Category: Weeds

'Weeds': Wedding bells

Weeds

Whew. The bullet that hit Shane last week passed straight through. In the front, out the back. All muscle. No bone. Luckily, Nurse Cesar was there to help care for the wound. Though Cesar prefers the term "medic." Calling him a nurse might get him teased by all the other Mexican drug lord henchmen.

Everyone stopped by casa de Esteban to pay respect to the recovering Botwin child. Each in their own way. When Shane finally speaks, his response is surprisingly realistic. “It had to happen sooner or later.” Shane understands the world they live in. Even if no one else wants to admit it.

Nancy doesn’t react well to one of her children getting shot. Once she gets Shane to finally eat that sandwich, she confronts Cesar. It’s obvious that Pilar set up the attempted hit (though there are plenty of other people who want to kill Nancy after five seasons). Nancy figures out that the only person who can be feeding Pilar information is Cesar. He changed his mind at the last minute to protect Esteban’s happiness, but not soon enough to prevent the attack, so Nancy repays him with his own bullet wound.

Shane comes away from the experience with an attitude adjustment and the beginnings of a drinking problem. Shane has gone through a lot this season. He dealt drugs, got ripped off and went for revenge. He got a taste of normal while living in Esteban’s home, only to later witness a golf-related beating. He even had his first run-in with an STD. It’s not hard to see why he might want to float around in the pool, drinking beer and yelling slurs at those on shore. Go for it Shane. It made Esteban laugh.

Outside the world of the Botwin family, Celia continues to build her drug/cosmetics empire. She lets Dean move her into a new apartment/panic room then promptly locks him out. And Dean isn’t the only one finding out Celia has returned to her evil ways. Doug discovers her secret to selling overpriced eye shadow is packaging it with stolen pot. One thing must be taken care of before they can band together and destroy Celia, but that’s quickly cleared up with a cup of hot coffee and Dean’s unmentionables. I’m not too sure how scared Celia will be of two men with injured genitals, but I hope they give her a run for her money.

Nancy tries to protect her offspring. She offers to ship Silas overseas with a bank account full of cash and a Europass, but he declines. Looks like Silas is taking the security of his brothers into his own hands. That’s a big task for an 18-year-old, but Silas has also gone though a lot this season. He might be up to the task.

Nancy’s not going to make it easy for him. After Pilar tells Esteban his candidacy for governor is over, Nancy convinces him he should run anyway. She goes through with the wedding, even though Pilar forbid it. And for her first act as a married woman Nancy goes to visit Guillermo in prison with one little request: Kill Pilar. For someone who promised to never let her sons be hurt again, Nancy seems to be doing everything in her power to get the whole family killed.

We’re heading into the last three episodes of Season 5. "Weeds" always seems to go out on a shocker. In Season 1 Nancy discovered she was sleeping with a DEA agent, Season 2 found her in a kitchen with two angry gangs and an empty safe, Season 3 burnt down the entire town of Agrestic, and in Season 4 Nancy saved herself from death by being fertile. How do you think Season 5 is going to end? What shocker awaits us? Make your guess in the comments below. Let’s see who can get the closest.

-- Andrew Hanson

Photo: Hemky Madera as Ignacio, from left, Demian Bichir as Esteban Reyes, Mary-Louise Parker as Nancy Botwin and Enrique Castillo as Cesar. Credit: Showtime

'Weeds': Rum and milk

Weeds_509_0062 A couple of weeks ago, I had to cut a few lines I quoted from an episode of "Weeds" in my post because they violated the L.A. Times obscenity rules. It wasn’t big. A couple F’s here and S’s there. Some colorful references to genitalia. Completely understandable. It’s a Showtime series. There’s an expectation there. But tonight’s episode … I don’t know if I can even write the episode title, let alone all the conversations and actions that take place. I’ll do my best.

It starts out simple enough. Nancy can’t get any sleep on the couch just outside Andy’s arcade. While I might love the lulling sounds of Ms. Pac-Man, she prefers sleeping in silence, so she makes a play for the master bedroom. The current occupant, Andy, isn’t so quick to give it up. He agrees to share the bed after laying out specific rules regarding spooning, pillow placement and night farting (essential conversation for anyone sharing close sleeping quarters).

