Previously on Weeds: Nancy ran away when her family showed up at her halfway house. Then she got high with The Sarge, to whom she is selling grenades.
It’s the next day, and Nancy failed her drug test, but Counselor Ed gives her a second chance: “drug class, eight sessions,” taught by reformed addict Shelby (TV’s Debra Mooney). She gives Nancy particular attention, with Scared Straight catch phrases and the constant threat of returning to prison. Nancy is too busy taking notes on local drug operations to be afraid.
“Andrew” and Shane catch up with Nancy before renting a decidedly unfinished apartment from a recession victim. As Shane fills his mother in on his marionette venture in Denmark, she is shocked to discover that they are in New York for good. “Everyone needs to be responsible for themselves,” she says. “What do you think we’ve been doing for the past three years?”Andy volleys.
During their brief visit, Nancy insists that Shane go to college, so he spends the rest of the episode leveraging his time overseas to find the best rates on a student loan.
Doug gets a shady job as a Wall Street accountant through that friend of his we met last week. This seems like a mighty convenient turn of plot.
Via video chat, Nancy learns that Jill is petitioning for full custody of Stevie. Jill would also like some financial support from her sister’s child. Their discussion is cut short by a fight in the halfway house, and when fingers are pointed at Nancy, she ends up back in the hot seat with Shelby the drug teacher.
Shelby plays bad cop again, but Nancy breaks down and confesses that she is worried about her toddler son. She’s certainly selling the maternal stuff as well as her unresolved feelings for poor, dead Esteban. Shelby is sympathetic to her plight, but points out that Nancy must first “become a real person.” Nancy says she can do that, having done it once before, presumably in Agrestic.
Shelby releases Nancy for several hours of job interviews, provided that she keep in constant phone contact. Nancy’s first stop, in another ridiculous ‘90s getup, is the Botwins’ new apartment. Given her love of lavish bathrooms, she is dismayed to see that this one has no walls. She unloads her problems, her drug intel from the morning meeting, and her suitcase of grenades on a reluctant Andy.
After at least one interview, she returns for her stash, some of Silas’s clothes, and Andy’s update on the local drug market, in which she sees an opening. “I’m glad you’re out of prison,” he says to the closed door as she leaves again.
She’s off to The Sarge’s apartment to make her trade: grenades for marijuana. To celebrate, he gets to know her lady parts. And to potentially fuel those Lesbian Nancy rumors, she whispers ex-cellmate Zoya’s name in the heat of passion.
Silas gets a “modeling” job being nearly suffocated in his underwear as a performance art installation. He is walking around in a giant, clear beach ball, which is slowly deflated, cutting off his oxygen supply. When Andy intervenes to save his nephew, the artist is smitten (apparently no one ever intervenes) and whisks him off to “feed [him] and probe [his] higher self.”
Silas collects his money and storms off for his new home. There, he runs into his mother, who has stopped by to stash her newly acquired bulk product. It’s a tense, emotionally charged standoff, and this is not the same Silas of three years ago, a quavering moral center to ground his untethered family. If anything, he’s madder now about his paternity than he was upon first discovering the truth.
They stay on opposite sides of the room, she trying to be understanding and him full of angry resolve. He interrogates her about their near miss at the halfway house. “Nancy Botwin was born ready,” he points out. And after years of false starts, he finally cuts himself in on the family business, demanding a share of her stash to sell himself, since she has no way to stop him.
Nancy hasn’t ever been this low on the totem pole (not a Shelby joke) probably ever in the series, and that feels like where this season’s best material is going to come from.
Next week: Doug gets Nancy a job. Aidan Quinn and Martin Short guest star.