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Weeds, “A Yippity Sippety” (6.03)

“This is our normal.” – Nancy Botwin.

A review of the third episode of Weeds‘ sixth season, written by Brendan Kelly and directed by Tate Donovan, after the jump…

After last week’s dramatic-yet-funny segment, the show reverses that formula: despite an excellent scene in which Nancy lays out her belief that everything that’s happened to them was inevitable, the show mostly mines their new situation for some very amusing comedy.

Weeds was always funniest when it looked at the minutiae of boring life, reminding us that our accountants and City Council members dealt with life’s little boredoms by smoking up and that the local PTA-crazy mom might be having an exlax-based war with her chubby-but-awesome daughter. Watching these characters deal with the bizarre and uncomfortable quirks of scab jobs goes right back to the spirit of the early seasons. Patrick Fischler‘s boss character, in particular, recalls those glory days by being an amazingly perfect prick. The Wire‘s Michael Kostroff also does that, with his broke high-end stroller salesman

And putting the crew into the very kinds of jobs that Nancy started dealing to avoid is very fertile soil for comedy while also offering an opportunity for our cast to again reflect on their journey so far. It’s funny to watch Nancy struggle as a maid because this is, pardon the pun, the bed she made that she now has to lie in. It’s also funny because most people have encountered similar situations to Nancy and enjoy laughing in sympathy with her; people, when they don’t need to be accountable for their actions, are very often assholes, and people like maids are forced to clean up after them.

And though watching tone-deaf and pride-wounded Andy talk his way into the hole was mostly irritating, it made the moment where the chef put him in his place very satisfying. Shane’s resourcefulness (aka thievery) also earned a laugh.

The one plot that was less funny than squirm-inducing is a guest abusing Silas’ need for money and position of lesser power to induce him to read to him in his underwear. But it, like the other scenarios, reflects each character’s approach to their new life, which is exactly their approach to their old life, reminding us why this can’t work.

Nancy can’t bear to have a superior, and has to compensate for the frustration of being an underling by enjoying her power position over the shackled guest. In the end, though, she can’t escape the fact that she’s a maid, and that she has no power in her new life as Nathalie Newman. And so, in exactly the same place as she was when Judah died, in a way, she turns back to the old habit. But this time, instead of dealing weed, she’s making hash. I doubt it’ll turn any better than her other attempts at  reinvention/resurrection.

Andy, in his new life, is still belligerently self-centred and irritating, even when he’s Randy. Silas, aka ‘Mike’, is still making sacrifices to keep this family afloat, this time allowing himself to be put into a very uncomfortable position to earn them money. And Shane is still committing crimes for the betterment of the family, whether they be the Botwins or the Newmans. As the song at the end of the episode reminds us, each one is “happy being me”, no matter how much change they purport to be enacting in this so-called new life.

Because they are who they are. Silas questions whether their lives would be different if Nancy had gotten a job at the Gap, but that’s the wrong question, because Nancy couldn’t get a job at the Gap. It goes against every fibre of her being.  She would have pushed and pushed things to a crisis point anyway, because that’s who she is.

And I’m okay with that. Because I’m fascinated, and I want to see exactly where this family goes.

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