‘Weeds’ recap: Illicit opportunities
Ask and you shall receive. Here I was wondering where all the sex had gone, when — bam! — Weeds delivered a mother lode. Let me think: Whose bare ass didn’t we see on this densely packed episode? Celia’s, due to unforeseen circumstances. Shane’s and Isabelle’s (whew!). Guillermo’s. Doesn’t leave too many buns unturned. But what this halfway marker did provide was some movement. Things are happening. New businesses are being launched. Cross-border relationships are evolving. It’s all so dark and twisted, just the way we like it.
We began with an appropriately grim scene: the frat house that Nancy calls home. It may be a temporary shelter, but being outnumbered by four men with only one bathroom between them brought forth an agitated and antsy Nancy first thing in the morning. ”You need to move out of my house,” was her greeting to Doug, who was crashed out on a couch. Rent or no rent, the last thing Nancy wanted to entertain was an offer of sex from a guy who referred to his unit as ”my Jeremy Piven” and found her red bra hanging in the shower ”totally hot.”
It doesn’t need to be said, but let’s presume away: There’s a lot of masturbating going on in this house. As Andy declared proudly, ”It’s a family tradition.” But between Shane’s hormonal episodes, Nancy’s loneliness, and Doug, er, just being Doug, one thing’s for sure: They desperately need a new bathroom. So over eggs served in coffee mugs, Nancy made the call. Shane would head up the renovation, seeing as he’s cheap and doesn’t ask questions. That is, except one: ”Why are you Googling the mayor of Tijuana?”
A quick accounting of Nancy’s finances: She’s collected at least 10 grand running jobs for Guillermo, and last week‘s yard sale yielded another $8,000. She also has her salary at the maternity store. But with Len demanding $10,000 per month for the house, that doesn’t leave all that much wiggle room. And even a minor construction project like a second bathroom can easily cost upwards of $15,000, so she’ll have to scrounge up some cash.
First stop: Nancy’s Agrestic customer base, starting with Sanjay (yay!). What’s he been up to? Sanjay and Clinique have a gigantic baby and an odd relationship, but they’re both more than willing to get back into the game. How much of the valley could he cover? ”A hundred pounds would be gone in a week,” he said. ”You left a vacuum, Nancy. People are sad, things are burned, they need their weed.”
Nancy continued on to her former housekeeper, Lupita, who encouraged her to add cocaine and ecstacy to the drug menu, and then to former U-Turn homey Marvin, 10 pounds lighter and now operating in the Oakland area (a side note: Fatso-Fasano, the guy who plays Marvin, was on my flight from New York a few months back — sitting in coach!) but still harboring vivid memories of Guillermo driving him to tears. ”You don’t have to worry about Guillermo,” she told him.
NEXT: Celia’s drug deal
Meanwhile, south of the border, Celia dragged Isabelle along on her own drug run. Why get prescription Restylane in Tijuana and not stateside? ”No health insurance, no money, and an arrest record,” she told her only child. But Isabelle’s no dummy, and looking ahead at a doped-up mom with few prospects, she needed some answers. Namely, where they were going to live and how, since she knew full well that the maternity store was a front. Celia’s attempt at a motherly response went, in part, like this: ”You wanted this, not me. Well, you got it. Welcome to my life — broke, homeless, not a man in sight…no direction, no hope for relief from the crushing defeat and futility and just pure bad luck that is my fate.”
Speaking of fate: Nancy was tempting its already shaky hand yet again. It started with her asking Guillermo to give her 300 pounds of pot to move. ”Trying to get back in the dealing game, blanca?” he said. ”I told you those days are behind you.” No amount of persuasion seemed to work on her partner, whose only offer was either a 10 percent finder’s fee or the jacked-up price of $25 per gram. ”You ain’t your own business no more,” Guillermo snapped. ”You’re the mom-and-pop shop that got swallowed by the mega corp.” Time for plan B….
Looking to start their own mom-and-pop operation, Andy and Doug headed to Builders Circle, the local Home Depot knockoff, in search of ”market research.” But after Doug joked about the swarming local help reminding him of ”Jews and wedding hors d’oeuvres” and said the word ”immigration” one too many times, the illegals took off, leaving Doug and Andy with little insight into the coyote business.
