“The Love Circle Overflap”
August 17th, 2008
Silas and Shane, as brothers, are an interesting pair. In the beginning, Silas was growing up too fast while Shane’s innocence was slowly being eroded. As time went on, Silas never truly matured, remaining mature in his actions but not quite in his mind. Shane, meanwhile, has emerged into his mother’s world and now into the world of a sexually charge middle school open to new experiences, ready to make the choices Silas had to make in the beginning.
Their relationship is emerging to the forefront of Weeds as we head further into the fourth season, as issues of family center this week on their brotherly bond and their shared experiences of sorts. Silas is at a turning point, feeling mildly aware of the consequences of his actions while actually wanting them to be more serious, wanting Lisa to be able to be with him in a way he knows she can’t – like he says to Lisa, he actually does for once want the truth, not some idealistic notion. Shane, meanwhile, feels pressure to live up to the reputation he created for himself, one that he doesn’t really understand and one that sends him into a situation that he can’t handle.
So while Nancy is off on a spiritual quest with hallucinogenic medicine of some sort, and Andy and Doug are finally finding his Flip Flop Cinderella, the Boys Botwin are left to find their own path. And, while neither solve their problems, they at least go to the edge of understanding in a way that proves they are advancing yet.
First and foremost, I don’t quite understand Nancy’s strange drug trip of sorts, even after the episode’s conclusion as Nancy and Andy chat on the beach – she sees Guillermo’s “relative” of sorts, a woman with a butterfly bag, which seems to be (from the preview) a sign that things other than drugs are coming through the tunnel. If it is indeed indicating that they are trafficking prostitutes through the maternity store, it’s a neat little twist: it means that Andy’s human trafficking of sorts has itself a partner, and that we get to see another test of Nancy’s sketchy morality.
Her breakdown, and her headaches, are diagnosed as stress, here designed to show her how much her world is falling apart. With one son sleeping with the MILF next door, the other sleeping around at the age of 13, and with her business of sorts proving to be more incriminating than she’d like, it’s no wonder she’s struggling to remain conscious. I guess it’s one of those instances where this episode was the transition: for Nancy and Andy both, they spend the episode on the perimeter of the real action in order to have transformations leading into next week (where, for Nancy, sparks will surely fly).
This episode is more about the cause than it is anything else, as we get the aforementioned pictures into Shane and Silas’ lives. In Shane’s case, he apparently actually does have a threesome with two fellow 13 year olds after they mimic some sort of pornography. It seems like a lot of growing up for Shane to do, precisely, and I almost feel like it’s happening too fast: yes, he was just recently masturbating to a photo of his own mother, but this seems like a bit of a huge step and it’s strange that the episode is so unclear about whether anything actually happens. The clip Showtime’s website has posted from next week presumes it does, but maybe that’s all a lie.
Either way, the best part of the storyline was the small scene as Shane comes down the stairs and tells Silas what’s going on. His reaction is, at first, the jerk older brother that we’ve been dealing with all season, but in the next moment he levels with Shane: if Shane doesn’t want to do it, he doesn’t have to. But Shane is to a point where he has no self-choice, choosing to take Silas’ initial reflection of society’s pressure to have sex as opposed to his eventual advice for him to choose his own path. There’s something that feels right about Shane, having been so convinced of his independence coming into the season, finally needing a Mother and not having one, but at the same time the show’s usual weird pace of sorts is kind of rough on Shane here.
It feels more like a natural kind of development for the elder Botwin brother, who is in the same state of confusion he was in last week. Babysitting Rad while Lisa reconnects with her ex-husband is driving him crazy, but it is wearing him down: when Lisa arrives, late, he is able to at least point out that he’s feeling used, and that he isn’t in this for some sort of bullshit idealism. The unfortunate thing is that he really doesn’t know what he is doing, that he eventually lets the fling continue because he is an idealist, because he does want to continue against all of the odds. He’s the kid who makes Rad food and takes care of him partially because he’s a good kid, and also because he wants to do whatever he can to make his dreams work out for him.
I’m not quite sure where they’re leaving us with the brothers, but motherhood seems to be our path: with Celia’s own mother being thrown into the mix during her intervention, we’re moving towards a continued sense of family. Here’s hoping that the show can do this while not devolving into its usual “Nancy gets in danger, latest beau loves her and saves her despite their parting” process and losing that focus.
- Do I care about Doug’s Cinderella with the flip flop? Nope – the entire Coyote storyline has seemed really pointless up to this point, and other than Justin Kirk’s great moments as a Moses figure it never really hit any sort of comic highpoints. I’m curious to see if we’re done with it for good, and can move on to Doug’s relationship drama and Andy, as he desires, getting a girlfriend (I’ve always liked him in a couple, so sue me).
- I don’t really know what to do with Celia’s storyline – her intervention was funny for the return of Pam and her smashing Andy into the nightstand, but the end issues with her mother felt kind of random.
- I have no opinion about Shane’s 13-year old conquests, but I did enjoy the line “We’re working on a science project…about science.” It was charming, and I wish I could say the same about the pre-teen threesome storyline. Charming it was not.