Dearborn holds few delights and many obstructions for the Botwins. Why is Nancy's hometown their last stop before Copenhagen? Not even the script is sure. But it doesn't really matter, because everything so far is looking pretty effed up with likely more to come. Establishing a base of operations for hash sales and passport-getting means tracking down, per Shane's suggestion, the math teacher that took Nancy's virginity, Mr. Schiff. He's played by Richard Dreyfuss, works for and steals from the postal service, and while he's no longer quite the in-patient young Nancy made of him -- the first cockroach to get her zombie eggs in the brain -- but truth be told, he does have a scary secret room in his house. Overall Schiff is just sort of sweet and old and bonkers.
Nancy and Andy invent a new liquid drug using their hash and Schiff's meds, test it out on Doug, and sell it to a bar. This might be their worst plan ever, as in ever on this show, but the blitheness with which they jump into it makes me think there's a smartness to it I'm not getting: The main reason I've never done a George's Marvelous Medicine with all the drugs I could find -- which, come on, sounds great -- is because I've always just kinda assumed you would go running straight through the nearest plate glass window or shit your eyeballs.
Andy goes looking for passports and has some very fun scenes there, but lots of dead ends. We meet a family of Michael Moore's pasty sad Michigan poor people and trade them for the Jesus Is Awesome Love RV, the better to sell drugs to, and buy passports from, various ethnics.
Silas and Shane, off a tip from Mr. Holland's Opus over here, check out Nancy's high school boyfriend Lars, who also works for the PO and bears a marked resemblance to Silas. I guess. Like a craggy blockhead Lego version of Silas with muscles like a day-laborer. And anyway, no way. Judah forever.
And what's Nancy doing this whole time, besides tossing casual hipster racism around like it ain't no thing and literally inventing new ways of putting the whole family in jeopardy? Oh, she takes her half-Mexican baby to the graveyard to gloat at her horrible parents' tombstones about "You thought it was bullshit when I married a Jew? Meet Stevie." It's a pretty good scene, but not that heavy -- frankly, it doesn't really seem like MLP is that into it -- until the end:
A Klostermanesque basement-dork that Nancy doesn't even remember from high school approaches her (and even if it isn't a setup, doesn't he still represent a huge dangling loose thread, since you're on your way out of town?) in a way that is obviously a setup, she turns him down for a coffee date, and he reports the sighting to whomever he's working with. So... probably she will eat the brain out of his head next week.
Silas wants to use the bathroom, but Doug. I don't really need to say more than that, do I? Silas wants to use the bathroom, but Doug is in there smoking hash. I guess because they don't want him using up their product, but more so that he can make gross cheap jokes and invent imaginative metaphors for feces. Out at the front of the RV, Shane wonders if it's really that smart to go back to your hometown, when you're en route to another country with the FBI and El Cosa Nuestra on your ass.
Because this actually doesn't make any sense, it seems like an odd choice to point that out, but whatever. We're into the third act and Dearborn is where it will take place. And we're learning about Nancy at the same rate her children are learning about her, so it does make a bit of sense. It would make more thematic sense if this show hung together better, but this season has at least been fun to watch. Nancy and Andy's troubling explanation is that "Dearborn is crawling with Arabs," and since they sell hash and need fake passports, clearly that's enough of an explanation.
And, you know, wonderful-wonderful aside, leaving the country means leaving behind everything that caused Nancy to become what she is in the first place. Which is a handy little theme to have always going on with this show -- work for a living/kill yourself working et cetera -- because she's always scrambling to keep what she's got and then finding herself in places where what she had -- what she was trying to keep such a tight hold on -- somehow became totally irrelevant along the way. This is what life is actually like.
So in the context of saying goodbye to the Americas, it makes sense to touch base with the mermaid mailbox of Dearborn, and her parents' graves, before flying into the arms of the even-sadder mermaids of Copenhagen. Silas points out what a cheap, easy, racist joke it is, to assume that all Arabs have access to fake passports, not to mention sort of base and pointless, but because this episode is not that well-written, just cartoonish and kinda nasty for no reason, Nancy's answer is: "It's also racist to assume all Asians are bad drivers... But they are." Which, I get the concept there, and it could be funny, but whatever. This is going to be the shortest recap ever. Nancy assigns Andy to get the passports, at which he balks due to "radical Muslims" vs. "Jew face."
Nancy is all excited because her friend Lainie's house is coming up, and it's where she hid every time she ran away from home, as a kid. Only now, instead of a house it's a strip club. "Oooh," says Doug happily, "I'll put my sweatpants on!" Then there's more lazy writing about "trolling around Little Beirut in the Jesus Wagon might bring unwanted attention" and how they need a Detroitmobile, which is a much funnier joke and also the exact same joke: "We need a nice crappy American car around here, so we blend."