‘Weeds’ Review: “Only Judy Can Judge”
In this week’s episode of ‘Weeds,’ Nancy continues to maintain her more empathetic demeanor as we trudge down to the series finale. Unfortunately, Nancy’s new laid back attitude mirrors the lifelessness in “Only Judy Can Judge.”
The episode takes its title from a tattoo on the arm of a hash dealer who Kiku, Silas’ girlfriend, visits to procure some product. The title of the episode has no bearing on anything other than a small sight gag involving a temperamental dealer’s Judge Judy tattoo — a small laugh-out-loud moment in an otherwise flat and mostly dimensionless episode.
Kiku is trying to keep the pot business going, but without Nancy to supply, she’s desperate and winds up on Staten Island trying to procure hash from a meat-headed dealer. Nancy has given up a day at the zoo with youngest son Stevie in order to rescue Kiku from hell and deliver her to Demetri (a welcome return), in hopes that Demetri will be convinced to sell to Kiku, thus mostly letting Nancy stay out of the trade and continue to work on healing herself.
That healing includes spending more time with Stevie, whom Nancy has noticed still clings to her sister Jill, and spotting Stevie, Jill, and Andy prancing about like their own little family unit has inspired some righteous jealousy in Nancy. We haven’t seen much of Stevie this season, and even last season — with Stevie in Jill’s custody — it always felt like the writers were trying to find ways to conveniently keep him out of the way so they wouldn’t have to ask themselves “right, and how would they do this with a kid around?” every week.
Nancy wants to take Stevie to the zoo, but her body tires too easily these days and she decides to go clean up the Kiku mess and have a special dinner with her son later. Andy has to coach derby practice with the Hot Topic twins, but he cancels so he can make his special paella dinner for the family (a nice callback to the first season). Jill is furious and still believes Andy is in love with Nancy and will forever be her doormat. I’ve noted in these reviews previously that the parallels between Nancy and Jill are one of the more fascinating aspects of their relationship. Jill is very similar to Nancy in that she needs to feel like she’s the center of the universe and she loathes anyone who might detract from her power. While Nancy has been playing criminal for all these years, though, Jill has been playing suburban housewife, which is where she has the leg up on her sister.
Pitting Nancy against her sister is always interesting because they’re so similar in the most basic, emotional ways. Jill takes Stevie to the zoo, and out of spite she drugs him with some cough syrup to knock him out before dinner, claiming he was allergic to the lions. As she tells Nancy this, Stevie has his head in Jill’s lap and she softly strokes his head and arm, as if she is his mother. The moment briefly borders on chill-inducing. Jill relishes that Nancy’s family is so dysfunctional, and she enjoys believing that her sister is incapable of mothering her own child. Perhaps it’s sibling rivalry, or this is Jill taking her own jealousy and flipping it so she can feel envied.
Doug is at war with the neighbor’s dog, whom he believes has been pooping on his newspaper every morning. This results in some wacky bits, including a moment where Doug is confronted for spraying graffiti on the dog. Shane installs some security cameras and at the end of the episode, Doug discovers that the Ambien he’s been taking is making him sleep walk, and he’s the one who’s been pooping on his newspaper.
Before this happens, there’s a dinner outside, which recalls the final scene from last season, right before Nancy was shot. The family is once again gathered at the dinner table, but Silas has brought his new pot-growing friend RJ, and Shane has brought his new lady friend from the police academy. Silas and Shane’s jokes about Shane being a narc and Silas being a perp are giving way to a serious conflict between the two. Jill and Andy are fighting because Andy is taking Nancy’s side, and Nancy has hilariously laid her head down on the plate of lettuce before her.
The quirky familial tension is mounting, and then the neighbor hurls bags of feces onto the dinner table from over the fence. It’s a bit heavy-handed, metaphorically and thematically speaking — everyone in this family is having crap hurled at, around, or near them this season. Even Nancy feels more passive and less active, though it makes for a more empathetic character than we’ve probably ever had.
This week’s “Little Boxes” theme is performed by Mariachi El Bronx. You can listen below:
“Also in college I thought I was asexual but it turns out I just suck at intimacy.”
“He’s like Christian Grey but without the money.”
“That was the most artfully noncommittal phrase, ever.”