Shirley Halperin
July 15, 2008 AT 04:00 AM EDT

‘Weeds’ recap: Celia’s new job

Talk about kicking things off with a bang. In what was certainly a familiar scenario for one Nancy Botwin — multiple guns pointing every which way — the proverbial s— hit the fan within the first two nail-biting minutes of this episode of Weeds. Celia, ever the sloppy sleuth, found herself quaking in the presence of Guillermo, who seemed to take pleasure in mocking her to submission with that trademark scowl. Only one way out of this mess: a statement by not the greatest character witness, Nancy. ”She’s with me,” Nancy blurted as safeties were unlatched. ”Isn’t that how it works around here? Nobody tells anybody anything?”

Impressive on-the-spot logic (especially for a stoner), but was it enough to call off Guillermo’s big guns? Nope. Pistol slaps to the face for Celia and a dude she hilariously called ”F—o” showed that she meant business. Nancy then gave Guillermo the sort of verbal contract that definitely counts: ”It’s on me.”

Surely it didn’t take long into their car ride for Nancy to rip into the now badly bruised Celia, but first things first: She had to pick up Andy from the drug drop point. Unable to reach him via cell, Nancy recapped the situation on his voice mail: ”Celia Hodes is sitting next to me in the car, all the way from Agrestic. How did she get here? I don’t know, but when I hear the unbelievably stupid reason that comes out of her mouth, I’m gonna f—in’ kill her, so there may be a dead body in the car when I get there. That’s just a heads-up.”

Of course, by this point, Andy had sweated off the little body fat he had by marching toward freedom in the hot desert sun with a group of illegals. His only sustenance: a marzipan treat in the shape of a pig (which looked eerily similar to the ginormous airborne version that Roger Waters let loose at this year’s Coachella music festival, but I digress). Nevertheless, Andy found a way to have fun with the hike, by chatting up a pregnant Honduran woman, who seemed perfectly sweet, at least when speaking English. Something you definitely could not say about their humorless bastard of a troop leader, who violently stripped Andy of his remaining six dollars and treasured limited-edition belt buckle in exchange for a ride on the pudding express.

Meanwhile, back at home, elder brother Silas was high on a newly found space that could easily be repurposed for a grow room. But killing his buzz, aside from baby Botwin Shane’s halfhearted attempt to discourage him, was a swarm of bees accidentally awoken from their honeycomb. No wonder the real estate agents were pricing the house on a lower scale — who wants to inherit a massive beehive? Ah, but boys will be boys (and, yes, that includes Doug Wilson), and sometimes they suffer consequences that sting. Still, props to Shane for negotiating a cut of Silas’ business in the de-beeing process.

And while we’re on the topic of consequences, let’s return to the car, where Celia spilled her sordid tale of starting out the victim of a frame job, then landing in jail, becoming someone’s bitch, and eventually turning into a DEA informant. None of which seemed to make a strong impression on Nancy, who was temporarily overwhelmed by emotion when she reached her designated meeting spot with Andy and found only the cooler. ”Everything’s my fault,” she cried in another voice-mail message. Meltdown or moment of clarity?

Nancy’s next revelation — accepting Celia’s forgiveness for previous crimes, while also cursing her karma (and, lest we forget, closing the car window on Celia’s neck and dragging her in circles) — would steer you toward the latter. But there was still the bigger problem at hand: Celia’s alliance with the cops. Nancy’s temporary solution? To ”sit silently, and let me try to figure out how to save our asses on the way to the mall.”

NEXT: Andy the action hero

Andy was doing some figuring out of his own on the way up north in the pudding truck. Sure, he’s a man whore, but a caring and altruistic one, so he was outraged when he learned about some of the shady practices in the border-running trade. ”No man is pudding,” he declared with an activist’s conviction. See, Andy’s not all about the cute face and witty one-liners. There’s substance there.

”Try not to look like a homeless person,” Nancy told Celia at the San Ysidro outlet mall, where she was scheduled to meet with Guillermo, not knowing what was in store. And literally, it turned out to be a store, Maternity World, catering to expectant moms looking for comfort and fashion. Guillermo’s grand plan was for Nancy to hire a staff (of people she trusts, very important) and present a clean, professional business. What’s the asking salary for that kind of managerial position? Unknown as of yet, but I counted seven flicks of Nancy’s pen. As for Celia, or Nancy’s ”gap-toothed girlfriend,” as Guillermo affectionately called her, she’ll get minimum wage. Was it just a front? That would seem almost too simple for Guillermo’s conniving mind. Surely, there had to be more.

Also working on his gangster credentials, Andy pulled a gun on the Mexican guide and actually shot the guy. ”Oh my God, I shot you in the knee!” was Andy’s immediate knee-jerk reaction. ”That’s so random, and yet brutal and life changing.”

But perhaps the best example of a life-changing moment for this motley crew, all seated at the table Shabbat-style near show’s end, was Nancy’s hilarious and yet poignant toast to their past and present. ”At the drive-through to Popeye’s, I found myself saying, ‘Family Combo, please,’ ” she said, turning her attention to Andy and affirming that he did end up being someone who can be counted upon. Shane was next, with Nancy finally admitting that she’s ”been unavailable” to him and promising to try and be more ”present.” She cheered Silas’ business acumen, while still chiding him for not getting his GED. As for the non-family members, Doug was asked to leave (nicely), while Celia got her long-awaited and sincere apology. ”I left her holding a very big bag,” Nancy said. ”It was not my finest hour.”

As for the relentless Captain Till, Nancy opted to meet him face to face and use her best strategy: wear a slinky tank top and try to reason and/or weasel your girly way out of it, however you can. But Nancy’s suggestion that the captain drop the case simply out of the goodness of his heart didn’t exactly go over well. Till has a target: Guillermo. What’s more, as Peter’s ex-partner and an accessory to his shady dealings, he never liked Nancy anyway. But Nancy’s ”I’m getting out of the business” soliloquy was slightly more convincing. ”I was a bad drug dealer,” she finally said, before filling Till in on her new boring retail gig. Boring, that is, until she discovered the underground railroad terminating in her store’s storage room, complete with one striking, and slightly intimidating, Pablo Escobar-like character running the show.

So what gives? Does being an accessory to people smuggling carry a lighter or heavier sentence than entering the U.S. with pounds of pot in your car? Do you see Nancy turning on her Puerto Rican partner to save her own, and possible Celia’s, hide? Will the new guy finally bring some sex back to this show? The big wheels of Weeds keep on turning, but where are they going?

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