Along with sharing the bed, Andy starts sharing the responsibilities of Stephen, his son on paper. Nancy gives him a crash course in parenting, explaining it as a routine of food and, well, let’s say poop. Nancy uses another word, and uses it many, many times.

Nancy’s other boys are also dealing with their own poop. Dean finally gets around to telling Silas and Doug that their pot has been “stolen.” Dean’s not the best liar. The key is keeping it short and simple. The more detailed your lie, the more it looks like a lie. I’m not sure if Silas didn’t buy Dean’s story or just thought he was an idiot, but either way, Dean earned himself another crack upside the head. Either way, Dean deserves it. He’s ripping off Silas, the one person in this show trying to go legit, in favor of Celia.

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‘Weeds’: A substantial human being

Weeds_508_0393 Poor little Baby Boy Botwin. Not only did he spend the majority of the episode referred to as “it,” he is caught in the middle of a power struggle between Mommy and Daddy. And Daddy No. 2. Baby Boy Botwin started his existence as an ultrasound that kept his mother from dying, and his birth only complicated things further.

Nancy wakes in the hospital to find Pilar standing over her newborn son. After Pilar lays down all the reasons she herself would never have children, she lets Nancy know how it’s going to be. Esteban will not be putting his name down on Baby Boy Botwin’s birth certificate. And no matter how much Nancy argues, her baby-daddy won’t go against his … I’m on sure exactly what Pilar is to Esteban. Let’s just say advisor.

Since she cannot put down Daddy No. 1 on the birth certificate, Nancy opts for Daddy No. 2: Andy. Maybe not anyone’s first choice to help raise a child, but as Nancy herself says, she doesn’t have anyone else. Though I have to wonder if the decision was made for the best interest of Baby Boy Botwin or for the best way to anger Esteban. Even if that wasn’t Nancy’s intention, it worked pretty well anyway.

Andy doesn’t jump at the opportunity to be the father of Nancy’s baby. He has other things on his mind. Mostly hooking up with Dr. Alanis Morissette. Like so many times before, I can’t really argue with Andy’s decisions. I’d definitely be right there with him, hanging with the antiabortion protester waiting to catch the good doctor on her smoke break.

The date doesn’t really go as plan. Dr. Kitson (Morissette) doesn’t even want to stick around for the combo platter. Apparently "Friday Night Lights" seems more appealing that spending more time with Andy. She’s passed him. She’s an adult. A doctor. Andy’s … well, Andy’s Andy. But he doesn’t want to be just Andy anymore. He wants to be a substantial human being. His first step: helping Nancy raise this baby. Well, that’s the second step. The first step was shaving (Finally!)

Andy isn’t the only person Nancy recruits to help out with the new baby. Lupita, the Botwin housekeeper from Agrestic, is back. Apparently she spent her multiple-season vacation doing a little work for Aaron Kaplan. But now that he’s on the job market, so is she. Perfect timing to come back to the drama of the Botwins. Plus she can get a little surfing in. Sweet deal.

Outside the baby fever, Doug and Silas recruit Dean to help them get their marijuana back from the Internal Affairs agents holding their onetime partner/extorter, Deputy Jones. Dean is more than happy to help for a piece of the product and a small request from Doug involving a desk drawer and … well, let’s just say “some junk.” Though once Dean has a hold of the product (the weed, not Doug’s whatever), he quickly falls prey to the conniving mind of his ex-wife. Celia isn’t having any luck selling her “You’re Pretty” products, but maybe she just has the wrong free samples. She quickly recruits Dean and his office full of pot to fix that.

But the episode ends with Baby Boy Botwin’s bris. A little whitefish, a little chop chop, and Baby Botwin finally receives his name. Stephen Ray Botwin. Stevie Ray. Though the name is a slam at his biological father. I’m not going to even try to spell his Hebrew name, but it means “My Father the King.”  Just like Esteban Reyes, which he brags also means kings. I feel sorry for Stephen Botwin. Every part of his life has been fodder between his mother and father, and I have a sinking feeling it isn’t going to end soon.

