‘Weeds’ Goes Batman-Bleak

Yeah, the picture doesn't really get that across. Photo: Photo courtesy Showtime
Show
Weeds
Episode Title
No Man Is Pudding
Season
4
Episode
5

Last night’s episode brought a terrifying moment: As Guillermo holds a gun to Celia's head, demanding to know why she was outside his warehouse with a disposable camera, Nancy flicks her gorgeous head, seemingly on the verge of feeding her former neighbor to the druggy beasts. Instead, she grabs the gun, says, “She's with me,” and then knocks out Celia's front tooth and shoves her in the dusty Prius. And so began an emotional, even sickening, Weeds.

In some ways, we got exactly what we’ve wanted: Nancy, at episode’s end, facing the nine-to-five (helming a maternity store, Celia as her minimum-wage assistant) with little to look forward to other than dinner with her loving family. Of course, an underground tunnel in the office leads to a cigar-chomping drug honcho. The episode likewise burrowed into some dark places at its conclusion: When Nancy discovers Andy missing from the spot where she had left him in the desert, she shrieks, “What's happening?,” and tearfully breaks down in an unprecedented burst of emotion. How does she cope? By closing the car window on Celia's head and driving in circles. What sort of quirky protagonist leaves her nuisance neighbor to the Feds, attacks and threatens to kill her, and then apologizes at the dinner table and offers up the couch in her bedroom?

Meanwhile, Uncle Andy brings home a young Mexican couple after shooting a man in the knee for all but raping the young woman. There was some relief from all this, though: Nancy at the head of the table, spouting her brand of wisdom. “I’ve had a particularly challenging last 24 hours, but in the drive-through at Popeyes, I found myself saying ‘Family Combo, please,’ and it was a moment of clarity,” she says. With Shane, Silas, and Doug nursing swollen faces because of a bee infestation and Celia wincing as she gnaws on a chicken leg with her remaining teeth, Nancy proceeds to apologize for everything she's done over the past two seasons: neglecting Shane, neglecting Silas, belittling Uncle Andy, betraying Celia. It was a moment of clarity for us, in which our housewife returns, daisy in hair, and settles in for what some people might call a boringly normal life. But, of course, for that tunnel in the basement: “Boss! We’re open for business.” —Emma Pearse