As with previous Weeds seasons, "See Blue and Smell Cheese and Die" completes the transition between the prior season and the current, wrapping up the biggest thread held over from Nancy's shooting. Specifically, the inevitable confrontation between the Botwin family and Tim Scottson.
After Shane discovered the identity of the shooter last week, this week's episode followed Nancy racing against time to protect Tim from Shane, believing her son to have homicidal intentions. It wouldn't be the first time Shane killed someone for threatening his mother's life after all. This chase allowed the Weeds writers to explore season eight's themes of responsibility and Nancy's attempts to redeem herself through her children (and other people's).
As the episode begins, Nancy and Silas both assume Shane is in full-on vengeance-mode, writing him off as a psychopath. Even Silas, who knew Shane had joined the police academy, had written his younger brother off. And who could blame them? Throughout the series, Shane developed increasingly weird behavior after his dad died, culminating in him killing Pilar at the end of season five and his less than remorseful behavior afterwards.
Nancy's experiences with Shane obviously informed her attitude towards Tim, who she was mortified to learn was under-achieving in his life due to the murder of his dad, Peter Scottson, and being raised by his less than stable mother. Thus far, season eight has given us one of the most reflective takes on Nancy's character since the show began and while Nancy knows she wasn't to blame for Tim's life, she's aware of the role she played in his father's death. Not that she was able to properly apologize for that until the very end of the episode. So when she finally finds Tim, her goals evolve from protecting him from Shane to trying to get his life back on track, instructing him to move back to California and study to be a nutritionalist. In her own words, she "can't be responsible for another fucked up kid."
Despite Nancy's best effort to hide Tim from Shane, it's not long until Shane finds them. With a twist. He's not intending to torture, harm or kill Tim -- he's there to arrest him. After pleading for Tim's freedom, Nancy registers remorse that she didn't succeed in getting her shooter's life back on track. But after it's pointed out that Shane is trying to impress her, her demeanor shifts and she realizes Shane's grown since killing Pilar and that her son may not be as fucked up as she assumed. Win some, lose some.
In season four, Nancy flippantly proclaimed Shane was the Botwin's last chance at legitimacy. With season eight, both Nancy and Andy are in search of legitimacy, trying to take the rest of the family with them. And with his speedy ascension in the police academy it may be that Shane is already way ahead of them.
Running parallel to the Nancy/Tim/Shane story, were Andy's attempts to coach Jill's twins' roller-derby team. What followed was a jealous battle with the twins' father, Scott, which culminated in him having a mental breakdown and revealing his true feelings towards his daughters. Upon realizing what he'd said, Scott resigned to leave and gave Andy his blessing.
Be it the twins and Scott or Tim and his family, the moral coming out of this week's episode seems to be that no matter how bad the elder Botwins are at parenting, other people are worse. Whether this gives you hope for the Botwins' future or makes you dread the other parents in the Weeds universe is another matter altogether.
And now for the wild speculation part of this post. Nancy began dealing weed after her husband suddenly dropped dead while jogging. In this week's episode there were a lot of mentions about the bullet still being in Nancy's head. Am I the only one thinking Nancy may just as suddenly drop dead at the end of the season after completing her season-long campaign for redemption?