-- Andrew Hanson

Photo credit: Showtime Television

Weeds: Baby Botwin

WEEDS_507_0224 They need to stop letting Andy name the episodes. A couple of weeks ago, we got "Van Nuys," named after Andy’s term “Going to Van Nuys,” which is what he calls getting an abortion. This week was "Where the Sidewalk Ends.” Now I’ll never be able to read that Shel Silverstein poem and book without knowing that’s how Andy refers to certain lady parts. Oh, well. At least I still have “A Light in the Attic.”

Last week, we went through the entire life cycle of Nancy and Esteban’s engagement. From his naked proposal to the angry Mexican woman bursting into the house and yelling in Spanish at Esteban until he cancels the wedding. I spent all week wondering who that woman was. Apparently, she had her own Wikipedia page the whole time. Nancy and Shane go down her list of accomplishments (with Shane decoding the nefarious meanings of each), but what’s important is that she controls Esteban’s political future. That and she may have teeth where the sidewalk ends. Though that has not been confirmed.

The mysterious Mexican woman (I wish I could refer to her by what Nancy calls her, but L.A. Times policy and public decency forbid it) takes a backseat in Nancy’s mind as she catches Cesar building a birthing room in Esteban’s house. Cesar explains that there will be “no need to ever leave.” If that wasn’t enough to weird Nancy out, the creepy score might have helped.

So, of course, Nancy takes the logical next step and calls Andy to come rescue her. They hop in the General Lee and take off. Well, it doesn’t quite go as smoothly as that. It’s not easy to get a pregnant woman in a car with the doors welded shut. Guess those Duke boys never had to deal with that situation.

Meanwhile, Silas has gathered his own collection of problems. His partners in the medical-marijuana dispensary seem to be doing their best to drive him crazy. Doug is eating the product, hitting on customers and firing employees. Deputy Jones takes the much simpler approach of just blackmailing Silas for an additional $10,000. The one person in the Botwin family trying to go completely legit, and he still can’t catch a break. Well, one break. Blitt. Good thing Silas hired him on staff.

Before I move on, there’s one thing I need to point out. Silas and Doug’s dispensary is a little unrealistic. Customers just walk in the front door and begin browsing the wares. Any dispensary around Los Angeles requires you to go through a series of barred doors and/or security guards before even seeing the interior. Um … not that I know from personal experience. I’m just saying that’s what I’ve heard. Yeah. Just what I’ve heard.

While all this is going on, Celia moves forward in her career in retail, though her time with You’re Pretty cosmetics seems to be as short as one of Nancy’s marriages (burn!). I was kinda hoping that Celia’s turn peddling makeup would work out a little better for her, but now she seems to be interested in Shane’s suggestion of selling drugs. What a pair that would be, Shane and Celia. Like a crazy '80s cop show.

In the end, Nancy manages to escape her fate of being killed and disposed of right after birth with the aid of Alanis Morissette. We’ll never know if that was really what Esteban and Cesar had planned, but they did not look happy when they came charging into the hospital. But however angry our Tijuana Mayor/Drug Kingpin was when he burst into that room, it all changed when he picked up his newborn son. And who can blame him? That’s one cute kid.

— Andrew Hanson

Photo: Showtime Television

'Weeds': six months later

Weeds_506_0249 Awesome. Just this week, I was saying I missed "Lost." Someone must have read my mind because ‘Weeds’ had a flash forward. There wasn’t the cool wave-crashing sound effect. Just the words: six months later. Which comes as a relief. I kept wondering, who was that bearded guy fencing with Esteban in the preview for this episode? Just Andy after he went crazy. But we’ll get to that.

It’s like skipping a couple of chapters in a novel. I’m sure some important stuff happened in the meanwhile. Silas and Doug went through the process of building their medical marijuana dispensary. I’m sure Doug said a lot of stupid things, and Silas rolled his eyes. Nancy and Shane settled into Esteban’s home. We probably missed a couple of culture crashes followed by smarmy comments from Shane then quick, witty discipline by Nancy. And Andy. Well, Andy went crazy. But we’ll get to that.

