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'Weeds': Leaping vs. falling

June 16, 2009 | 10:22 am

“Daredevil Girl Survives Fall”


Nancy tells her sushi chef about jumping off a bridge when she was young. The newspaper called it a fall, but in truth, she admits, it was a leap.

It’s strange to get this little glimpse into the world of Nancy Botwin as a young girl. In the 4 seasons of "Weeds," we’ve gotten very little information about the Nancy of the past. Mostly tidbits of her married life or a few racy photos from just before. "Weeds" always has so many stories pressing forward that there’s rarely the opportunity to look at the past.

Though there was a little spare time in this week’s episode for reflection. Along with Nancy’s confession to her sushi chef (which I could easily see becoming the bartender of the new millennium), snippets of history also came out as her sister, Jill, had her wine-fueled, spastically-edited chitchat with Andy, which of course, ended with a little afternoon delight. Andy does have a way with the lonely moms.

So we know now that Nancy’s jump-first-deal-with-consequences-later attitude didn’t just develop after the death of her husband. The first husband. Not the DEA agent. This mind-set has worked well for her in the past, keeping her in control of erratic situations. Up until now, where she finds her future distinctly out of her control.

Even when she ditches her “bodyguard,” Cesar, to pay a visit to Guillermo in prison, Nancy only finds out how the baby growing inside her doesn’t necessarily guarantee her safety. Possibly even the opposite. She confronts Esteban and even puts the gun in his hand, but she still can’t control this situation. At least not yet.

The leap-first attitude seems to run in the family. Silas headed into the Cleveland National Forest with all his plants and supplies, only to run into someone else who had the same idea on a much larger scale. Personally, I might have scouted the area before filling my backpack with illegal plants, but forethought doesn’t always seem to be Silas’ strength. I mean, he brought Doug along. Sure he’s a strong back to carry supplies, but he’s also amazed by butterflies. Great backup.

The only Botwin who seems to have his head firmly on his shoulders right now is Shane. Snapping pictures of Andy and his aunt “appreciating” each other. I’m sure that’ll come in useful down the line.

The episode’s title comes from Celia helping the Mexican revolutionaries organize their tent. This, I felt, was the weakest part of the episode, but I’m thinking it’s the groundwork for something bigger. You have Mexican revolutionaries and a Tijuana mayor/drug kingpin both in the same show. How long before they clash? Control might be out of the hands of everyone.

--Andrew Hanson

Photo: Jill (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and Andy (Justin Kirk) cavort on the couch. Credit: Showtime