There's something funny about the way this show ignores consequences, something that seems to be a thing with every Showtime show that has any popular traction: The high of watching Jackie Peyton or Dexter Morgan or Nancy Botwin get themselves into these impossible situations and then get themselves out of them again in the next season. And every season, the stakes are higher and the scrape is closer and it's all very exciting, right up until the next season starts.
Mileage varies as to how well the particular shows nail this thing, and it's the usual complaints come premiere time for every show regardless of how they're earned, but the funny part here is how hard this show fights itself about it. I mean, from a production standpoint you have a funny feedback loop having to do with wanting Jackie to succeed -- the creators talk about how you don't really want to see Jackie get caught -- but at the same time upping the stakes, all the time.
There's a metaphor to be drawn here to addiction, specifically the addiction of the consumer to the qualities of the product that keep you coming back, and how your high is never quite as good as the first time. I will say, though, that this season does a better job -- of answering the lingering questions and playing out the consequences -- than last year, when basically the entire thing got swept under the rug.
But still: Wouldn't it be nice if these particular shows trusted us to follow us when they go somewhere new? If they didn't have to keep telling the same stories over and over, desperately afraid they'll lose our interest? Think about the most beloved Dexter finales, for example: Not the same cliffhangers over and over, like Weeds, and not the icky redemption-just-kidding plays this show makes (often successfully, mind you), but the actual game-changers, if you know what I mean. Things that actually stick.
And I mean Dexter, I love it, but it's not really as good as this show when it's at its best (and neither of them hold a candle to Tara), but the audience is vocal about how they feel about actual stakes, actual changes, actual creative leaps. Something to think about.
So where we're at right now is that Jackie's best friend Eleanor O'Hara discovered she'd been passed a fake MRI, in order to beef up her casual Percocet-between-friends supply to actual, illegally giving her friend drugs. Same time, Jackie's husband Kevin discovered her secret post office box containing insane amounts of secret credit card debt at pharmacies all over town. He called O'Hara, and the two of them tried to throw Jackie a little intervention. Well of course she went apeshit on both of them, right for the jugular, and locked herself in the bathroom.