We skip ahead to a day when all the members of the Botwin extended family go through life-changing events. At first I was going to comment on that, but then I realized that this is the Botwin clan. They all have life-changing events nearly every day. No matter what day they picked, chances are at least 70% of them would be going through crises of some sort.

The life-changing event that starts us off is Esteban’s proposal to Nancy. Just after Nancy finishes with her pregnant-lady shower, Esteban informs her that they will be getting married. He gives her a ring that he knows will distract her long enough for him to run in the next room and strike a naked pose that is both seductive and would be approved by Showtime standards. (And a good job he did.)

When the real proposal and ring came out, Nancy’s first reaction was “no,” which she quickly corrected to “yes.” Could she be inadvertently answering truthfully? There’s almost a parallel to Andy’s reply when Silas asks if he should be worried about Andy going crazy. But we’ll get to that.

Silas' and Doug’s life-changing event starts with Doug reading George Hamilton’s autobiography. Silas is getting tired of being pushed around by Jim Belushi’s brother-in-law from "According to Jim." Doug automatically asks, “What would George Hamilton do?” He slept with his stepmother at age 12; that’s enough to make him an icon to follow in Doug’s mind. Though apparently according to Doug, George Hamilton would shake their extorting cop’s chair and tell him to scram until he falls and cracks his head on the furniture. Nice going, George. Though points to Silas for referencing "Zorro: the Gay Blade," a movie that came out six years before he was born (Damn the young!).

Shane’s life-changing event involves skipping school to learn Spanish profanity, harass golfers and witness an act of savage violence. Last week, I was starting to think that Shane was slipping into the criminal darkness. It was almost comforting to watch him react so fearfully to Igncio after watching him beat a guy down with a power driver. He can still see the difference between right and wrong. Good kid.

And yes, Andy. He’s gone crazy. Managed to waste $180,000 in six months. Video games, foosball tables, slot machines and a tricked out replica of the General Lee complete with speaking car alarm. Can’t really get on his case about that. I’d probably have done the same.

Although Andy also grew out the big prospector beard and went all Steve Wiebe on us. I don’t know what’s worse, his obsession with beating the Ms. Pacman high score or the derogatory comments he makes about the female ghost. That did lead to one of the coolest scenes I’ve seen on television in a while: Nancy kicking open the door to leave a voice-mail in the same room as Andy because he won’t answer her calls. It even ended with the Ms. Pacman dying sound effect. How perfect.

With a whole new sense of confidence from her pending wedding, Nancy goes to visit Guillermo in prison. She flaunts her ring and the fact that Esteban would kill for her. Though Guillermo has something to flaunt himself. Apparently the disappearance of DEA agent and dirty dancer Roy Till might pave the way for Guillermo to get out of jail free. That’s when Nancy’s life-changing event starts to change, but it doesn’t stop there.

Later in the evening, after Esteban’s sword fight with crazy, bearded Jedi Andy, Nancy learned that her marriage to Esteban could no longer happen. It had something to do with the angry woman who burst into the house and yelled at him in Spanish. If anyone knows what it was she said, I’m dying to find out. Otherwise, I guess I’ll just have to wait until next week.

--Andrew Hanson

Photo: Mary-Louise Parker in "Weeds." Credit: Showtime Television

'Weeds': Going to Van Nuys

Going to Van Nuys. I wonder if that’s going to catch on as a phrase. I’m sure our friends north of the Ventura Freeway would rather not be associated with a “hoovering,” as Andy put it.

Nancy finally gets tired of having to take a translator to her obstetrician and decides to go see Alanis Morrisette instead. Dr. Alanis Morrisette. Well, You Oughta Know that while Nancy was Head Over Feet for Esteban, this pregnancy was kind of Uninvited. You Learn that Nancy is considering having this baby Under Rug Swept, possibly killing the one thing keeping her alive. It’s a little Ironic, don’t you think?

Nancy leaves with her pregnancy to consider and a desire to plant herbs. Not the herbs that you’d think on "Weeds." More the herbs that can help mask the smells of living with four men from Nancy’s pregnancy-enhanced nose.

