Weeds

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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Did Newton Need Blake?

Esteban is wheeling and dealing with a priest guy; he leaves and Nancy grins wryly up at him. "Finding God?" Esteban is the Mayor of the TJ: "God finds me." He kisses her, and becomes the third person to note how fucking tired she looks. She blames the ayahuasca -- "all the pain will hit you at once," the lady said -- but notes that he is working the tux hardcore. He pours them drinks and asks what she wanted to talk about. The tunnel, and what comes through it? Boxes, he says. Which is the correct answer. "Weed ... Heroin, cocaine ... Guns..." No, just boxes. The boxes that come through the tunnel are just boxes, with things inside we don't care about. Nancy's just a front owner and drug dealer; what's inside the boxes doesn't matter. Or didn't, until the ayahuasca.

Merrill fought his whole life against science: unable to understand the rules beneath the world, he started looking elsewhere. He saw the legs of long-dead frogs lit up with electric impulses, kicking, as I say, long after the frogs had died, and realized the world we see is not the world. We're just little boxes on the hillside, and the things that we do are what fill us up. But as long as we're just boxes, it doesn't matter what's inside, or what motivates the frog to kick. It was the existential pain of knowing that we're all black boxes, machines working on unknowable impulses, that sent Merrill off into Ouspenskaya places, Ouija boards and messages from beyond. There must be something more than this, he knew, and this was his war on science: "Did Newton need Blake?" Not if we're just boxes on the hillside.

And then there are the girls, coming through the tunnel; boxes full of drugs and sex, boxes waiting to be filled by the highest bidder. "Guillermo said she was his cousin." Esteban says the boxes have to stay boxes, the whole world and shadow economy rests on never crawling down into the tunnel: it's how he builds schools and hospitals in border towns. It's now Nancy provides for her family. "She wasn't Guillermo's cousin," Nancy insists. A guy comes to get Esteban, as usual when things get interesting, and he grins: "Charity calls." Nancy speaks from the clarity of her visions: "It's not enough, your charity." He tells her to go home and sleep, on a pile of boxes as big as the moon. "Nothing is ever enough. But we live, and we try." They kiss, sweetly. And they're both right, but Nancy's more right. If I save your life and kill your friend, are we even?

Nancy goes home to get clean, pouring a bath. Silas arrives to ask her to bankroll a larger grow house. "I need more space," Silas whines; Nancy says, from inside her little box: "You and me both." She reminds him that they've fucked up large-scale operations, grow houses, twice now. He says that this means they've learned, how to do it better, but she says what they've really learned is not to do it anymore. She's right, but Silas is more right, and knows her better than anybody now that Conrad's gone: "Lisa said you would say that." The magic words. The better mother. "Let me think about it." And she swears that's all she's doing.

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