Extortion seemed to be the name of the game in tonight's episode of Weeds, with Nancy, Silas, and Celia all being forced to cough up something in order to save their own ass. Len requiring 10 thousand a month in "rent" to keep the Botwin family business a secret while he gambles through Europe actually seems like a fair-ish trade, however, and the four ounces of dank that Silas had to part with in order to silence the stoner tow-boys was a pretty paltry sum when face with the alternative. Celia, however, is just fucked, as Agent Till is apparently completely insane.
But more importantly: Doug's in Ren Mar! He's not really doing a whole lot of anything other than coughing and snacking a lot, but now that Albert Brooks appears to be out of the picture for the time being, he's a welcome addition. And we even got a little crossover between the two, though aside from Len calling Doug a "shiva goy," it was pretty unremarkable. Judging from the previews for next week, it looks like Celia and/or Doug might be working with Nancy in some capacity, so the old gang is slowly getting back together. I for one welcome any situation where Celia and Doug have to share space.
But let's back up to the beginning of the episode, which finds the family mourning the loss of Bubbee by sitting shiva, which is almost immediately crashed by a couple of leeching realtors. While the sequence was intermittently funny and introduced a couple of new developments–Doug's arrival, Len's problems selling his mother's house, more failed reconnaissance on Celia's part–it was a slow start to what turned out to be a pretty eventful episode. Once shiva was over, things really started happening, beginning with Nancy's new mission from Guillermo, a simple pickup in the desert, for which she brings a very stoned Andy along. Meanwhile, Agent Till continued to be a total creepazoid, forcing Celia to do karaoke with him in order to buy herself some more time to dig up some dirt on Nancy; Silas has apparently become the next Conrad of the operation, except Conrad would never let his growhouse get towed; and Len and Shane go looking for money hidden in Bubbee's house, only to find Nancy's cache of cash, which tips Len off to her activities.
Sending everyone out on their own adventures worked to this episode's benefit: It provided a lot of forward momentum, and moved some of the focus off of Nancy, who can be boring/annoying in large doses, as seen during previous weeks. However, the interaction between her and Andy this episode was aces in my book, especially their conversation and subsequent faux-tryst in the desert for the benefit of the Tijuana police. But what was she thinking, expecting him to wait 45 minutes for her return? To a stoned person, that's like a week and a half, especially when there's no snacks or Adult Swim available to pass the time. Granted, there was no way she could've left a duffel of weed behind–though Dumbass Nancy from two episodes back might have–but it's still not surprising that Andy eventually wandered off. For a "weed dealer"–is that a strange term, or does it just sound funny coming out of Albert Brooks?–Nancy could use a few lessons in the stoner psyche.
Then there are the kids. I'm still not clear how Silas' operation is going to figure into Nancy's gig–Guillermo's operation seems more import/export-based than production-based. Perhaps the elder Botwin is striking out on his own? That could be interesting, provided that Andy or Doug is involved in some way, because Silas is boring as yogurt on his own. And what's Shane going to get up to now that he doesn't have Len to pal around with anymore? He better not start seeing dead people again. Now that Bubbee's gone and Nancy is slowly getting her bearings, more and more directions seem to be opening up for the show to take, which is definitely a good thing after a couple of weeks of wheel-spinning.
Stray observations —They were really hammering it in that Nancy suffocated Bubbee to death. Why? As a joke, it's not particularly funny, and Nancy doesn't seem to be bothered enough by her role in the old lady's death for it to be an emotional stinging point, but the episode brought it up three or four times. —I'm really starting to warm to Guillermo's funny thug routine. He's still an oddly drawn (and often poorly acted) character, but I kinda loved his whole juicebox routine tonight. Perhaps it's the gameshow addict in me. —Also, juiceboxes are awesome, especially as a post-herbal refreshment. I totally understand the incentive. —Shane's a pretty sharp cookie, noticing the dates on the money that Len tried to claim as Bubbee's. Perhaps the pretty-but-dumb Silas should bring his creepy little bro on to keep him from doing shit like parking his growhouse in a residential parking zone. —I thought Nancy refused to carry guns? Or am I confusing that with all the other moral restrictions she inexplicably has, despite the fact that she's a drug dealer? At any rate, she's becoming pretty gangster… she even wants to trade in her Prius for her old SUV. How un-PC. —That guy at the tow yard was Jim Gaffigan's voice twin. Just saying.