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Weeds – Fran Tarkenton

Last night’s episode of Weeds was one of the best in a while, moving bits of the story forward after a fair amount of stagnation and ending in yet another classic sticky situation cliffhanger. However you feel about the show, you have to admit that it’s pretty darn unpredictable, and the season’s penultimate episode showed that in a lot of ways.

Nancy’s subplot is easily the most important, as without it the rest of the characters wouldn’t have much to do. She starts off the interview with Vaughn the journalist by very obviously lying about her and Judah’s sex life, and after he convinces her to start being serious in return for the money she needs, she asks what he really wants to know about. He reveals his biggest concern is who killed Pilar, and reveals his theory: Shane killed her, believing so because “word clouds” generated by how people are described by others in interviews portray him as a violent and disturbed young man.

Nancy reacts poorly, breaks his stuff, and leaves, but eventually comes back and agrees to be honest in return for the money. Meanwhile, Andy and Hooman stage a pretty realistic looking video taped execution to trick Daoud into thinking he’s dead. He’s not convinced though, and demands that Andy bring him the man’s penis even though he said he was already safely buried. Luckily the morgue technician is a pretty care-free dude, and lets them select a cadaver of their choice before noisily sawing through the flesh and plopping the member in a Tupperware container full of chicken noodle soup for easy transport. Weeds creator Jenji Kohan sure seems to like violent dick humor.

 

Unfortunately, Hooman was overly zealous in his selection of substitute man-meat and Daoud can tell it’s a fake because he’s seen Hooman’s before, and knows it’s too big. At that moment, Daoud’s wife and daughter arrive, both mad at him for his unreasonableness. His daughter dumps the whole container on his shirt, and the wife says she’ll give Andy the passports for the original $5000. She needs to pay for designer goods, after all.

Hooman, Shane, and Richard Dreyfuss’ character (I still haven’t bothered to remember his name) have elsewhere been going through a bunch of old mail he never delivered, stealing Christmas card money meant for others. Hooman finds out he was actually accepted to college and just never got the letter, Shane hands Silas his paternity test results, and Andy comments that they don’t have enough money for passports and tickets, even when Nancy shows up with the interview cash.

Later there’s a montage of people visiting Nancy while she lies in bed. Andy tells her what he wants to happen when he dies, Dreyfuss tells her he got them all tickets somehow, and Silas reveals that he knows his real father now and says goodbye. After that things go bad quickly, as we find out Dreyfuss was caught on tape stealing from the post office to pay for the tickets, and worse, Vaughn wasn’t working for the FBI OR a newspaper, but rather employed by Esteban, who has finally tracked her down and has her trapped in a motel room.

Also, Doug arrives back home to get his passport and finds that his wife has remarried a worldly black man who he mistakes for a butler at first but has known everyone from Jack Kerouac to Sidney Poitier, and there’s an inexplicable scene where his daughter shouts “Daddy!” and runs into the new man’s arms even though her actual dad is right there and has been gone for months, while she probably sees the stepdad every day. I guess the point is that Doug is such a goofball that even his kids don’t care about him, but this is not new information, just like we already knew that Nancy is a bitch and Shane is nuts. Some of the character work here seemed sort of pointless, but at least there was some surprisingly dark severed penis humor and a great twist to lead into next week’s season finale.

Rating
8.0

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