No, the only people who seem to still be interested in those kind of herbs are Silas and Doug. Last week they signed a lease on their compassionate care medical marijuana dispensary. This week, they realized they didn’t have an inventory, so they went to see the Wizard. Not the guy behind the curtain who gives you a clock when you wanted a real heart, and not Fred Savage’s little brother who’s really good at Super Mario 3. This Wizard was a pot agent played by James Urbaniak. You might recognize him as Dwight Schrute’s best friend on "The Office," or if you’re super-nerdy like me, you’ll know him as the voice of Doctor Venture.

Silas and Doug’s partnership reaches the boiling point of a punch, a hug, and an awkward walk away. The hat trick of male conflict resolution. Now that that’s all worked out, I hope they can go back to the Wizard and work things out. It would be nice to see more of Urbaniak, and if he keeps an Asian man with a sword as a bodyguard, think what he might have behind the other doors in his office.

While Silas and Doug work to become more legit, Shane sinks lower into the world of crime. After getting ripped off by his English teacher for nearly four grand worth of his brother’s pot, Shane came home for some nice, therapeutic bottle-smashing. With a little goading from Ignacio, Nancy’s current bodyguard, Shane goes to take back what’s his and a little extra.

But everyone was busy in this episode. Andy went on his date as Judah. He takes his imaginative and possibly deranged bank clerk out for fondue dressed like they’re in a John Hughes movie. She wants to relive her teenage date with Judah, up to the moment where she should have lost her virginity under a bridge. Must have been more romantic then. With the ambiance of homeless men doing homeless men things, I don’t think any amount of imagination could get Andy in the mood.

And Celia’s hiding out in the garage. So desperate for companionship she strikes up conversations with the men who come to remove Sucio’s body from the freezer. Poor Sucio. His first shower ever and he ends up in the ice box. At least we know he didn’t wander off naked.

Though among all this light-hearted insanity, it happened. What everyone (at least me) has been waiting for.  Someone finally called Nancy out. After her plants died and she found out that Shane is getting an F in English and Celia told her she’ll be staying as long as she wants, Nancy asks Andy and the universe why Armageddon keeps raining down on her. Without any twinge of his normally constant humor, Andy tells her: “You do it. You do know that. You have to know that it’s all you.”

About time someone said that. Nancy’s reaction was perfect. Her momentary breakdown.

I don’t know about her actions after that. Going to live with Esteban. I’m not sure if I was a fan of her going to Van Nuys, but this doesn’t seem much better.

-- Andrew Hanson

Photo: Showtime Television

'Weeds': Mr. Zappy

134728 First of all they totally need to make that "Weeds" pinball machine from the opening of the episode. How cool would that be? I love pinball machines. Especially the newer machines, but I still have a special place in my heart for the old classics like Pinbot and High-Speed. Think of it. You could have the Nancy’s pregnancy ball lock. If it turns out to be a girl, instant game over. Andy’s bumpers where you constantly bounce from one woman to another. Doug’s accounting ramp that randomly embezzles points from the player. Silas and Shane’s multi-ball. You just constantly bat them around and hope there isn’t too much emotional scarring. I’d pay a buck for that.

While waiting for the all-clear after Su Su Sucio vanishes, the Botwin family hides out in an arcade. Nancy went big-game hunting with an electronic shotgun that apparently had a heck of a kickback. At the same time, she fended off Andy’s puppy love. It must be strange for Andy. Nearly every woman he’s wanted to sleep with in the show he’s gotten eventually. Nancy’s not interested. She reminds her brother-in-law that she’s pregnant with another man’s baby and then turns her orange boom-stick at the little electronic bunnies.

Nancy gets the phone call they’ve all been waiting for and they return home, where Esteban’s waiting for them. He’s in a remarkably good mood, too. He’s patient with Shane’s backtalk (“What are you? The mayor of Mexico?”) and even Andy’s stories (“…I spent two weeks guessing people’s weight at the Iowa State Fair. Got crabs. And a tattoo. Of a crab.”). Why the sudden change of heart? The test results are back. The baby is a boy and it is his son. Nancy just went from ending up in a landfill to being invited to live in Esteban’s American home. I don’t know which one she’s more comfortable with.

