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'Weeds': Mr. Zappy

June 29, 2009 | 11:04 pm

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