“Weeds” mini-cap: Leaving normal

Let’s talk Weeds, shall we?

The Botwins, er, Newmans have reached Seattle, hoping that their new identities will shield them from discovery by Esteban and his band of Merry Mexican Mafiosos. They need money and decide to cross a hotel workers’ picket line for certain employment as scabs. Such a lovely word.

Experience means little when you have brand new identities, so Andy/Randy, Silas/Mike and Nancy/Nathalie, who want to become chef, bartender and manager, respectively, become dishwasher, bellhop and maid.

Shane/Shawn’s new job is Newman Nanny for baby Stevie/Avi, leading to the episode’s best line from Silas: “Do you really think it’s a good idea, leaving Pebbles with Bam-Bam?”

The hotel jobs, as expected, do not go well. Nancy’s is the most disgusting, as you can imagine if you’ve ever trashed a hotel room. She encounters a large, naked guy with a hairy butt handcuffed to the bed with the golden dampness of his previous night’s paid pleasure in evidence. No wonder the strikers want more money.

Silas finds a lucrative, if uncomfortable, way to increase his tips by stripping to his underwear (and bellhop hat) and reading aloud to a male guest from a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book for $50 a page. I really think the music editor missed an opportunity by not playing “You Can Leave Your Hat On” here — heck, it’s even Randy Newman.

Silas is concerned that the activity is gay, but Andy assures him, “Not if he pays you. Or if it’s under water.” (I really don’t want to know.) This bit is obviously just an excuse to show Hunter Parrish shirtless, but I doubt that anybody with even the tiniest inkling of man love minds. The boy has a beautiful body.

Andy’s frustrations are minor in comparison, as the head chef won’t let him help with the cooking and he has to wash dishes — as most dishwashers do.

As the Newmans commiserate over their terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, Andy notices the bar piano player and asks if he knows where to get some weed. Unfortunately, Nigel the valet is the hotel source and he is on strike — and won’t sell to scabs.

Nancy’s face lights up. The brand new Newmans are about to be back in the same old pot biz — which, finally, leads to our meeting Surly Linda (Linda Hamilton) and her GF Fiona.

In my vast experience with drug culture, I somehow missed knowing how hashish is made, so seeing Nancy wash and strain the trimmings was quite educational.

Nancy is as proud as punch of her first batch of hash. And when Silas asks what happened to being “normal,” she speaks more truth than she has in weeks: “For us, this is normal.”

This was the best episode in a long time, IMO. It was funny, strange and slightly uncomfortable — which is exactly what we want from Weeds.

How did you like this ep?