“Weeds” mini-cap: Goodbye, Newman

Good news for TV writers everywhere: Nathalie Newman is dead. Long live Nancy Botwin!

Now that we don’t have to use two names for every character, we can get back to the business at hand. If only we can figure out what that business is.

Once again, Nancy has to be in mother lion mode to get one of her young ones out of trouble. First, though, we have to get her out of the bathroom, where she collapsed in a heap last week, with a deaf Child Protective Services caseworker at the door watching naked Andy talking to baby Stevie about the joys of cross-peeing and Cesar on the phone informing her that they have Shane.

Silas, who learned to sign when he sexed up (and knocked up) a hearing impaired girl in high school, dispatches the caseworker with language you don’t learn in ASL class. It was a pretty quick resolution to a story that has built up since Shane took over care of Stevie in Episode 2. Oh well. It wasn’t all that interesting anyway.

Cesar wants to make a trade: Shane for Stevie, “a shoe for a shoe.” (Is that a Tom’s reference?) Nancy grabs the crossbow that happens to be in her hotel room (you heard me) and heads for the swap meeting place: the Skee Ball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Meanwhile, Shane and Ignacio are bonding again (rebonding?), reminiscing over the good times — like when Ignacio let Shane skip school to watch him kneecap up a guy. Every fatherless boy should have a strong male role model.

Nancy leaves a voice mail for Esteban apologizing for not taking his calls and asking if they can talk about Shane. It’s too late, of course, but Nancy might still love Esteban, despite all the murder and kidnapping and other random felonies. She’s mad and sad at the same time.

Silas tries to be a voice of reason, suggesting that perhaps trading Stevie for Shane is not such a bad idea, because they wouldn’t have to run any more and Silas could go to college. And “Shane could become one of those good serial killers who only kills other serial killers.” Nice.

While the guys (with Stevie) wait in a diner, Nancy meets Cesar and ends up shooting him in the leg with the crossbow. She grabs his phone and calls Esteban, who answers, thinking it’s Cesar. As soon as he hears Nancy’s voice, he hangs up — and she gives up. This husband didn’t die, but Nancy feels like she did.

She goes to the diner to rescue her cubs, but it is Shane who actually convinces Ignacio to hit the road, because Ignacio has no doubt that Shane would shoot him. He leaves after giving Shane some fatherly advice (“Follow your dreams”) and his prize possession: the knife he used to kill his father. It’s sick, but kind of touching — the kind of scene that reminds us that Weeds is awesome.

As the Botwins drive away to their next life, we hear the final voicemail that Nancy left for Esteban, thanking him for Stevie and assuring him that his son will be brought up to think well of his father. She cries as she looks at her boys, wishing that this ending had been happy for a change.

We don’t know where the Botwins are going, but I doubt Esteban will give up that easily. And I doubt that the FBI will give up on wanting to question Nancy about Pillar’s murder.

What do you think? Any ideas on where Nancy is taking the family now? Is the Esteban story really over?