TV Recap

A Reefer Runs Through It

In the season 2 premiere of ''Weeds,'' suburban dealer Nancy panics after learning her new lover works for the DEA, and Celia enters politics

THE MARI-WIDOW Nancy is moving into growing her own supply
Image credit: Weeds: Randy Tepper
THE MARI-WIDOW Nancy is moving into growing her own supply

''Weeds'': Nancy is in bed with the feds

Sorry to begin with a mixed metaphor, but I'm glad the second season of Weeds kicked off with a flashback, because I'd pretty much forgotten where we had left the dope-deluged denizens of Agrestic. (And don't give me any lectures about short-term memory loss — it was nearly a year ago!) I didn't, however, forget how grating that theme song became by the end of the first season, and...what's going on? Elvis Costello is singing it? Crazy, man, but still annoying. Still, this funny, irreverent episode was enough to get me hooked on season 2.

''Corn Snake'' begins with Nancy — her post-coital glow ruined by the realization that her lover, Peter, is a narc — frantically looking through Peter's cabinets for proof. After all, maybe the DEA jacket is just an ironic fashion statement, like those short shorts that say ''Lifeguard'' on the butt? Maybe? Sorry, Nance: The jacket has a badge and a gun to go with it. The next morning, Nancy blames her skittishness on said weapon and hurries home, where yet another buzzkill awaits. The dishwasher is broken! (This is something I love about Weeds: It always manages to make drug-dealing-related crises seem like minor domestic snafus, and vice versa.) Silas' girlfriend, Megan, comes down to breakfast in her underwear, and Shane hints that he caught them having sex — at which point Nancy throws up her hands, sighing, ''I don't even want to know.'' Uh, look here, Mommy Dearest: Not caring about what happens in your teenage son's bed while you're out sleeping with the enemy is not the kind of parental neglect you can fix with a family dinner and a bucket of fried chicken. I doubt Nancy wants to fight Heylia for the title of Best Pot-Peddling Grandma.

Speaking of the Heylia rivalry, this dalliance with Peter has compromised not only Nancy but also the other men she's in bed with: her colleagues in her new hydro business. I'd say I'm on Conrad's side — he freaks and tells Nancy he's won't be her bud buddy anymore — but he'll come back anyway after letting her sweat it out for (maybe) an episode or two, so there's little point in standing up for the guy. Not that Ms. Mary Jane is any more defensible: Telling Conrad about Peter served absolutely no purpose in the first place other than to make him jealous — more evidence that Nancy considers dealing drugs to be just fun and games. (What does she think this is, a Showtime comedy?) And now that scheming hunk o' burnin' love Sanjay has helpfully torched the bakery so that Nancy can collect the insurance money, I wonder if he has a half-baked plan to escort rival Conrad out of the picture as well.

I'm not wild about the whole ''City Councilman Doug'' vs. Celia story line. Fighting over a city-council seat? Bor-ing, but hopefully it will give the show's two funniest characters a chance to deliver some great zingers (or give Celia the opportunity to insult Doug and have him totally not get it). As for this episode's best line, Doug won by a nose with ''I think I speak for everybody when I say that vegetarian pigs in a blanket are bulls---,'' though Celia's riff on human growth hormone — ''It makes you wonder if they're sucking the youth out of small, brown children somewhere'' — came pretty close. Andy's wanna-be rabbi shtick is also amusing, but leaving Shane and Silas alone with that guy is just another example of Nancy's maternal deficiencies; she could at least try to get him out of the house with a thoughtful un-birthday present, like a one-way ticket to Toronto. Hasn't Canada decriminalized possession?

Other questions for next time: How much longer can Lupita blackmail Nancy into keeping her on the payroll in exchange for her silence, Fight Club style? Will Nancy really dump Peter? Finally, what is ticky-tacky, and how can both houses and people be made out of it?

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Originally posted Aug 15, 2006