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Viking Pride

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Murder on the Dancefloor

Daoud Mahmud is the name of the passport guy, who intimidates Andy in just about every way he can from the moment he enters his office. When Andy brings up "passports," complete with airquotes, the dude has a whole conversation with imaginary finger-bunnies about how probably Andy is a cop. It's kind of scary. Andy namedrops Hooman Jaka, having buried the lede, and Mahmud goes apeshit.

"That fucking piece-of-shit cocksucker, I spit on Hooman Jaka!" Andy backs off and agrees that we hate Jaka, but that they've done business together, which Mahmud turns around to mean that Andy is a "crook piece of shit" too and you can see Andy just give up entirely. He goes into a whole gentle puppies rampage about how he's just there for the sake of the children, etc. "Think of me and my family as farmers, seeking shade in a summer drought, with a plague of locusts eating our fields." Then, farmer talk.

Andy finally seals the deal with his "very cute baby" who is in "grave danger." But it's not the gift of gab -- Nancy's bad luck with male authority has been infecting Andy a lot this season, no? -- that gets Mahmud: "I sense your desperation." Andy ducks his head, beautifully and sweetly, with a near-silent thank you; it might be the best part of the episode. He gets an address and bounces like the secret of Gummiberry Juice. (Dude, that's totally what they should call the invented drink!)

Fuckin' Schiff is like decorating Stevie's room at this point -- "What about a baseball theme?" -- and before Shane can warn him, he swigs some Gummiberry Juice from the fridge. ("New York's hottest club is Pants! Nightlife superstar drag queen Amber Alert is back with a party that answers the question, 'Whence?' They've got everything: Teddybear spycams, tooth-necklace gods, and Richard Dreyfuss on hash-laced energy drinks.") I'm sure this bothers Shane for a good three seconds before he decides that the rest of the day is about to get awesome.

Schiff tells Shane to fill out the grocery list, and sadly is like, "Include some stuff for your mother, unless she's still trying to live on Doritos and Tab." Um, that sweet sweet kiss of a fourteen-year-old who just ate a bunch of Doritos. I hope this guy dies. Shane tells him to get over it and he's bouncing on this trampoline like it's sexy and he's all, "It'll take some time." Shane tries to explain, again and again, that they're leaving and not coming back, and then the Gummiberries hit and he starts bouncing all over the place, screaming. Literally, on a Skymall trampoline, and weeping. He stops being able to swallow and then his eyes start acting weird, and it peaks. It's like a command performance, if you find this stuff amusing.

Lars on dating Nancy Price: After high school it didn't fizzle, there were college break hookups. "Sometimes a faucet still drips after you turn it off." That's gross, but kind of sweet if you don't think about it too hard. Super accurate, either way. And it's true, you can't ever turn off the things that used to flood you. We're all the same ages we've ever been, and now Silas is learning that even in his boy narrative there are shadows and surprises: That the world was constructed around him, and now it's his duty to bring it down around himself. To know the world. This is the way it begins:

"I think I'm your son."

Silas stutters around it in circles, stops making sense altogether, winds slowly down, and finally Lars breathes and asks if he's talked to Nancypants yet. Of course not. "Mother of shit," is what he says, and yeah. Silas agrees. He apologizes and leaves, promising he doesn't want anything or anything, and thanks him for the beer, and leaves. It's pretty sad, either way, and they are both very good guys. Any other show, this would be the amazing point of the episode, but here it's just like this tiny real thing about men, sitting amongst all the crazy and the wreckage. Which is another way of saying Silas.

The address Mahmud gave Andy is his house. They sit upstairs and right away rule out American passports. "I could do Iceland, their economy has tanked and they're on fire." But he wants five grand and Andy only has three. Which pisses him off enough to say goodbye, because he's got to worry about the wedding of his daughter, who is running around screaming about her wedding. Fiancé? Hooman Jaka. Who is, among one presumes or at least hopes other things, Shi'a. "I am Jordanian Sunni, you think I would let my daughter marry a Shi'ite? To plant a tomato in a cornfield?"

Instead of getting the fuck on up out of this conversation, Andy expresses compassion for the racism, and Mahmud responds with a proposal: Kill Hooman Jaka. He can't just break them up, Mahmud already tried that with somebody hotter than Andy. (Andy also finds this difficult to envision, but thinks maybe it's about weird cultural norms rather than the nonsense concept of somebody hotter than himself.) And that's the deal. I mean, I know it would be hard for, say, me to get ahold of a fake passport, but I assumed that's because I have good taste in friends. The Botwins: That's not the case. So it's realistic that it's difficult, but surprising because this show is not realistic ever.

Nancy's staking out Fake Ellis's motel room when Andy calls her, and this is the amazing conversation: "Do we need more money?" she asks, and Andy responds, "No, we need Shane." I love that, so much. He explains about poor sweet Hooman, and Nancy thinks aloud, "Well, he is kind of a douche..." There's almost panic in Andy's voice this time, as he explains that he can't kill anybody, like she's going to ask him and he is going to have to say no, and finally she sighs and agrees that they can't kill anybody. She tells him to get creative and he whines that he's always creative and she's always something -- "fucked by Zack Morris" probably is what he was going to say -- but she has to hang up because Fake Ellis just left his Gen X nest.

"You hos are always leaving stuff behind! Now find your bag of dildos and make sure you lock the door on the way out!" I just wanted to reproduce that sentence. Important thing is, the cleaning lady just let Nancy into Ellis's room. (Passports, those take five episodes. Getting into a motel room: Disturbingly easy.) First the DVDs of every interview, labeled with ex-friends and ex-family; then clippings going back past the tunnel, then a beautiful 8x10 of Silas and one of Andy, and then she just starts putting everything in a pile on the floor, wigging out.

When Klosterman comes back a second later, apologizing for his poor undercover skills, Nancy maces him immediately. Turns out he's a journalist with the San Diego County Tribune. Name of Vaughn Coleman -- "People always assume I'm black" -- and finally explains what he's been up to. "I'm writing your story," he says. It's the only thing that saves him.

Andy rolls up on Silas, still shell-shocked, riding back to Schiff's on his scooter, and woggles at him. "Hey little boy, want some candy?" Minutes later they're sitting on the curb, Silas nearly in tears, and Andy freaking out about this latest thing. Silas adds up all the evidence and Andy knocks it down again -- "Plenty of Nordic in our family, you never heard of Great Uncle Hans? Crazy Finn" -- and then points out the actual, glaring truth: That Silas is Judah's son either way. More than he was ever Nancy's.

But Silas thinks, maybe Judah stared at him in the hospital for hours because he was looking for a resemblance, and that even if Lars isn't that cool at least he's "easy," that's the word he uses, "easy," and that's the most damning part of all. She ran away with Stevie because Esteban wasn't easy in the right way, but if he had been she'd have left a lot sooner. "So you met an easy guy, who looks like you, that your mom used to date." Andy is grossed out, of course, because he's weirded out by anybody dating Nancypants.

"Judah's your dad. But you're looking for something, I get that." Silas swears he's not "looking" for anything, just trying to find one hard fact in

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