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Weeds: The Rock-bottom Bounce

“I cannot sell makeup when civilization is collapsing,” declares Celia, who last episode made a pact to evolve from “loser” to “closer” by selling lipstick and rouge for a woman in floral frocks. But there’s a recession on and even Weeds can’t ignore it. The fall of civilization: a familiar theme. This episode the rubble tumbles into place; everyone is scraping bottom.

Celia tries to return her pink suitcase full of bogus makeup only to be told by the motivational-speaking bitch she works for that she is signed to a twelve-month contract, and better keep pushing those cosmetics or go back to jail. Celia can’t seem to catch a break — it’s actually becoming a little painful to watch.

Nancy is dealing with other, even more unsavory problems: She’s got an angry kingpin-murderer of a baby daddy and the beautiful, poison-tongued Mexican woman who appears to own him. The opening scene is part True Blood, part As the World Turns: In a hospital room, the cruel, stunning woman (in a peach-colored satin dress) threatens to kill drowsy Nancy or her sleeping, clueless baby boy so that Mr. Mayor does not lose his important political career.

When Nancy returns home, none of her other boys seem bothered by the new addition to the family — or concerned with Nancy’s well-being. She’s wading through a haze of resentment she can only blame herself for. She’s let down the men in her life, and now no one’s running to lend a hand. (Thank heavens Lupita, the wicked-witted housekeeper, is back. The show’s been lacking strong women.)

Uncle Andy, so saintly and compelling these past few weeks, gets smacked down by the increasingly fierce and appealing Dr. Alanis Morrisette, who agrees to go on a date with him but becomes bored fifteen minutes in. “You’re unemployed, you’re closer to 40 than 30, you drive a car from a TV show, and your greatest recent accomplishment was beating the upside-down kill screen in Ms. PacMan,” she summarizes before downing her whiskey shot and exiting the two-dollar-taco joint Andy her brought her to. With all his charm, we’d forgotten Uncle Andy is really kind of a loser.
 
But it’s not all a major bummer. It may be that everyone has fallen so far that they have no place to go but up. Celia gets an idea: fracture her ex-husband’s cheekbone so he’ll agree to give her Doug and Silas’s pot, which he managed to reclaim after it was confiscated last week by the police. (“I can sell a lot more makeup if I give a free gift with purchase.”) By the end, she and Dean are sort of bonding as they pack pot in with the eyeshadow and wrap it all in lilac paper.

Andy’s plan: become the baby daddy. “I want something that matters in my life. I want to be a substantial human being,” he tells Nancy, adding that he’s not doing this for her but for himself. Mayor Esteban had refused to put his name on the birth certificate, so Nancy scribbled Andy’s on there. And now all that’s left to make it official is a little snip, snip: “A bris,” Andy commands.

All of which leads to the final confrontation between Nancy and the mayor. When the stiff and increasingly pathetic Esteban storms into the bris, after the snipping — Nancy: “You’re too late; he’s Jewish” — and says, like an bygone dad, “I did not approve of this,” he and Nancy retreat to the garage for a little talk. And finally, Nancy snaps out of her daze. Motherhood and rejection, it turns out, might be bringing out the real woman inside: someone who fights for what she loves. “My baby will not grow up to be like you,” she hisses, advancing toward the Mayor, wild with conviction. Beating him on the chest so hard he stumbles, she growls, “He will not see you, he will not know you. Get out. Get out!” And Mayor Esteban, shamefaced, goes; the big man is finally beaten down.

Photo: Courtesy of Showtime