At Lisa’s cheese shop back in Ren Mar, there was also some serious business going on — of the statutory-rape kind. Now, of course, it was all consensual, if not a little creepy. Silas made the first move after a couple of cringe-tastic exchanges. He informed Lisa that he will soon turn 18 and will be able to vote, buy lottery tickets, drink (in Canada). ”You’re so f—in’ young,” she replied mid-pant but didn’t put up any resistance. If it was hot in that kitchen before, things were about to get downright steamy.
But at the garage in Tijuana, Nancy’s reception was decidedly cold. Cesar motioned for the gate to be shut the moment Nancy mentioned the name Esteban. ”No one here knows an Esteban,” he told her, clearly annoyed. But as is her way, Nancy wasn’t about to let up. All she wanted was a conversation, she said. ”It’s business….You can bring me to him, or I can make an appearance at city hall and make a big scene until I get his attention.” Seeing no end to the negotiation, Cesar relented.
North of the border, Andy and Doug managed to scrape together a handful of Mexican laborers, tempting them with sandwiches to hang and answer some questions. What’s the going rate on a border run these days? ”Usually about $3,000,” said Claudio, a former Colombian deputy transportation administrator, who seemed to know a lot about the human smuggling trade. ”If they don’t catch you in the first two minutes, you’re golden. Your problem is the Minutemen — pains in the ass.”
NEXT: Nancy gets whacked by the big boss
Back in Tijuana, Señor Grande’s pain in the ass was back. Nancy looked on from the crowd as Mayor Esteban dedicated a new mobile medical clinic to which he was an anonymous private benefactor. She was going to get her face time after all.
Celia, now popping pills like they were Tic Tacs, was awaiting her own fate at the federal building. But to Celia’s surprise, Captain Till informed her that all charges had been dropped — permanently, and by his recommendation. What led to his change of heart, we don’t know for sure. Only that he’s now seeing someone, which might account for his gentler disposition overall.
But there’s nothing gentle about Esteban Reyes, who Nancy finally cornered in the back seat of his limo. She’d done her research, learning that he was an Ivy League grad who made his name and money by dabbling in hotels, malls, and casinos. What she hadn’t learned, apparently, was that there’s such a thing as a chain of command. She told him, ”I work for you,” which he clarified: ”You work for Guillermo.” Of course, if there’s one thing we’ve come to know about Nancy, ”no” is not part of her vocabulary, so when Guillermo shot her request down, she opted to go over his head, even if that meant punishment. Which, naturally, it did. Nancy got her spanking and kind of enjoyed it.
On to another kind of spanking. While assessing the second-bathroom situation, Shane happened upon some provocative photos of his mom hidden in Sammy Davis Jr.’s autobiography. Not expecting Nancy to stagger in just at that moment, he and Isabelle had to improvise. ”He had a baby with a white woman, Mom,” said Shane, trying to explain why he was hiding the book behind his back. Isabelle jumped in: ”I found it shocking. He was protecting me.”
Also looking to do some protecting, Doug got an interview with the local Minutemen militia. ”With the wife gone,” he told the recruiter, ”I’ve got nothing holding me back. I’m ready to kick some ass.” As for Doug’s feeling about Hispanics in general? ”It’s not so much that I don’t like them,” he said. ”It’s just that there’s another group of people that I like more: my fellow countrymen.” That turned out to be the right answer, seeing as the Minutemen ”don’t tolerate bigotry — officially.” And with that nod of approval, Doug was in. ”How do we nab these f—ers?” he asked, and was disappointed to hear that, no, he couldn’t throw rocks at anyone, and weapons were strictly for the purpose of self-defence. ”We observe and we report,” he was told.
What followed was a 90-second montage of various relationships in development. You had Silas, or at least his body double’s back, going to town on Lisa, Doug showing off a photo of Maria, Captain Till making out with his male colleague, Agent Shlatter, Nancy surveying her bruised behind, and Shane triggering a bunk-bed quake once again. We left off with a defeated, poker-faced Guillermo dropping off three monstrous sacks of ganja at Nancy’s feet. ”It’s just business,” Nancy said, half apologetically, taking great pleasure in this small but symbolic victory.
So why is there this nagging suspicion that things are about to go really bad? Is Nancy playing with fire again? Sure, she’s been at the center of turf wars before, but these gangsters are on a whole other level. With only six episodes left, will she make it through the season?