Andy sits in the new garden, smoking, still shivering from his pier experience. Nancy joins him, and notices immediately that all her herbs are dead. The oasis is gone black and sludgy, as they both knew it was. "Already," she sighs. "Snuffed out." Andy suggests that it was bunnies, but it was actually slugs. "It's an inside job," Andy says, too exhausted to return to his whole aborted-gopher metaphor. She sits next to him in the grandmotherly roller-bench, and he says he got the money. Doesn't matter how -- "I need a shower, I need to be sandblasted, I need a hug, point is I have it" -- and she's impressed. We don't have to lie to her! But Andy does.
Nancy actually relaxes, finally, leaning on his knees: she's back to being unsure. It's not safe in Ren Mar, everything is wrong, Celia's in the garage... "We had a nice long conversation about when flesh hits acid," Andy nods, and Nancy laughs. "Why is fucking Armageddon always coming down on me?" And that's when Andy becomes a man, which is the next step after becoming Judah: "You do it. You have to know that. You have to know that it's all you."
She nods, and starts crying; she kisses his knees and curls around them. He tells her to forget Van Nuys, but they have to leave. "Shane did something so..." she continues, but that's just more proof. Even the plants have died. But what about Esteban, she asks. He says to leave a note, and she laughs. "Break his heart in ink. He will understand, if he loves you." Truer words, Andy Botwin.
She lets herself imagine, for the first time in a long time. "I do have nice handwriting..." He starts to get excited: they can put Ambien in Ignacio's smoothie, come morning, and just go. And tomorrow, he says against her protests, they're someplace new. Maybe the real Van Nuys, whatever. "We're a family," he says, and now he's crying too. "And then we're done, with all this. And we'll be safe."
And if you stop right there, you will be. But Andy doesn't really understand her, not yet. He thinks the grand gesture is still there; he doesn't understand that putting himself under her hand makes him part of the scenery, a tool she can use. She doesn't want to be loved, she wants to be intrigued. Overpowered, if necessary, controlled maybe, but those are just symptoms: the thing she wants, the thing he keeps taking away every time she lets him in, is to look at someone and see them as more than a tool, more than useful. And anyone who loves her can't ever be more than that. All that means is that she's fooled another one. She's a dealer: Anybody who loves Nancy Botwin is buying schwag and treating it like gold. She needs the mystery, to see less than the next ten steps ahead, and loving her deprives her of that: