Weeds, "Object Impermanence": ganja garden

Quick Take: Weeds, “Object Impermanence”
“You’re in Humboldt, now – where property laws say I can defend my land against any and all aggressors, trespassers, and interloping-nightmare-bitches from the past!” – Heylia James

Heylia

Review: Weeds, “Object Impermanence”
(S0706) Despite the anticipation surrounding the return of Heylia James, and the surprising, but no less welcome appearance by Dean Hodes, this episode proved to be a rather somber affair.

Nancy and Silas’ arrival at Heylia’s new farm is not particularly welcome, a point blasted home by the shotgun she cocks in their direction. Hearing the commotion, Dean appears from inside the house, pants still down from his most recent (and apparently first) indoor toilet adventure in some time. He’s just happy that Nancy doesn’t have Celia with her (wouldn’t that be awesome, though?), but Heylia remains tougher to appease.

Heylia and Nancy never had a particularly amicable relationship, and it doesn’t much improve through the course of the episode. Even though Silas was able to get Heylia’s address from Conrad, he no longer lives at the farm, having ended their partnership for more money down in LA. Heylia leads Nancy through acres of her booby-trapped ganja garden, but a misspoken comment pushes Heylia into a tirade that really sets the tone for the rest of the episode. Heylia attributes her misfortunes to Nancy, both rightly and wrongly so. Nancy caused Agrestic to burn to the ground, forcing Heylia to give up her entire livelihood, but just like a child, Nancy loses track of whatever she doesn’t see. After relocating, Heylia’s support dwindled – she refused to cut Conrad in for a bigger share of the profit, inciting his departure, and now, she’s left with Dean, who she gives lodging to in exchange for legal advice.

Heylia leaves Nancy to reflect on her toxicity while surrounded by traps that range from injurious to fatal. She heads back to the house, where Dean has just left Silas, who’s convinced everyone’s favourite oaf to "nut up" and explore Heylia’s grow-op for once. Heylia continues her round of loosing harsh truths with Silas. Silas is trying to work out a deal for the strain he helped create, but he, too, says what Heylia doesn’t want to hear. He also tries to steal some seeds off her -- but instead of losing her temper, she distracts him by prodding at the wound left by Nancy’s lies.

Silas and Nancy have been circling this conversation all season, but now that Silas has her in a field of booby-traps, he won’t let her avoid it anymore. The ensuing conversation is a humbling exchange between mother and son, but coming clean doesn’t reflect especially well on Nancy, who reveals that she lied to Judah, too. The conversation leads Silas to make an important decision after being interrupted by a bear-trapped Dean – in exchange for Heylia’s supply, Silas opts to stay at the farm and help her harvest, against his mother’s wishes.

Once upon a time, Nancy didn’t hesitate to hand her teenage son over to Conrad to help grow dope, but now that he’s older and capable of making these decisions for himself, she’s becoming, if not more protective of him, then more selfish. Silas has been giving Nancy every chance to redeem herself, but she’s not doing a very good job of it. Instead, she seems to be establishing a competition for her affection.

Since proving himself an astute pupil in his criminal justice class, Shane has decided to set up a front to launder money through once Nancy and Silas start selling again. He gets Andy involved by buying him a shop for his reinvention of the wheel, an idea that gets laughed out of Doug’s office by his partners. Andy seems a lot more reluctant after Shane's ominous allusion to Goodfellas. No matter how much effort they put themselves through in order to win over Nancy’s attention, her own efforts are entirely focused on not losing custody of Stevie. She gets a chance to see him before leaving California, which we see while she reflects to her lawyer (guest star Martin Short) on the plane back to New York. The scene is an emotional one – Nancy and Stevie embrace amongst a background of stars and planets shining from the walls of wherever it is that they met, accompanied by a soft but impactful melody that carries the weight of the episode with it to the end.

I was okay with Andy and Doug taking a backseat this episode, because there were some big issues to address with Heylia’s return (and plenty of Dean to balance it out). As her audience, Nancy forced us to look away at the same time she did – we’ve had little-to-no opportunity for any real closure over the last few seasons. Hell, we didn’t even get it with Esteban this season. The serious tone that carries this episode was necessary for the story – not only to keep it coherent, but to prove that Weeds is capable of more than just week-in week-out shenanigans and quirky one-liners. The show’s proven it has a lot of heart, and even though it’s taken seven seasons, the Botwins are showing that they do too, even if they are a bit dysfunctional in demonstrating it.

By Mark D Curran

About the author

Mark is a freelance writer, student of English and Philosophy, and still has too much time on his hands. If you have any of your own, check out the blog and follow him on Twitter!

http://twitter.com/#!/MarkDCurran

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2 Comments
On: Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

I thought this was the best episode of Weeds in a long long time, perhaps dating all the way to the Agrestic days. I've been pretty harsh, but this *could* be the episode that allows the long running series to turn the corner/flip the leaf and find some life once again. 

Even the dramatic bits worked pretty well -- Silas and Nancy's interaction felt like something that two real humans, son and mother, could actually have. 

And the whole bit with Shane's college education was great and funny. I hope we see a lot more of that cop. 

On: Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Eric - TV Geek Army "Revered Leader" said:

By the way, ganja garden, love it !

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