Weeds: Before and After

Weeds S08E02: "A Beam of Sunshine"

Seventy-seven days after the events of “Messy,” we found Nancy in a long-term rehabilitation center. Her family spread a rumor about her being the beloved member of a dangerous mob family, partially because that was the conclusion the police jumped to after they discovered Nancy’s Mexican mafia connections and partially because it was a great story to keep potential conflict to a minimum, what with everyone being terrified of the Cosa Nostra and all.

The introductory scroll of medical expenses showed that the total cost of Nancy’s care had exceeded $400,000. That incredible sum, coupled with Silas’s concern for covering expenses and Nancy’s newfound sense of amnesia-induced charity make me wonder if there won’t be some sort of financial crisis in the Botwins' future. Also, consider Doug’s lackadaisical investment in the “tri-kini,” which is about as stupid of an invention as it sounds.

During the course of her recovery, Nancy managed to endear herself to her doctors and her fellow patients. She is their “little beam of sunshine,” a remark that made Silas snort with amusement when the doctor used it. However, the new and mildly brain damaged Nancy has truly shown her sympathetic colors. She helped her roommate out with crossword puzzles and enlisted her sons to form the Pony Express, bringing treats to her neighbors in the rehab center. On top of her physical gestures of goodwill, she’s just plain perky, positive, and very proactive. She made great strides in her recovery and the only obstacle blocking the return to her own home is the “stair test.” In addition to her hazy memory, Nancy was suffering some ongoing neurological issues, particularly affecting mobility. She managed flat terrain fairly well with a walker or cane, but the stairs became her own personal Mount Everest.

Meanwhile, Shane tackled his own challenge: figuring out who shot his mother. He had a color-coded diagram and everything, but Nancy ordered him to stop looking and to burn the information he'd already gathered. When Shane asked her if she had any idea who shot her, she made it pretty clear that she knew EXACTLY who pulled the trigger, and had decided to protect him. Nancy was fairly confident that her former stepson, Tim Scottson, wouldn’t try to harm her again.

Enter: The Clown. The Clown was a regular presence among the patients at Nancy’s rehab facility, coming and going under the guise of a benevolent entertainer while selling cannabis-laced candy for a premium. He was kind of a price-gouging dick. Nancy swept in with her new charitable attitude and used her claim to mafia fame to pressure The Clown to offer his weed pro bono... after she made the Pony Express deliver some delicious pot cookies of her own, of course. The gesture was one made entirely of Nancy’s abundant sunshine. She saw it as a sign of her reformation. While Nancy no longer remembers much of her life before her attack, she understands that she wasn’t a particularly upstanding member of society. She sees her second chance at life as the "after" picture in a weight-loss ad, basically. Which is a great thing, really. Everyone always smiles in the after pictures.

Unfortunately for Nancy, the rest of her family is perfectly happy being the people in the "before" pics. Silas humored her free weed cookies, but made it clear that he wasn’t happy about them, and despite her refusal to help him, Shane figured out the identity of Nancy’s attacker on his own so I’m totally bracing myself for a return of the croquet mallet. “We’re not those kind of people,” Nancy told them in reference to the likes of The Clown, people who profit on pain, and while it might be a bit harsh to say that her sons ARE those kinds of people, they certainly don’t mind skirting the line.

In the afterglow of her triumph over The Clown, Nancy successfully passed the stair test and went home, still convinced that she is a changed woman. What do you think? How long will her shiny new lease on life last?

Hash Tags

– I really loved Shane judging The Clown’s business practices. Then again, I tend to love Shane in general. He’s so delightfully damaged.

– I’m really okay with Andy and Jill hooking up. I’m thrilled that Andy took it upon himself to break the endless cycle of unhappiness Jill had going on with her husband. Now, do we think it will stick once Nancy is back home?

– No really, anyone else think the Botwins will be broke by the end of the season?

Comments (5)
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Jul 11, 2012
I think her shiny new lease on life will last through the next two episodes. Then everything will break down and things will get crazy again.

-Shane is a great addition to this cast. I'm sorry, but I don't really count the first 2 years of Shane. He does great stuff for this show.

-Nope. I think Andy is going to end up going back to Nancy because the two of belong together in a psychologically screwed up kind of way.

-There's a good chance that they will be. On the other hand, Silas has proved to be not horrible at business, so there's always that hope.
Jul 10, 2012
just wait until the mexicans find her
Jul 10, 2012
Pleasantly surprised. This episode was better than the premiere. More comedy...with a bit of dark mixed in. The show has come full circle..I'm content with this being the Final Season
Jul 10, 2012
I'm sure things will return to normal, at least "normal" for the current seasons.

What I liked, was it was a bit more up-beat much like the earlier seasons. Back in S1/S2 Nancy was relatively cheery a clean slate; silly+innocent+clueless when buying pot from Conrad & Family.

The show just got darker and darker, to the point that I wasn't really liking it anymore. I wonder if this will last the season... but I REALLY doubt it
Jul 09, 2012
I never know what to expect from this show - one of the reasons I enjoy it. Well once Nancy goes home and recovers enough to want to run things again, except I think it'll be a while before her mental abilities fully return. I wonder if Nancy might try to start something up with that Dr/PT fellow that's obviously hot for Nancy.

Their house looked pricey, how has the family been able to stay there during Nancy's recovery? Guessing Silas' drug-dealings, and maybe Doug's been helping?

Andy and Jill are both kinda leeches IMO, so as long as someone's paying the bills, I'm guessing Jill will stay with the guy giving the most physical pleasure. But if the Botwins lose their fancy home, I see Jill giving up the physical pleasure for the big home her estranged hubby can provide. I don't think Jill loves that boy as much as she loves hurting her sister, so not sure what will happen as far as the boy and his two moms.

You didn't bring up Shane's hottie police-school buddy.