In Weeds' last stakes-raising, season-ending cliffhanger, Mary-Louise Parker's Nancy Botwin received a stay of execution from her Mexican crime-lord boyfriend Esteban (Demian Bichir) after announcing she could be carrying his son.

In Weeds' last stakes-raising, season-ending cliffhanger, Mary-Louise Parker's Nancy Botwin received a stay of execution from her Mexican crime-lord boyfriend Esteban (Demian Bichir) after announcing she could be carrying his son.

She also invited the wrath of a vengeful federal agent for not sharing information about the boyfriend when she tipped the FBI off to his smuggling tunnel.

Season five opens by playing out the tension and pathos surrounding Nancy's life worth. A rough exchange in a Mexican OB/GYN office confirms that to Esteban, her value is centered entirely in her womb, turning the impending birth into a ticking time bomb.

And though the show follows through with brother-in-law Andy's (Justin Kirk) growing awareness of his love for Nancy, he and her increasingly alienated sons need Nancy less and less. It's almost as if the show's making a living ghost of her. There's even a sort-of replacement in Andy's life in the form of Nancy's sister Jill (Jennifer Jason Leigh, debuting in the second episode).

The new season's ad campaign presents Parker smiling at the center of a spider web, but considering the first episode, it's clear she's not the predator in this image - she's the trapped. It suggests some dark, interesting territory ahead for the character, but so far, the absurd comic relief is keeping up the pace. -Melissa Starker