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Viking Pride

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Murder on the Dancefloor
the whole world that he can hold onto, because his mother's narrative is falling apart in the face of all these facts. "Truth is, you're a Botwin. Admittedly that can be difficult, we're a brood of tortured souls, but that's the beauty of a tribe, we can kvetch." Once again the idea of asking Nancy about it comes up, and this time you can see them both swallow the futility of Nancy ever telling anybody the truth, about anything. They want facts and narratives that make sense; they're men.

Doug doesn't like Schiff's jumpy moshing trip -- "He's not doing it right, you gotta embrace the light and dark equally" -- but they like even less his schmoopy whining insanity. He's like more horribly romantic than Andy ever was: "She's my true north! And if she leaves me, I'm nothing. So if she leaves me, I'm going to kill myself!" Do it. Shane and Doug don't care, I vote yes, Nancy was probably going to smother you for your house anyway. Doug finally leaves for Agrestic -- Shane's back to babysitting once again -- and I hope he comes back really motherfucking soon.

Nancy makes fun of Coleman's bald spot and demands he tell her everything he knows so far. Seems it started with a story on Esteban's connection to Pilar, but when she died, it was weird that Nancy -- "the American wife of a Mexican politician/gangster" -- suddenly vanished. She tells him to fuck off back to San Diego, "write about Comic-Con and Captain Magnetard or whatever," and he yells at her for thinking he's some sort of jerk-off basement blogger, despite his obsessive dressing the part. "I've won awards!" he screams, which is how she knows she has him. Boy narrative.

She tells him she'll just deny everything to the fact-checker, which he points out is not a real thing and in fact a thing from Almost Famous, and that he'd make up details if she doesn't help, although he'd be sad: "But hey, James Frey still has a book deal, and I want mine." And if there isn't anything to tell? "Drugs? Tunnels? Murder?" Good point: "I know my fucking story," she hisses, and that's exactly what she means. She thinks for a second and asks who knows they're in Michigan.

"My editor knows I found you, but I didn't tell him where. But if I was able to find you, how long before the bad guys find you? And I don't mean the FBI." Esteban is going to find her, and soon: But they can expose the whole thing first, if she plays along. She snorts, at the very idea: "Clark Kent to my rescue!" But then it happens: He finds the right words at the right time to undo her spectacularly. The bathtub was surrounded by candles on the night she told the truth. "Are you telling me after all's said and done you don't want your story on the record?"

That's all she's ever wanted; it's the only thing she'll never get to have. Her only power lies in having no power and her only story lies in having no story, and still the fuckers find a way to use it against her. But it's true for women, too: That's the only thing Oprah's selling, for example: Permission to have a story and to tell that story. She just thought it was a strength, until the stories finally caught up to her and she realized she wasn't invisible at all. That all her stories were one story, assembling it from the pieces of the stories that matter; that rebelling against the boy narrative means failure within that narrative, no matter how Daredevil it feels at the time. He's offering her a chance to tell her story to the world, a place for it hacked from dry stone soil, and by claiming it rejoin it. To be justified in the eyes of the world, which means other people, which means men. To be legitimized. Silas said he wasn't looking for anything but he was looking for that.

Andy goes to Hooman with one of those stories: He's Nathalie's guy, the Gummiberry gourmand, capable of being a boy like Hooman for a few moments at a time. Sitrep: "Dudes are like what? and girls, three chicks just did a dirty carpool right in the middle of the dancefloor." They're calling it the Legspreader, which is just stupid and gross but not as stupid and gross as Andy's racist suggestions; there's a lot of confusion now in the conversation, between Andy trying to admit that he's got to kill Hooman and Hooman turning everything into more coded bro talk. Hooman swears he's not a bad guy -- "You see me dipping it in the candy here? No! No, it's because I'm Shi'a, fucking racist Jordanian piece of shit" -- and Andy tries to get him onboard with some bizarre plan for next week, with a little Jewish paranoia, considering where he is, tossed in for good luck.

Nancy threatens Coleman elliptically -- "you know my history" -- and he's recovered enough for a fantastic comeback: "You'll marry me?" She's not impressed. He apologizes and they start again. She can't help but smile, to herself and others. Gratitude.

She will sort through all the lies, the stories, the Nancies and the Laceys and the Nathalies, all the people she left behind. She'll tell him about her shame, that night in the bathtub when she came clean, and she'll tell him what came out of the tunnel. The way it finally felt to tell the truth to a man she trusted. She'll tell him about U-Turn and Marvin, about Celia and Dean, about muffins and edibles and a thousand fires set in her name. About Guillermo, Cesar, Pilar and Esteban. About Conrad and Heylia, and the day her husband died. She'll tell him everything, every word of it true, and her heart will leap like a dove in her chest as the sun is coming up, and this is the way it begins:

"My name is Nancy Botwin."

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