‘Weeds’ recap: Culture clashes
To be perfectly honest, as season 4 kicked off, I hadn’t given much thought to Weeds‘ secondary characters, like Conrad and Heylia or Doug and Dean. I knew they wouldn’t be around much (or, in some cases, at all), since the focus was shifting to a family on the run, and God knows this family has plenty of its own internal issues. But coming away from this episode — which featured, what, about five minutes of non-Botwins? — I found myself missing the ancillary folks. Maybe that’s because they were all convenient and entertaining diversions to Nancy’s more doubtful decisions, and now that she’s about to raise her game, that overwhelming sense of dread is kicking in again.
Nevertheless, Nancy did manage to keep the Botwins intact, at the expense of the Hodes clan, and family comes first. So we started this episode with the first morning of their new life down south, where a shirtless Silas was going to town on his hair. ”Identity crisis,” said Nancy without a hint of accountability. ”New start. I get it.” Far from it. She was about to embark on what was sure to be another super-sketchy scenario, and it didn’t involve any form of bedding. So no shopping for Shane. Instead, the little guy exchanged some well-chosen curse words with his family members, the kind that would make most moms cringe — but not Nancy.
So where was she going wearing a hot purple number? Everyone but Lenny, whose silence is easily bought for a mere $300, seemed to be concerned about a planned rendezvous with Guillermo (a psychotic gangster, according to Andy, who spit out the first of several genius lines: ”A rape kit? I don’t think they sell those at Ralphs”). But for Nancy, this was a job, for better or worse.
Celia, on the other hand, was hard at work on winning back her freedom. Thanks to her new cell mates, one of whom is named Cheetah, she’s been given a hoochie-mama makeover complete with painted brows and a gelled-back loopy ‘do. Not helping the situation was a clearly overworked public defender, who told Celia straight up that she wasn’t going anywhere for a while: ”You’re f—ed like a stray dog in Chinatown.”
But Nancy went about her business without a care in the world. Her task: drive to Tijuana to pick up some inhalers and get her just-smashed brake light fixed. Simple enough. So with no address, no GPS, and her only landmark the horse symbol outside the garage, she took off, all the while being secretly monitored through a bobble-head Jesus placed on her dash. (Duh — was that not everyone’s first thought?)
Back at the house, we learned a little more about Lenny’s gambling habits — namely, that he rarely wins. Which is probably why he, and the money, didn’t like it when Andy asked questions. But Andy obviously has some deep-seated resentment toward his dad, who is crass, bigoted, and apparently unable to keep anyone’s name straight. Perhaps this has something to do with the $20,000 that Andy owes his father, or the fact that when Andy was a kid, like Shane and Silas now, he always got stuck with age-inappropriate tasks — like going to the track. Apparently, Len hasn’t evolved all that much, as we learned over bong hits in Andy’s van. ”You’re better off without a dad,” Andy told Silas. Ouch.
With her lawyer’s words still echoing, Celia pleaded with her daughter to help get her out of jail. Cheetah was about to initiate her into the ”special girl” club, a committee this former councilwoman doesn’t want any part of. But Isabelle didn’t bite, and outside of telling her mom she looked ”youthful” as a Latina homegirl, she didn’t seem concerned about Celia’s situation. Doug, meanwhile, made it abundantly clear that everyone was siding with Nancy and hanging Celia out to dry. Mommy may be terrifed, but she’s also detested on the inside and out.
NEXT: Illegal GPS tampering
Down in Tijuana, Nancy as clueless American bimbo swaggered into the Guillermo-endorsed garage. The hybrid impressed the Mexican crew. Nancy herself? Not so much, at least not personality-wise. But you gotta love her for asking the guy who ran the shop if he could override the GPS system so she could set it while driving, to which the Tijuana thug answered, ”That’s illegal.”
Barely an hour later, she was headed back home, unsure of what might be hidden in her car. What transpired was a drawn-out sequence of Nancy waiting at the border, where we found her doing everything from applying perfume to her pits to peeing in an iced-latte cup, all the while trying to keep her cool as drug- and bomb-sniffing dogs made their way down the line.
Shane called frantically to let her know about what was going on with Celia, but with a border guard approaching, there was no time for chitchat. Despite the eye rolling, I’d give Nancy high marks for keeping her cool, especially without a passport in hand, at least until she was asked to pull over for a deeper inspection.
After a phone call with Doug, Andy recapped the situation to the boys: ”Doug says everybody fingered Celia, then he started giggling because he said ‘fingered,’ which leads me to believe he’s high.” (Second best line of the episode?) Then Len walked in, and a heated exchange ensued. Apparently, that’s par for the course with these two. So what’s the story? Turns out that back in the ’80s, Andy pocketed $100 that Len gave him to place a bet and opted to buy a Boba Fett figurine instead. That wager would have paid off big for his dad, who has resented Andy ever since. Hence, the $20,000 that Andy ”stole” from him.
With Grandma out of commission, there was no one to back up Andy’s claim that she had told him to spend the money on himself. ”Leave her alone, she’s a bag of broccoli!” said Len, to which Bubbie started to murmur something in Yiddish, translated as ”Kill me.” Now that’s some age-inappropriate banter right there.
Back to the border, where Nancy was unsuccessfully trying to joke around with the guards. ”You think there’s a tiny little immigrant in my lipstick?” she cracked, when bingo! Drugs were found. Yes, Nancy, you need a passport to come back from Mexico, and you need a prescription to bring in inhalers. She’s certainly got a lot to learn.
Guillermo was none too pleased with the confiscation, which turned out to be his test of Nancy’s cool, Taxicab Confessions style. Although Nancy called BS, she still pocketed half the money — not bad for a day’s work.
We were left with an image of Celia, sporting a sizable shiner and a look of utter defeat. But she has one cop on her side; he just might be starting to believe Celia’s story, thanks to a photo showing Nancy with Guillermo. Perhaps there’s still a glimmer of light at the end of this very grim tunnel.
What do you think? Where do we go from here? Will Celia make a beeline for Ren Mar and finally nail her frenemy? Will Nancy actually manage to smuggle something into the country? And will it even be drugs? Spark up some conversation, folks.