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TV Review: Weeds – “Synthetics”

Last night’s episode of Showtime’s Weeds, “Synthetics,” finds Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) on a date with her boss (Aidan Quinn), wearing a wire so the SEC can listen in. This proves quite the dangerous game, as the couple return home to find Silas (Hunter Parrish) and Andy (Justin Kirk) wanting to talk about their drug business. Then Nancy’s former cellmate / lover Zoya (Olga Sosnovska) arrives, as does Nancy’s current lover, Zoya’s brother, Demetri (Pablo Schreiber). Needless to say, things get chaotic, and despite Nancy’s best efforts, the authorities likely hear far more than she’d like them to. Which will not make her life an easier, despite her release from the halfway house.

Which is how Weeds goes. Nancy thinks she has things under control, and then it all explodes in her face. In “Synthetics,” this may be at least partially chalked up to karma. After all, the beginning of the episode finds Nancy bragging to the woman that runs the halfway house that she doesn’t need any help. But Nancy always needs help. For the most part, Andy, Silas, and Shane (Alexander Gould) do their best to provide that help. But Andy is growing tired of it and Silas only wants to assist Nancy from a business standpoint. With her framework of family support dwindling, it is only a matter of time before Nancy crashes and burns even worse than the time she spends in prison.

Will it hurt Nancy that the SEC now knows her business? Possibly, but to what extent is up in the air. After all, how often do government agencies work well together? It is more probable that any drug-related conversation overheard will be used as leverage to make Nancy do their bidding, rather than to turn her in. She is of no use to the SEC’s case behind bars, so why should they put her there? It’s sort of a plea bargaining deal, and one Nancy may be able to come out on top of. For now. Nancy’s life, at least the way she is heading, is not destined for stability.

All of this financial business has the possible side effect of taking down Doug (Kevin Nealon). He didn’t start cooking the books for the company, but his job is currently to do so. Doug shows a willingness to ignore laws and rules, which is why he spends several years on the run. He doesn’t really help Nancy, but is like a dog that follows the Botwins. Though more a moocher than a contributor, the Weeds dynamic would suffer without his presence. Hopefully Nancy will not abandon her friend in his hour of need. This could go either way.

It is thrilling that Andy actually wants the family to go straight. Sure, he will continue to smoke some weed, but he wants to run a legitimate business, not continue to use drug deals as the primary income in Weeds. Andy is a genuinely nice, supportive guy who doesn’t make waves. His biggest downfall is his weakness for Nancy. He will never be mentally or socially healthy until he gets over that, and despite his best efforts, he isn’t there now. How long can he keep pursuing something above the boards with Nancy circling around him? As regrettable as it might be to Nancy, Andy needs to find his own path, away from her, in order to achieve a happy ending.

Silas, on the other hand, only delves deeper into the underground world. With a drug dealer as his primary parental influence, and his modeling career fizzling before it even gets going, Silas turns to what he knows. He has the skills to grow pot, if not the business sense to sell it. He could be a player in the world of illegal substances. If he doesn’t let his penis screw him up, as he is in danger of doing after meeting Emma (the great Michelle Trachtenberg). Whether Emma will side with Silas, or continues to work against him, remains to be seen. But being with a female companion never works out for Silas, and Emma isn’t likely to be different.

Shane is the enigma on Weeds. He is under the wing of a cop (Michael Harney), but his motivations are unclear. Is Shane really interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement? He may be a little erratic, but he could have the temperament for it. It finally appears Shane is moving away from his murderous self. Or, possibly, Shane is only seeking to learn the inner workings of police business so he can help the family company stay one step ahead. Shane does have a deep affection for Nancy, and would do almost anything for her. This new path could easily just be a way for him to make himself useful and earn her approval.

About JeromeWetzelTV

Jerome writes TV reviews for BlogCritics.org and Seat42F.com, as well as fiction. He is a frequent guest on two podcasts, Let's Talk TV with Barbara Barnett and The Good, the Bad, & the Geeky. All of his work can be found on his website, jeromewetzel.com