After Nancy drinks a hallucinogenic brew, she wrestles with the morality of her business; meanwhile, Andy feels guilty over letting a client go, and Isabelle stages an intervention for Celia
Weeds, Mary-Louise Parker

‘Weeds’ recap: Moral headaches

Greetings, Weeds pullers. While we await the return of your regular Weeds connection, Shirley Halperin, let’s all open our minds and seek the truth — no ayahuasca tea or other scary hallucinogens necessary.

This fine episode, ”The Love Circle Overlap,” marked an evening of moral reckoning for several of the characters. Most of all for matriarch Nancy, who came down with the mother of all tension headaches. (And not just because new hire Clinique was scaring away the maternity store’s customers by swearing at anyone who touched her giant baby.) Excedrin wouldn’t cure it, beau Esteban told her; the stress migraine was only a symptom of a deeper problem. What she needed was a visionary experience, and he knew just the shaman who could provide it for her. Nancy did see something, and the truth was more than she bargained for.

Before Nancy’s epiphany, another mother, Lisa, had her own little reality check and realized she probably shouldn’t be having a fling with a 17-year-old. Especially when Silas acted so petulant and immature about having to babysit her son while she was off at a custody mediation session with her ex-husband. When he asked, with self-righteous jealousy, whether she was late picking up little Rad because she’d been sleeping with her ex, she told Silas the truth, sort of: that she was too old for him, and while they were having fun now, it wasn’t likely to last. Still, it didn’t seem like they were going to stop seeing each other (or like she was going to evict Silas’ plants from the back of her cheese shop). Also, notice how she never answered Silas’ question about hooking up with the ex.

Speaking of hooking up, Shane brought home the two belly-writing groupies from last episode, whose names turned out to be Simone and Harmony. The middle school nymphets told Nancy they were there to work on a ”science project.” (”Go, science,” cheered Nancy, sounding not entirely convinced.) The science project turned out to be a fairly complicated-sounding sex act that they had discovered on some online Kama Sutra. Shane seemed nervous, and Silas wasn’t much help with advice (the only sensible things he said: Use condoms, and don’t feel like you have to do this if you don’t want to). Rad, supposedly asleep through this entire conversation, bet Silas five dollars that Shane would ”puss out.” It’s not clear whether he did or not; all we saw was an artfully vague scene the next morning of Shane, Simone, and Harmony asleep under the covers. Weeds hasn’t been afraid to show us foot-fetish porn or Shane hoarding naked photos of his mom as masturbation material, but there’s some stuff apparently even Showtime won’t show, and 13-year-olds having threesomes is apparently where the line is drawn. Good to know.

Weeds also hasn’t been afraid to show us Celia turning into a bloody-nosed coke whore, but across town, she was now waking up handcuffed to the bed for an intervention staged by her daughter. (They don’t use handcuffs when they do interventions on TV, complained Celia.) Here was Dean, whining about the drinking that had started when they were still married. Here was her old Agrestic pal Pamela, moaning about how she missed the Celia who used to serve on the city council, work to keep the suburban streets drug-free, and stage distractions at the clothing boutique to help Pamela shoplift. (Good times.) And here was Isabelle, threatening to drop the ultimate bomb and call Celia’s mother. (Loved the way that this remark caused Celia to drop her menacing fork, which fell out of frame and hit the supine Doug, whom we heard yelp in pain.)

Let’s pause for a moment and savor the show’s use of metaphors and symbols. How the maternity shop comes equipped with its own birth canal of sorts. Esteban’s ”I am the table” speech. Andy’s ”No man is pudding” speech.

NEXT: Doug’s new Hope

Which brings us to Andy and Doug. Being a folk hero was paying off for Andy, whose notoriety helped him find Maria, Doug’s long-lost Mexican mermaid (”Mermex”) inamorata. To her, the flabby (morally and physically) Doug was ”Mr. Flippy-Flop,” and she even still had his Cinderella beach sandal. Andy reunited the pair when he brought Maria and several other illegal immigrants on the latest coyote run, only to be caught by Doug’s Minuteman superior. The latter felt betrayed, especially when he learned that Doug had blabbed to Andy about Hope, the steroidal sweetie who’d jilted him. Maria was Doug’s true love, Andy told the man, appealing to his romantic side. ”She’s my Hope,” said Doug. (Yes, the symbolism’s pretty blatant, but effective nonetheless.) He relented and let them all go, as long as they let him capture one immigrant, so he’d have something to show for his trouble. Reluctantly, but not too reluctantly, Doug and Andy gave up one guy, the poor fellow who’d annoyed Doug by hugging him.

(Alas, this turn of events probably means it’s the last we’ll see of Lee Majors, who’s been wryly hilarious in his bit part as the Six Million Dollar Minuteman. I’m certainly going to miss the jingoistic jerk; how about you?)

Last but not least, there was Nancy, who reluctantly agreed to see Esteban’s medicine man. (Loved Nancy’s priceless reaction to Esteban’s question ”Do you trust me?” She hesitated for a moment too long and let a series of emotions, from fear to doubt to resignation, play across her face. ”I trust you,” said the woman who trusts no one, with a total lack of conviction that should have been obvious to Esteban but wasn’t.) The nontraditional healer prepared Nancy some tea made from ayahuasca (it’s to peyote what a rocket ship is to a bicycle, Esteban explained), whistled over it like a whippoorwill, then suddenly said he’d been told (by the spirits, apparently) that this was not a good time for her to drink it. Esteban overruled him, and Nancy drank. She felt woozy and spent some time barfing in a bucket, but in the morning, the headache was gone, and her thoughts were clear. Too clear.

After all, Nancy’s headache began the moment she saw the butterfly. It was a decoration on the purse of a girl Guillermo had brought out of the cocoon-like tunnel in the store. He told Nancy that she was his cousin, on her way to massage school in San Bernardino, but the expression on the silent girl’s face told Nancy she was headed somewhere far less benign. Sitting on the beach with Andy, haunted by a vision of the girl with the butterfly purse, Nancy expressed her guilt over what her little pot-dealing business had become. Andy, involved in his own human trafficking, ignored her because he was too caught up in his own guilt for handing over the hugger for deportation. ”I was a bad coyote,” he sighed.

What do you think? What will Nancy do to assuage her guilt? Will she confront Esteban? What’s going to happen to Andy and Doug’s coyote business now that their cover is blown? Will the course of true love run smooth for Doug and Maria, or is the other flip-flop about to drop? Is Celia going to get clean? If so, will she stay clean? Did Shane, Simone, and Harmony successfully complete their science project? And speaking of symbols and metaphors, can anyone explain to me what this week’s title, ”The Love Circle Overlap,” refers to? That tricky threesome position? The condom wrapper in the opening credits? The caring folks at Celia’s intervention? Answer below while I nip off to brew myself some tea.

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