It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out next season. Will Shane show remorse? Will Nancy take the fall for her son? Or will creator/writer Jenji Kohan find another surprising way to get the Botwin family out of trouble? I already can’t wait for next season.

I give the season a B- and the finale an A+.

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