Nancy also picked up her third Mexican bodyguard. It went from the threatening Cesar to the silent but filthy Sucio and now Ignacio; cracking jokes, watching "Milo and Otis," and brandishing “Mr. Zappy,” the little taser that makes everyone wet themselves.

Everyone is pretty busy in this episode. Andy finds his older brother’s old bank book while trying to beef up a little to defend Nancy. His deep love for her momentarily takes a back seat to the opportunity to make off with $186,437.96 and sleep with a woman who wants him to pretend he’s his dead sibling (who wouldn’t?). Silas and Doug find a new location for their compassionate care facility (no, not a gym for fat women, the pot club). And Shane continues his trek into the family business, only to get ripped off by his English teacher. Nancy had the same problem with a college security guard and Silas has had to deal with tow truck drivers and National Park squatters. It’s just part of the work. I wonder how Shane will handle it.

Speaking of Shane, his slow slide in this episode is almost heartbreaking. He's no longer the starry-eyed, though sometimes a little off kid he was when his mom was peddling pot back in Agrestic. Now he completely loses his place as the moral compass of the Botwin family, and it makes me a little sad.

The center of the episode, as always, is Nancy. From her failing attempts to put together the Zen swing for her drug lord bun in the oven to trying to decide who should live between Captain Till and Ignacio when the latter caught the former peeking in the windows, Nancy is finding herself more and more caught in the winds of fate. Not even her off-brand Magic 8 Ball can give her answers. Esteban's making her decisions for her. Though I feel like she won’t accept that for much longer.

Since I know I’m going to write a Show Tracker, I take out my notebook and pen while watching each episode. Just to jot down anything that stands out. Facts, observations and notes. Though tonight my notebook is full of quotations. So much awesome dialogue from start to finish. (I'm not claiming 100% accuracy on these) “Nothing is exactly as it seems. Or is it otherwise.” "I’m a Botwin. We’re not responsible for anything we do.” “It’s a perfectly normal reaction to the adrenaline of combat.” “He beat up my cat.” “There’s nothing weird about that.” But the winner has to be Nancy going through every possible answer from a Magic 8 Ball. That was just plain impressive.

-- Andrew Hanson

PHOTO: Showtime Television

‘Weeds’: Payaso

Alg_weeds Sucio is back! You remember Sucio, right? He helped build the tunnel, he sold Celia drugs, he sanded off Agent Shlatter’s face. Sucio! Though on IMDB.com, he’s listed as ‘Dirty Man’ for all those episodes.

Well, whether you remember him or not, Sucio is back. He returns to relieve Cesar of fetus watch duty. Granted he was a participant in one of the most gruesome scenes in the show so far, but Sucio’s presence releases some of the tension that has been building this season. Even Esteban, who’s becoming more and more frightening as the season progresses, got a little goofy when he told Nancy to relax … or else!

It almost seemed like the Botwin clan got a little too relaxed tonight. It’s like they’re getting so used to having guns pointed at them that after the initial surprise, they shrug it off pretty well.

The smelly, dirty Mexican man wielding the gun didn’t slow any of them down from their normal activities. Silas moved on from growing in national forests right into trying to open a legal dispensary, Shane got out his computer and hopefully uploaded his pictures from Oakland, and Andy took Jill up to his bedroom for some afternoon delight.

Andy doesn’t let anything slow him down. Speaking of Andy Botwin, have you checked out the University of Andy? I’ll admit when I first watched the pilot of "Weeds" I wasn’t sold. Later, someone forwarded me the clip of Andy explaining masturbation to Shane, and I gave the show another shot. The University of Andy clips have that same feel. You should check them out.

Anyway, the Botwin family seems to take the relaxation a little too far during dinner. A little wine, and Jill starts letting loose stories of her younger sister’s crazed youth. Apparently Nancy briefly dated her junior high math teacher. It’s fun and jokey until you realize (and Nancy points out) that she was 13 and he was a pedophile. Was everyone just making cracks about what would mostly likely be a traumatic experience?

