by pat howard

WEEDS | 5×07: “Where the Sidewalk Ends”

In Weeds on July 21, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Veteran writers Roberto Benabib and Matthew Salsburg take us on a trip down memory lane, just in time to meet a new addition to the family.
Nancy bitches Esteban out over Pilar’s meddling in their engagement; he says she doesn’t want him jeopardizing his political career — apparently he’s running for higher office. How many politicians have given this timing speech how many times? The whole exchange manages to sidestep the issue of Pilar’s actual relationship with Esteban, beyond the fact that she’s financing the whole operation.

Shane helps Nancy research her new foe, and his conclusion has been a popular one this season: they need to flee. Cesar and company are setting up a birthing room in the manse so Nancy doesn’t ever have to leave…the only thing creepier than a home birthing room is the music they used to score this scene. Which is why she turns to Andy, fresh off taking a stand we knew he couldn’t sustain. He delivers her, in the General Lee, to her ’90s pop star obgyn, who only takes a moment to debate the irony of all this before agreeing to get in the middle of this mess.

The Mary Kay-knockoff seminar storyline predictably blows up in Celia’s face when the makeup she gets on credit is harder to move than Celia’s own season-one bowels. Poorly-made up cosmetics model Isabel, though, may get a girlfriend out of the deal. And it seems to be dawning on Celia, finally, that she can have her own illegal piece of the pie if she’s willing to sell what’s left of her soul. Will she also help Shane get out from under his mother’s shadow? And did their back-and-forth remind anyone else of their curbside chat back in the day?

Doug and Silas fight over the business. They fight, they break up, Dean makes an obligatory appearance, and they get back together. The deputy is there to make amends and get back to enjoying free samples and extortion. It all goes down just in time for actual law enforcement agents to take down the business — apparently the race-baited paper tiger of an employee was a plant, and C.P. seems to be a major impetus for the raid. That was a whole lot of setup just for it to collapse.

All the throwbacks to bygone times were appreciated, though they were so dense as to draw attention to themselves. Why pack them all into one episode instead of peppering them through several episodes? After all this buildup, Nancy finally has the baby (I still wish this had happened a while ago and it had been Conrad’s baby), and all the action happens off-screen. An enraged Esteban arrives just in time for his son to be wheeled into the room. Props to the Weeds folks for actually getting a small enough baby to pass for a plausible infant, and darn if the little guy doesn’t actually have Esteban’s eyes.

Next week: here’s hoping the whole thing doesn’t turn into a wacky domestic comedy.


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