Just when everyone was getting about as calm as they could be, three bullets fire, masked by the sounds of Jill and Andy’s … happy times. Now only a trail of blood remains where Sucio was finally showering, and Nancy’s on the run! She is nice enough to wait for Jill and Andy to stop making happy time sounds, but right after that they’re on the run!

This really felt like a “get people moving” episode. Silas is off his growing kick and now onto setting up a dispensary with Doug (that could lead to some interesting episodes). Nancy has everyone in the car heading to a “safe place” (wonder where they’ll end up). And Celia wakes up on a bus in Texas, ending her Mexican adventure (which felt a little premature and forced). Where‘s everyone heading? Who knows. But Capt. Roy Till is back in the picture as well, and the last time we saw him, he was promising to kill the man who murdered his partner and do the same to Nancy if she did anything to stand in his way.

Maybe the Mexican drug lord isn’t her biggest problem.

-- Andrew Hanson

Photo: Showtime Television

'Weeds': Leaping vs. falling

“Daredevil Girl Survives Fall”

Weeds65

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

'Weeds': Baby on board

Weeds_501_0028 You almost forget how much trouble Nancy Botwin can get herself in over the course of 30 minutes. I consider "Weeds" the cornerstone of a new genre of television that focuses on how messed up the life of the protagonist can get. In classic television, no matter how bad things get, everything goes back to the status quo by the time the credits roll. In "Weeds," the episode ends with Nancy several feet lower in the hole she’s dug herself.

"Weeds" is back, and it’s firing on all cylinders. We pick up right where season four left off, and each member of the crew falls into step without missing a beat.

Nancy – Yep. Nancy’s pregnant. Her ultrasound photograph managed to save her from getting a ride home from Cesar. She says it is Esteban’s, and she says it is a boy. If any of those things turn out to be false, she might be in a little bit of trouble. I couldn’t help but feel for her, though, when she was stuck in the examination room as three people discussed her procedures in Spanish. Getting probed on an alien ship probably is a pretty accurate comparison. But come on. She’s in a Mexican hospital. What’s the worst that can happen?

Andy – Andy spent most of the episode either high or moping. If only he had squeezed in a little horny, he would have run his whole gamut of emotions. I really wish I could have seen inside Andy’s head about how he imagined his plan for the whole family to escape to Denmark. I’m sure it was very similar to "The Sound of Music." Lederhosen, singing and Nazis. And for some reason, I picture it animated.

Celia – Trapped in Mexico and held hostage by a daughter she gave up after the pilot episode, Celia is reminded once again that no one likes her. Rudolpho went through her cellphone, calling all her contacts, and not one was willing to chip in for ransom. The quick reference to the economy as an excuse was a nice touch. Almost as good as “some of them say hi.”

Silas – Silas is 18, full of butter cookies and ready to go do some farming. Though the question becomes, “Where?” And no matter what the context of the question, the answer to “Where?” is always “Cleveland.” Just ask Drew Carey, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or Steamers. Silas originally considers Mexico, but Doug recommends a national park because if you’re gonna break the law, you might as well go whole hog. So Silas heads off for Cleveland National Forest. At least there’s no one for him to fall in love with there.

Shane – Shane’s gone a long way in the last year, or 12 hours of show time. Shane has a new haircut and an earring. He’s hanging out with his two bisexual girlfriends and selling pot in the library. First to students and slowly expanding to teachers. “I have 23 papers to grade tonight, and they're all on Anne Frank. Do you know how depressing that is?” I can understand why he might be a little reluctant to get shipped away to Oakland to stay with his aunt. But on the other hand, I always love to meet another member of the family.

Doug – How is our favorite ex-CPA, pothead, sexual degenerate? Other than some rope burn around his neck, Doug is doing great. Hitting rock bottom is actually a big help in the world of "Weeds." It frees you to just wander from scene to scene and comment on everyone else’s life-threatening disasters.

Apparently Nancy drove up from fictional Ren Mar to Hollywood and Highland to catch the Flash Mob spontaneously start dancing. This kind of public performance is getting popular all over the place. It offered a short bit of joy before the reminder that she’s being constantly monitored by creepy old Cesar. And creepy old me. I’m watching too.

-- Andrew Hanson

Photo credit: Showtime

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